People who manipulate others (even if they don’t intend to) usually have these 8 character traits

Ever met someone who seems friendly, but something just feels off?

Maybe you even feel like they’re using you, but you can’t quite figure out how?

Well, there’s a good chance that person might be a manipulator.

Not all manipulators are inherently bad. Some might not even realize they’re doing it. But let’s face it, no one likes to feel played.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at 8 character traits common in people who tend to manipulate others.

Keep in mind, these traits aren’t a guarantee that someone’s a manipulator, but they’re definitely signs you should keep an eye out for.

Buckle up and let’s dive in!

1) They’re great at playing the victim

Some people always seem to be the victim no matter what happens. They manage to twist any story so that they’re the poor, innocent one who’s been wronged.

This is a common tactic used by manipulators. By playing the victim, they win sympathy and manipulate others into siding with them.

It’s a clever way of diverting attention away from their own faults and actions.

Next time someone always seems to be the victim, take a closer look – you might be dealing with a manipulator.

2) They know how to use guilt

Ever felt guilty for something that wasn’t really your fault?

Guilt is a powerful tool, and those who manipulate others sure master the guilt-tripping technique to always gain the upper hand in a relationship.

Twisting facts, exaggerating situations or playing on your emotions to make you feel guilty are some of their moves.

So if you often find yourself feeling guilty around someone for no apparent reason, that’s a red flag and also a sign that you might be dealing with a manipulator.

3) They’re masters at gaslighting

If you’ve ever been made to feel like you’re losing your grip on reality, you might have been a victim of gaslighting.

Gaslighting is when someone manipulates you into questioning your own sanity or perceptions.

Let me share something personal. I once had a friend who would always do this.

Whenever we’d have disagreements, she’d twist the story so much that I’d start doubting my own memory.

She’d say things like “You’re overreacting” or “That’s not how it happened, you’re remembering it wrong.” It got to the point where I was constantly second-guessing myself around her.

It took me a while to realize what was happening – gaslighting is subtle and can be very damaging.

If someone constantly makes you doubt your own memory or feelings, be aware, take a step back and re-evaluate.

4) They’re incredibly persuasive

Did you know that being highly persuasive is a trait often associated with manipulative individuals?

Manipulators have a knack for making you see things from their perspective, even if it’s not in your best interest. They’re so good at it, you might not even realize what’s happening. 

They use this to their advantage to convince others to do what they want.

When you find yourself being swayed by someone’s persuasive arguments, take a step back and think – are they trying to help, or are they manipulating?

5) They’re often charming

There’s something about charm that draws us in, isn’t there?

A charming person can light up a room and make you feel special. But here’s the thing – charm can also be a manipulator’s greatest weapon.

It’s hard to believe that someone so delightful could have ulterior motives, but it happens more often than we’d like to think.

They often use their charm to win you over, to make you drop your guard. And just when you’re under their spell, that’s when the manipulation begins.

It’s heartbreaking to realize that the charm was just a means to an end.

But, it’s important to remember that real charm doesn’t come with strings attached.

So always listen to your gut – it might be trying to tell you something.

6) They’re really good at reading people

Manipulators have a keen eye for understanding people, their needs, their desires and their weaknesses. This trait makes them excellent at figuring out how to influence others.

This resonates deely with me. I once had a colleague who seemed to have an uncanny ability to read people. He knew exactly what to say and when to say it to get his way.

At first, I admired his people skills, but then I began to notice a pattern. He would use his insights to subtly manipulate situations in his favor.

It wasn’t about helping others; it was about helping himself!

So, if you ever come across someone who seems to have an almost psychic ability to understand people and always uses that skill for their own benefit, be cautious.

7) They’re never wrong

Ever met someone who just can’t admit they’re wrong? It’s always someone else’s fault, or they’ve got a million excuses lined up. It’s frustrating, right?

Well, manipulators are often like that. They rarely admit their mistakes or take responsibility for their actions.

It’s easier for them to shift the blame onto others or make excuses. They’re experts at avoiding accountability.

Honestly, it’s exhausting to deal with someone like this. You feel like you’re going in circles, never getting anywhere.

Don’t let them pull you into their blame game!

8) They’re control freaks

Last but not least, manipulators often have a strong need for control. They like things done their way and will do whatever it takes to maintain their grip on situations and people.

This need for control often stems from deep-seated fears and insecurities. They may feel threatened by uncertainty or lack of control, so they manipulate others to create a sense of order or security.

They will often go to great lengths to maintain any sort of control so be mindful. Remember, healthy relationships are about balance and mutual respect, not control and dominance.

Finding your emotional compass after manipulation

Navigating manipulators can be a complex dance.

It’s crucial to acknowledge that such encounters can leave scars, even if subtle.

Take time to heal, forgive yourself for potentially falling prey to their tactics, and remember: Your ability to love and trust fully remains, undimmed.

Choose wisely where you invest your emotional energy, and keep your heart open to genuine connections.

Picture of Isabella Chase

Isabella Chase

Isabella Chase, a New York City native, writes about the complexities of modern life and relationships. Her articles draw from her experiences navigating the vibrant and diverse social landscape of the city. Isabella’s insights are about finding harmony in the chaos and building strong, authentic connections in a fast-paced world.

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