It’s hard enough to find a good man without having to worry that the one you think is “the one” is really just a manipulation expert who only has you thinking he’s the best. Identifying a manipulative man is not the easiest thing to do–you have to be able to accept that he might be flawed, otherwise, his manipulations may be working already.
You might not be able to tell for sure on the first date, but you can pick up on some warning signs. Once you’re in a relationship, there are many ways to determine if you’re being manipulated, as long as you can make yourself take an honest look at the relationship.
Examine your relationship and how you feel in it. A healthy relationship should be free of guilt trips. If he constantly uses guilt of any kind to get his way, persuasion expert Michael Lee affirms that this is a definite warning sign of manipulation. The age old, “if you loved me you would,” is a manipulative tactic that should be obvious the minute it is uttered.
Watch for blame aversion. Another trait Lee indicates is a manipulation red flag is a person’s refusal to accept the blame for anything, no matter how small. Manipulative people go out of their way to blame everything on someone else.
Note behavioral changes. Manipulative people act differently depending on who they are with and whether they want something from that person. A manipulative man will over compliment you to make you feel good and set you up for a request. For example, he might tell you that you are the best cook ever and then, in the next sentence, ask you to cook something for his office party. If you tell him you aren’t able to and you suddenly see a negative reaction, you can be certain the flattery was just manipulation.
Examine yourself and your life since he has been in it. Manipulative people live to be in control. It is what makes them tick and they know how to get what they want. If you find that your friends or family are worried about you because you have basically severed ties with them, you may be under the control of a manipulative person and not even realize it. Are you more isolated from your friends and family than you once were, or do you overlook behaviors that you once would have found unacceptable? These are also signs that you are involved with a manipulative person and should reevaluate your relationship.