15 Phrases Manipulative People Use To Make You Trust Them

They all involve guilt-tripping and emotional blackmail.

manipulation, communication fizkes / Shutterstock

Master manipulators have a way of drawing you in so that you feel obligated to stick by their sides, no matter what they’ve done to you. This is because they have become acquainted with what exactly they should say when you attempt to call them out on their toxic behavior. 

If anyone has ever said one of the following phrases to you, you may be a victim of their manipulation tactics. 

Here are 15 phrases manipulative people use to make you trust them:

1. 'You don’t trust me?'

Manipulative people usually only say this when they have something to hide. It is often used to back their victims into a corner. 


If you feel pressured and respond with, “Yes, I trust you,” then the manipulator has permission to keep doing whatever is causing you to feel wary of them in the first place. Responding with, “No, I don’t trust you,” puts your entire relationship in jeopardy even though you were truthful. 

When someone says, “Don’t you trust me?” what they are actually saying is, “I’m going to guilt you by asking for your reassurance to do something that I know will disrespect your boundaries.” 

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2. 'Everyone hates you, but I defend you and always have your back.'

Unless the manipulator has actually asked all 7.8 billion people in the world, there is no confirmation that everyone hates you. When people are attempting to manipulate you, they may often say this phrase to turn you against everyone so that they can have you all to themselves. 

They are also portraying themselves as your only option to turn to for help by claiming that everyone else hates you. This is known as “The White Knight Method.” This method ensures that the manipulator will be the savior in their victims’ eyes, although they are anything but. 

“What you do is pretty much create a problem for somebody and then solve it,” TikTok user Vanessa Irene (@thevanessairene) says in a video. 



“An extreme example of this is if you pay some girls to beat someone up, but they have to pretend to lose once you come in and start defending her.” 


Irene explains that when the manipulator makes it appear that they will always come to your rescue, even though they planned the entire situation to play out this way, they gain their victims’ trust instantly. 

“Immediately they’re like, ‘this person is on my side because she saved me,’” she says. “You don’t know that they created the problem, but you do know that they saved you.” 

3. 'No one understands you like I do.'

You know that this isn’t true because the reality is nobody understands you better than you understand yourself, regardless of how close you may be to someone. Nobody, not even a master manipulator, is a mind reader. 

However, they may like to claim this as a fact in order to make you feel as though you have no one else to turn to except them


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4. 'You’re paranoid.'

Telling someone that they are paranoid in response to concerns about your behavior falls under the manipulation tactic of gaslighting. Gaslighting makes one question the reality of the emotional abuse they are facing from the manipulator and doubt their valid worries. 

phrases manipulative people use to make you trust themPhoto: Zivica Kerkez / Shutterstock


"If your partner says or does something to intentionally hurt you and you confront them at a later time, gaslighting would be if they said, 'That never happened' or 'Oh my goodness, you're crazy!'” Janika Veasley, the founder of Amavi Therapy Center told Insider. “The response is intended to not only deny, but also make you question if the scenario in fact happened.” 

5. 'Let me tell you a secret.'

This phrase may seem like an honor if someone says it to you because it makes you believe that they are trusting you with sensitive information. However, manipulators often use this phrase to reel in their victims. 



When the manipulator tells their victim a secret, the victim will feel or be prompted to start revealing their own secrets in exchange. The most unsettling part is that the manipulator will often tell a secret that is not even true. 


6. 'I have never felt connected to anyone else the way I do with you.'

While this may seem like a heartwarming phrase to hear from someone, it is usually a sign to set off the alarm bells. 

People may say this to manipulate another person's emotions or actions, such as to gain their trust, attention, or favor, even when they don't genuinely feel this way. They could also be using the phrase to play with the person’s emotions, keeping them emotionally attached while not being fully committed or sincere themself.  

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7. 'People who say bad things about me to you are just trying to tear us apart.'

Not everyone is going to like you and that’s okay. However, if you hurt them emotionally or physically, their reasons are valid. They may warn people who are currently in your life and tell them about their experiences with you as a common courtesy to them. 


This does not necessarily mean that they are attempting to tear you apart from them. However, manipulative people may believe so. 

phrases manipulative people use to make you trust themPhoto: Egoitz Bengoetxea / Shutterstock 

By framing the negative comments as solely the result of others' actions, the manipulator deflects attention from their own behavior. 


