Are you looking for signs of emotionally manipulative boyfriend?
Perhaps you’re in a relationship with a man who tries to control your every step. And if you try to break free or assert independence, he tries to make you feel bad for it.
Emotional manipulation is scary, and you can go down faster than you imagine. However, you are so in love that it is hard for you to notice the red flags.
Time for some eye-opening situation? Dive straight into these signs.
20 Signs Of Emotionally Manipulative Boyfriend
An emotionally manipulative boyfriend can take advantage of your feelings and emotions and act like a nice guy as long as it is beneficial for them.
Thus, it’s crucial to recognize the warning signs ASAP. Take a look to determine if it’s time to reconsider your relationship.
1. He Gaslights You
Gaslighting is an attempt to control your perception of the truth, making you question your sanity. This emotional abuse tactic can make you believe that you are to blame or are overly sensitive.
One indicator of gaslighting is the feeling of confusion, inadequacy, or disappointment when around the manipulator.
So if your boyfriend tries to twist facts, makes you doubt your version of reality, or shifts blame to gain sympathy, it’s a clear red flag of manipulation.
2. He Disregards Your Feelings
Your boyfriend is a clear emotional manipulator if he is indifferent to your problems and emotions. Instead of supporting you during tough times, he may make everything about himself.
He might also invalidate your concerns and start talking about his worries. This behavior forces you to focus on his needs, feeding his narcissistic tendencies.
3. He Uses Charm As A Manipulation Tool
While charm in a boyfriend is generally appreciated, if it’s used only to reach twisted goals or as damage control, it’s a sign of manipulation.
It might appear in the form of compliments, extra attention, and promises of unwavering support that appear when he wants something. He will indulge you in romantic fantasies only to vanish once his needs are met.
4. You’re Always At Fault
If your man is emotionally manipulative, he’ll avoid taking responsibility for his mistakes. He’ll often blame you for everything that goes wrong in his life.
He’s skilled in using words to make you feel guilty and apologize for events that you didn’t cause.
5. Over-Dramatization Is His Forte
If he is emotionally manipulating you, he’ll make dramatic statements when he senses he’s losing an argument or control. He’ll overshadow your concerns and hit you exactly where you get hurt.
He may exploit your vulnerabilities and make extreme declarations to get you at your weakest. He might also use emotional blackmail to divert your attention and control you.
6. He Imposes His Decisions On You
If he’s an emotionally manipulative boyfriend, he’ll often impose his choices on you, from daily decisions to major life events. He’ll completely ignore your right to decide and act selfishly.
Your preferences take a back seat, and you may find yourself conforming to his desires without even realizing how you got there.
7. He’ll Monitor Your Money
Does your boyfriend ask for details about your expenses or force you to splurge on him?
Perhaps he never invests in the relationship but wants to know where the money is going. When you refuse, he says you’re taking advantage of him.
If yes, take it as a sign of an emotionally manipulative boyfriend. He will control your spending and even discourage you from working or earning money independently.
8. He Wants You To Prove Your Love Frequently
If he’s an emotionally manipulative boyfriend, he will constantly seek proof of your love and use ultimatums. He might constantly play mind games, asking you to prove your loyalty.
He’ll say, ‘If you love me, you’ll do this’ to create guilt and pressure and make you comply with his wishes. When you refuse, he accuses you of not loving him enough.
9. He’ll Play The Victim
After a fight, an emotionally manipulative boyfriend often plays the victim, regardless of who caused the conflict. Even if it was his fault, he would always portray you as the culprit.
He uses sob stories and emotional manipulation to paint himself as an innocent victim and portray you as the wrongdoer.
Ever heard your boyfriend saying, ‘Can’t believe you would be so insensitive?’ If yes, you are definitely under manipulation.
10. There’s Lots Of Criticism And Belittlement
If your man doesn’t respect you and criticizes you for even existing, he is manipulating you. He’ll frequently criticize and belittle you. He’ll say that you are living life the wrong way, which might erode your self-esteem and confidence.
He may employ humor or sarcasm to disguise hurtful comments as jokes, making you feel at fault for not being able to take a joke.
