When you Are Being Manipulative

Everyone has been manipulated at one time or another and no one wants to feel that they are manipulative to others. Some behaviors that people have are very common and some do not even realize it is manipulation. Maybe you use emotional coercion, and you don’t even realize it.

The way that we communicate takes on different forms and when we have subtle behaviors or silence, it can cause someone to have conversations without really addressing the situation. It is a strategic way that people talk and when you put someone else’s needs over your own, this can be hard to deal with.

One of the problems with having indirect communication is that it can cause problems in all of your relationships including your partner, family, and friends. When someone always has manipulative behaviors, it can lead to hurt and pain and can cause people to leave your life even if they don’t want to. This kind of behavior can lead to resentment.

Here are some habits that you might be doing and never even realize it. Open your eyes and help to save your relationships:

But Wouldn’t You?

One manipulative behavior that people have is pretending to make innocent suggestions. When a person says something without expressing what they are really meaning, this can be manipulation. Putting your own ideas and thoughts out there when you know someone else doesn’t feel the same is being manipulative. Ask the questions such as, “I want this, do you?” instead of saying, “Don’t you want this?”

Up to You

Another habit that many people have is pretending that you are giving someone a choice but putting your own opinion in your question. This shows that you are really making the choice and are not really giving the other person a chance to have their way.

Giving someone a choice when you want them to do something you want is being coercive. An example of this is, “I am wanting to watch this move, what do you want to watch?”


Do you ever have someone that is always forgetting to do something they are supposed to do? This can be a partner that “forgets” to do part of the chores and leaves you having to pick up the slack even when you are tired.

Of course, you should never pressure someone into doing something indirectly or make them feel guilty because this will be ineffective. Just ask them for help.

If you are always leaving things for your partner to do or for your co-workers to do and you are slacking on doing your part, you are being manipulative. Be honest with them and communicate why you are not getting things done.

Making Promises

Promising things that you cannot do is another manipulative habit. This happens because you want to please everyone, but you never follow through and it always leads to disappointment.

Doing this can make your friend or partner feel disappointed and angry and make you come across as a liar. If you don’t want to do something, just say so.

Do It Myself

Acting like you are a martyr is another form of manipulation. If you are pressuring someone into doing something and you say you will do it yourself to make them feel guilty, this is wrong.

Figure out a better way to ask them to do something and be straightforward with what you need.


Saying nothing or giving someone the silent treatment is also a form of manipulation. When you are upset or angry, or you feel that someone has hurt you or mistreated you, not discussing it is wrong as well.

This needs to be broken down and you need to talk about it and there needs to be an apology. If you need time to be by yourself and cool down, that is okay, but it shouldn’t be much time.

This kind of behavior usually comes from people that are hurt. People become manipulative when they are dealing it being hurt. If your partner or friend has a chance to explain their behavior and apologizes, then you will not have resentment later on in the relationship.

Always be careful how you talk to people and how you communicate your feelings.

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