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38 Signs of a Manipulative Woman

38 Signs of a Manipulative Woman

Updated on Oct 16, 2023

Reviewed by Julianne Cantarella, MSW, LSW , Certified Relationship Coach

Signs of a Manipulative Woman – 38 Types and Inferences

A healthy relationship involves showering all the love, support, and attention to your partner. When you do not get the same in return, look out for the signs of a manipulative woman.

A woman is manipulative when she tries to take undue advantage of your love, care, and appreciation. In this article, let’s explore some crucial signs to see if you are with a manipulative partner.

Signs of a Manipulative Woman Infographic

Signs of a Manipulative Woman Infographic
Signs of a Manipulative Woman Infographic

38 Signs of a Manipulative Woman

Signs of a manipulative woman refer to the cunning tactics she uses against her partner to fulfill her needs and demands.

It is not always easy to accept manipulation in a relationship as it can be an extremely painful thing to realize. So, it is always ideal to know the early signs of manipulation.

Therefore, we are listing down the following signs for you to talk to her about the same or consider getting out of a toxic relationship.

1. Sudden emotional outbursts while arguing

When there are sudden emotional outbursts, like shouting or crying, they can create lots of trouble. Sometimes, normal couples might argue and that can help clear confusion regarding different issues.

A manipulative woman tends to play the card of emotional outburst, once they feel that their argument is not having its desired effect and they are cornered.

They can even use emotional outbursts as a weapon to embarrass you in front of others. 

2. She will behave nicely whenever she needs anything from you

Another sign of a manipulative woman is that she will either behave sweet and gentle or at times go to the extent of sexual bribery. It means that she might ask for a sexual favor in return for some kind of reward.

When a woman displays this sort of behavior quite often, it denotes that she is manipulative.

Even though every individual tends to be occasionally manipulative, this kind of woman will mostly treat you indifferently, unless she needs something.

3. She will call or text you only when she needs something

You will only get to hear from her end if she requires you to buy something or do some work on her behalf. Often you will realize that you talk less than even long-distance couples.

A manipulative woman will only communicate when she needs something. Hence, you have no scope to share your thoughts and feelings with her.

4. You are the worst partner if you do not do whatever she wants

This is one of the cruel signs of a manipulative woman. Even if she does not throw a tantrum of her temper, she will play with your emotions by questioning your worth as her partner. This will particularly happen if you fail to meet her demands.

You can compare this to gaslighting. It is a common practice that a narcissist makes use of as one form of manipulation. The trick helps to get things done as per one’s liking.

5. She fails to make a financial contribution to the relationship

When a woman is manipulative, she will let you buy her goods without doing the same for you.

Even though it is a tradition for guys to manage the greater share of expenses, a sensible partner would at least attempt to contribute a fair share of spending in the relationship.

On the other hand, manipulative women would not even bother to pay any amount when the bill comes. They will give very lame excuses to avoid making a financial contribution.

6. She portrays herself as the victim even when she is wrong

There are occasions when others blame her for having committed some wrong, she will most probably twist the narrative to make it look as if you are at fault. She will not apologize for her own mistake.

Instead, she will play the victim card and make it look as if you are wrong. Very often she will do this loudly because humiliating her partner in front of the public is one of the major manipulation tactics.

7. She will prefer to ignore you than apologize

Whenever a couple gets into an argument, sometimes they reach a point where both refrain from communicating for a long time. This helps to clear out their thoughts.

Normally, both should break the stalemate and seek an apology from one another.

The irony is that a manipulative woman hardly cares, even if you do not talk ever again. She will never take the initiative to apologize, despite being wrong. It is you who will apologize to attain normalcy.

8. She pretends as if she does not know anything

If someone is not aware of what’s going on around them, one can never accuse them of something.

Pretending ignorance is a common practice of a manipulative woman. It allows them to avoid accountability for their actions.

A manipulative woman usually employs this tactic as an excuse to get away from the responsibilities of a relationship or take away others’ attention from her.

9. She makes you feel as if her problems carry more significance than yours

You might notice that your partner is belittling your issues. This is a clear sign that the woman is manipulative. Manipulative individuals exhibit a lack of empathy toward the sufferings of others and different forms of selfishness.

This is true even if the person is her significant other. Almost everything in her life is ten times more important than anything that is going on in yours.

