If someone displays these 10 behaviors when you set boundaries, they’re probably highly manipulative and toxic

I think we can all agree that boundaries are incredibly important in all kinds of relationships. 

But what happens when we set boundaries, and there are still people who are poking and prodding them, trying to break the well-established fence? 

In short, nothing good happens, and these people are probably highly manipulative and toxic.

Instead of treating you with respect and understanding, they use sneaky tricks to control you and get what they want.

So, let’s see exactly what behaviors show that the people arbounound you are highly manipulative and toxic when you’ve set your boundaries. 

1) They constantly shift blame onto you, never taking responsibility for their actions

Instead of admitting they messed up, they twist the situation to make it seem like it’s your fault.

Each time things go wrong, they’re quick to point fingers at you, even if it’s not your fault at all. They just need a scapegoat, right?

And that’s frustrating because you end up feeling like you’re always on trial, defending yourself for things you didn’t even do.

This behavior is toxic because it creates a twisted dynamic where they never have to face the consequences of their actions. 

And as with many other behaviors you’re about to see in this article, it can really mess with your head and make you question your own sanity.

2) They use intimidation or threats to get their way

Picture someone raising their voice, making aggressive gestures, or dropping not-so-subtle threats. It’s their way of putting you on edge, making you more likely to give in to what they want just to avoid the tension they create.

In other words, they use fear as a weapon to get what they want. Through scary words or aggressive actions, they make you feel like you have no choice but to comply with their demands. 

And what happens next is that you often walk on eggshells around them, afraid of what might happen if you don’t do what they say. 

Needless to say, this behavior can make you feel trapped and powerless in the relationship.

3) They manipulate situations to make you feel guilty for asserting yourself

They make you feel like you’re the bad guy whenever you try to assert yourself. They’ll make you feel like you’re letting them down or hurting them by sticking to your boundaries

It’s like they have a playbook of all the things that make you feel guilty, and they know exactly which buttons to push to get their way. 

And guess what? This strategy of constant guilt trips effectively wears you down and makes you second-guess yourself at every turn.

4) They try to make you doubt your own judgment and decisions

So, you’ve set a boundary because something doesn’t feel right to you. Instead of respecting your decision, they start poking holes in it, making you wonder if you’re being too sensitive or overreacting.

They’re like that friend who always questions your outfit choices but on steroids. These manipulators know how to make you doubt your decisions, opinions, and even your perception of reality. 

They do this by subtly eroding your self-confidence over time. But let’s see an example of this. 

You’ve set boundaries in your relationship because you need some space to focus on yourself, right? 

But your partner keeps pushing back, saying things like, “Why do we need boundaries? If you trusted me more, we wouldn’t have to deal with this.” 

They essentially make you feel guilty for wanting to prioritize your needs. And that sucks. 

5) They use flattery and charm to manipulate you into bending your boundaries

When they want something, they turn into smooth talkers, showering you with compliments and charm

It’s a classic move to weaken your defenses, making it harder to stick to your boundaries because, hey, who doesn’t like a bit of flattery?

They start pouring on the compliments, telling you how amazing you are and how much they appreciate everything you do. It feels great, doesn’t it?

Before you know it, you’re feeling all warm and fuzzy, and your boundaries start to feel a little fuzzy, too.

It’s sneaky because it feels good to hear nice things, but deep down, you know they’re not respecting your limits.

6) They use emotional blackmail to manipulate your actions

phrases manipulative people use to undermine your sense of self certainty If someone displays these 10 behaviors when you set boundaries, they're probably highly manipulative and toxic

You can set as many boundaries as you want, but that won’t stop some people from crossing them or at least trying to cross them. 

And if they do this repeatedly, that means they’re probably highly manipulative and toxic. 

No “normal” person would be that persistent in trying to break down your rules and boundaries. 

With these types of people, you have to be prepared for emotional roller coasters, okay? 

They’ll be holding your emotions hostage, making you feel guilty or anxious if you don’t do what they say. 

They’re basically using your love and care for them against you, which is totally messed up.

7) They undermine your confidence and self-esteem

When someone undermines your confidence and self-esteem, especially when you’re trying to set boundaries, it’s a serious red flag for manipulation and toxicity. 

Constant criticism, undermining your achievements, and making you doubt your capabilities are all part of their toxic arsenal.

For example, when you finally get the courage to say, “Hey, I’m not okay with that,” and instead of respecting your courage, they tear you down.

They’re basically saying, “Who do you think you are to stand up to me?”

And it’s not just about that one thing you’re standing up for. Their negativity seeps into everything, making you feel like you can’t trust your own judgment anymore.

8) They twist the truth or lie to avoid facing consequences

I already mentioned that toxic and manipulative people love blaming others for their mistakes. But they also won’t shy away from outright lying to avoid facing any and all consequences for their actions. 

They’ll twist any situation to make themselves the hero and you the villain. Facts get contorted, and suddenly, you’re left wondering if you’re the one who’s been getting it all wrong.

Ultimately, it’s a sign that they value avoiding consequences more than they value honesty and integrity. 

And that’s not the kind of person you want to be dealing with when you’re trying to set healthy boundaries and build a solid relationship based on trust and respect.

9) They refuse to respect your privacy and personal space

When someone doesn’t respect your privacy and personal space, they ignore your boundaries and act like your personal stuff is fair game for them to poke around in.

Imagine telling them something personal. Instead of giving you the space you need, they’ll be all up in your business, asking nosy questions or snooping through your stuff without asking.

It feels invasive because it is. They don’t care about your feelings or your need for privacy. 

And when you try to tell them to back off, they act like you’re being too sensitive or even get mad at you for setting boundaries.

10) They use love bombing to gain control over you in a relationship

And lastly, they’ll use love bombing to gain control over you in a relationship. And what does that look like?

At first, they’ll flood you with affection, attention, and compliments. But beware, because once they’ve got you hooked, that intensity can turn into a way to control and manipulate you. 

It’s all part of a carefully crafted plan:

They’re not doing it just because they think you’re great. They’re doing it to get a hold on you. It’s like they’re trying to lock you in, make you feel like you can’t live without them.

Final thoughts 

Setting boundaries and recognizing manipulative behavior is crucial for your headspace and the health of your relationships.

It’s not always easy, but it’s incredibly important to stand up for yourself and protect your boundaries.

Remember, you deserve to be treated with respect, empathy, and understanding in all your relationships.

If someone’s playing games and trying to manipulate you, don’t hesitate to kick them to the curb. Life’s too short to deal with toxic people who don’t respect you.

Picture of Adrian Volenik

Adrian Volenik

Adrian has years of experience in the field of personal development and building wealth. Both physical and spiritual. He has a deep understanding of the human mind and a passion for helping people enhance their lives. Adrian loves to share practical tips and insights that can help readers achieve their personal and professional goals. He has lived in several European countries and has now settled in Portugal with his family. When he’s not writing, he enjoys going to the beach, hiking, drinking sangria, and spending time with his wife and son.

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