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Manipulation Quotes to Keep Toxic People Away

Norbert Juma, Editor
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These manipulation quotes will remind you to always promote your own independence and happiness.

The word “manipulation” brings up incredibly negative connotations in most people’s minds.

When you think of manipulation, you probably think of a dishonest person trying to control others for their own purposes.

Of course, in the literal sense, manipulation just means control.

This can be benign, but we typically use the word to describe something nefarious, malicious, or just unhealthy.

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A survey conducted by OnePoll found that 59% of respondents have experienced manipulation in their personal relationships, while 36% have experienced it in the workplace.

This highlights the pervasiveness of manipulation and the need to recognize and avoid it.

Where do you see instances of manipulation in your world?

You may notice the manipulation of audiences by politicians, the news media, and the entertainment industry, playing on emotions to persuade people to vote, spend money, or think certain ways.

Perhaps you notice manipulation by certain individuals in family relationships, which can be a very unhealthy dynamic.

Manipulation is often characterized by lies, jealousy, and a craving for power.

Be vigilant to manipulation, so you can always look out for your own best interests.

Below is our collection of eye-opening manipulation quotes and sayings, collected from a variety of sources over the years.

Don’t forget to also read these toxic people quotes to help you develop boundaries.

If you love this quote collection, read out our most popular quote article about short inspirational quotes for daily motivation. 

If you need more inspirational quotes, check out our motivational quotes category page.

Quotes About the Manipulation of Other People

Research by the University of Michigan found that individuals who are high in narcissism are more likely to engage in manipulative behaviors, such as lying, cheating, and deceiving others.

This underscores the importance of identifying manipulative individuals and setting boundaries to protect oneself.

1. “I’m constantly lying to my dog. He only responds to manipulation and blackmail.” – Riley Keough

Manipulation Quotes About Lying

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2. “Everybody has the ability to be manipulative, to be hateful and deceitful.” – Neil LaBute

Manipulation Quotes About Being Hateful

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3. “Are you trying to manipulate me? It’s working.” – Bridget Moynahan

Witty Manipulation Quotes

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4. “The best way to manipulate a man is to make him think he is manipulating you.” – John Smith

Smart Manipulation Quotes

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5. “Manipulation can give you anything in life you want, if you can afford it.” – M.F. Moonzajer

Clever Manipulation Quotes

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6. “Foreknowledge of the future makes it possible to manipulate both enemies and supporters.” – Raymond Aron

Manipulation Quotes About Foreknowledge

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7. “If you don’t give education to people, it is easy to manipulate them.” – Pele

Manipulation Quotes About Education

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8. “Belief can be manipulated. Only knowledge is dangerous.” – Frank Herbert

Manipulation Quotes About Belief

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9. “I might be manipulating you to create risk for myself.” – Sharon Stone

Manipulation Quotes About Risk

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10. “When you know what a man wants, you know who he is, and how to move him.” – George R.R. Martin

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11. “The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words.” – Philip K. Dick

12. When people learn no tools of judgment and merely follow their hopes, the seeds of political manipulation are sown. – Stephen Jay Gould

13. “I’m manipulating the audience. I’m making sure people sympathize.” ― Melinda Clarke

Manipulation Quotes About Sympathy

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14. “You can’t manipulate people who know how to think for themselves.” – Trish Mercer

Manipulation Quotes About Ability to Think

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15. “All writing is a form of manipulation, of course, but you realize that a plain sentence can actually do so much.” – Colm Toibin

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Manipulation Quotes about lies and deceit

A study by the University of Exeter found that individuals who engage in manipulative behaviors are more likely to experience negative emotions, such as guilt and shame, over time.

This suggests that manipulators may ultimately harm themselves as well as others.

16. “Half of the people lie with their lips; the other half with their tears.” – Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Wise Manipulation Quotes

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17. “I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

Manipulation Quotes About Being Upset

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18. “I lie to myself all the time. But I never believe me.” – S.E. Hinton

Amusing Manipulation Quotes

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19. “There are three types of lies — lies, damn lies, and statistics.” – Benjamin Disraeli

Manipulation Quotes About Lies

20. “Things come apart so easily when they have been held together with lies.” – Dorothy Allison

Manipulation Quotes About Falling Apart

21. “A heart of manipulation is to be empathized without being touched.” – Unknown

Manipulation Quotes About Empathy

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22. “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.” – Abraham Lincoln

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23. “No one believes a liar. Even when she’s telling the truth.” – Sara Shepard

Manipulation Quotes About Liars

24. “The art of pleasing is the art of deception.” – Luc De Clapiers

Manipulation Quotes About Pleasing

25. “Biggest tool of manipulation is words so always interpret the meaning rather than the words.” – Unknown

26. “Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.” – Sun Tzu

Manipulation Quotes About Strength

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27. “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” – Søren Kierkegaard

Manipulation quotes about power

A study by the University of Utah found that people are more likely to trust someone who has been honest with them in the past.

