Home Psychology 11 Subtle Things That Toxic People Do To Manipulate You And How...

11 Subtle Things That Toxic People Do To Manipulate You And How To Stop Them


Toxic people… We have all dealt with them at some point in our life. And it is the most exhausting and life drenching experience. The harm lies in their subtle ways of manipulating us and toying with our emotions. And these people are perfectly able to have us question ourselves constantly while eating our confidence away.

If you find yourself being constantly hurt by them and altering your behavior to avoid being hurt, then chances are – they are the toxic ones, not you.

The first step that you need to take if you want to shut off their influence is being able to identify them. Here are 11 things that toxic people do that give them away and how to deal with them.

1. They Don’t Own Their Feelings

Rather, they project their feelings onto you. When they are angry, they will accuse you of being angry instead of making themselves accountable for their feelings. And you’ll find yourself constantly trying to defend yourself and your feelings that are not yours in the first place.

So, the ability to be aware of how you feel and stay in touch with your feelings will help you a lot. When you can distinguish between what’s yours and what’s not, you will not allow their toxicity to cloud your mind and confuse you.

2. They Keep You Guessing About Which Version Of Them You Are Getting

One day, they are very kind and loving and the next day you are asking yourself what you have possibly done to piss them off so much. They change their mood and attitude in a heartbeat to toy with you and your feelings and make you feel guilty like you did something wrong to them.

And if you find yourself apologizing or trying to explain yourself to them, please stop! Don’t let them fool you. You are not responsible for their feelings. If you have hurt them, then it’s okay to apologize. But be aware that toxic people use guilt as a manipulation tool.

3. They Never Apologize

Because they don’t even see a problem with their behavior. They feel entitled to be superior to others and be the ones in power. And when you try to confront them about something they did, they would never admit it.

So, when they behave badly, don’t expect an apology from them because you’ll never get one. Instead, focus on yourself and move on from them. No apologies needed.

4.  They Manipulate You For Their Own Sake

If you feel like you are the only one that is trying to save the relationship with them, then you are probably right. Toxic people will always make you feel like you owe them something and that you always have to walk on eggshells around them, desperately trying to make them happy and not piss them off.

You must remember that you don’t owe anyone anything. And walk away from their toxicity as quickly as possible.

5. They Make You Prove Yourself To Them Constantly

They will often put you in a position where you have to cater to their needs and prove yourself that you are worthy to be a part of their social circle. They often use sentences like, “If you really cared about me you would…” and then they inflict on you whatever it is that they need from you.

Well, enough is enough! Don’t let them play with you like that. You always have a choice to leave them.

6. They Leave Conversations Unfinished

They will leave or go offline in the middle of a conversation if they don’t like the topic or if they don’t have any arguments. They won’t answer your texts or return your calls. And again, you’ll start feeling guilty for the way things ended, and you’ll want to apologize for upsetting them.

Stop! People who actually care about you will never leave things between you like that. They will always be honest and won’t leave until they sort things out with you. On the other hand, people who make you feel like rubbish should not have a place in your life.

7. They Exaggerate Everything

Sentences that begin with ‘You always…’ or ‘You never…’ are typical for toxic people. They use them as a tool for manipulation because it is hard to defend yourself from these black and white statements.

Don’t try to argue with them, you’ll never win. Just calmly walk away.

8. They Are There In A Crisis But They Are Never There To Share Your Happiness

They always have something to say to bring you down. Toxic people will always find some flaws in anything to make you feel like your happiness and joy is not justified. They can make you question the good things in your life just by one subtle sneaky comment and make dim your light.

Don’t allow them. Don’t share with them anything in the first place and understand that after all, the only approval that you need is that of yourself.

9. They Use Non-Toxic Words With A Toxic Tone

Their words may be sweet as honey, but the tone can hurt like needles. This is a subtle way of manipulation, and many people can’t recognize it – but it’s there. You might not be able to find a fault with their message, but their vile tone will stay in your subconscious making you feel bad. Therefore, you can’t find an explanation to what’s happening and why do you feel all those negative emotions.

So, pay close attention to the tone of their voice and the way they speak. The tone often conveys more than the message, so be careful.

10. They Bring Irrelevant Details Into A Conversation

When you try to solve a problem with toxic people, they will bring irrelevant details into the conversation that happened a long time ago. And you’ll find yourself fixing a situation again that has already been solved 6 months ago instead of focusing on the present situation.

Somehow, they always end up being the victims. Be careful about this. When they bring a past situation, stop them immediately. Don’t fall into their trap.

11. They Are Judgmental

They will always judge your actions and will make you feel inferior to them. You may falsely believe their words and throw out the window your self-esteem. But that’s what they wanted to achieve.

Don’t allow them to make you feel less and unworthy. Everyone makes mistakes, it is only human. But judgmental people are toxic, and you should definitely stay away from them and their malicious harsh words.

Image: joseph paradiso

Mary Wright