Manipulators are masters of deflection.
This is why they can get away with any crime and even gain sympathy from others.
How do they do that?
With good acting skills and of course deceptive words.
If you want to know if someone is manipulating you, read on.
Here are phrases that manipulators use to blame others for their own mistakes.
1) “It wasn’t my idea!”
For a master manipulator, it’s always someone else’s idea, at least when that person gets into trouble.
So if they agree to do something and they get caught or they make a big blunder, they raise their hands and say, “Well, it wasn’t my idea!”
Let’s say their classmate asked them to buy a box of donuts for the whole class, and they made the mistake of buying very expensive donuts.
They said, “But I was just following orders.”
This is a smart thing to say, because they do follow orders. But the real “mistake” is that they didn’t execute it properly – and they should be held accountable for that.
2) “I was just trying to help.”
Manipulators are experts at making themselves look like the good guy.
They are the “hero,” the one with “good intentions,” the one who “always cares.”
That’s why they played the victim when something went wrong.
They wailed, “But I was only trying to help!” or “Is this how you treat me after everything I’ve done?”
It’s as if people have no right to even think they’ve done something wrong (even when they clearly have done something wrong) simply because they have good intentions.
And if you can’t forgive them right away, well… then you’re just heartless!
3) “I told you so.”
When something goes wrong, they look to someone else and say, “I told you so.”
The funny thing is, they weren’t even really against the idea of that person in the first place.
So suddenly, not only are they free from the crime of saying, “I told you so,” they also project that they are wiser than others.
It’s like saying that if only they had listened to them, everything would have gone well.
4) “They pressured me to do it!”
Look, unless there’s a gun pointed at your head or a bully intimidating you, YOU are responsible for the things you do.
Yes, even if someone pressures you to do it!
But manipulative people want to make others feel responsible for their mistakes.
And so even if they felt just a very slight pressure, they would say, ‘Wah, wah! They pressured me to do it! It’s their fault!”
Let’s say their friends convinced them to stay up late to watch another episode of their favorite show. And because of this, they are late for their 7 o’clock class and missed an important exam.
Guess who they’ll blame? Everyone but herself.
5) “But I thought this is something you want!”
Manipulators will tell you that you have no right to blame them just because they did something for you.
Let’s say you told your manipulative boyfriend that you want to go to Japan someday.
Then, without even telling you, they booked a ticket for two to Japan using your joint account.
And so of course you were shocked when you found out!
They reacted with hurt and said, “But I thought this is something you want!”
Well…yes, you want to go to Japan, but you never said you wanted to buy tickets as soon as possible.
But the manipulator will make it seem like you are ungrateful for even questioning them for trying to make you happy.
6) “Is it really that big of a deal?”
Manipulators have a habit of tricking people around them, especially when they’ve simply made a mistake.
If they forgot to put your favorite ice cream back in the fridge, they won’t say, “Oh no, I’m sorry. I’ll buy you another one.”
Instead, they would get annoyed that you are “overreacting,” and ask you, “Is it really that bad?!” or say, “Wow! All this drama just for ice cream?!”
And you know what’s funny?
Even if it certainly IS a big deal, manipulators will still say this phrase.
They can also say other sentences that could invalidate your feelings such as “You’re too sensitive” or “You’re making a mountain out of a molehill!”
7) “WOW! You only notice the things I do wrong.”
They clearly made a mistake. They even admitted it and mumbled “sorry”.
But if you make them feel bad about it, like if you keep talking about it and don’t let it go, they will make you feel like you are attacking them.
They’ll say you’re too hard on them and that they can’t do anything right.
They may even tell you that you are too negative and tense to attack you personally.
They are doing this to shut you up and so the focus would be on how “bad” you are towards them rather than the actual problem.
8) “Well, you should have done it yourself.”
They offer to do something for you, such as fixing your sink or editing a photo.
And they would say it like it’s so easy to do that, of course, you would let them do it.
But when something goes wrong, they throw up both hands and say, ‘Woah, woah! Then you should have just done it yourself!”
Yes, you are the “ungrateful one,” even if you didn’t actually beg for their help.
They even said something like, “You should have just hired an expert if you wanted great results!”
9) “I love how you make this about you.”
If something goes wrong and you suffer serious consequences, you of course have the right to respond.
But master manipulators will make you think you’re narcissistic because you always focus on yourself.
How can you not think about the consequences of it, when it really does?!
Again, gas lighting.
Master manipulators are experts at making you feel bad for feeling bad.
10) “You know I’m not good at this!”
You encouraged them to do something – because you truly believed in their abilities – and when they failed miserably, they let go and blamed YOU.
Manipulators hate looking like failures.
And so they always blame you when they insist on doing something… even if it’s for their own good.
This phrase can also be used in other contexts.
If you ask them to do something very simple (like chopping onions or cleaning the refrigerator) and they make a mistake, they’ll just say, “Well, you already know I’m no good at this!”
The bad thing is that you have the feeling that they do it on purpose so that you will not ask for their help anymore.
They’re really annoying to deal with, aren’t they?
But be careful. They may seem innocent when they try to get away with minor crimes, such as not doing the dishes.
But they can be dangerous when it comes to more important matters, such as unfinished business presentations or unpaid loans.
So if you suspect someone is being manipulative, pay attention to whether he or she uses these phrases. When that happens, chances are they will try to blame others. Let’s hope it’s not your fault.
Share this content: