8 Sneaky Things Emotional Manipulators Always Use Against You

Here's what happens when someone uses your words against you. Don't fall for these tricks.

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When someone uses your words against you, it's time to cut the relationship off. 

Manipulative people ruin your love life, and they never seem to go away. Emotional manipulators are masterful at getting what they want, often at the expense of everyone else’s emotional well-being.

When someone uses your words against you, they'll never ever admit that they're taking advantage of you. 

Manipulators also tend to like to keep their manipulated victims close by because it’s easier to keep manipulating the same person than to just move to a new person.


If someone uses your words against you, it means they don't respect you and they think that they can outsmart you.

You can outsmart a manipulator by distancing yourself from them. Expert Christine Hourd says, "When someone you love has you giving up what makes you happy in exchange for their needs, that’s driven by greed, insecurity, and fear. There’s no love reciprocated. If you choose to value yourself, you’ll be happy  and find love every time."

If you’re dealing with an emotional manipulator, it’s likely that you’ve had one of these eight tactics used against you.

RELATED: 7 Things That Look Like Love (But Are Actually Emotional Abuse)


1. Emotional blackmail

Ever notice how quickly emotional manipulators jump to making you feel like you’re in the wrong — even when you’re dead sure you’re in the right?

Emotional blackmail is what it’s called, but most people know it as guilt-tripping and blame-shifting.

This is really insidious because they end up getting you to take the blame for their wrongdoings. 

They will use their manipulation to keep you with them, even when you know they're bad for you.

RELATED: If He Does These 8 Things, He's Love Bombing You And You Need To Leave ASAP

2. Gaslighting

Did you ever know a person who just made you question whether or not you were actually sane?


Do they "remember" things differently than you do? Do they deny your reality? If so, you’ve dealt with gaslighting.

Gaslighting is a manipulation tactic that makes you feel crazy, even when you’re not.

It’s about getting you to second-guess yourself until you give up and let your manipulator have their way.

The most common way they do this trick is by saying something, then denying that they said it later on.

3. Withdrawing affection

When manipulators really aren’t getting what they want from you, they will often start to give you the cold shoulder until you capitulate, or they’ll begin to threaten to break up with you.

They know that people thrive on affection and that withdrawing it quickly causes people to panic. So, they use your need for affection and approval to control you.


4. Using your own words against you

Emotional manipulators have a way of getting people to do what they want by using their own words against you.

More often than not, they use your own words against you in the form of a fake apology or a reason to make them look like the martyr.

Call them out on it and cease communication if they do this.

5. Turning everyone against you

The easiest way to make someone feel powerless and to take away their confidence is to turn everyone against them.

This is why many emotional manipulators will go on full smear campaigns against people who they no longer feel they can control, as well as people who they feel are threats.


If you notice that they’re turning people against you, call them out on it and set things right.  

6. Sucking the energy from your life

Some manipulators will actively become energy sucks when they want you to feel uncomfortable around friends and others who make you feel happy.

The easiest way to deal with this is to leave the room, then leave the manipulator at home.


7. Unleashing anger

Anger is scary, which is why some manipulators will use it to get their way.

They know many people are easily cowed into doing what they want, as long as there’s an angry fist being waved in their face.

8. Preying on your intentions

Some people just attract emotional manipulators like flies to honey, and there’s a good reason for this.

Primarily, it’s because manipulators actively seek out victims who have a certain profile.

If you’re insecure, overly trusting, or a genuinely decent person, your best line of defense is learning the traits of a manipulator and bailing before they can hurt you.

Ossiana Tepfenhart is a writer based out of Red Bank, New Jersey. She writes primarily about lifestyle, food, finance, and relationships. Follow her on Twitter.