Including manipulation quotes that discourage deceitful behavior can help build trust and positive relationships in personal and professional settings.

28. “Manipulation, fueled with good intent, can be a blessing. But when used wickedly, it is the beginning of a magician’s karmic calamity.” – T.F. Hodge

29. “One must change one’s tactics every ten years if one wishes to maintain one’s superiority.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

30. “The thing women have yet to learn is nobody gives you power. You just take it.” – Roseanne Barr

Manipulation Quotes About Women

31. “Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” – Rudyard Kipling

Manipulation Quotes About Words

32. “When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” – Jimi Hendrix

Manipulation Quotes About Peace

33. “Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful.” – Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Manipulation Quotes About Being Fearless

34. “The measure of a man is what he does with power.” — Greek Proverb

Manipulation Quotes About Power

35. “You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” – Marcus Aurelius

36. “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” – Alice Walker

37. “Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.” – Jim Morrison

Manipulation quotes about control

A report by the Pew Research Center found that social media is a common platform for the spread of misinformation and fake news.

Including manipulation quotes that emphasize the importance of verifying information and sources can help combat the spread of false information.

38. “True love is built on free will and free choice, not control and manipulation.” – Ken Poirot

Manipulation Quotes About Love

39. “I have no interest in trying to manipulate people’s emotions or opinions.” ― Sarah Kane

Manipulation Quotes About Emotions

40. “I do respect people’s faith, but I don’t respect their manipulation of that faith in order to create fear and control.” – Javier Bardem

41. “No one has the patent on you.” – Katie St. Claire

Manipulation Quotes About Patents

42. “Manipulation is a contagious disease which is much more dangerous than a pandemic because it can endure you for a lifetime.” – Unknown

43. “People turned against each other cannot turn against those responsible.” – DaShanne Stokes

44. “You can’t control the weather, but that doesn’t stop some people from trying.” – Frank Sonnenberg

45. “Domineering-types may appear omnipotent but, inevitably, will smother everything they love and lose all.” – Stewart Stafford

46. “One should be able to control and manipulate experiences with an informed and intelligent mind.” – Sylvia Plath

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Manipulation quotes about jealousy

According to a study by the University of Notre Dame, the average person lies 11 times per week.

Including manipulation quotes in your article can help readers recognize and avoid manipulation and deceitful behavior.

47. “Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” – Carrie Fisher

48. “Anger, resentment and jealousy doesn’t change the heart of others– it only changes yours.” – Shannon L. Alder

49. “Jealousy is such an ugly emotion.” – Cassandra Clare

Manipulation Quotes About Jealousy

50. “Our envy always lasts longer than the happiness of those we envy.” – François de La Rochefoucauld

51. “He seems like a man who knows what he wants, and the problem is he wants what I want.” – Abbi Glines

52. “I measured love by the extent of my jealousy.” – Graham Greene

53. “Jealousy, that dragon which slays love under the pretense of keeping it alive.” – H. Havelock Ellis

54. “Envy is when you want what someone else has. Jealousy’s when you also don’t want them to have it.” – Kirsten Hubbard

55. “Jealousy’s a weak emotion.” – Jay-Z

56. “Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself.” – Baz Luhrmann

57. “Until you realize how easy it is for your mind to be manipulated, you remain the puppet of someone else’s game.” – Evita Ochel

More manipulation quotes and sayings

According to a study by the University of British Columbia, people who frequently manipulate others tend to have higher levels of psychopathy and Machiavellianism.

This study found that individuals who score high in these traits often use manipulative tactics to achieve their goals and lack empathy for others.

58. “The people who would like to manipulate and use you won’t tell you your blind spots. They may plan to continue using them to their advantage.” – Assegid Habtewold

59. “Nothing manipulates people more than the desire to please.” – Zoe Durlock

60. “It was easier to manipulate someone if they didn’t perceive you as a threat.” – Stephanie Wrobel

61. “Life is a constant daily manipulation.” – Deyth Banger

62. “Manipulating people is what’s so fun about poker. I love that you can just look into someone’s eyes and lie – and it’s perfectly acceptable.” — Cheryl Hines

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63. “Don’t become manipulated by the illusion of who you think you are, or who you think you should be.” – Steven Redhead

64. “When manipulation flutters around everywhere, neither pull nor push anyone. Just do one thing – don’t trust anyone!” – Ashish Patel

65. “The only way to win with a toxic person, is not to play.” – Unknown

66. “Manipulation aims to modify another person’s choices by directly, but clandestinely modifying a person’s psychology.” — Michael Cholbi

Manipulation quotes to gain back control

A survey by YouGov found that 25% of respondents have been manipulated by someone at work, and 19% have been manipulated in their personal relationships.

