How Manipulative People Use These 18 Questions to Control You

Sharing is caring!

Many of us have encountered a manipulator at some point in our lives. They make you question your actions and feelings and cunningly twist the narrative to make you doubt yourself. If any of this resonates, you might be in the presence of a manipulator who thrives on causing confusion. To help you spot these red flags, here are 18 questions manipulative people might ask.

Why Are You So Sensitive?

Editorial credit:fizkes/ Shutterstock.

This roughly translates to, ‘Your feelings are an inconvenience to me,’ and who wants to hear that? While we can all be a little over-sensitive at certain points in our lives for varying reasons, manipulative people often use this question to dismiss our feelings and make us question our emotional responses. It’s a classic gaslighting technique aimed at invalidating your emotions.

Are You Sure That’s What Happened?

Editorial credit: grinny / Shutterstock.

In other words, ‘I don’t believe you, and you shouldn’t trust your own memory.’ It isn’t the kindest of things to say to someone. This is another form of gaslighting where the manipulator makes you doubt your perception of events. This can play havoc with your confidence, memory, and judgment.

If You Really Loved Me, You Would…

Editorial credit: fizkes / Shutterstock.

If someone says this to you, they’re guilting you into doing what they want. It can often be used as a last-ditch attempt to get their own way. It’s cunning, so don’t let it pull you in. This question plays on your emotions and uses your love for them as a bargaining chip. It’s a manipulative way to coerce you into something you might not be comfortable with.

Do You Think You’re Really Capable of That?

Editorial credit: fizkes / Shutterstock.

If ever there was another way of undermining someone’s confidence, it’s right here. By questioning your abilities, manipulators craftily plant seeds of self-doubt, making you feel insecure and dependent on their approval or guidance. This is a sign of coercive control. No one should ever make you feel insecure.

Why Can’t You Be More Like…?

Editorial credit: Rocketclips, Inc. / Shutterstock.

This is a comparison to someone else and the quickest way to make you feel inadequate. Comparison is a manipulation tactic to make you feel inferior, pushing you to change yourself to meet their often unattainable standards. It isn’t a healthy method of nurturing a relationship.

Why Are You Making Such a Big Deal Out of This?

Editorial Credit: fizkes / Shutterstock.

This is downplaying your concerns. The question diminishes your feelings and concerns, suggesting that you overreact and your issues aren’t valid. It isn’t true, and it isn’t fair. You should always be validated.

Who Told You That?

Editorial credit: fizkes / Shutterstock.

In certain contexts, this question discredits your source of your information. Manipulators want to control the narrative, so they’ll question the credibility of your information to steer you back to their version of events. If they feel out of control, they’ll belittle you to try and wriggle out of something, which, most of the time, is something unfavorable.

Don’t You Trust Me?

Editorial credit: fizkes / Shutterstock.

This means, ‘I’m making you feel guilty for doubting me.’ It’s a guilt-inducing question that's meant to make you feel bad for having perfectly normal doubts. It aims to lead you to blindly trust the manipulator instead. Try to remain strong and stick to those gut instincts.

Why Are You Always So Negative?

Editorial credit: Billion Photos / Shutterstock.

We all have times when we’re feeling negative; we’re only human, after all. While it’s a reasonable question that might be asked if you’ve been expressing more negativity than usual, when thrown at you regularly, it means that the other person is invalidating your concerns. By labeling you as negative, manipulators shift the focus from the issue to your personality, discouraging you from voicing legitimate concerns. Stand your ground.

Do You Know How Much I’ve Done For You?

Editorial credit: Ground Picture / Shutterstock.

This translates to, ‘I’m using my past actions to manipulate your current behavior.’ It isn’t a reasonable question to ask and is designed to make you feel indebted to them and guilty. You should never be made to feel that way. It’s a method of coercing you into compliance based on a sense of obligation.

Why Didn’t You Tell Me Sooner?

Editorial credit: fizkes / Shutterstock.

A manipulative person will ask this question when they’re blaming you for not communicating in their preferred timeline. Life doesn’t work on everyone’s preferred timeline, and while most of us understand this, manipulators don’t sit well with it. This question shifts the responsibility onto you, making you feel guilty for their lack of knowledge or preparation.

Why Can’t You Take a Joke?

Editorial credit: fizkes / Shutterstock.

This is a way of excusing hurtful behavior. Manipulators often hide behind humor to deflect responsibility for their hateful comments, making you seem overly sensitive if you call them out. The chances are that you’re reacting for a good reason, so don’t let anyone make you doubt yourself.

Are You Going to Be Like This All Day?

Editorial credit: GaudiLab / Shutterstock.

This question is intended to make you feel bad for your emotional state, and it, rhetorically, asks you to change your mood for their comfort. Ask yourself, why should you? It pushes you to alter your behavior to please them, but it’s at your cost.

What’s Wrong With You?

Editorial credit: Pheelings media / Shutterstock.

Manipulators will use this question to make you feel like there’s something fundamentally wrong with you. It is a direct attack on your character aimed at making you feel inherently flawed. If there’s something wrong, you have the right to embrace it and voice it. Don’t let anyone make you feel inadequate for feeling something negative.

Do You Really Think That’s a Good Idea?

Editorial credit: wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock.

This question undermines your decisions, and it isn’t even a question. It’s rhetorical in nature. It says, ‘It isn’t a good idea.’ By questioning your choices, manipulators make you doubt your judgment, increasing their influence over your decisions. Own it. Tell them you do think it’s a good idea.

Why Don’t You Ever Listen to Me?

Editorial credit: fizkes / Shutterstock.

This is a victimology play whereby the manipulator is deflecting the blame from themselves. It sets them up as the one who’s being ignored or mistreated, with you in the role of manipulator. It’s a cunning twist of psychology where the tables are being turned. The key is recognizing and refusing to accept when they're doing it.

Are You Going to Make Me Do Everything?

Editorial credit: Antonio Guillem / Shutterstock.

When a manipulator is angry at having to take on responsibility, they’ll exaggerate their efforts to make you feel guilty. The question is aimed at making you feel lazy or ungrateful, compelling you to take on more responsibility than is generally fair.

Why Can’t You Just Be Happy?

Editorial credit: Dejan Dundjerski / Shutterstock.

Life isn’t always easy, and you’re allowed to have gray days when you’re not feeling your best self. This question means that your genuine feelings are inconvenient for them. It’s an attempt to invalidate your emotions and make you suppress your true feelings to maintain a facade of happiness. Pretending to be something you aren’t is unauthentic and will cause burnout in the long term.

30 Traditional Sayings That Are Now Considered Offensive by Woke Culture

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

30 Traditional Sayings That Are Now Considered Offensive by Woke Culture

21 Habits Often Associated With Having a Lower Social Status

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

21 Habits Often Associated With Having a Lower Social Status

25 Social Issues Gen Z are Determined to Cancel

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

25 Social Issues Gen Z are Determined to Cancel

Sharing is caring!

error: Content is protected !!