Women who are nice on the surface but manipulative underneath usually display these 7 behaviors

Manipulation is a crafty art, often hidden under a veil of niceness.

We’ve all encountered those sweet-as-pie individuals who seem to have a hidden agenda. They smile, they compliment, and they appear genuinely kind. But beneath the surface, there might be a manipulative mechanism at play.

As a relationship expert and founder of the Love Connection blog, I’ve identified seven telltale behaviors displayed by women who are nice on the surface but manipulative underneath.

But keep in mind, not all niceness is feigned, and not every kind word is a manipulation tactic. It’s important to differentiate between genuine kindness and manipulative behavior for healthier relationships. Let’s dive into these seven behaviors and discern the difference.

1) They are excessively charming

Charm can be a powerful tool, and for women who are manipulative underneath their nice exterior, it’s often their weapon of choice.

These women usually radiate warmth and kindness. They’re quick to compliment and always seem to say just the right thing at the right time. It’s easy to be drawn in by their charisma and seemingly genuine interest.

However, this excessive charm often serves as a smokescreen for their hidden intentions. They use it to build trust and establish strong connections, only to later manipulate these relationships for their personal gain.

Keep in mind—not all charming people have ulterior motives. It’s the excessive, over-the-top charm, paired with some of the other behaviors we’ll explore, that can be a potential red flag.

2) They’re rarely the ones at fault

This might seem counterintuitive. After all, aren’t nice people supposed to be humble and willing to admit their mistakes?

Well, women who are manipulative underneath their nice exterior have mastered the art of deflecting blame. They can twist any situation, making you believe that they are the victim or that the fault lies elsewhere.

No matter what happens, they can skillfully avoid taking responsibility. Instead, they might use guilt or charm to subtly shift the blame onto others, leaving you second-guessing yourself.

This behavior can be harmful because it undermines trust and creates a toxic environment where accountability is avoided. So be mindful of those who never seem to be at fault – it could be a sign of manipulative behavior.

3) They have a knack for making you feel indebted to them

Ever felt like someone’s done you so many favors that you end up feeling like you owe them? It’s a common technique used by those who are manipulative underneath their nice exterior.

They’re quick to lend a helping hand, often going out of their way to do favors for you. This creates a feeling of indebtedness, making it hard for you to say ‘no’ when they need something from you.

I’ve delved deeper into this behavior, amongst others, in my book Breaking The Attachment: How To Overcome Codependency in Your Relationship. It’s a subtle form of manipulation which can lead to unhealthy, codependent relationships.

So, if you find yourself constantly feeling obligated to return favors or feeling guilty when you can’t, it’s worth paying closer attention to the dynamics of your relationship.

4) They are masters of subtle criticism

A wise man once said, “A sarcastic person has a superiority complex that can be cured only by the honesty of humility.” – Lawrence G. Lovasik.

Now, isn’t that the truth? Women who are manipulative underneath their nice exterior often use subtle forms of criticism to belittle others. They may disguise it as concern or humor, making it difficult to call them out on it.

For instance, they might say something like, “I love how you just wear anything,” or “It’s so brave of you to pursue such an uncertain career path.” On the surface, these comments might seem like compliments, but they carry an undercurrent of criticism.

I’ve had my share of these ‘backhanded compliments‘ too, making me feel small and unsure of myself. So, if you find someone always leaving you with a subtle sting of criticism, it might be time to reassess your relationship with them.

5) They use guilt as a weapon

phrases a woman will use when shes slowly pulling away Women who are nice on the surface but manipulative underneath usually display these 7 behaviors

Guilt is a powerful emotion, and manipulative individuals know just how to wield it. They’re capable of turning any situation around to make you feel guilty, even when you’ve done nothing wrong.

Have you ever found yourself apologizing when you’re not at fault, just to appease someone? I’ve been there too. It’s a classic manipulation tactic. They play the victim, making you feel guilty for their feelings or situations, and before you know it, you’re doing whatever they want just to assuage your guilt.

Remember, it’s okay to stand up for yourself and not let unwarranted guilt guide your actions. Healthy relationships don’t involve constant guilt-tripping.

6) They’re always in the know

Albert Einstein once said, “The only source of knowledge is experience.” But when it comes to women who are manipulative underneath their nice exterior, they seem to have an uncanny ability to know more than they should.

They’re always in the loop, always aware of the latest happenings. They might use this information to their advantage or to subtly control situations. It’s as though they have a sixth sense for information that could be used for manipulation.

I recall a time where I felt someone knew too much about my personal life, even things I hadn’t shared. It was unsettling and a sign that boundaries were being overstepped.

Knowledge is power, but in the wrong hands, it can become a tool for manipulation. If you ever feel someone knows more about your life than they should, take a step back and assess the situation.

For more insights on relationships and how to navigate them, do follow me on Facebook. I share my latest articles there regularly.

7) They’re never truly vulnerable

Vulnerability is an essential part of genuine relationships. It’s about opening up, showing your true self, with all its flaws and insecurities.

But for women who are manipulative underneath their nice exterior, vulnerability is a risk they’re not willing to take. They might share stories that make them seem open and relatable, but you’ll seldom see them expose their true feelings or admit their own shortcomings.

It’s like they’re always wearing a mask, never revealing their true self. This lack of genuine vulnerability creates a one-sided relationship where you’re open and honest, but they remain guarded and controlled.

In my own experiences, I’ve found this to be one of the most challenging aspects of dealing with someone manipulative. It’s hard to foster a deep connection when one party refuses to let their guard down.

So if someone is always perfect and never shows any real vulnerability, it might be time to take a closer look at the relationship.

Looking beyond the surface

The realm of human behavior is vast and complex, filled with nuances and subtleties. As we’ve explored these seven behaviors, it’s clear that beneath a surface of niceness, there can lurk a web of manipulation.

It’s important to remember that not all kindness is a façade, and not every helping hand has a hidden motive. But recognizing these behaviors can empower us to make more informed decisions about the relationships in our lives.

The journey of understanding manipulation, its signs, and how to respond is a continuous one. It requires patience, empathy, and above all, self-awareness. As we delve deeper into this exploration, we begin to foster healthier relationships based on trust, respect, and genuine connection.

To help us explore more deeply the key things we’ve been discussing in this article, I suggest watching this insightful video by Justin Brown where he explains “the illusion of happiness” and why chasing it makes you miserable. It’s about how it’s a trap to pursue happiness, actually challenges the common belief that pursuing happiness is the key to a fulfilling life.

True contentment comes from within, by embracing life’s challenges, fostering meaningful relationships, and staying true to oneself.

YouTube video

Remember, the journey towards understanding others begins with understanding ourselves. So let’s keep learning, growing and navigating this journey together.

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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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