11 Signs He's An Emotional Sadist — And Is Just Playing With Your Heart

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emotional manipulation

I had one guy I used to date who was a sadist and not in the sexy way. He was emotionally abusive and used emotional manipulation.

He lived to see me in pain, primarily because he had a chip on his shoulder against anything that was female. His favorite method to see me hurt was playing games with my emotions on purpose.

At first, I thought that he was just doing it without realizing the hurt and abuse he was doling out. Then, one day, it all clicked. I kept telling him I didn’t appreciate his actions, he kept doing them, and he was smirking when he’d see me upset. This jerk was playing with my emotions for his own fun!

RELATED: 10 Signs You Are Being Manipulated (And How To Make It Stop)

I dumped him and learned a valuable lesson: If you aren’t careful, guys will play with your emotions to get what they want. Whether it be free sex, a side chick, or just seeing you suffer under their thumb, the following signs definitely suggest that he’s using emotional manipulation and playing with your feelings to get something you shouldn’t have to give.

1. You’ve made it absolutely clear that what he’s doing is upsetting you, and he continues to do it.

Make no mistake about it, if you’re upset with how he’s behaving and made it clear it’s a bad move, him continuing to hurt you is done on purpose. Should this happen to you, you need to dump him because he’s actively hurting you and he doesn’t care enough to change.

2. He regularly tells you not to be like “all the other girls.”

Guys who play with emotions tend to want to show that you’re “different.” It's their way to test you to see if you're gullible enough to fall for mind games. 

By saying that you’re different, they make you want to live up to their expectations and try to prove to them that you’ll tolerate them. Don’t fall for this — it’s a classic manipulation technique.

3. The only time he really seems interested in you is when you’re out the door.

A lot of guys like to play with girls’ emotions because they want to know they've still got you as an option. It’s a control thing, and for them, they need to know they have you under their thumb. This often means they’ll only want to pursue you when you’re not interested or when you’re about to leave.

4. He flirts with women in front of you, or ogles them when you’re around.

It’s scary how many guys will do this just to make girls jealous. It’s their way of playing with your insecurity, hoping that you’ll bend over backwards to keep them interested.

5. You often get the feeling that he thinks you’re not good enough for him.

Though this could be personal insecurity speaking out, if you’re typically a confident person, this often is what indicates that he's playing with your feelings on purpose.

RELATED: 7 Ways Emotionally Manipulated Women Love Differently

6. He’s only sweet when he wants something.

A guy who’s playing with your heart strings will often only care what you feel when he wants something. The reason is because guys who play mind games don’t really care about you. If your first instinct is to ask him what he wants when he gives you affection, he’s playing with your emotions.

7. Honestly, he just doesn’t seem emotionally attached to you.

Once again, guys who play games aren’t attached to anyone but themselves. If he seems distant or disengaged, it’s probably because he is.

8. He's the king of mixed signals.

He does “couples” stuff with you, but refuses to be a couple with you. He’s affectionate one second, then icy the next. He’s flirting with you to the point that it’s unmistakable, but then claims he’s not flirting. Sound familiar? If so, he’s playing with your heart pretty badly.

9. You're expected to tolerate his bad behavior, but it’s never really reciprocated.

Guys who play with girls' emotions operate on a LOT of double standards and often just assume that you should play according to their rules. If he seems to go by a different set of rules than what you go by, it’s safe to say he’s toying with you.

10. He’s always lying to you or excusing his actions with vague explanations.

Not acceptable and a trademark of guys who choose to manipulate girls to their advantage. This should be an instantly dump-able offense for you.

11. Your gut says he’s playing games with you.

When in doubt, follow your gut instinct, even if you want to believe otherwise. More often than not, it’s correct and will steer you away from bad news. 

RELATED: 6 Twisted, Confusing Things ALL Master Emotional Manipulators Do

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Ossiana Tepfenhart is a Jack-of-all-trades writer based out of Red Bank, New Jersey. When she's not writing, she's drinking red wine and chilling with some cool cats. You can follow her @bluntandwitty on Twitter.