Home » 12 Signs You’re with a Manipulative Friend – Controlling Friendship

12 Signs You’re with a Manipulative Friend – Controlling Friendship

by Abbey Light
13 minutes read

You probably might not know that you are being manipulated by your friends because you might be looking at the good and healthy side of life.

Manipulative friends are not easily spotted because they know how to hide their covers. They are specialized in exploiting and ruining your happiness.

On the other hand, friends who do care about your wins, happiness, and crises are known to be healthy friendships.

True happiness in friendship comes from succeeding and supporting each other. Having a supportive friend can be so overwhelming to a relationship; it shows you have a shoulder to cry on and someone you trust.


A manipulative friend is someone who exploits, controls and exhibits harmful behaviors to their friends. People who manipulate others prioritize their own interests above others and disregard their feelings.

You might not understand how your friend might be a manipulator, but at some point, there will be some toxic signs they will exhibit in due time.

It is really important that you trace these signs of a manipulative friend before it harms you emotionally and mentally.


Healthy friendships are good, trustworthy, beneficial, and secure friendships. They are built on understanding one another and giving each other hope for love and long-lasting friendships.

While Toxic friendships are also unhealthy friendships, they are negative, one-sided friendships where one exploits and controls the other.


It is important in friendships that you understand and know the type of friends you keep. Dealing with a manipulative friend is something you must avoid and invest time in because they are harmful to your health. Here are the signs of a manipulative friendship;

major signs of a manipulative friend - quotes

Most times, we find it hard to get with this type of friend that’s because they portray acts of kindness and love towards your wins, but behind the scenes, they hate to see you win.

They always want to be ahead of you; they don’t feel glorified for your success. Instead, they will look for ways to annoy you and bring you down.

Watch out for this type of fake friends, for what they know is that “it is supposed to be them that got it.”

Manipulative friends are always about what they want and how to get the best from you. They instead let you listen to what they have to say because they believe their ways are more reliable and efficient.

They use this means to drag you into their traps by telling you what to do and abiding by their rules. They use this trick to take control of your friendship and make you feel like a vulnerable.


A manipulative friend is always concerned about themselves and their ambition. They care less about what you think and what your feelings are. Instead, they make it worse by making you emotionally drained and lack confidence in yourself.

Suppose you are with a friend who doesn’t consider your feelings, whether they hurt you or not. Then you must cut off from these people because they will damage your health.

Friends who don’t respect your boundaries and always feel that the friendship is all about them are set to be toxic friends and must be avoided.

Manipulative friends usually take you beneath them, making you feel small and disregarded in the sight of friends and families; they must be avoided because they reduce your self-esteem and confidence. If you ever notice this kind of friend, you must find a way to turn down the friendship and live a healthy life.


If there is something a manipulator is good at, it is ‘exploiting’ people. They are always good at taking from people without taking the kind gesture given. They believe in themselves and their happiness more than they do with others.

In true friendship, one should show love, kindness, and support in ways that are beneficial for each other’s growth.

There is something about manipulators that is quite common, which is that they are lairs. They pull up with fake identities to get in your way. They do this so they can exploit and control you in ways that might interest you. You might identify a manipulator by their unauthentic lifestyle and their ability to keep secrets.

Feeling guilt is what a manipulating friend does well. They will make you feel like the bad person in the friendship, making you lose confidence in yourself and making it easy for them to control you.

They are also good at playing the victim card in most situations, making it look like you’re at fault and having you sympathize with them. You must try to understand this card played by a manipulator and be ready to stand firm.

When you are in a friendship with someone, and you begin to feel unnecessary discomfort with them through their actions or words, then you should trust your guts on that one and run away.

Our subconscious often guides us towards comfort or discomfort by providing insight into how we should act. That is why we must trust our feelings and get to work on them, which also relates to our friends.

Using your weakness is the most popular of what a manipulative friend does because you trust them with your secrets, and they use it as leverage. They don’t bear your burdens with you. Instead, they look for how to hurt you with it and make you controlled. Once you notice this sign your friend uses, you must stay far away from them for your own good.

The significant sign of a manipulative friend is the act of feeling entitled. They cause you to submit to them while they live above you, feeling like they’re in charge. They don’t respect your personal life or your boundaries. Instead, they enjoy living their lives without recognizing the fact they are hurting their friends.

This is a vital role of a manipulative person; they play the victim. They are always the ones victimized, forcing you to submit to their spell while you take the blame. Manipulative friends don’t care about your feelings but how they will get away with it.

You might not be able to handle a manipulator on this sign, but you can surely recognize it and fight your way out of this toxic sign.

A manipulative friend will always want you to show up for them, but they wouldn’t do the same for you. They barely show up for you when you need them the most.

But they will rather question you and put you down on why you weren’t there when they needed you the most. They will begin to say how good they have been to you, making you feel insecure and manipulated.

12 signs you're with a manipulative friend

Final thoughts

In conclusion, recognizing signs of manipulative friendships is crucial for maintaining your emotional well-being. From feeling discomfort to being constantly guilt-tripped, manipulative friends exhibit various behaviors detrimental to genuine connections.

Whether they cannot celebrate your success or their knack for exploiting your vulnerabilities, these signs serve as red flags. Remember, true friendships are built on mutual respect, support, and genuine care, not manipulation and exploitation.

If you identify these signs in a friendship, it may be time to reassess and prioritize your own mental health and happiness.

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