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Manipulators are quite good at what they do, otherwise, you wouldn’t refer to what they do as manipulation. What I mean, is that while most of us would like to believe we would recognize manipulation as it is happening, the sad truth is that it’s not always so easy to spot.

Manipulation is when someone tries to sway you to act in a specific way based on emotional appeal. While this can happen in all relationships, for this article we will focus on examples of manipulation in romantic relationships. In romantic relationships, it is especially easy for manipulators to get what they want, because they understand exactly which buttons to press to get certain reactions. However, if you know how to spot manipulation, you can put it to a stop.

Here are 9 examples of manipulation in relationships.

1. “I always do everything for you. It would be nice if you did this for me.”

When your partner says this, they are trying to guilt-trip you into doing what they want. Phrases like “always” are exaggerations that imply that they are the ones doing all the work. Even if this person does do things for you, they should not come at a cost.

2. “Absolutely not. I am not discussing this.”

Look out for stonewalling, which is when someone wants to say their piece and then stop before they get a chance. Things like this phrase, or them simply walking away before you get a moment to say how you feel, are stonewalling.

3. “No, that isn’t how it happened. You are making stuff up. You must be crazy.”

When someone works to make you doubt your reality or perception, it is gaslighting. Phrases like dramatic, sensitive, crazy, and insane are all phrases gaslighters use when they do not want you to recognize what they are doing.

4. “Oh yeah? Well, I wouldn’t have said that if you wouldn’t make me!”

Manipulators like to project or turn the tables because it means the attention is shifted off of their bad actions. When you call your partner out for talking to you badly or otherwise abusing you, and they respond by turning the tables, they are a manipulator.

5. The silent treatment.

The silent treatment is a form of manipulation, because they are attempting to make you feel like you have to do what they want, or otherwise, they will pull back.

6. “Why are you always so dramatic?”

There again, look out for phrases like ‘dramatic’ or ‘crazy.’ Phrases like these are to undermine your state of mind to make you look/feel crazy, so you will doubt yourself.

7. “I was just joking. Stop taking me so seriously!”

When someone is always saying mean or hateful remarks and then when you get upset, they say they are joking, it’s likely manipulation. While sometimes jokes can be hurtful if you’ve made a point to voice your opinion, and yet they continue to make fun of you harshly and then feign ignorance, it’s manipulation.

8. “It’s your fault I am acting like this.”

Manipulators do not like to be held accountable. Instead, they will use any excuse to turn things around on you.

9. “Your family is a bad influence on this relationship.”

Manipulators tend to try to isolate their victims because that means they have more control. If you find that your partner is always trying to make you stop talking to friends or family, they are manipulating you.