6 Subtle Signs A Narcissist Is Manipulating You

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Narcissists are dangerous to those around them. They have inflated egos, lack empathy, and know how to manipulate people and get what they want. It can be hard to know if you’re actually being manipulated by a narcissist though.

The tactics they use may be hard to detect, and they often break down your self-esteem and self-trust to the point where you can’t trust your own instincts or judgement.

The manipulation often starts slowly, like cold water heating up to a boil. You may not even start to question if the water is getting hot until it’s too late and you’re starting to simmer.

Narcissists thrive on control and they manipulate relationships to ensure they have and maintain control the whole time. Despite having a personality disorder, they are extremely good at what they do and even the most diligent people can fall victim.

It’s important to recognize the warning signs of being manipulated so you can hopefully spot it early on and avoid long-term turmoil. Here are 6 subtle signs a narcissist is manipulating you:

1. They’re overly aggressive.

man in denim shirt arguing on couch with woman in white
Envato / Pro-stock
Envato / Pro-stock

They may use physical aggression to express their anger. It could start at small and subtle, like a gentle shove, a soft hit, or a small kick. They may even do something as simple as hold your wrist while you’re trying to walk away, and refuse to let you go.

They may direct their physical aggression to the house, pet, or environment. They might shatter a plate, punch the wall, or kick the dog.

If things have gone on for long, the physical aggression may escalate and leave you fearful. Even if they never truly “hurt” you, they can use your fear to control you.