1. Everything is always your fault. When you catch them in a lie and you KNOW they’ve lied, but they still don’t admit they’ve lied.
2. A big red flag is that you feel utterly miserable after spending time with them.
A much, much bigger red flag is that you desperately want to spend time with them again.
Toxic relationships are FIERCELY addictive, more than any substance I have ever tried. If a person makes you absolutely miserable, AND you feel like you can’t live without them, you’re in serious trouble.
3. Thinking to yourself, “No he/she wouldn’t be doing this on purpose to me,” one too many times.
4. You are being forced to make decisions that you are uncomfortable with. Or you feel like someone is always pushing you to make rushed decisions.
5. You’re questioning yourself. The term “gaslighting” is often used to identify manipulation that gets people to question themselves, their reality, memory, or thoughts. A manipulative person might twist what you say and make it about them, or hijack the conversation or make you feel like you’ve done something wrong when you’re not quite sure you have.
6. Anybody who forcefully attempts to assert their trustworthiness, isn’t.
7. Manipulators often induce uncomfortable, “negative” feelings such as fear, guilt, or shame to get you to do what they want. Pay attention to the feelings you get around other people.
8. You filter everything you say to avoid fights.
9. The feeling of walking on eggshells.
10. If someone is discouraging you from talking to or hanging out with your friends and family.
11. Aggressiveness/anger/conversation steering at the very beginning of a discussion that they don’t want to have. The conversation will never occur, there is always something that stops or diverts it, endlessly.
12. Being accused of behavior that was originally exhibited by the accusing party. Simple version is, say a friend of yours is being extremely hostile, you respond in a frustrated manner wherein out of context you wouldn’t be viewed in a good light. They then go about telling mutual acquaintances that you are hostile.
13. Always feel on edge around them even though nothing’s happening; something bad could happen at any moment even when things are normal.
14. Important information is missing. There is a reason they don’t want you to have it.
15. Apologies without change. I once read, verbatim, “Apologies without change are manipulation.”
16. When you have to keep assuring someone that you are not manipulating them. Manipulators always accuse others of being manipulative.
17. When you share your feelings with someone and they turn it into something about them, to make you feel guilty about sharing in the first place.
18. When they tell you that you can’t leave them because you’ll never find someone to love you the way they do.
19. Manipulators are extremely jealous and needy usually narcissist types. They will start small by getting you to do little favors for them then they get angry if you don’t do everything they ask. And a lot of manipulative people will start fights and argue for no reason. Just endless fights. About who is right.
20. When you do what people want you to do, but they won’t do what you want them to do.
21. You’re being manipulated when the essential message is: “Be reasonable and do things my way.”
22. When you call them out for doing something hurtful and they say, “Yeah, I’m a piece of shit then,” or “If you want to believe I did that, then I can’t stop you.”
23. You never get the last word.
24. Someone behaving differently in public vs in private.
25. Making you stay home instead of going out.
26. They are always “just joking”.
27. They make your problems feel small.
28. They constantly make you prove yourself.
29. If they do something that hurt you and you end up apologizing instead. Or, if you tell a person that you’re uncomfortable with, say, certain types of jokes, but they keep telling you that you’re just too sensitive. Basically, if they make you feel bad for their actions.
30. Usually you don’t really realize it. When other people start telling you there’s a problem that’s when you finally realize. That’s what it took for me. When you look back later you can finally see what everyone else saw.