If you have ever felt like your partner, co-worker or friend was trying to make you feel sorry for them, you may have been the victim of an emotional manipulator. People with manipulative personalities want to get their way, and they tend to do whatever it takes to get it. A manipulator's tactics may include bribery, teasing or guilt. Recognizing the signs of a person with a manipulative personality can help you avoid such people and instead seek out worthwhile, nurturing relationships.
People with manipulative personalities know how to effectively use guilt to their advantage. For instance, your partner may say "You don't really love me" if you refuse to give in to his requests. He may exaggerate his disappointment and make you feel like you are the source of his unhappiness. He may use crying and tears to make you feel guilty. Even children can use this ploy to get their way. Emotional manipulators cast themselves in the role of the victim to make everyone around them feel sorry for them.
Teasing and Bullying
Children and teenagers often use teasing as a way to manipulate others, although adults can use this tactic too. The manipulator may call you names, causing your self-esteem to suffer, until you give in to her demands. She may also threaten you, for example, suggesting that your relationship with her will end if she does not get what she desires. If you think that a person is making you feel bad on purpose, this is a sign that she is a manipulator.
Bribes and Affection
Some manipulators pretend to be nice to you to get their way. A person may bribe you to go on a date with him, for example, by offering you a free meal, drink or other desirable item. She may use affection to coerce you into doing her chores or taking over her responsibilities. The manipulator will, rather than call you derogatory names, say that she knows you don't mind helping them since you love them so much. At first, it seems like the person is kind and grateful, but after she uses this excuse repeatedly, her true motives become obvious.
Disrespect and Blame
People who manipulate others do not have any respect for their victims. A manipulator may ask his victim to do something he believes is unethical. When the victim protests or refuses, the manipulator continues to harass them until they give in. Manipulators are very passive-aggressive. They will blame you for things that go wrong because of their behavior. Manipulators try to appear innocent, even when they are obviously guilty, using others around them as scapegoats.