8 warning signs you’re dealing with a manipulator or a narcissist

In a world that seems to reward self-promotion and manipulation, manipulative, narcissistic individuals are not always easy to spot.

As a society, we ignore this label nowadays while making these Machiavellian figures the stuff of nightmares.

But what we don’t do is talk enough about how we spot them in their tracks.

Because you will undoubtedly encounter less than nice people…

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But how exactly do you know that you’re dealing with a true narcissist or manipulator, or just a bad job?

If you’re interested in sharpening your narcissist detection skills, stick around as we dive into the eight warning signs you’re dealing with:

1) They always bring the conversation back to themselves
A clear warning sign that you are dealing with a manipulator or narcissist is his constant need to direct conversations toward himself.

Let’s say you’re talking about your day, venting your feelings, or delving into your dreams from the night before…

Somehow, they find a way to get it off their chest.

This behavior can make you feel unheard and very unimportant, as they always seem to turn the spotlight back on themselves. Even when you need support and listening just once.

Often, they use this tactic subtly, so it is not immediately noticeable. It may seem like they’re overly eager to share their experiences or opinions, and who can hate that…

Because of this subtlety, you’ll feel bad for trying to make your voice heard — even if you could really use someone listening.

However, as this pattern repeats over time, you realize that your conversations are rarely about you.

It’s always about them, them, them.

This selfishness is a very classic trait of narcissists and manipulators – they prioritize their own needs and narratives and have little time for anyone else’s problems.

2) They are good at guilt
Another red flag when dealing with a manipulator or narcissist is their skill at making you feel guilty — even when you’re not at fault.

They have an uncanny ability to twist situations in a way that makes you feel like the bad guy.

Even when you stand your ground, they will find a way to spin it and distort it as if you are being unreasonable or unkind.

They showed up an hour late for the show you bought tickets for? Your mistake. You forgot to mention them.

They forgot your birthday? Your fault for being so mean lately – they were just testing you.

They deceive you? Your fault again for not losing weight while on vacation.

In situations like this, it’s important to remember that you’re not wrong to express your feelings or set boundaries.

Don’t let their malicious attempts at guilt tripping convince you otherwise.

3) They never take responsibility
A glaring indicator that you are dealing with a manipulator or narcissist is their refusal to accept responsibility for their actions.

They are absolute experts at blaming others, often making you feel like it’s your fault even when it clearly isn’t.

Continuing the point above, they will be quite smooth at blaming their tardiness on traffic, blaming a colleague for a missed deadline, and somehow putting the blame for their bad behavior on your shoulders.

It’s their way of protecting their ego and maintaining their superior image, even if it happens at the expense of someone else’s self-esteem.

4) They are overly charming
Now, it’s hard to let a stranger treat you that badly, right?

This is why narcissists begin to adore and charm you – to win you over and make you do their bidding.

But don’t be fooled by the initial onslaught of charm.

Sure, they might shower you with compliments, attention, and affection, making you feel special, appreciated, and on top of the world.

They might even mirror your interests (and suddenly pretend to be super interested in butterflies or appetizers, if that’s your cup of tea) to create a sense of connection and intimacy.

This nasty tactic, often referred to as “love bombing,” is designed to win you over and build trust quickly. It is a manipulative strategy used to secure your loyalty and admiration before her true colors begin to show.

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However, over time, the charm and glamor fades and is replaced by the manipulative and selfish behaviors that characterize narcissistic individuals.

Unfortunately, by then, you’re often so entangled in their web that it becomes difficult to see them for who they really are.

5) They don’t care about your feelings

The unfortunate truth is that although they may have led you to believe otherwise, manipulators and narcissists don’t care about your feelings.

You may find yourself pouring your heart out to them, only to be met with indifference, dismissal, or even ridicule.

Your problems are minimized, your accomplishments are overshadowed, and your feelings are often overlooked.

It doesn’t mean they can’t understand your feelings, it’s just that they choose not to.

Empathizing with you means stepping out of their self-inflicted bubble and acknowledging that another person’s feelings matter—something that goes against their narcissistic nature.

6) They take advantage of your kindness
If you are a kind person with a heart of gold, it is important to realize that manipulators and narcissists have a knack for taking advantage of your good nature.

You are often the person they turn to when they need something because they know you will go out of your way to help.

Your acts of kindness are seen as opportunities for exploitation, not signs of good faith.

They will call you, ask you for favors, rely on you for emotional support, or even use your compassion to manipulate you and make you feel guilty or indebted to them.

They take, and take, and take, but rarely give anything in return.

But remind yourself that your kindness is a strength, not a weakness.

To protect it, set boundaries and protect yourself from those who might take advantage of you

7) They make you feel worthless
Narcissists and manipulators have an impressive talent for subtly belittling you in ways you hardly notice, making unfavorable comparisons, or pointing out your flaws.

If you try to defend yourself, you will be told that you are too sensitive. That it was just a joke. Take a cold pill. I swear you are so nervous.


You constantly doubt yourself, question your worth, and feel like you need to try harder to reach a higher level.

But remember that no one has the right to make you feel less than them.

You are more than enough, just as you are.

8) They are never enough
Bend over backwards and please people all you want, it will never be enough.

They always want more. More attention, more praise, more sacrifices from you.

They’ll make you feel like you’re falling short, like you’re not meeting their needs or expectations, like you’re not good enough and need to try harder.

This is a manipulative tactic designed to keep you in a constant state of trying harder, giving more, and striving to please them.

But the truth is, it’s not about you. It’s about their endless need for validation and control.

You can move mountains for them, but that won’t be enough.

Wrap it up

Navigating relationships with manipulators and narcissists can be a difficult journey. You may feel undervalued, used, or even lost in their world of selfishness and control.

But remember, none of this is a reflection of your worth. Their actions and behaviors are a manifestation of their insecurities and helplessness, not your shortcomings.

Being aware of these warning signs is the first step towards protecting yourself. It won’t always be easy, but it’s an important part of affirming your worth and setting healthy boundaries.

So, if you are dealing with a manipulator or narcissist, don’t despair. You are much stronger, wiser and more resilient than you know.

Most importantly, you are not alone; There is a world of understanding and support available to you.