10. She will constantly remind you of an old mistake

When your romantic partner continues to give you pain and grief for a mistake that you had committed earlier in life, she is a manipulative woman. She doesn’t want you to lead your life in peace. You can call her a persistent guilt-tripper.

This sort of guilt tripping is nothing more than emotionally manipulating your partner. It is one of the signs of a manipulator, who uses their emotional vulnerability to make you do things that they want.

11. Having sex is more important than spending quality time

Indulging in hookups or sexual activities regularly tends to be a cheap and temporary practice.

On the other hand, spending quality time together, which allows you to know one another is more important for a relationship to flourish.

A manipulative woman is always selfish. She will only think of meeting her physical needs and not care about making any kind of emotional intimacy.

For her, investing time into knowing a person is a complete waste of time and energy.

12. She does not bother about your general wellbeing

For a manipulative woman, you are just a tool for her to use and meet her demands. It does not matter how much time, energy, and money you are spending to please her. Her natural selfish nature gives you the feeling that you must fulfill her needs.

There is a possibility that she will shout and get mad at you for not putting in more effort to ensure her happiness. In simple words, she never thinks that you have done enough for her.

13. She does not let you have the things you want

One of the most critical signs of a manipulative woman is withholding essential things from you. She does not have to give you something that meets her point of view. In this case, the scenario is a little different.

She is doing so because she knows very well that she can twist and turn the situation and get something out of you. It is a basic form of bribery.

14. She is an expert in giving you silent treatment

This does not always have to be about making you apologize for something, which has happened out of her fault.

She could simply stop talking to you for no apparent reason. There is a purpose behind her adopting this tactic.

She wants to make you do almost anything to make her talk to you once again. It could be in any form, either in person or through text, but it is highly manipulative.

15. She loves to make you jealous

A manipulative woman does not need you in her life but only wants you for some purposes. She will always try to make you feel jealous by flirting with other men, even when you are present.

When you will call her out on this, she will laugh out as if to suggest that nothing unusual has happened. She will not even think twice before calling you crazy for telling her that she is doing something wrong.

16. She drags you down

If you are successful at work, or when a great opportunity comes your way, she might just try to influence you not to accept it. She might look to pull down your interest a little. It is because, when you are on the rise, it is a cause for her concern.

You might feel like finding some other partner, who would always support your dreams and offer words of encouragement. Even if she knows deep within what exactly she is trying to do, she is not willing to change her habit.

17. She will use her charm to influence you

A manipulative woman will always try to make good use of her charm and influence you for serving some of her purposes. 

If she feels that you have become a little tired of how she behaves, she will instantly switch over to becoming sweet and displaying good manners.

It will not be long before she starts showing off her true colors once again. In some ways, there is a lot of overlapping between general manipulation and narcissism.

18. She is aware of pressing the right buttons

One of the signs of a manipulative woman is that she will be clear in her mind about how to play with his feelings. She has watched you closely and now she knows which buttons she must press to meet her needs.

This is the reason why she can make you jealous from time to time and then get back to being sweet and well-mannered. These things come naturally to her and do not require much effort.

19. She will not think twice before telling lies

If you notice a woman who is good at telling lies more often than not, either to prove herself right or for getting work done, then rest assured that it is a clear sign of a manipulative woman. She does not know exactly when in what way and how much she should lie.

These women do it quite freely and do not feel guilty. The most important thing for them is to get their work done in some way or the other rather than worry about what others think of her telling lies.

20. She is always finding a scope to criticize

Criticism does not do any good to a relationship. You can expect to receive any kind of support from someone who always finds ways to criticize. As a woman, you have complete freedom to share your beliefs and ideals.

If you keep questioning your partner’s every action or habit, this will do more harm than any good to a relationship.

Therefore, if your woman conducts herself as a critic, who puts you in awkward situations every single time, it is one of the signs of a manipulative woman.

Signs of That Your Girlfriend is Manipulative

When you are seeing someone, you genuinely love, it can be tough to admit if everything has suddenly gone wrong. It is even harder to accept if your significant other is a manipulative individual who does not treat you properly.

This is particularly applicable if you have been together for quite some time and things were rosy at the start of the relationship. 

No matter how difficult it may be, you must recognize manipulation in a relationship. It can help you stay away from getting manipulated in a relationship.

