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Manipulators are masterful at what they do, so because of that, it can be nearly impossible to detect them unless you are familiar with their tactics. The good news is, there is a way to understand what you are dealing with.

If you’ve ever been manipulated, then you already know just how terrible it can be. Manipulators are individuals hell-bent on getting whatever it is that they want. And this means they aren’t afraid to run all over anyone who stands in their way. If you are afraid you may be dealing with a narcissist, here are 6 signs to look out for.

1. They gaslight you.

This person constantly works to make you doubt your own reality. When you bring up legitimate concerns, they call you crazy, and when you recount events that you know took place, they try to retell your story. Oftentimes, they call you ‘too sensitive,’ or say ‘that’s not how that happened.’ Their goal is to make you lose sight of the truth.

2. They refuse to take responsibility for anything.

When they do something wrong, they will not accept responsibility. No matter if they get called out or not, even when the truth is right in their face, they will not own their actions. Instead, they always have excuses.

3. They play the victim.

They are always a victim to someone, no matter what the circumstances. When you first met them, they told you about everyone who had ever wronged them. After a while, you have started to notice that they are always making themselves a victim.

4. They love-bombed you at first.

Manipulators are notorious for love-bombing. Basically, love-bombing is when someone first meets you, they try to get too close too fast. Examples of this are when you meet a new potential partner, and they immediately say they love you, or you are their soulmate. In platonic relationships, they may say, “I’ve never met a friend like you,’ without knowing much at all about you. It can be really flattering, but it’s their attempt to reel you in, so they can use and abuse you.

5. They distort the truth.

Manipulators always distort the truth. When they recount things that have happened, their version is always different. It might take time to realize this one, but after a while, if you pay attention, it will become crystal clear.

6. They diminish your problems and play up their own.

When you try to discuss your problems with them, they say things like, “That’s not as bad as __________, I’m really going through it right now.” They don’t care too much about other people’s problems, because they are too tied up in their own and making you feel sorry for them.

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