You’ve probably come across plenty of people throughout your life who weren’t as authentic as they claimed or portrayed themselves to be. These fake people might use certain phrases that sound flattering or supportive but are often used to manipulate or deceive you instead. Awareness is the first step in making sure you don’t fall prey to them, so pay attention to protect yourself.
1. “You’re the only one who understands me.”
This phrase can be flattering, but in certain contexts, it may be a red flag. If someone says this too quickly or frequently, they might be trying to create an artificial bond. It’s a tactic often used to make you feel special and therefore more willing to offer support or favors. Genuine connections take time to develop, so if someone rushes to declare this kind of emotional reliance, it might be a sign of manipulation.
2. “I hate drama.”
Ironically, people who frequently claim they hate drama are often the ones who create it. It’s a phrase that can be used to deflect responsibility or to paint themselves as the victim in problematic situations. By declaring their disdain for drama, they might be trying to distance themselves from their own role in creating or escalating conflicts.
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4. “Trust me.”
When trust is genuine, it doesn’t need to be requested – it’s earned through actions. If someone often says “trust me,” especially when making questionable claims or proposals, it might be a tactic to bypass your natural skepticism. It’s important to assess whether their actions match their words before giving your trust.
5. “You’re so much better than everyone else.”
While it can be nice to hear, this kind of flattery can be a manipulation tool. It’s often used to make you feel superior and more likely to agree with the speaker, as it appeals to the ego. Genuine compliments are specific and sincere, not comparisons that put down others to elevate you.
6. “I was just joking.”
This is one of those phrases fake people use as a cover-up for hurtful or offensive comments. If someone regularly makes negative remarks and then dismisses your reaction by saying they were just joking, it’s a sign of insincerity. It’s a way to deflect criticism and avoid accountability for their words while still getting away with saying whatever rude thing pops into their head.
7. “No one else will tell you this, but…”
This phrase is often used to disguise gossip or criticism as a favor. It can create a sense of exclusivity, suggesting that the speaker is giving you information that others won’t. However, it’s usually more about spreading rumors or negativity under the guise of being helpful or honest.
8. “I don’t want to bother you, but…”
Starting a request or conversation with this phrase can be a manipulation tactic. It’s a way to lower your defenses by implying that they’re considerate of your time or feelings. However, it’s often followed by a request or statement that does indeed require something from you.
9. “I know exactly how you feel.”
While empathy is important, claiming to know exactly how someone else feels can be presumptuous. This phrase can be used to create a false sense of connection or understanding. Genuine empathy involves listening and trying to understand, not assuming you already know someone’s experience.
10. “You’re too sensitive.”
This phrase is often used to dismiss your feelings or reactions. If someone frequently tells you you’re too sensitive, especially in response to your concerns or objections, it’s a way to belittle your feelings and avoid addressing the issue at hand.
11. “I have something important to tell you.”
Using this phrase can be a way to grab your attention and create a sense of urgency or importance. However, it’s often followed by something less significant than implied. It’s a tactic to make sure you’re focused on them and what they have to say.
12. “Everyone thinks so.”
Claiming that everyone shares their opinion is a tactic to pressure you into agreement. It’s a way to make you feel isolated in your views and more likely to conform. However, these claims are often exaggerated or untrue.
13. “I’m not like other people.”
This phrase is often used to create a sense of uniqueness or superiority. It’s meant to make the speaker seem special or different in a positive way. However, it’s usually a baseless claim and can be a sign of arrogance or a lack of self-awareness.
14. “I always put others before myself.”
This phrase can sound selfless and noble, but it’s often used by people who want to appear altruistic or victimized by their own kindness. When someone frequently claims they always put others first, it can be a tactic to gain sympathy or admiration. In reality, healthy relationships require a balance of give and take, not constant self-sacrifice. If someone consistently emphasizes their selflessness, it might be an attempt to portray themselves as the perpetual good guy, potentially masking less noble motivations or behaviors.