Let us see how you can find out if your girlfriend is manipulative-

21.  She always wants to know your whereabouts

The initial phase of your relationship might seem to be quite sweet, especially when you see your partner sending texts to check how you are doing. You feel that she is doing this out of her love and concern.

Unfortunately, this habit can soon turn into a nagging one and cross the line very easily. You will have problems the moment you get a sense that your partner is trying to control your free-flowing nature.

22. She is always judging you

A manipulative girlfriend masters at hampering the self-esteem of her partner, in whatever way they can. She could do this through derogatory comments now and then about your daily habits.

It is also possible for her to give stern looks when you are enjoying yourself with your family and friends. This is a sign that your girlfriend does not like what she is seeing. She hates you because you look happy.

23. Forgives but does not let you forget

It is quite natural for every couple to have arguments. Almost everyone does a few things that upset their partner and warrant them to apologize. 

However, if your girlfriend accepts your apology but continues to use that situation to blackmail you, it is not good for your mental health.

Unfortunately, this is a common trend among manipulative individuals. If you see these signs in your girlfriend, then rest assured that she is a manipulative woman.

24. Forces you to change parts of your personality to suit her mood

Mood swings are one of the most irritating things you come across in manipulative individuals. 

They come as passive-aggressive and want you to do everything when the time is convenient for them. Moreover, they always make people close to them feel as if they can never follow their instincts.

Consider passive-aggressiveness as a negative sign if you see that your girlfriend is affectionate and sweet to you, but gives cold shoulder the very next moment. 

Seeing this passive aggression immediately makes you feel as if you have to tweak some parts of your personality to meet her needs.

25. Uses your weaknesses against you

This is a perfect example of your significant other’s manipulative behavior. They will allow you to get close and give a feeling as if they wish to know a lot about you. 

The unfortunate thing is that when they know your strengths and weaknesses, they always look to use the latter against you.

Support you hate any couple making a scene in public. Despite knowing this fact, if your girlfriend raises an old issue to argue with you in front of people, you have to believe that she has a manipulative personality.

26. Makes you surrender the things you love the most in life

As a couple, you should ideally always be the biggest support system for one another. One must encourage their partner to do whatever they feel like doing in life. 

If your partner is manipulative, you can easily make out from the way they do not attempt to make her partner flourish.

For instance, if you wish to play a sport and train for achieving the required level of fitness, your partner would constantly tell you that you are not meant for it. Hence, you should not waste time preparing for it.

27. Her definition of a “good boyfriend” is different

It is important to set one thing straight. You are already a good boyfriend by being the person you are. There is no need for you to fulfill certain requirements for becoming a boyfriend for your girlfriend to love you.

One thing that every individual should make a note of is that no one can be perfect. Similarly, neither a man should expect perfection from his girlfriend, nor a woman should think of the same. 

If any woman does that to her boyfriend, then you are a manipulative person and the same thing applies to a man as well.

Signs of Female Emotional Manipulation in Relationships

Female emotional manipulation is when someone tries to get her boyfriend or husband to behave in the manner you want by making them feel bad about their genuine feelings, thoughts, and actions.

It carries things like threats, dramatized displays, and gaslighting. These manipulative behaviors along with emotional blackmail can cause damage to your well-being and relationship.

Let us briefly discuss the signs of emotional manipulation in females-

28. A manipulative female crosses limits

Whether you deal with your girlfriend or partner, she can set boundaries that she doesn’t want you to cross in any situation. Ideally, if you do not like her setting boundaries, you should be in a position to say it clearly and the changes you need.

An emotionally manipulative female would make sure that you abide by her instructions. When you express your opinion on the issue, she will use her emotions and say that she is doing this out of her love for you but the reality is something very different.

29. Will not take “no” for an answer

You must take note if a woman says she loves you but then gets upset when you do not reciprocate similar feelings. Expressing love in words should never be a necessity for the partner to respond in kind.

It is like, giving a gift out of love and then expecting to get a gift in return. This is not love, but commerce. If this is the requirement for your relationship to continue, then it is sheer manipulation.

30. Makes dramatic comments

Another way through which you can easily identify a female who uses the manipulative tactic with emotions in healthy relationships is by making dramatic statements from time to time.

She will often say stuff to make you realize as if you are the best person she has engaged with. 