This survey also found that women are more likely to be manipulated than men, with 27% of women reporting manipulation compared to 23% of men.

67. “The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.” – George Orwell

68. “Men are used as they use others.” – Bidpai

69. “An apology without change is just manipulation.” – Unknown

70. “Welcome to the human race. Nobody controls his own life, Ender. The best you can do is choose to fill the roles given you by good people, by people who love you.” – Orson Scott Card

71. “You are a manipulator. I like to think of myself more as an outcome engineer.” – J.R. Ward

72. “One of the methods of manipulation is to inoculate individuals with the bourgeois appetite for personal success. – Paulo Freire

73. “Whoever controls the money controls you. – Sharon Law Tucker

74. “Vision without integrity is not mission — it’s manipulation.” – Howard G. Hendricks

75. “It’s so easy to manipulate an audience, but it’s nearly always clear that you are being manipulated. I think even people that are not critically attuned are aware of cynical manipulation in film.” – John Boorman

76. “Manipulation is moving someone’s settings away from the ideal in ways that are typically not in her self-interest, or likely not in her self-interest in the present context.” — Robert Noggle

Overcoming toxic people and manipulation quotes

A study by the University of California, Berkeley found that people are more likely to manipulate others when they feel powerless.

This study suggests that individuals may resort to manipulation tactics to regain a sense of control or to compensate for feelings of powerlessness.

77. “The less you respond to negative people, the more powerful your life will become.” – Robert E. Baine, Jr.

78. “Toxic people will pollute everything around them. Don’t hesitate. Fumigate.” – Mandy Hale

79. “While you can’t control someone’s negative behavior, you can control how long you participate in it.” – Anonymous

80. “Every day you must unlearn the ways that hold you back. You must rid yourself of negativity, so you can learn to fly.” – Leon Brown

81. “Life is short. Don’t waste it with negative people who don’t appreciate you. Keep them in your heart but keep them out of your life.” – Anonymous

82. “Toxic people attach themselves like cinder blocks tied to your ankles, and then invite you for a swim in their poisoned waters.” – John Mark Green

83. “If you walked away from a toxic, negative, abusive, one-sided, dead-end low vibrational relationship or friendship — you won.” – Lalah Delia

84. “Don’t let toxic people infect you with the fear of giving and receiving one of the most powerful forces in this world… LOVE!​” – ​Yvonne Pierre

85. “When you notice someone​​ does something toxic the first time, don’t wait for the second time before you address it.” – Shahida Arabi

86. “When people pressure you to engage in negative decisions and actions, look at them boldly in the eyes and dare them to do good.” – Edmond Mbiaka

Manipulation Quotes To Inspire You Avoid Manupulation

87. “Manipulative people do not consider the other person’s point of view; they will take at the expense of others.” — Richard Malthouse

88. “If they can no longer score on you, then they can no longer manipulate you.” — Dorothy McCoy

89. “Manipulation is a contagious disease, much more dangerous than the flu because it can endure for a lifetime.” — Dorothy McCoy

90. “When they can no longer control or manipulate you, they smear you.” — Steve Maraboli

91. “The success of the manipulation depends on the level of conviction and force of the denial.” — Tess Binder

92. “When ambition gets out of hand we are vulnerable to manipulation by others.” — Keith Campbell

93. “Toxic people make you think you’re holding a grudge when you’re really holding a boundary.” — Mel Robins

94. “Often enough the manipulator approaches, stimulates, or even creates a powerful wish or a strong desire in the target’s mind.” — Sapir Handelman

95. “If you feel confused because someone tells you that they love you, but they don’t act like they do, judge them by their actions alone. You will have your answer.” — Adelyn Birch

96. “Just because something isn’t a lie does not mean that it isn’t deceptive. A liar knows that he is a liar, but one who speaks mere portions of truth in order to deceive is a craftsman of destruction.” — Criss Jami

Manipulation Quotes That Help You Achieve Peace

97. “Remember that any time you’re filled with resentment, you’re turning the controls of your emotional life over to others to manipulate.” — Wayne Dyer

98. “Whining is a form of manipulation. People will give anything to make you shut up.” — Jessica Zafra

99. “The heart of manipulation is to empathize without being touched.” — Vernor Vinge

100. “No love is conditional. If love is conditional, it’s just some sort of manipulation masquerading as love.” — Donald Miller

