You may think that your relationship is the happiest one you have ever been in. In reality, it might be bad for you and you have no idea. Why? Because you are being manipulated. As much as we all wish and hope that we will never be in a relationship with a manipulative person, we all probably experience it at some point in our lives. Whether you are just casually dating this guy or you are in a full on, long-term relationship with him, manipulation could still be happening right under your nose and you may be none the wiser. If you are head over heels for someone, it can be super tough to remove yourself from the situation and look at things from a different perspective. That is why we have done it for you! Here are 15 signs he’s manipulating you and you have no idea. The more you know, right?
15 He Always Wants To Talk At His Place
There's this thing called "home court advantage" and your BF might be playing right into it. This is the idea that if someone is in their own territory (aka their home), they have the advantage in any situation. That's so you can feel insecure and out of place and uncomfortable. You'll be less likely to put up a fuss, pretty much. If your boyfriend will only have a conversation with you about super serious stuff when you're both hanging out at his place, or if he's always continuing a fight there, you should know that he's manipulating you. When you see him in person, this gives him the chance to use his facial expressions and body language so he can influence you. The truth is that if you’re in a healthy relationship, you should be able to communicate anywhere, anytime, over any device in order to smooth things over. If he’s always insisting you see him and go over to his apartment, he’s trying to manipulate you.
14 He Needs To Have The Last Word
You may think he’s being kind and considerate by allowing you to get your say in first, but he’s really just using this as a means to manipulate you. Think about it. If you’re allowed to speak first, he’s going to hear all about what your biggest concern is in what he did and how you’re feeling about it before he has the opportunity to defend himself. Then he can use all of the information you’ve given him in order to craft the perfect excuse so you won’t have a way to go back to him. If he was to say his part first, you would be able to get after him about it and explain what you’re really upset about. By making you talk first he gets to gather as much information as he needs in order to tailor his response in a way that you can’t get upset about. The worst part is you probably never even realized this. He's basically proving to you that he needs to have the last word no matter what.
13 He Blames You
This is definitely one of the most classic signs that someone is manipulating you. Sure, you might be able to see this from a distance, but when you are in a relationship and this is happening to you, it can be tough to decipher. If you are telling your boyfriend that you are worried or concerned about something and he turns around and blames you, that's manipulation. He says that if you didn't do something, then he wouldn't have done what upset you. Sure, he might be right on some level but ultimately, if he doesn't like your actions, he should have said something instead of using it this way. When he starts turning your argument around so you walk away feeling guilty for something, then he’s definitely the manipulative type and you may not even see it. You need to get back to the original issue if this happens.
12 He Never Apologizes
He may say a lot of things that sound like an apology. That's what makes this so awful and so sneaky. If he never actually looks at you and says “I’m sorry for what I did,” then he’s manipulative. People who have the intention to manipulate you will often appear as though they’re sorry and even do really cute and sweet things to “make up for” the crappy stuff they’ve done, but they never actually say they’re sorry because if they do, they’re putting you in the dominant position which is something no manipulator will do. By apologizing, they’re making themselves vulnerable and submissive. When someone behaves in this way, they don’t have the power to manipulate you anymore. If your boyfriend doesn’t apologize for anything but takes you to a fancy dinner, he's manipulating you. That doesn't count. He can take you to all the fancy restaurants that he wants, but without an actual "sorry" it's totally pointless.
11 He Kind Of Takes The Blame
You may think that your BF is taking the blame when he says something like, "Okay, I messed up, but..." and then proceeds to explain what is going on. But the truth is that he is not actually taking responsibility for his actions. He is taking all the power and not owning his actions and thoughts and decisions. This is a classic manipulation technique and it is also really sneaky so you probably have no idea that this is even happening, and chances are, he keeps doing this a lot. When he takes the blame but only kind of, you never have the chance to look down on him for what he’s done. Manipulation is all about power and even if he takes responsibility for his actions, if he brings up something that makes you feel guilty right after doing so, he’s just manipulating you and he’s not actually taking full responsibility.
10 He Gets Mad When You're Upset
If your boyfriend gets really pissed off when you say you are upset with him, then that is a bad sign. He is dismissing your emotions so he doesn't have to deal with them. If he knows that he's at fault here and the first thing that he does is get mad at you, then he's a manipulator and you have no idea. When he gets upset when you're upset, he's conditioning you to put aside your emotions because he knows you don't want him to be unhappy. Think about it. Makes sense, right? If you keep bringing something up to someone you care about and they automatically get angry or upset, you would eventually stop mentioning that thing, right? You don't want to upset them, after all. This is the same thing that's going on here. He's making sure you don't bring up what problems you have with him.
9 He Doesn’t Let You Think Things Over
Basically, if your boyfriend is a manipulator, then he demands that you give him an answer or choice, right here, right now. This is not about wanting to know how you feel at this moment -- it's more about not wanting to give you the time and space to think about what just happened and make a smart, good decision. How many times have you had an argument with your boyfriend and realized after having some time to yourself that your anger was justified? Well, by making you give him an answer and not allowing you to think about the argument, he’s not giving you that time to think things through. He’s not giving you time to realize he’s manipulating you into forgiving him or seeing fault in you and not him. This is a very sneaky way of manipulating you that may even seem sweet because he just “can’t deal with you being upset anymore." He’s not sweet. He’s manipulative.
