He’s a sweet, caring guy, so why do some of his actions constantly set off serious red flags? Maybe he’s not such a good guy after all. Here are some signs he’s a manipulator in disguise:
He’s a little too charming.
There’s charm and then there’s a guy who’s dripping in it to the point that it almost seems fake. He knows that he needs to flatter you to get what he wants, so he’ll make you feel like the most beautiful, amazing woman alive, to hook you — and use you.
He’s the ultimate people pleaser.
Beware of the guy who tries too hard to make others happy, even if people are in awe about how “nice” he is. He has such a strong need to please that he pushes his real feelings aside, so what you’re getting is a guy who’s not the guy you think he is. Anyone who tries that hard to be what you want has a hidden agenda.
He’s always got a sob story up his sleeve.
He’s quick to play the victim card when things go wrong or you confront him about something. It’s always someone else who’s to blame or who hurt him. He wants your sympathy when in actual fact he’s the one responsible most of the crap in his life.
He gets upset when you can’t do things for him.
He calls you and asks if you can meet up with him for coffee, but you can’t because you have a work meeting. Instead of being understanding, he sounds upset or pissed off. You might feel flattered, especially when he says how much he wanted to see you, but don’t be. It’s a sign that he’s the type of guy who throws his toys out the cot when he doesn’t get what he wants.
He jokes about things that are hurtful to you.
He might criticize your appearance or career and then quickly say that he’s joking when he sees you get upset. You might laugh along, thinking that he’s such a funny guy with everyone that he means no harm, but he does. He could be using his “jokes” to keep you on your toes or to try to hint that he wants you to change whatever it is that he’s joking about.
He has your best interests at heart, right?
He might come across as caring about you and your life, like when he says that you’d do so wonderfully if you took a business course. It makes you wonder if he’s right and you should consider it. But in time you start to see that he’s really just keen on having a girlfriend who earns more money or is in a career he approves of. It’s not about you but his own happiness he’s after.
He wants to protect you.
Sure, he pretends to want to help you sort out your bad debt or follow you to your destination at night because it’s not safe, but it just feels shady because he ends up controlling the finances or stalking you “for your own good.” It’s seriously messed up. He’s controlling you, not caring about you.
He places his issues onto you.
He tells you that his ex cheated on him so he has trust issues. This might make you feel bad for him, but he could be using it as a manipulation tactic. For instance, he might then say that you shouldn’t hang out with any other guys because he has trust issues. He’s really making his problems yours and making you feel guilty.
He says something, then denies it later.
He’s a good guy so you might laugh when he says he has such a bad memory, but if it happens often that he conveniently doesn’t recall something he says, he’s manipulating you. He wants to keep you on your toes or twist things you’ve said to make you seem like the crazy one.
He downplays your problems.
You had a nightmare of a day, but he’s quick to turn the spotlight onto how much more horrific his day was. He might say he does this to give you perspective on your problems, but really he just wants all the attention and he’s showing that he doesn’t care about your feelings one bit.
He only takes half the blame.
You confront him for something, like how he didn’t reply to your texts for the whole weekend, and he’ll seem like a good guy by apologizing… but then he’ll add why he’s not completely to blame for it. He’ll have some story about how his friend needed him or he had been called into work for an emergency, leaving you feeling like he’s not really sorry at all.
He silently judges you.
A manipulator who pretends to be a good guy will not vocalize what he really thinks of your lifestyle choices, new hairstyle or best friend, but his body language or tone of voice will make you think something totally different. It’s a clever way for him to play the passive-aggressive card, to make you doubt your choices, to be a jerk without you having enough evidence to prove it.
He knows how to play on your feelings.
You were dating when he started to pull back from you, so you did the same thing. Then he threw on the charm, courted you and made you feel he was still interested in you. He might even ask why you were the one to go away. WTF? He knows how to try to be the perfect guy when he feels you slipping away, but his intentions are not genuine. He just wants you to be there when he needs you. Of course, if you confront him on this, he’ll give you puppy-dog eyes and say he made a mistake. Lies, lies, lies!
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