As part of manipulating through emotional attraction, she can even state that you are the only person she has ever loved, even if she has had boyfriends earlier in her life.

31. Takes undue advantage of tears

Tears can flow out during an intense conversation. Hang on! You must carefully watch if she is purposefully pushing them out to gain sympathy.

Even though real tears can also fulfill her purpose, when a woman is an expert at emotionally manipulating her partner, shedding crocodile tears is what she focuses on. 

A manipulative female would also make her voice sound shaky, just to attract your attention.

32. Keeps the ball in her court

Manipulation involves a lot of control. You would want to let things happen as per your liking. One of the tactics which a manipulative woman would implement is to take her partner out of her comfort zone.

She will think of the place where she stays, her hangout places, and the friends she visits and sees if they are also the favorite spots of her partner. 

You will feel that it will be much easier for you to gain control over him if you let him change his places of visit.

33. Wants proof of your love

As men, you should always try to keep a close watch on partners who constantly test your love. 

Usually, emotionally manipulative women would often use statements in which she would try to express that if her partner indeed loved her truly, he could never do or utter insulting words.

She will even go to the extent of satisfying her physical needs by saying something like, if he had indeed loved her, he would be having sex with her at that moment. If you still do not respond positively, you will fail the test of love in her eyes.

34. Expect specific reactions to situations

Women who are emotionally manipulative by nature will expect their partners to share the burden of their childhood fears. Even after all these years, they have been unable to get rid of them and hence, hampering your daily life.

Now, it is unfair to expect that your partner, irrespective of the length of time, will offer advice and act as a therapist. 

Ideally, you should consult a professional therapist. When the partner does not express the kind of response she expects, she feels that the man is not ideal for her.

Signs of a Manipulative Wife

A healthy married life happens to be an institution that grows based on a mutual feeling of care, love, respect, and trust.

However, some women manipulate their husbands to make things go their way. The tricks are clear signs of a manipulative woman.

A manipulative wife carries the potential to alter all your important relationships. She adopts ways that she feels appropriate, thus leaving you isolated. It will make you feel like she is the only one who cares for you.

Having a manipulative wife can invite emotional abuse in a relationship and you might not clearly understand what has happened to you.

Let us briefly check out red flags you should note in your wife’s personality to prevent getting into the trap of an abusive relationship-

35. Makes her husband understand that what she thinks is right

You can easily recognize a manipulative wife through her actions. She will always make you feel that what she thinks is right and all her actions are directed toward your well-being. 

This kind of woman who knows how to mold their husband as per their needs is a red flag for your relationship.

Other than this, she will always find faults in her husband’s actions and make him believe that she is superior to him. 

She does this to make sure that her hubby always reaches out to her for advice. This is one form of emotional abuse.

36. Converts each argument into your mistake

When you marry a manipulative woman, you would notice signs that she always turns everything into your fault and portrays herself as the innocent one. 

If she argues with your mother, she will defend it by saying that she has been handling a lot of things in the family, but you are not recognizing them.

She can even start cheating by flirting with other guys and develop romantic relationships in the quest for getting emotional support or physical pleasure. 

When you raise objections, she will say that you neither have time for sharing her problems nor intimate moments.

37. Does not follow up her words with actions

Have you noticed a huge mismatch between what your wife preaches and what she does? 

For example, if you’ve had a fall out with your sibling or a close friend, she will act as if she is devastated, but her actions would prove otherwise.

It is because she might be feeling proud of herself for having set the trap for this fallout and executing her plans to perfection. She controls the strings of your life as a master, thereby treating you like a puppet.

38. She uses the tact of love bombing

Love bombing is another quality of a manipulative spouse who uses the same to her advantage. 

She will initially shower you with accolades and admiration till the time you get accustomed to it. After a point of time, this becomes the catalyst to feed your self-worth.

Once she achieves the purpose of her husband’s dependency, an emotionally manipulative wife gets to the next level. She will withdraw all the admiration and attention until you concede to do her bidding.

Please go through the following video to better understand the signs of a manipulative woman and their impact on a relationship.

Closing Comments

It never feels good to maintain relationships with a manipulative woman. There are times she can even turn them toxic.

The signs of a manipulative woman which we have discussed will help identify her easily. You can also get in touch with medical reviewers for handling any woman with this mindset.