8 He Brings Up Your Faults
We all have flaws and quirks and that means that we have faults. Of course, when we're in a relationship, those things are going to come up. Maybe you're super messy, or have a bad habit of snooping, or are super sensitive and cry at the smallest of things. But your significant other is supposed to love and care about you despite those faults. However, if your partner is always bringing up your faults and putting them down, they’re using this as a means to make sure they’re always dominant so they’re in the power position. This gives them the leverage they need to manipulate you and get you to do the things they want. If he brings up your faults and never mentions his own, he's trying to make you feel like you don't deserve him, which is pretty low. He's putting himself on a pedestal so you can stare up at him in awe. This will subconsciously make you try harder to please them and give them whatever they want without fuss. It’s the ultimate manipulation technique.
7 He Brings Up Previous Problems
If your boyfriend says things like, "Remember when you did that thing and I didn't get mad at you?" then you have a real issue here. He's defending his crappy behavior so you drop the argument and move on, and that means that you have no idea that he's manipulating you. It may seem fair for them to bring up something you did that they could’ve been upset about, but didn’t. However, when they only ever bring this stuff up when you're fighting about something that they did, it’s safe to say they’re just manipulating you with your own faults. They may even bring up something that you had no idea would ever even come up in an argument! They use those moments to make you feel guilty so you’ll justify their actions when in reality, what they did is probably much, much worse if it warranted you approaching them about it. Watch out for this argument with your boyfriend because it could mean he’s manipulative.
6 He Jokes About You
This is literally the worst thing a significant other can do. There’s a line between harmful teasing and putting you down. He's using humor so you can act like he's not being serious so it's no big deal, but of course, it's a huge deal. The thing is that he’s not joking. In fact, manipulative people often do this as a way to gain dominance over you. This is done as a means to make you seem lesser than them and this gives them the upper hand in pretty much anything. You start speaking up less, standing up for yourself less and basically allowing them to walk all over you. You should never let a guy put you down, even if he seems like he’s just joking and you should especially not let him put you down in front of others. Just be upfront and tell him that what he said earlier is not something you’re okay with him “joking” about.
5 He Quietly Judges You
If you can relate to this, then your BF says things to you like, "That's an... interesting hobby." This might not seem like it's anything close to manipulation at first, because, well, he could be interested and think that your hobby is unique. But chances are if he actually thought your hobby was interesting he would ask you about it instead of saying something like that. The truth is that we’ll all have hobbies that don’t interest our significant others in the least. The difference, however, lies in their response to said hobby. If he says something like what was mentioned above in a tone that suggests he doesn’t like it, then he’s manipulating you by putting you down. The trouble with this is it can be about anything. He may judge you for your outfit choice, food choices, movie choices, and more. If he’s judging you about anything but he does so in a way that you can’t outright say he’s judging you, it’s a manipulation technique he’s using to belittle you and make you feel unworthy.
4 He Doesn't Respond In A Legit Amount Of Time
There are tons of guys who aren't the best at calling or texting. But if your boyfriend doesn’t ever text you back or pick up the phone when you call, it’s probably because he’s a manipulative person. If you find yourself waiting and waiting for him to pick up the phone and call you back, and then when you do talk you realize there really wasn’t an actual reason he couldn’t pick up the first time, this is manipulation. He’s using your calls and texts as a way to ensure that he has the upper hand, that he’s dominant. If you’re stuck waiting for him to answer and call, he holds all the power and since we all know that manipulation is all about control and power, this is the perfect way to ensure he has it. So the next time he finally calls back, ask him what was holding him up for so long. If he struggles for an answer, he could just be the manipulative type.
3 He Plays The Victim Card
“You’re really making me feel unhappy because, apparently, you can’t trust me.” Does this sound familiar? If it does, you could be dealing with a very manipulative person. Sure, there are times when you’ll get upset and your partner will be more than justified in getting upset because you can’t trust them. However, if this is their go-to phrase when you get mad at them for something, you can safely assume they’re just victimizing themselves so you end up feeling guilty and forgive them for whatever it is they’ve done. The point of this is that no matter what they did, if it made you feel uncertain or upset, you are justified in bringing it to their attention and they should be there to ease your concerns, not make themselves the victim so you feel bad about getting mad in the first place. If you walk away from an argument feeling upset with yourself, he’s manipulating you to feel this way.
2 He Plays Dumb All The Time
A lot of guys avoid problems by pretending that they have no clue what's going on... and it's the worst. They just tell you that they “didn’t know” that it would make you upset. For example, if you’re in a group with your friends and he just so happens to call you by a name that is poking fun at a flaw of yours and you approach him with this issue and he just says, “But I didn’t realize you didn’t like me to call you that,” he’s manipulating you. Chances are, you’ve told him that you don’t like it before or that you’re sensitive about that certain flaw, which is exactly why he used it. He’s asserting his dominance by making you think that it’s okay for him to have said that because he “didn’t know”. Don’t let this kind of manipulation fool you. It’s easy to spot and even easier to stop and if he doesn’t, well, then you’ve got to let him go.
1 He Doesn't Take You Seriously
Basically, if you talk to him about a problem or concern you’re having about the relationship and he just brushes it aside and says, “that’s ridiculous”, he’s manipulating you. Any time you’re feeling upset about something in the relationship your partner should be open and understanding, no matter what the situation. Sure, you may overreact from time to time, we all do. But your significant other is the one who should reassure you that it’s okay and listen to your concerns. By not acknowledging your issues as actual problems, your guy is just manipulating you into thinking that all of your issues are just in your head and they’re not real. This is very convenient for him because the next time you get upset, he won’t have to hear about it and he can continue doing whatever he wants – which is probably something that is upsetting and harmful to the relationship. Just know that your concerns are valid and any guy who thinks otherwise is a total jerk and loser.