top of page

5 things manipulators say to disguise their true intention

Manipulators are real masters of deception and deceit. They try to get their way no matter what, and they use their cunning to get out of trouble and deceive those around them. Be well aware that this is also a form of abuse, namely emotional abuse and emotional blackmail. I am using a picture of a dark-looking man here, but of course that is not what they look like in real life. They are the people who laugh the loudest, talk the loudest and about whom other people say that he is so considerate and so nice. That person who appears to be the best partner or the nicest father in the outside world, but who cruelly and manipulatively leaves his traces of trauma behind in the front door...

The problem with manipulators is that they never actually fight fair. They use the emotions, thoughts and personalities of others against them so that they can 'win' or get what they want. In other words, when you are face to face with a manipulator, they have probably already analysed you and determined how best to push your buttons to achieve a certain result. For example: If I say something about the kids, I'll have you on the fence immediately. Or if I accuse you of not doing a good enough job, I hit you. Because that's what your own Ego sometimes tells you. So sometimes they act as a kind of amplifier for your Ego voice. But what that voice says is not always true!

Worse still, many manipulators do their best to play the victim and act innocent. This can make it even more difficult to assess whether you are talking to someone who means well or someone who is trying to mislead you. After all, it often sounds very credible.

The victim role sounds something like this: It's not my fault I lost my job. It's not my fault that I get called. I didn't ask to do this job, did I? It's not my responsibility. Do you think I like not being able to work because of my accident? You want a holiday/work/free/... too, don't you? When will I have time for myself? I can have a beer if I want to, can't I?

The good news is that many manipulators use the same tactics to achieve their desired effect. Here are some phrases that manipulators often use, so you will know when someone is trying to deceive or manipulate you, and how to respond positively but firmly.

1. I understand your point of view, but my way is really the best for us.

Sometimes a manipulator will try to pretend to empathise with you. They will say that they fully understand your point of view, while repeating that they know best. If you are in a relationship with someone who behaves this way, be aware of this and stick to your point of view!

When a manipulator says something like this, they show that they have supposedly heard and understood all your points. This makes you believe them and it is proof that they can think logically and rationally. And therefore really think this is the "best" option. But mostly this is just another trick to convince you to do things their way.

The most positive way to respond to someone who is trying to use this to manipulate you is in the same way. State that it may be what they think is best for them, but it is simply not what is best for you. If you need more time, say you've heard all the arguments and you want to think about it some more. And if you are in a relationship, a partnership or working together, tell the other person that it is always best to make serious decisions as a team.

2. You are crazy, you are not right, you are insane, etc.

This is the purest form of manipulation and confusion. A manipulator will always try to make you believe that you are the one who is unreasonable, even when you ask for very simple, basic things like respect.

A manipulator may say things like:

- You are crazy!

- It doesn't really matter, does it?

- You're overanalysing.

- You're thinking way too hard about this.

- Just use positive thinking.

- You are overly sensitive.

- You need to lighten up a bit!

- That doesn't make any sense.

The reason a manipulator might use phrases like this is to convince you that you are irrational. That you are completely wrong. If you allow this to happen, it may eventually cause you to flinch, convinced that they are rational. This will only lead to another cycle of avoidance, confusion, deception and manipulation.

Manipulators often try to convince their victims that everything is in their imagination. That you are making it all up. That it is not true. They may do something that makes you very upset, and then convince you that you are the one overreacting. It is a very dangerous game to play and can lead to long-term emotional abuse.

Stand up for yourself. Stay calm and speak clearly in a rational, balanced tone. If you start to doubt yourself, take a moment to think about it. Is it true what he says? Or is this person just manipulating and confusing you? Deception and avoidance...

3. I bought you a present / I said sorry, why are you still angry?

Manipulators and abusers are known to maintain a cycle of misbehaviour, apology and forgiveness. They do something nasty, something bad, then they apologise or make up for it in the nicest way possible, gaining your trust, only to do it all over again later.

If a manipulator gives you a gift and expects an immediate positive turnaround from you, politely thank him for the gift, but be firm that he cannot buy forgiveness. You can also offer to return the gift if this is a form of bribery for them.

