This post contains some of the best quotes on manipulative people.
What Is Manipulation?
Manipulation is a behavior designed to exploit or control someone to one’s advantage, often unfairly or dishonestly.
Examples of manipulation include:
- Creating an imbalance of power
- Intellectual bullying
- Isolating people from their loved ones
- Lying or withholding information
- Passive aggression
- Playing the victim
- The silent treatment
- Threatening or implying threats
- Using sex to get what they want
- Verbal abuse
Quotes On Manipulative People
1. “Although the ways in which people manipulate can vary greatly, there are a certain number of techniques and traits that manipulators have in common. Understanding these will help you to recognize the signs earlier and be better prepared.” – Chase Hill
2. “Because of their need to manipulate, it is always best not to share too much with a sociopath.” – Chase Hill
3. “Boundaries and saying no are the best ways to avoid manipulation, but these aren’t skills that come naturally to everyone.” – Chase Hill
4. “Emotional blackmail is a powerful form of manipulation in which people close to us threaten, either directly or indirectly, to punish us if we don’t do what they want.” – Susan Forward
Related: The Narcissist’s Prayer Explained
5. “Gaslighting is one of the most painful forms of manipulation because you start to question your own reality and sanity. If you ask your partner to do the shopping and they don’t, they might turn around and say that you never asked them. Manipulators will use phrases that can be subtle like, “Are you sure you’re feeling alright?” to “You are just being crazy,” both of which will make you question what has really happened.” – Chase Hill
6. “Generally, it’s one particular person—a partner, a parent, a sibling, a friend —who manipulates us so consistently that we seem to forget everything we know about being effective adults.” – Susan Forward
7. “In order to manipulate your emotions so they can get what they want, they first have to get you to open up to them. Once they have gained your trust and you start sharing your feelings, they will then have ammunition to use against you.” – Chase Hill
8. “It’s scary, telling another person “This is who I am. This is what I want.” Scarier still is standing by the truth of ourselves—our integrity—as we must when we give the other person a choice to accept or not accept our decisions and differences. We may feel as though expressing our needs is akin to making demands, but remember that what we’re asking of the blackmailer is absolutely reasonable: we want the other person to stop manipulating us. We’re not asking for anything that will harm us or them.” – Susan Forward
9. “Love bombing alone feels amazing in the beginning. The bombardment of affection, kind words, and unexpected gifts in the early days of a relationship may even seem normal. However, narcissistic love bombing is a manipulative technique that is used to hook the person into a committed relationship before they become aware that they are being played.” – Chase Hill
10. “Maddening interactions like these are among the most common causes of friction in almost every relationship, yet they’re rarely identified and understood. Often these instances of manipulation get labeled miscommunication. We tell ourselves, “I’m operating from feelings and he’s operating from intellect” or “She’s just coming from a different mind-set.” But in reality, the source of friction isn’t in communication styles. It’s more in one person getting his or her way at the expense of another. These are more than simple misunderstandings— they’re power struggles” – Susan Forward
11. “Manipulation becomes emotional blackmail when it is used repeatedly to coerce us into complying with the blackmailer’s demands, at the expense of our own wishes and well-being.” – Susan Forward
12. “Manipulation in relationships can become so toxic that the result is a breakdown in that relationship.” – Chase Hill
13. “Manipulators aren’t used to being called out on their behavior, so confrontation is likely, but their reaction is not your responsibility.” – Chase Hill
14. “Manipulators have no problems being extra friendly to a person and then talking down about them to others. This is a technique used to control how others see you. It is particularly dangerous in groups of friends or with colleagues. They will also tell you what others are saying about you, often lying or exaggerating.” – Chase Hill
15. “Manipulators will never just ask for what they need because it is giving away their control. Instead, they will use psychology to control others.” – Chase Hill
16. “Many forms of manipulation aren’t troublesome at all. We all manipulate one another at times, and we all get manipulated. We’ve learned to play a multitude of games to maneuver people into doing what we’d like. One of my favorites is “Gee, I wish someone would open the window,” as opposed to “Could you please open the window?”” – Susan Forward
17. “Narcissists and sociopaths frequently use manipulation and they are fully aware of their behavior.” – Chase Hill
