9 charming phrases high-level manipulators use to win you over

Ever met someone who seems too good with words?

Like they always know what to say to make you agree with them?

Well, that’s a sign of a high-level manipulator.

People like this use certain phrases that make us feel good. Their goal is to gain our trust. So while they might sound sincere and sweet on the surface, there’s a darker energy underneath that most people fail to see. 

But don’t worry, we’re here to help you spot these phrases. In this article, I’ll share 9 phrases that these smooth talkers often use.

By the end, you’ll be able to recognize when someone is trying to win you over with their words.

Let’s jump in!

1) “I just want what’s best for you”

This phrase is a classic in the manipulator’s playbook.

It sounds caring and considerate, right?

But here’s the catch:

High-level manipulators use this line to make their own opinions and decisions seem like they’re actually in your best interest.

They make you believe that they’re on your side, fighting your battles.

But in reality, they might be subtly guiding you to do what they want, not necessarily what’s best for you.

So next time someone tells you they want what’s best for you, take a pause. Reflect on whether it’s really for your benefit or theirs. And remember, it’s okay to trust, but it’s also okay to question!

2) “You’re overthinking this”

Ever heard this phrase when you’re trying to express your concerns or doubts?

If yes, then you might have just been gaslighted by a manipulator.

You see, this phrase is often used by manipulators to make you second-guess your own thoughts and feelings.

By telling you that you’re overthinking, they are trying to minimize your concerns and make them seem like they’re not a big deal. This way, they can easily sway you toward their point of view.

Trust your gut feeling; if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.

3) “Trust me, I would never lie to you”

I once had a friend who was a master at using this phrase. 

He’d use this line whenever he wanted me to believe something that seemed fishy. He’d look at me straight in the eyes and say, “Trust me, I would never lie to you.” And I fell for it, time and time again.

The truth is if someone needs to constantly remind you that they’re trustworthy, they probably aren’t.

And as we all know, trust is earned through actions, not words. 

I ended up finding out about my “friend’s” true intentions when I physically caught him out in a lie. But it took months for me to cotton on – months in which I was unknowingly being manipulated. 

4) “I hate to be the one to tell you this, but…”

Now, this next phrase is a clever tactic used by high-level manipulators to present themselves as the bearers of harsh truths.

It’s their way of saying, “I’m only doing this because I care.”

This is all done so that you don’t question their motives. They act like the good guy (or gal), the one who has your back. But more often than not, it’s through their doing that you find yourself pulled into such drama. 

So, always be wary when someone comes out with this line. And don’t be swayed by the oh-so-concerned look on their face as they deliver the terrible news. 

5) “I’m only tough on you because I care”

man phrases he lacks respect for women 9 charming phrases high-level manipulators use to win you over

This phrase tugs at your heartstrings, doesn’t it?

Well, sorry to say, but that’s exactly what a high-level manipulator wants.

They’ll often use this line to justify their harsh or controlling behavior, making it seem like it’s for your own good.

It’s important to remember that genuine care and concern never come wrapped in harshness or cruelty.

Love should make you feel uplifted, not torn down.

And ultimately, if someone’s being tough on you and using this phrase as an excuse, know that it’s not about care, it’s about control. 

6) “You’re the only one who understands me”

Ah, now this is a phrase that I’ve come across quite a few times in my life.

It seems like a compliment, doesn’t it? It makes you feel special like you have a unique connection with the person.

But high-level manipulators use this phrase to make you feel obligated to support them.

An ex of mine would often say this. He’d treat me horribly, and every time I gathered the strength to leave, he’d hit me with this line. And of course, I would always go back to him, feeling like I couldn’t let him down. 

Eventually, though, I realized he was never a good guy. He didn’t love me, he enjoyed the control he had over me, not to mention the mind games and verbal abuse. 

Don’t get me wrong – it’s great to be a supportive force in someone’s life, but not at the cost of your own wellbeing. 

7) “I don’t usually open up to people, but with you it’s different”

When a high-level manipulator uses this phrase, they’re banking on the fact that you’ll feel more connected to them if you think they’ve let their guard down just for you.

But here’s the brutal truth:

Genuine trust is built over time, not dished out in a single conversation.

If someone plays the “I don’t usually open up” card too quickly, they might be trying to fast-track your trust. 

Especially if they then reveal wildly intimate details of their life. Like the friend I once had who told me about all of her childhood traumas the first day we met. I picked up on the red flags but decided to give her the benefit of the doubt since she seemed sincere and sweet. 

Six months into our friendship I realized what a mistake I had made. 

8) “You and I are so much alike”

Here’s an interesting fact for you: according to some studies, we tend to trust people more who we perceive as similar to us.

And of course, manipulators know this and often use it to their advantage.

That’s why they use this phrase to create a sense of connectivity and trust. 

You might find them going out of their way to point out small things you have in common. 

If you’re really perceptive, you’ll notice them downplaying your differences.

Like the friend I mentioned earlier. She told me how much she loved ice cream and how white chocolate was her favorite flavor. I told her I wasn’t really into ice cream – I preferred ice lollies. 

Very subtly, she said, “Oh, come to think of it, I agree. Ice lollies are way better than ice cream. Isn’t it crazy how alike we are?!”

It wasn’t a big deal, and in most cases, it wouldn’t have been a red flag. But given all the other things she did, it was just another confirmation that she was incredibly manipulative. 

9) “You owe me”

And finally, high-level manipulators use this phrase to make you feel indebted to them.

They’ll remind you of the times they helped you or did something for you, using it as leverage to manipulate your actions.

But here’s the thing, true kindness doesn’t come with strings attached.

No one should hold their acts of kindness over your head like a debt.

So if someone keeps saying that you owe them, it could be a sign that they’re trying to manipulate you.

Remember, recognizing these phrases is the first step towards safeguarding yourself against manipulation. So stay aware and trust your instincts!

Picture of Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair is a former competitive athlete who transitioned into the world of wellness and mindfulness. Her journey through the highs and lows of competitive sports has given her a unique perspective on resilience and mental toughness. Ava’s writing reflects her belief in the power of small, daily habits to create lasting change.

Enhance your experience of Ideapod and join Tribe, our community of free thinkers and seekers.

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

Ideapod news, articles, and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.