“If you’ve ever felt like something is off in a close relationship or casual encounter—you’re being pressured, controlled or even feel like you’re questioning yourself more than usual—it could be manipulation.
“Manipulation is an emotionally unhealthy psychological strategy used by people who are incapable of asking for what they want and need in a direct way,” says Sharie Stines, a California-based therapist who specializes in abuse and toxic relationships. “People who are trying to manipulate others are trying to control others.”
There are many different forms of manipulation, ranging from a pushy salesperson to an emotionally abusive partner—and some behaviors are easier to spot than others.
Here, experts explain the telltale signs that you could be the subject of manipulation.”