3 Toxic Strategies Manipulators Use to Control Their Victims

3 Toxic Strategies Manipulators Use to Control Their Victims

The relationships in our lives are supposed to bring us support, comfort, and joy. But if you’ve ever been in a relationship with a manipulative individual, whether that relationship is familial, romantic, or platonic, you know the relationship typically results in stress and anxiety, not joy and comfort.

When we’re first in these relationships, we don’t realize the other person is trying to control us and even intentionally confuse us. That’s because toxic people, like narcissists, often use covert strategies to manipulate us.

In order to defend yourself against these manipulations, you’ve first got to be able to spot them. With this in mind, here are 3 toxic strategies that manipulators often use to control their victims.


We’ve all told little white lies now and then. But manipulators lie constantly. They don’t just lie in an effort not to get caught, but to sow confusion and chaos in your life and throw you off balance. Lying can be blatant but also through vagueness and omission. 


Sometimes the word denial is used to characterize someone who can’t face painful truths. A 50-year-old woman dressing like a 30-year-old is in denial about her age. That’s not the kind of denial you’re dealing with a manipulator. 

These people deny, deny, deny any and every wrongdoing. Nothing is ever their fault, and they will shame you for criticizing their behavior in the first place.

Playing the Victim

One of the most insidious ways manipulators get what they want is by playing the perpetual victim. Nothing goes right in their life, no one ever helps them, and if YOU don’t help them, they just don’t know what they’ll do. Most caring people give in to the manipulator’s request, over and over, and eventually, it takes its toll.

Setting Boundaries – The Garlic to Manipulative Vampires

It isn’t at all easy to set boundaries with toxic people, but it’s something we must do to protect our own health and well-being. Boundary setting helps us ensure our own needs are met and empowers us!

If you’re new to boundary setting, you’ll no doubt find yourself struggling at first. That’s okay. Just commit to yourself and your well-being and keep trying. 

I also encourage you to download my free resource “30 Days to Better Boundaries.” 

Don’t let manipulators suck the life out of you. Arm yourself so you can live a peaceful and stress-free life.

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