If a manipulator apologises and demands that you forgive him immediately, you must stand your ground. Often, apologies are just empty words. They are very unlikely to mean a change in behaviour. A "Sorry" changes nothing.

Or if a manipulator has given you a gift and wants make- up sex because that is always good between you. Then he is actually manipulating you twice over....

Tell a manipulator who apologises regularly that you do not forgive him until you see a clear improvement in his actions. Because actions say much more than words. And talking is just what they are so good at....

4. I would never hit you, I would never hurt you

Many of us draw the line at physical abuse, but are sadly less aware of emotional abuse. We often let signs of emotional negativity slip past us, and it is usually dismissed as 'not serious'.

Manipulators know this too. That is why they would never physically hit you. Many manipulators know that physical violence is the limit for most people, so they stick to it. By stating that they would never physically hurt you, they prevent you from making a connection between their behaviour and toxicity or abuse. After all, they didn't hit you, did they?

But something does not have to be physical to be inappropriate! If you feel that you are being emotionally abused, that you are being blackmailed, that your decisions are being manipulated, you should take this just as seriously as physical or sexual abuse..

Some warning signs of emotional abuse by a manipulator are:

- Verbal threats

- Humiliation or shame

- Lack of privacy or respect for personal space

- Controlling behaviour

- Excessive jealousy

- Withholding of affection

- Accusation and blame

- Entitlement

- Resentment

- Negative tone or sarcasm

Please note that these symptoms can occur in very, very subtle ways.

5. I just do what is best for you/ us/ our family/ the company/ our country

If you are an equal partner in a relationship - romantic, friendly, family or professional - your partner should never try to control everything.

A manipulator, however, will pretend to have your best interests at heart and really do this for you, but in fact they only want to pursue their own profit.

From their point of view, it is their positive intention for, say, more power, money, control, etc. They may try and do their best to make themselves sound very compassionate or caring, so that you look like the bad person they are rejecting.

Again, to achieve a positive outcome, it is important to stand firm - especially in personal relationships. Politely tell the other person that this doesn't seem to have much to do with your best interests and seems like very controlling behaviour on their part. Say that you have the right to make your own independent choices and that choices should be made for both of you together.

Manipulators are toxic people.

Fortunately, those who exhibit manipulative behaviour are not always a lost cause. Some people are unaware of their actions or have underlying problems that prevent them from taking the blame.

Yet, regardless of the reason, a manipulator is still at fault for their deceptive or cruel actions. It is most dangerous if you are not aware that you are a victim of manipulation.

By remembering these 5 phrases that manipulators often use, you may be able to recognise these tactics and avoid falling for them.

By noticing manipulative patterns in others and learning how to respond to them, you can protect your emotional and mental well-being. If manipulators refuse to change their behaviour, don't wait for them to change. And be aware that you are not the person who can make them change! I know that saviour syndrome only too well, it only puts yourself and others in danger! Especially when there are children involved...

The traces of (emotional) abuse can (even at a later age) give rise to complaints such as low self-esteem, low self-confidence, not daring to make choices, always being on your guard, not being able to say no, poor boundary setting, anxiety disorder, a continuous feeling of shame and/or codependency. And what kind of partner do you think you will attract?

A mega red flag is when you become socially isolated. That you have no friends left, except his. And he uses that as an opportunity to say; you see, they don't care about you. Which, of course, is not true. When you don't see your family any more, because they are no good according to him. Which is absolutely not true. When you can't go anywhere anymore without permission or control from him. Get help!

Your head can play tricks on you. Trust your feelings: Energy does'nt lie!

Do you want to learn to let go? Do you feel the need to talk about it? Are you looking for answers? Do you feel the drive to stop this now and forever? Call or book an appointment with me directly online. Within 24 hours you will have an appointment to take the next steps.

Live your life and surround yourself with people who improve your life and your positive thinking! And with those who grant you happiness! You are worth it!

If you still have doubts or want more examples of sentences that manipulators say, go to the blog: 15 sentences manipulators use.

I hope this has helped you. And that it has helped you.

Feel free to share it! Like 👍🏼

You are not alone and you don't have to do it alone!



1,419 views0 comments



  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
bottom of page