6 Signs You’re Dating An Emotional Manipulator (And Need To Get Out Now)

You’re finally coming to your senses. You’re recounting all the times you felt that eerie feeling in your gut that something wasn’t right. The flattery and flowery words, along with grand gestures to keep you hooked, blinded you from the truth and diluted your ability to see under their mask. You could feel the insincerity as their words rolled off their tongue to bait you into believing their lies.

You can’t even compute why someone’s sole purpose would be to reel you in just to tear you down and then play the victim.

This is the sign of a manipulator who has deeply rooted insecurities and uses other people to feed their ego. That gut feeling is not paranoia, it’s red flags waving right in front of you, telling you to run for the hills!

If you believe that you might be dealing with a manipulator, read some of the signs below to help you solidify your gut instinct and cut them out of your life completely before it escalates to a bigger problem.

1. They Create A Pseudo-Comfort Level

The thing about manipulators is that they are usually excellent at reading people.

They study the way you talk and the things you like on social media. They pick up on all your interests and make it a point to figure out what makes you weak.

They use all this information to their advantage by creating a comfort level that makes you feel like they are to be trusted, when in reality, they are creating schemes to manipulate you even further with ulterior motives. The manipulator uses this comfort level tactic to strategically reel you in and make you believe that they genuinely have your best interests at heart when it’s actually quite the opposite.

It’s important to really listen to your gut instinct and look out for signs that don’t align with the words that they use to create this feeling of comfort. If it doesn’t feel like you can trust them, there’s a reason why your subconscious is poking at you to take a second look. Don’t doubt yourself and overlook the signs, look into them.

2.  They Expedite The Natural Course Of A Relationship

Manipulators are impulsive. They feed off of instant gratification. You are their shiny new toy, and they don’t care to learn the true dynamic of the relationship; they’re just ready to play. This is part of why they create a comfort level—the sooner you feel comfortable with them, the more apt you are to believe that rushing into things is normal since you “know” each other so well.

Examples of this can be buying you generous gifts that usually don’t come until after you’ve taken the time to establish a solid, meaningful relationship. Revealing too much about themselves too soon. Making you feel like you are their entire world when you haven’t even had the chance to fully understand theirs.

Don’t get swept up without noticing you’ve missed a few crucial steps in truly getting to know someone. There needs to be in-person togetherness to fully understand the way someone operates. How do they treat you in public vs. in private? How do they treat their family? How do they treat your family? How do they treat strangers? How do they treat their friends? How do they treat animals? What are their mannerisms when you’re talking about something you are deeply passionate about? Are they receptive? Do you feel their sincerity when they talk to you? Do their words match their actions? Learning someone’s situational behaviors doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time.

If you feel like you are being rushed into this relationship, don’t let the manipulator sweep you off your feet with their silver tongue. They are skilled at calculating perfect timing for snatching you with their net weaved with deceptive lies and empty promises. If you feel strained when it comes to moving forward and sharing your private life with them, there’s a reason. Don’t let them expedite the natural course of a relationship. You don’t owe them anything just because they are constantly volunteering grand gestures and information. If someone truly cares and has genuine interest in you, they will understand and take the time necessary to grow and build something solid and REAL.

3.  They Give You Extreme Insincere Flattery

We all like to feel loved and complimented, but there’s definitely a different tone and excessiveness when it comes from someone who is insincere and manipulative. Excessive flattery is another technique manipulators use to win you over. Beyond the pretty words wrapped in a neatly tied bow lies an ulterior motive when it comes from someone who is manipulating you. The overuse of the “Has anyone told you how amazing you are today?” with a schmoozy, buttery tone and all those other cliché’s can sometimes be a telltale sign that they’re being manipulative.

This flattery usually comes in excessive amounts with an exaggerated tone. Tone of voice can be a decoder for lies. If it feels transactional, that’s a sign of manipulation. Compliments and admiration should be sincere without any hidden motive. It can be tough to detect when you want to believe they’re being genuine, but listen to your gut feeling that’s sending you SOS’s. Not to say that these things aren’t true about yourself, but you want it to come from the right person with good intentions.

 4.  They Make You Feel Insecure 

Manipulators have this way of making you feel insecure while simultaneously making you feel exclusive and special to them, so long as you stay within the railing of their expectations. Remember that anyone who intentionally makes you feel insecure does not have your best interests at heart! This is a torturing mind game they like to play to control you. This is all part of how they keep you hooked. Manipulators like to toy with your insecurities due to them being the insecure ones deep down inside, beyond the depths of their own understanding of what makes them the way that they are.

By making you feel this way, it inflates their ego each time at your expense.

This can make it difficult to get out of the situation once they make you feel like they have this power over your emotions, knowing exactly which buttons to push. Please remember that this “control” is not real. You are your own person, and you do have the power to walk away—the sooner, the better. The more you play their mind games, the more mental abuse you’ll receive.

5. They deflect

Another technique manipulators commonly use is deflection. Manipulators hate being exposed, but can hide it very well when you confront them.

So what do they do? They cunningly deflect the situation by twisting it around and somehow pointing fingers at you when you did absolutely nothing to deserve it. They are excellent at crafting this effect by using psychological mind games that will twist your words and make them the victim.

Manipulators and narcissists are much too cowardly to come forward when you have caught them in a shady act. Even if you have all the facts laying out in front of them, they will somehow find a way to rewire the conversation and take no accountability for their actions. They’ll somehow have you standing there with your hands in the air, defending yourself over things that have never even happened or are irrelevant. In the midst of this, all you can do is bring back the focus to the point of the conversation. If this is a continuous cycle, this is a red flag and a toxic individual that would be in your best interest to avoid when you know for a fact they are perpetually lying.

6. They project

Manipulators constantly have you in a state of needing to defend yourself.

They will create lies and make false accusations in order to empower themselves. One thing to keep in mind is that these kinds of people usually lack empathy to various degrees, so they feel like they have nothing to lose when it comes to crafting lies. If they’re accusing you of talking to someone else or seeing another person behind their back, this could be a sign that they are the ones committing those acts.

This is a tool they use to distract, much like deflection. You should never feel like you have to constantly defend yourself in any type of relationship. This is mental abuse and should not be tolerated.

Since manipulators are the dishonest ones themselves, they like to weave their victims into a web of uncertainty. This tactic is an attempt to rock your balance and blind you from what’s on the other side of their mask.  Do not become oblivious to this kind of abuse.

If you feel like you may be in a relationship with a manipulator, please listen to your gut feeling that’s telling you something is not right. Don’t doubt your intuition. Trust yourself and don’t fall for the superficial words and materialistic gifts that don’t mean anything in the end. You want these words and exchanges to come from the right person with good intentions—someone who truly cares about the things that make you smile, the hurt you feel when you’ve just received bad news, the thrill you feel when something exciting is happening in your life. Someone who calms your anxieties and dissolves them into nonexistence. Someone who truly has your best interests at heart and doesn’t find joy in making you feel insecure.

You may be racking your brain, trying to understand why this person would want to put you in this light and hold no accountability for their actions. The truth is, you’re not meant to understand it because you’re NOT like them. You’re better than that.

Remember that when you don’t know your worth, you’ll end up in the wrong hands. Remember to love yourself with all your imperfections. No one is perfect, we’re all flawed, but that does NOT mean you don’t deserve respect. At the end of the day, you’re the only one responsible for what you tolerate and the people you surround yourself with. Be brave enough to walk away from this situation with the confidence of knowing you deserve so much more. TC mark

About the author
Weaving my experiences into words. Follow Talisa on Instagram or read more articles from Talisa on Thought Catalog.

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