18. “Never apologize for things that aren’t your fault, and don’t allow yourself to be manipulated into saying sorry.” – Chase Hill
19. “Once you are less afraid and feel less manipulated by fear, obligation and guilt, you’ll notice how many choices open up to you. You’ll be able to decide who you want to be close to, how much you are responsible for other people, how you really want to use your time and love and energy.” – Susan Forward
20. “One key reason is that our blackmailers make it nearly impossible to see how they’re manipulating us, because they lay down a thick fog that obscures their actions. We’d fight back if we could, but they ensure that we literally can’t see what is happening to us. I use fog as both a metaphor for the confusion blackmailers create in us and as a lens for burning it off.” – Susan Forward
21. “One very simple way to avoid being manipulated is to share your intentions. The more people know how you feel, what you are doing, and what your goals are, the harder it is for manipulators to control how others view you.” – Chase Hill
22. “People who have been diagnosed with borderline personality may manipulate others in order to have their needs met. But there doesn’t have to be a mental health diagnosis to engage in manipulative tactics.” – Chase Hill
23. “Projection is when you displace your own feelings onto another person. In most cases, it is a defense mechanism but manipulators use it to hand over the responsibility of their own negative emotions. Examples could be an angry manipulator accusing their victim of always being angry, or a cheating partner who starts to suspect their partner is also cheating.” – Chase Hill
24. “Really, it’s a little bit like bullying, but if you feel like you are always at the end of a joke and these jokes hurt your feelings, you are dealing with a manipulator. In front of the others, they are just being funny, a bit of innocent humor. However, they are fully aware that their joke causes you pain and they might even rub salt in the wound by telling you that you are too sensitive.” – Chase Hill
25. “There are plenty of examples in the world where manipulation is considered perfectly normal, so much so that we don’t even consider that we are being manipulated.” – Chase Hill
26. “Toxic behavior and manipulation are best friends walking down the street together. They bounce off each other, fuel each other, and creep up on you without your being aware. It is perfectly normal for us to not notice when we are being manipulated, mainly because nobody wants to think that our friends and family are capable of such techniques.” – Chase Hill
27. “Toxic people can be manipulators and their behavior will often confuse you because there is a lack of consistency. One minute they will be happy, the next they may be crying out for attention because their life is so terrible. Not only do you feel uncomfortable around these people but you also don’t feel good about yourself when you are around them.” – Chase Hill
28. “We also know the power of sex to attract someone we want, and we know how easy it is to manipulate another person by withholding it.” – Susan Forward
29. “While some emotional blackmailers are clear in their threats, others may send us mixed signals, acting kindly much of the time and resorting to blackmail only occasionally. All this makes it difficult to see when a pattern of manipulation is developing in a relationship.” – Susan Forward
30. “The fact is, it is okay to have manipulative people in your life as long as you know how to handle them and don’t end up being controlled and dictated by them. That doesn’t mean carrying on as if nothing happened. Learning the essential skills to spot and stop manipulation is how you are going to take back the power over your own life and start to enjoy yourself more.” – Chase Hill
How To Deal With Manipulation?
Dealing with manipulation can be challenging, but here are some tips to help you:
1. Identify the manipulation: The first step is recognizing that you are being manipulated. Manipulation can take many forms, such as guilt-tripping, gaslighting, or emotional blackmail.
2. Set boundaries: Once you have identified the manipulation, it’s essential to set boundaries. Clearly communicate what you will and will not accept in the relationship.
3. Stay calm and rational: Manipulators use emotional triggers to destabilize their victims; therefore, it’s crucial to stay calm and rational when confronted with manipulative behavior.
4. Don’t engage: One of the most effective ways to deal with manipulation is to not engage. Do not argue or negotiate with the manipulator – this only reinforces their behavior.
5. Seek support: Surround yourself with supportive friends and family who understand the manipulative situation and can offer guidance and encouragement.
6. Seek professional help: If the situation is severe, consider seeking help from a therapist or counselor who can provide tools to cope with the manipulative relationship.
Remember that dealing with manipulation takes time and effort, but it’s possible to take control of your life and overcome the manipulative situation.
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