11. He Gives You The Dreaded Silent Treatment
If he’s emotionally manipulative, he might withdraw and withhold communication to punish and gain control over you.
He hopes to make you feel guilty and eventually apologize, even if you’re not at fault. Your boyfriend might also refuse to engage in discussions or withhold intimacy.
This can lead to negative emotions like anger and distress, clouding the judgment within the relationship.
12. He’ll Isolate You From Loved Ones
Notice if he often tries to control your relationships with family and friends. Or if he attempts to distance you from them or dictate whom you should associate with, isolating you emotionally.
For instance, your boyfriend may badmouth your loved ones to break you apart from them, If yes, take it as a sign they are emotionally manipulating you.
13. He Shows Passive-Aggressive Behavior
If he’s an emotionally manipulative boyfriend, he’ll resort to passive-aggressive tactics rather than engaging in open and honest communication.
He’ll annoy you, resort to sarcasm, make rude remarks, or use backhanded compliments to hurt you without overtly expressing his anger.
This behavior may be fueled by underlying distrust and frustration, threatening the relationship.
14. He Has Confrontation Phobia
If your man is emotionally manipulative, confrontation is not the best idea, as he would never admit his mistakes.
Instead, he’ll get angry and blame you. He’ll argue, deflect, or turn the situation around to make you feel guilty for raising concerns.
He’s practically blind to his behavioral pattern and won’t feel the need to recognize or correct the issues.
15. He’ll Control You Through Fear
A significant red flag of an emotionally manipulative man is the use of threats and fear to control you. He may threaten to expose your secrets or promise to fulfill your desires only if you comply with his.
He might even resort to violence to maintain control. If you are feeling mentally, physically, or emotionally abused, leave immediately.
16. He’ll Frequently Use Guilt Traps From The Past
A glaring sign of him being a manipulator is he’ll often employ guilt to make you comply with him. He’ll particularly dig up your past actions and weaknesses.
Especially if your boyfriend does that but hides his own past, the relationship is not worth your time.
17. He’ll Exploit Your Insecurities
Does he target your vulnerabilities and insecurities? Does he intentionally make you feel vulnerable and emotional?
If he also purposefully makes hurtful comments and waits for your reaction, he’s emotionally manipulative.
He might also disguise his actions as compliments while indirectly addressing sensitive issues, like body image or personal weaknesses.
18. He’ll Intellectually Bully You
An emotionally manipulative boyfriend will overwhelm you with facts, jargon, or statistics whenever you ask them a question. He’ll live to be the expert and impose his knowledge on you.
19. There Are Constant Lies
Emotionally manipulative men are pathological liars. They twist and turn facts according to situations to gain benefits.
So, if your boyfriend is one, he’ll say or do something but deny it later. Instead, he will make you feel responsible for the misunderstanding.
20. He Is Way Too Calm
If your boyfriend stays calm even in the most adverse situations, chances are you are under manipulation.
Manipulators often have the opposite reaction to what is normally expected out of them. This is most evident during emotionally charged situations.
They do this to portray you as overly sensitive and then gauge your response based on theirs, only to tell you that you were way out of line.
A word from ThePleasantRelationship
It’s challenging to identify these signs, especially when you’re on the receiving end. But remember to prioritize your feelings. Spend some time by yourself and reflect on your situation. If necessary, seek a trustworthy ally’s help.
Do everything you need to identify the issue because you don’t deserve to be manipulated. Walk away from a toxic relationship while maintaining your self-respect and emotional health.
Remember, a healthy relationship is all about understanding, mutual love, respect, and trust. So, wait for the right man that treats you well!
Surabhi wakes up every day with a drive to craft words that can create a soulful impact. Creatively adventurous, she is always seeking to learn new skills and acquire new experiences. With a hidden soft corner for languages (especially Urdu), she writes poetry occasionally, binges on romantic shows, and LOVES to talk. A hustler, admirer, chaser, Surabhi is just another-someone who refused to give up on her dreams. She says, she is just somebody who’s trying to make herself a writer and for now, she’s just writing...