Is He Manipulating You? 10 Tactics He Uses To Turn The Tables On You

Every relationship has its ups and downs, but hopefully the good times outweigh the bad — otherwise, why are you together? You’re both going to mess up from time to time and if you’re rational and mature, you’re able to apologize and/or forgive and move on. However, if you find yourself shouldering the blame for something that is very clearly his fault, you may be dealing with a manipulator. Here are 10 tactics you might recognize if that’s the case:

  1. He tells you you’re nuts. What a classic loser move — making a woman believe she’s nuts just because you call him on his BS. He’s distracting you from the fact that you caught him. Instead of owning up to what he did, he makes you think it’s all in your head. At the end of the argument, you wonder if you actually are being nuts. It’s straight-up mental manipulation and you fall for it every time.
  2. He questions your motives. Why are you doing this? Are you just trying to start trouble? He makes you feel as if there is no point to this and you’re the bad guy for blowing things way out of proportion. You’re a woman who needs to entertain herself by starting unnecessary drama — and just like that, you worry you’re overreacting about nothing.
  3. He keeps repeating your questions back to you. You ask him who he was with and he says, “Who was I with?” Not only is he giving himself time to think of a lie, he also says it in a tone meant to make you feel like you’re badgering him. He repeats your question as if it’s absurd. As if to say, “Why don’t you trust me?” Instead, he should probably just answer the damn question.
  4. He starts pointing out your flaws. This is about him, but he’s going to make it about you. It’s a tactic he’s known since childhood. If someone says something bad about him, then he instantly thinks of a flaw of their own. Instead of focusing on his issues, you’re spitting back and forth about the fact that you both put up with each other. He’s taking you down to his level and it works every time.
  5. He thinks of something you’ve done wrong. It doesn’t matter that it’s unrelated. He’s fighting fire with fire. If he’s done something wrong, then he needs to remind you that you have too. He tries to defend himself with the fact that he’s not the best boyfriend by reminding you that you’re not perfect either. Just like that, you’re in the hot seat and he gets to be mad at you.
  6. He plays the victim. By making you feel sorry for him, he makes you forget that he’s actually the bad guy here. Instead of having a calm conversation or even just a normal fight, he acts like you’re attacking him. He makes you feel like you’re always angry with him and he can’t make you happy. Suddenly he’s the guy who’s trying his hardest and you’re the girl who doesn’t appreciate him.
  7. He reminds you that you’re replaceable. Are you willing to lose him over this? He lets you know he’s not afraid to walk out that door, all so that you’ll back down. There are plenty of other girls who wouldn’t constantly yell at him over ever little thing — or at least that’s what he wants you to believe. He uses your fear of breaking up to walk all over you. You’re so afraid of losing him that you don’t realize he’s willing to lose you.
  8. He asks you if this is what you really think of him. He’s trying to make you feel bad by convincing you that you’re portraying him as a monster. He’s just a good man trying to love you, and this is what he gets? Suddenly you’re the person that only sees the worst in him, and just like that you’re the bad guy.
  9. He questions your confidence in his love. Manipulation isn’t a game to him. It’s an art, and guess what? He’s a master. That’s why the second you start pointing out something wrong with him, he starts questioning the entire relationship. You’re not confident in his love and now he’s not confident in it either. He makes you believe this argument shows the relationship is flawed and now you won’t say another word because you’re too afraid he’ll leave.
  10. He tells you he forgives you. Just so that you remember to be sorry. The argument started out with him as the problem and it ended with you. It’s your fault for bringing up the issue, but you know what’s so great? He’s gracious enough to forgive you. He turned the tables, and you never even knew.
Kelsey Dykstra is a freelance writer based in Huntington Beach, CA. She has a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing from Grand Valley State University and been writing professionally since graduating in 2013. In addition to writing about love and relationships for Bolde and lifestyle topics for Love to Know, she also writes about payment security and small business solutions for PaymentCloud.

Originally from Michigan, this warm weather seeker relocated to the OC just last summer. Kelsey enjoys writing her own fictional pieces, reading a variety of young adult novels, binging on Netflix, and of course soaking up the sun.

You can find more about Kelsey on her LinkedIn profile or on Twitter @dykstrakelsey.