15 Phrases That Signal Underlying Manipulation

People can often use certain phrases to manipulate and control others. Recognizing these phrases can help you identify and guard against manipulation in your personal and professional relationships. Here are 15 common phrases used by such individuals.

“You’re Overthinking This”

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This phrase is often used to dismiss your concerns or feelings. By suggesting you’re overthinking, a manipulative person aims to undermine your intuition and make you doubt your judgment, thus gaining control over the situation.

“I Only Want What’s Best for You”

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This seemingly caring statement can be deceptive. Fake people use it to mask their own agendas, making their advice or actions appear altruistic when they may actually be self-serving.

“You Owe Me”

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Manipulators use this phrase to create a sense of obligation. They remind you of past favors or support, implying that you are indebted to them, thereby exerting control over your decisions and actions.

“No One Understands You Like I Do”

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By positioning themselves as your sole confidant, manipulative individuals aim to isolate you from others. This phrase is designed to make you feel that they are your only true ally, fostering dependency.

“You’re Too Sensitive”

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This phrase invalidates your feelings and experiences. It’s a tactic used to belittle your emotional responses and discourage you from expressing dissent or discomfort.

“Just Trust Me”

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When someone insists on trust without sufficient basis, it’s often a red flag. This phrase can be a tactic to bypass your logical reasoning and get you to agree without questioning.

“Everyone Thinks That…”

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Manipulators use this to make their opinions seem like a general consensus, pressuring you to conform. It’s a tactic to make you feel out of step with others if you disagree.

“If You Really Cared…”

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This phrase is used to guilt-trip. It suggests that disagreeing or not complying with their wishes is a sign of not caring, manipulating you emotionally to get what they want.

“I Was Just Joking”

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After saying something hurtful or offensive, manipulators often use this excuse to dismiss your feelings. It allows them to avoid responsibility and makes you question your response.

“You’ll Never Find Someone Like Me”

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This is a tactic to undermine your self-esteem, suggesting that you’re incapable of finding someone better. It’s used to keep you tethered to the relationship, whether romantic, platonic, or professional.

“You Don’t Want to Make Me Angry”

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This phrase is a direct threat used to control your behavior. It implies that there will be negative consequences if you do not comply with their wishes, instilling fear and submission.

“Why Are You Making This Difficult?”

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When you resist manipulation, a fake person might use this phrase to frame you as the problem. It’s a way of shifting blame and making you feel unreasonable for standing your ground.

“I Thought You Were Better Than That”

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This phrase plays on your insecurities and desire for approval. It’s a form of emotional manipulation intended to make you feel inadequate and more likely to conform to their expectations.

“You’ll Understand When You’re Older/Mature”

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This condescending phrase is used to belittle your perspective and elevate theirs. It implies that your viewpoint is immature or uninformed, dismissing your opinions and experiences.

“You’re Being Paranoid”

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By labeling your concerns as paranoia, manipulative individuals aim to discredit your perceptions. It’s a tactic to make you question your sanity and thus rely more on their version of reality.

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