Emotional manipulation isn’t always as easy to detect because it happens below the radar. But there are warning signs that will let you know that something isn’t right. These signs are sometimes subtle, sometimes glaringly obvious. If you know what to look for you’ll know when to get away from an emotionally manipulative person.

For a healthy relationship – be that with lovers, children, friends or family – there has to be trust, security, and mutual respect. Sadly, in a relationship with emotional manipulation, these fundamental foundations are lacking.

Emotional manipulation can happen unintentionally sometimes, but other times, a person will deliberately use underhanded tactics to get their way. Unlike a rational person, this type of man or woman will not realize their mistake, apologize and correct the way they behave.

Instead, they will continue with their damaging behavior until you walk away, perhaps forever. There are signs to look for, and they are:

They Seek Out Insecure And Sensitive People

You will find that emotional manipulators seek people the can easily control and manipulate. This is normally people who are sensitive and rather insecure because they are easier to deal with. If they can’t ‘play’ a person, they will likely not waste their time on them.

They Will Deny Saying Certain Things

This kind of behavior is quite often seen in people who use emotional manipulation to get what they want. They will say things and then pretend that they didn’t. 

The aim here is to have you feeling ridiculous or forgetful, even a little crazy. There is one way to deal with this and that’s to use technology. Have conversations in text messages to have proof of what is said. This may feel sneaky, but if you’re dealing with an emotional manipulator, you have to be smart.

They Play Down The Seriousness Of Your Problems

Emotional manipulators don’t care for other people’s problems or issues unless they can use them to their own advantage. Sadly, this is true even when the manipulator is in a relationship with you.

One example of this could be when you feel bad about fighting with your parents. If the manipulator lost one or both parents, they will point out that you should be lucky that you have them to fight with rather than complaining about it. Should you try to talk about how you feel, they will try to make you out as selfish.

Compassion or empathy is not something you will easily find with this kind of person. Avoid showing your vulnerable side to them, they will find a time and place to use it against you.

They Will Use Your Words Against You

Manipulators such as this won’t take responsibility for the way they behave. If you try to point out what they do, they will find a way to use what you say against you. They will even use your words and twist them to their benefit. Making you feel guilty or bad is their goal with this manipulation of your own words.

This kind of person will apologize, but in such a way that you are made out as the bad guy. An example would be if you asked them to do something, they didn’t and then say sorry, but they’ve been so tired all day. Sometimes, this excuse-making will be followed by an accusation. ‘Why don’t you ever think about how I feel?’ – This is a popular method of manipulation in such a situation.

You should do your best to not let this kind of behavior slip by you – it will only continue the cycle.

They Make Use Of Anger Or Aggression

This kind of manipulator will do whatever they can to gain control of a situation, even turn to anger, aggressive language, and subtle threats.

If you are the kind of person that does not like confrontation, they will especially use this tactic because you’re likely to give in. You should call out this behavior unless you fear physical violence. The best thing to do in such a situation is to try and leave the room.

If you find yourself in a relationship with this kind of person, the best thing you could do is find a way out. These relationships hardly, if ever, end up making anyone happy but the manipulator.