7 Red Flag Signs The Person You Love Is A Master Manipulator

It happens slowly, but surely.

Last updated on Dec 18, 2023

serious man Mikhail Nilov / Pexels

A manipulator is the person you will date and at first things will seem infallible. It all seems too good to be true, and you’ll wonder how in the world you got so lucky.

But as time goes on, you gradually uncover their manipulative tactics and how indifferent you’ve become to all the red flags. Once you recognize those red flags, however, it's best to run as fast as you can.

Here are 7 signs the person you love is a master manipulator.

1. They’re emotionally abusive.

A manipulator is indefinitely an emotionally abusive person. They are unpredictable with their spouts of anger and are known to lash out fortuitously.


RELATED: I Was In A Horrifyingly Abusive Marriage — And Didn't Even Know It

They’re typically short-tempered and you never know what frame of mind they’ll be in. Their moods are drastically inconsistent and your moods will start to become reliant on theirs.

You’ll find yourself playing the victim of their abusive ways, but you’ve become so habituated to it that you don’t even think twice. Emotional abuse is still abuse.



2. You apologize for things you didn’t do.

After an argument, you’re the one always doing the apologizing. Even if it wasn't your fault, you're constantly the one who has to make amends. You stop and ask yourself, “Why am I saying sorry when I wasn’t the one in the wrong?”


But despite questioning why you're apologizing to begin with, you do so anyway to keep the peace.

A master manipulator is sufficient at placing the blame on anyone else besides themselves. In fact, they’re so good at it that they’ll have you almost certain that you’re the problem.

3. You put in all the work.

Dating a master manipulator often means that you’ll be the one doing all of the “dirty work” in the relationship. Making plans, texting, calling — you will find yourself putting in every last bit of effort to keep the relationship alive.

And though you're certainly feeling like you're in a one-sided relationship, you always feel the need to give in, whether it's because they shift the blame onto you, act like a victim, or gaslight you.




RELATED: Yes, You Can Get PTSD From Staying In An Emotionally Abusive Relationship

4. They’re charming.

A manipulator knows how to use their charm to get what they want. They know how to captivate in an alluring and charismatic way — and they’re really good at it too. They know exactly what to do and what to say to keep you hooked and prevent you from leaving them.

And if that isn’t the most fitting example of being manipulated, well... I don’t know what is.


5. They’re not dependable.

You’re unable to rely on them from the very beginning. A master manipulator will be inconsistent and oftentimes noticeably distant. They know how to portray themselves as being reliable in order to keep you around, but strictly on their terms.

They’re incapable of communicating properly, but it’s your fault for not knowing about the plans they never told you about. They expect you to be a mind-reader and cater to their needs, but won't do the same for you. Because, again, everything is on their terms.

There will undoubtedly be a self-victimizing justification to go along with this, especially if you call them out on their behavior.

RELATED: Why So Many Incredible Women Give Their Hearts To Unkind Men


6. They crave control.

The control is always in their hands because they need to feel dominant. They are the one who will decide where the relationship is going. It’s their way or the highway and you’re just along for the ride.



The instant you try to regain control of the situation, they will pull out all the stops to gain the upper hand once more. Control means power and a manipulator thrives off of both.

7. Change isn’t an option.

They might alter their ways a tiny bit in order to please you, but they perpetually go back to their old ways once you’re satisfied. It's a cycle that never ends for a master manipulator.


And why? It's because a manipulator cannot change — because they don’t want to change. They don’t see anything immoral about their actions and they’ll do all they can to convince you into believing the same.

If you or someone you know is suffering from domestic abuse or violence, there are ways to ask for help as safely as possible. For more information, resources, legal advice, and relevant links visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

RELATED: 10 Subtle Signs A Master Manipulator Is Trying To Control You

Andrea Davis is a freelance writer, photographer, and social media influencer who covers lifestyle, health, fitness, and relationship topics.