5 Signs You Are Being Manipulated And You Don’t Even Know It

Simple, practical actions you can take to deal with it

Asmita Karanje
5 min readMar 28, 2021


Photo by Hailey wright on Unsplash

“You are so sensitive,” “You are upset over nothing,” “You are always so negative,” “I never said that,” “You are in PMS,” “You need help — you are not thinking straight.”

Does that sound familiar? Have you heard that at some point in your life? If you are nodding right now, chances are you have been manipulated by people around you.

We all want to be the master of our lives. But sometimes other people hold the strings and they want to control our thoughts, words, and actions.

We see what they want us to see; we hear what they want us to hear. We talk their language. Our thoughts are muddled with the opinion of others. That is manipulation.

We come across manipulative people in all walks of life — they are present in our personal and professional lives. To overcome or become immune to manipulation, the first step is to identify the signs of such behavior.

Here are 5 signs of manipulation that I observed through my personal experiences and a few ways how to deal with them.

You are getting mixed signals

Has someone been super nice to you in private but really mean in public? Chances are they are manipulating you.

By constantly switching gear, they confuse you and cause frustration.

Every time you tell them how you feel, they’d try to console you using all the right words, so it provides assurance that everything is fine.

But in reality, nothing is and never was.

How to deal with it?

Don’t trust in what they say. Ask them in writing (a chat, a text, or email) — use that as a piece of evidence if you need to prove to them what they said previously. Communicate your feelings and tell them that their behavior is causing cracks in your relationship. Set clear expectations. If they don’t change, you need to decide if it is worth staying together.

You feel trapped in the relationship