11 signs of a conniving person (and how to deal with them)

We’ve all met them. The kind of people who always seem to have a secret trick up their sleeve, turning the tide in their favor.

But how can we spot these cunning ones?

Believe it or not, recognizing certain signs can save you from a lot of trouble.

So, sit back and get comfy as we dive into the telltale signs of a conniving person (and how to deal with them).

You might just dodge a bullet!

1. They’re Master Manipulators

First things first. Conniving people are usually master manipulators.

They have a knack for twisting words, situations, and even your feelings to suit their needs.

It’s like they’re playing a never-ending game of chess, always trying to be several steps ahead.

How can you spot this?

Look out for inconsistencies in their stories, or if they’re overly charming to get what they want.

Also, if you often feel confused or guilty after talking with them, that’s a red flag.

The best thing to do is to stay calm and not let them play with your emotions.

Set boundaries and stick to them, and remember – you have the right to say ‘no’.

2. They’re Always Playing the Victim

Ever noticed how some people are always the ‘victim’ in every story they tell?

That’s another sign of a conniving person.

They use their ‘victim’ status to play on your sympathies or to escape blame. 

How to spot this?

If they’re always blaming others and never take responsibility for their actions, you have a classic victim-player on your hands.

So, how do you deal with them?

Well, don’t get sucked into their sob stories.

Be empathetic, but also remember that it takes two to tango. Encourage them to find solutions rather than dwelling on the problem.

3. They’re Secretive and Evasive

I once had a friend who was extremely secretive. Every time I asked her a simple question, she would either dodge it or give an overly vague answer.

It felt like she was always hiding something, and it turned out, she was. She was spreading rumors behind my back and causing a lot of misunderstandings among our friend circle.

You see, conniving people often have a hidden agenda, and they’re not comfortable with sharing information that could reveal their plans.

In order to handle this, always trust your instincts. If you feel like something’s off, it probably is.

Ask direct questions and observe their responses. And remember – it’s okay to distance yourself from people who make you feel uneasy.

4. They’re Control Freaks

Did you know that feeling a need to control everything and everyone around them is a common trait among conniving people?

These individuals tend to believe that they can manipulate their environment to their benefit, and often it’s hard to convince them otherwise.

It’s like they’re playing a real-life game of ‘Sims’, trying to control every move and every outcome.

Spotting this is pretty straightforward.

If they’re always bossing people around, making all the decisions without consulting others, or getting upset when things don’t go their way, you’ve got a control freak on your hands.

Don’t let them dominate you. Stand your ground and make your own decisions. It’s your life, not theirs!

5. They Lack Empathy

At the core of a conniving person’s behavior is a lack of empathy.

They have a hard time understanding or sharing the feelings of others.

Imagine a world where you couldn’t feel the joy of your friend’s achievements or the pain of your loved one’s loss.

Pretty hard to picture, right?

But for conniving people, this is their reality.

If someone consistently dismisses your feelings or shows no interest in anyone else’s well-being, it’s a clear sign they lack empathy.

6. They’re Full of Empty Promises

I once knew a guy who was brilliant at making promises.

He’d promise to help with work, promise to show up at events, promise to return borrowed items—you name it.

But the problem was, he hardly ever followed through. His words were just that – words, with no actions backing them up.

That’s the thing about conniving people. They’re great at making grand promises that sound too good to be true—because they usually are.

If someone is always promising but rarely delivering, you might just be dealing with a conniving person.

Don’t get swayed by sweet talk and empty promises. Look for consistency in their actions instead.

And remember, it’s okay to call them out on their unfulfilled promises. You deserve honesty and reliability in your relationships.

7. They Lie. A Lot.

Conniving people lie. They lie a lot. And they’re really, really good at it.

Sometimes, it’s big lies—like fabricating stories or events.

Other times, it’s small lies—like fudging details or omitting information.

But either way, they’re not being straight with you.

Spotting this is tricky because, well, they’re good at lying.

But pay attention to inconsistencies in their stories. If things don’t add up or change each time they tell them, you’re probably dealing with a liar.

If something smells fishy, do a little digging yourself. And remember, you deserve honesty in your relationships.

8. They’re Quick to Flatter

Did you know that excessive flattery can sometimes be a sign of deception? 

While everyone enjoys a compliment now and then, conniving people tend to use flattery as a manipulation tool.

They shower you with compliments, making you feel special and valued, but it’s all part of their game.

They’re not praising you because they genuinely admire you, they’re doing it because they want something from you.

If you notice someone is constantly flattering you, especially in situations where it feels unnecessary or over the top, beware!

Remember that true compliments are sincere and usually not excessive. Don’t let flattery cloud your judgment or decision-making.

9. They’re Never Wrong

I remember a time when I had a disagreement with an old friend.

She had this unique ability to twist the argument in such a way that she always came out as the innocent one. It was as if she was never wrong.

This is a classic move of a conniving person.

They’re experts at deflecting blame and turning the tables. They could spill a glass of water and somehow make it your fault.

If you notice someone never accepts their mistakes, but instead always finds a way to shift the blame, you’re probably dealing with a conniving person.

Stand your ground. If you know you’re right, don’t let them twist the truth.

10. They Use People

Let’s cut to the chase: conniving people use others.

They view people as tools to get what they want, not as individuals with feelings and needs. It’s a harsh truth, but one that’s important to understand.

If someone only reaches out when they need something, or if their attitude towards you changes based on what you can do for them, that’s a huge red flag.

Remember to value yourself. You’re not a tool, you’re a person. Don’t be afraid to cut ties with someone who only takes and never gives.

11. They’re Always Looking Out for Number One

At the end of the day, conniving people are all about themselves. Their needs, their desires, their ambitions – it’s all about number one. Everyone and everything else is secondary.

If someone consistently puts their own interests above everyone else’s, even when it harms others… well, you’ve got a conniving person on your hands.

So, how do you handle this? Look out for yourself too. You’re just as important, and your needs matter just as much.

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Picture of Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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