While it’s nice to want to see the best in people, not everyone has good intentions. A lot of people only look after themselves and will do and say anything to get what they want. Even when you think you’re in a solid relationship, there are guys who will try to manipulate and take advantage of you. Here are the signs you should look out for.
You feel guilty all the time.
When you get deeper into a relationship and start to get to know someone, that person learns what makes you feel bad. There are guys out there who will use that knowledge to get their own way so that you feel too guilty to ever say no to him, even if you really want to.
His problems top your problems.
We all occasionally need to vent to our partners about our problems, but a manipulative guy will always make it seem like his problems are worse than yours. Whatever you say, he’ll always find a way to make what he’s going through bigger, and more important. These guys are trying to manipulate you into thinking that your problems aren’t that bad and don’t matter as much as theirs. That way, they don’t have to listen to your problems and they can keep all of the focus on them.
He’s always “just joking.”
Some guys try to use the phrase “just kidding” as a get out of jail free card. If they say something insensitive or something you don’t like, they try to fix it by saying “just joking.” They try to minimize what you said so that you can’t be mad about it. That way, you’re the one with the problem, not him. It’s kind of a dirty trick and a subtle form of manipulation. If your boyfriend does this to you, run.
He only does things on his terms.
This doesn’t seem super manipulative, but it can be. Some guys are insistent on only doing things on their terms. They only want you to come to their home rather than go to yours. They don’t want to do what you want or hang out with your friends. This doesn’t seem like a big deal, but when it happens a lot, it’s one way that guys manipulate things to control a relationship.
He always makes idle threats.
This is one of the oldest chapters in the manipulation book. It could be a threat to do something that you don’t want. It could also be a threat to break up with you. It could even be a more sinister threat. If this is something that happens regularly, it’s a sign that he’s trying to manipulate you through fear and you need to get out ASAP.
He tries to gain sympathy.
One common way that a guy can manipulate you into getting his way is by trying to make you feel bad for him. Usually, he’ll find a way to portray himself as the victim in every situation. That means never taking responsibility or accepting the blame for anything. Instead, he’ll say whatever he possibly can to make himself come off as the poor, unfortunate soul.
He targets your insecurities.
Much like guys get to know how to make you feel guilty, they also learn your insecurities the deeper you get into a relationship. While most guys will accept your insecurities, some will use them against you. If he can learn how you’ll react to something that makes you insecure, he can then use that to manipulate you.
He demonstrates excessive neediness.
Ironically, a lot of guys complain about women who are too needy. But like a lot of things in relationships, it can go both ways. Some guys tend to come off as overly needy, occasionally using it as a manipulative tool. They will claim to need your help when they know you’re busy. Other times, they’ll say they’re too wrapped up in their own problems to help you when you need it.
He’s too nice.
Sadly, being too nice can be a sign of manipulation. In fairness, a lot of nice guys you meet are just naturally nice people. Try not to be suspicious of them right off the bat. That being said, some are only nice because they want something in return. Instead of being nice because they care about you, they’ll make it out like you owe them something in exchange for their niceness. It’s so messed up.
You start to doubt yourself.
Ultimately, nobody knows you better than yourself. You know what you’re like, your strengths and weaknesses as a person. When you start to question fundamental things about yourself, it can be a sign that you’re somehow being manipulated by one or more of the methods mentioned above. The best advice I can give you ladies is to trust yourself. If you don’t feel like yourself in a relationship anymore, don’t assume that you’re going crazy. It could be a sign that you’re being manipulated by your partner.
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