This phrase can also be a form of emotional manipulation since it instills a sense of distrust toward anyone who has negative opinions about the manipulator, therefore isolating the victim from other perspectives and support networks. It also invalidates the potentially real concerns being shared by others. 

8. 'I am genuinely so sorry [about whatever issue is outside of their control].'

If a person apologizes for things that are completely out of their control, like the weather or bad traffic, it is actually a form of manipulation. 



By doing this, they are giving the false impression that they are understanding of things that are uncontrollable, which gets their victims to trust them more. 


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9. 'I’ve always been there for you.'

This phrase is often said by a manipulator when they want to trap their victims in the relationship. Even if they have always been by their victims’ side, it doesn’t mean they asked them to be. They certainly should not feel obligated to stick around because of a choice their manipulator made. 

Still, this phrase can instill a sense of guilt into some people, believing that they must reciprocate the actions their manipulator demonstrated to them. 

10. 'You’re the only person I am telling this to.'

In healthy and transparent communication, people should feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings without resorting to manipulative tactics. 


Manipulative people use this phrase to create a sense of false exclusivity and emotionally pressure their victims. It aims to make the victim feel special and unique as if they are the only ones to be trusted with such a thing, even if they have already told others. 

By emphasizing that the information is exclusive, the manipulator can apply emotional pressure on their victim, implying that they must react or respond in a specific way because they are the chosen confidant. 

11. 'You misunderstood what I said.'

Everyone is entitled to their own feelings and interpretations of the things that are said to them, whether they were intended to hurt them or not. 

When someone is hurt by something that a manipulative person said to them, the manipulative person will do anything to justify their actions, rather than reassuring them and comforting their victims. This phrase makes the victim feel as if they were in the wrong for simply having an opinion. 


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12. 'I’m just trying to help you.'

This phrase only makes the manipulator — not you — feel better about themselves. 

The statement is used to guilt or pressure someone into accepting help they may not want or need, all while the manipulator can convince themselves that they are doing a good thing. 

For instance, if someone says that they need space or time alone to process their feelings, and you respond with, "I'm just trying to help you," while continuing to push your assistance, that is manipulative.

phrases manipulative people use to make you trust themPhoto: LightField Studios / Shutterstock 


You may not know exactly how to help people in certain situations, and that’s okay. Admitting that you are unsure of how to help and asking what you can do for them is the best thing you could possibly do. 

13. 'You’re overthinking this — trust what I am saying.'

How can you trust someone who has time and time again crossed your boundaries by saying phrases like this? If you are feeling particularly overwhelmed by a situation, it is not uncommon to overthink. Your mind will likely jump to places that seem irrational and that other people may not understand. 

When this happens, people deserve reassurance and guidance, not someone insisting that they are overreacting. It manipulates them into thinking that they must trust their manipulator.


14. 'I feel the exact same way you do!'

This phrase may be comforting, however, you should be wary of anyone who immediately agrees with you without question. 

“If you want to gain someone’s trust and control over them, make sure that they are seeing themselves inside you,” TikTok user @mr.salvatore_offical explains in a video. “You need to copy their way of thinking, acting, and how they behave, which will lead them into believing everything you do and building trust towards you.” 

This causes a person to not only trust you but to subconsciously fall in love with you. 



Mr. Salvatore points out that if you truly want to manipulate someone into trusting you, nod your head as they are sharing their thoughts and feelings, acting as if you agree with everything they are saying. “It is like putting someone into a cage and closing it because, from that moment on, the person belongs to you.” 


15. 'I had a hard life, that’s why I behave the way I do.'

If you want to manipulate someone into immediately feeling sorry for you, this is the phrase that will do it. 

When people want to manipulate you into trusting them, they will give you a sob story about their upbringing, making you feel sorry for them and exploiting your good heart. 

They are also attempting to avoid responsibility for their actions by deflecting blame onto everyone but themselves and claiming to act the way they do entirely because of other people. They may imply that others owe them because of their difficult life, which is also a manipulative tactic.



In more extreme cases, people may use their life challenges to emotionally manipulate others into providing support, financial assistance or other favors. They might claim that others should help them due to their difficult past. 


While some of these phrases may not have malicious intent, manipulative tactics can be noticed over time, depending on how well you know the person. It is essential to look out for yourself by avoiding manipulative people and protecting your well-being. 

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.