12 Signs Someone You Know Has A Conniving, Manipulative Personality

People with a conniving personality are opportunists at heart.

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Manipulative people are toxic master manipulators who make it hard for people to be around them. They have an almost uncontrollable need to be conniving and deceitful. If you happen to have a manipulative person in your life, their calculating nurture can lead to distrust about their authenticity.

Whether they are cold and heartless, a Negative Ned erupting with bad vibes, or hate you but pretend to be your friend, it is vital to your sanity and well-being to weed out anyone who does not have the best intentions at heart. Because


Because people like this have a conniving personality.

What does it mean to be a conniving person?

Conniving is defined as "cooperating secretly, especially with harmful or evil intent" and as a person who "deceives others for their own advantage."

Conniving people are great at masking their emotions to get to whatever their end game is. They are able to strategically keep their feelings in check while simultaneously playing on your vulnerability.

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Opportunists at heart, people with a conniving personality are willing to lie, cheat, and steal, if necessary to get what they want.

Being a conniving person means you aren’t truly loyal to anyone, and your relationships are probably more of a strategic connection that you benefit the most from. Being conniving is commonly associated with narcissism, but it’s just one of the traits and not an automatic indication that someone is narcissistic.

Nevertheless, you should know the signs so you can act accordingly.

12 Signs of a Conniving Personality

1. They don’t care what you think.

The only opinion that matters to a deceptive, conniving person is what they want and how they feel. It doesn’t matter if you are upset, happy, sad — any emotion. A conniving person will make sure things happen just as they intend them to.


A conniving individual might even be extra judgmental in an effort to make you feel stupid.

2. They bring a ton of negativity.

A conniving personality knows exactly what to say and do to ruin your good mood. They might be so good at it, you start to wonder if they are doing it on purpose — and they are.

Whether consciously or subconsciously, manipulative people have an incessant need to make sure you are always worse off then they are. They will never celebrate your successes with you because they don’t share your joy.

3. They are unapologetic.

If you are looking for someone to take accountability for their actions, turning to a conniving person will only disappoint you. They have a lack of empathy so they cannot put themselves in your shoes or anyone else’s, something you have to be able to do to be truly remorseful.


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4. They make empty promises.

Conniving people will promise anything if it leads to them getting what they want. Maybe they know it won’t happen at the moment or perhaps they just lose interest in doing what was promised, but going back on their word is not a big deal.

To be conniving, lying has to be second nature, so in the words of my grandma, “The truth ain’t in ‘em.”

5. They lash out when they don’t get their way.

If you’ve never had the misfortune of telling a manipulative person no, consider yourself lucky.

They will use whatever tactic they have at their disposal to make you pay for whatever "crime" against them they think you committed. But they are super strategic, so you’ll find yourself questioning who was actually wrong.


6. They don’t know how to finish what they start.

People with conniving ways have big ideas and a larger-than-life presentation, but when the time comes to produce, they usually fall short.

They want to do well in life, they really do. But they lack the discipline to follow through and most of their achievements are over-exaggerated or made up based on the image they want to project.

7. They make you afraid of losing them.

People who know how to manipulate others and do it effortlessly can play the game of "hot and cold" with you regularly to keep you on pins and needles. When they’re good, they are really, really good. But when they are bad, they can be mean.

The "Jekyll & Hyde" process can leave you confused and unsure, scared to lose the good, and hoping to change the bad.


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8. They turn people against you.

The worst thing you can do when dealing with a conniving person is bring them into your circle of family and friends. They will come across as super likable, and next thing you know they are manipulating not only you, but everyone you know.

Suddenly, everyone has drama that never existed before and there they are at the center of it all pulling strings.

9. They don’t even know who they are.

A conniver will switch up what they told you in a heartbeat, so taking them at face value is almost impossible. They might lie about their history and values, then proceed to do something that completely conflicts with who they told you they were.


10. They are control freaks.

Conniving manipulators think their ideas and thoughts supersede any and everyone’s so ,naturally, they like to control the people and environment around them. It might seem like a god complex, but whenever they are in your presence, you will find yourself always following their lead.

11. They get angry when confronted.

Hoping for accountability from a conniving man or woman is bad enough, but heaven forbid you call then out on something they did wrong. Before you know it, the situation will have escalated to unbelievable levels, and when they calm down it will somehow be your fault.

12. They throw rocks and hide their hands.

This can come in the form of backhanded compliments, sarcasm, or exposing things you told then in private out in public. That person knows they are being messy but pretends to be unaware of what they did.

Playing dumb or "playing in your face," like lying, is an essential component of being a top-tier manipulator.


When it comes to dealing with a conniving personality, you could ignore them, try turning the tables on them, or stand your ground. But my personal preference is to protect my peace at all costs, so maybe it’s time to put some space in between you and them, even if briefly.

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NyRee Ausler is a writer from Seattle, Washington, and author of seven books. She covers lifestyle and entertainment and news, as well as navigating the workplace and social issues.