8 Simple Comebacks For Handling A Manipulator

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While we like to think everyone is out there, handling their own business and trying to help others when they can, this isn’t the case.

Some people make their happiness by leaching on others, putting them down or just twisting different responses out of them. You probably know at least one.

Dealing with these kinds of people can be difficult. When push comes to shove, below are some ways to ensure that you protect what is yours. Be sure to keep a calm attitude, people are more pliable when they are intensely emotional. Stand by what you say and don’t try to escalate the situation.

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‘This Behavior Is Not Acceptable.’

A man standing with his arms crossed in an X in front of his torso.
Pexels / Monstera
Pexels / Monstera

Let them know that you aren’t going to tolerate them acting out against you.

Give specifics to what behavior you won’t tolerate and why. Let them know how you perceive these actions and how they affected you.

‘You Must Be Hurting Badly To Lash Out At Me That Way. Do You Want To Talk About It?’

Acknowledging what’s going on is a powerful tool to de-escalate any situation.

Don’t let them assume a self righteous attitude about their pain. Call them out on what they are doing and how they are behaving.

‘I Need You To ____.’

They’ve likely been telling you what you need, so cut through their attempts to control you via your desires. ‘ I need’ statements are a powerful tool against manipulators.

You are not only saying no to whatever they want, but replacing it with your actual needs.

‘I Know That I Am Valuable.’

This is powerful statement. You are reaffirming your own validity and strength. Manipulative people gain control by weakening their preys view of themselves.

Fight back by reminding, not only yourself of your importance, but your antagonist as well.


At some point or another we all forget that we have the right to say this at any given moment. This momentary ignorance can cost us a lot of time and unnecessary pain.

You do not have to follow it up with a reason or justification. You don’t have to explain yourself past ‘No.’ they might try to prompt you into explaining your response, the more words you use, the loopholes and tricks you are handing to this person.

‘I Feel ___.’

Don’t let them tell you how you feel. They will try to suggest emotions and inform you of what they want you to be feeling but don’t let them. You have unique feelings and a distinct voice to communicate them.

‘What Is Best For Me Right Now Is _____.’

Tell them in direct and firm language what you need. Don’t let them dictate your desires or needs. Even if what the two of you are saying are very similar stand by what you need. You’re the only one who knows how you feel and the only one who can get it. Never forget that.

‘You Need To Calm Down Before I Am Willing To Talk To You.’

If they are too emotional and volatile give them or yourself a moment to deal with what is going on. Cooler heads always prevail. Keep a finger on the pulse of the intensity. When It gets to be too much just step away. Walks are a good idea.

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Higher Perspectives Author

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