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101. “How can I be expected to love someone who tries such crude manipulations as bringing me breakfast in bed?” — Matt Groening

102. “Emotional abuse is any type of abuse that is not physical in nature. It can include everything from verbal abuse to the silent treatment, domination to subtle manipulation.” — Beverly Engel

103. “Only until you rise above the use of the second attention for manipulation that you can enter into a consciousness in which there is enlightenment.” — Frederick Lenz

104. “The lack of a sense of history makes us really prey to manipulation.” — Terence McKenna

105. “When you acquire enough inner peace and feel really positive about yourself, it’s almost impossible for you to be controlled and manipulated by anybody else.” — Wayne Dyer

106. “Genuine sincerity opens people’s hearts, while manipulation causes them to close.” — Daisaku Ikeda

Manipulation Quotes To Balance Your Emotions

107. “Playing with people’s feelings through manipulation is a way of controlling their hearts.” — Ron Prat

108. “Manipulating people always involves utilizing a half-truth or a lie in order to achieve a certain goal.” — Ralf Juhre

109. “But it isn’t really words that manipulate reality, it is the manipulation of words and that is something speakers and writers do.” — James Paul Gee

110. “A person who does not reign in their ambition can be persuaded and manipulated into doing things that are morally and ethically wrong just so that they can meet their goals.” — James W. Williams

111. “Because of our built-in insecurity, we are very sensitive when it is manipulated.” — Rick Tobin

112. “When we have access to all of our inner balance, we are able to manipulate our world on a more profound level. This leads us out of fear, and out of danger.” — Brian Germain

113. “I know that we create our own reality, but dealing with manipulation is an uncomfortable lesson that many have had to learn.” — Zoe Hagon

114. “Aggressive or manipulative people do not consider the other person’s point of view; they will take at the expense of others.” — Richard Malthouse

115. “Yes, he took care of me and helped me, but these good deeds were the water to make his seed of manipulation grow.” — Abigail Osborne

116. “Guilt is a special kind of manipulation tactic.” — D.T Bloom

Manipulation Quotes To Avoid Being Controlled

117. “Until you realize how easily it is for your mind to be manipulated, you remain the puppet of someone else’s game.” ― Elvita Ochel

118. “Manipulation is clever, skillful, and sometimes unscrupulous. Manipulation is not always a bad thing.” ― Edward Benedict

119. “Her childhood, then her adolescence, had taught her patience, hope, silence, and the easy manipulation of the weapons and virtues of all prisoners.” ― Colette

120. “As I have said a thousand times, no manipulation can put stocks down and keep them down.” ― Edwin Lefevre

121. “You need to know how to successfully understand human psychology to manipulate anyone so that you can ‘earn’ your position at the top and keep it.” ― Leonard Moore

122. “Manipulation is an art, since it is practiced by all of us, without any systematic or fundamental understanding of the process.” ― Matthew T. Mason

123. “It’s amazing how much manipulation is going on in parasites.” ― Jacob Koella

124. “Manipulation is the conscious act of causing someone to do a certain thing or act in a certain way.” ― Edward Benedict

125. “It is said that we are all guilty of using manipulation on occasion instead of communicating our needs and desires in a direct way.” ― Adelyn Birch

126. “Manipulation is the process of using one’s hands to rearrange one’s environment.” ― Matthew T. Mason

Impact of Manipulation Quotes in Relationships and Society

127. “Manipulation is often more effective than force.” ― Sun Tzu

128. “Manipulation is a form of power, but it is an ugly and destructive one.” ― Richard Bach

129. “The art of leadership is saying no, not yes. It is very easy to say yes.” ― Tony Blair

130. “Manipulation is the use of deceit to achieve one’s objectives.” ― B.F. Skinner

131. “Manipulation is never good for a relationship. It always spells the beginning of the end.” ― Sherry Argov

132. “People who are easily manipulated are those who are not sure of themselves.” ― Alain de Botton

133. “Manipulation is a way to control others and keep them under your power.” ― Steve Maraboli

134. “Manipulation is the dark side of charisma.” ― Max Weber

135. “The greatest manipulation in our society is the manipulation of language.” ― George Orwell

136. “Manipulation is the way of the weak and insecure.” ― Shannon L. Alder

How can you become immune to manipulation?

Certainly, manipulation can be a dangerous element in your life.

As human beings, we crave the independence to control our own lives as much as possible.

When we can’t control our circumstances, we hope to at least predict them.

This is where manipulation comes in.

To maintain control and predictability, some resort to manipulation of others around them.

This can happen on the small scale of individual relationships or over huge groups of people.

To keep control and predictability in your own life so that your basic needs are met, you must watch out for manipulation by people around you or by broader forces like politics, culture, and the media.

By staying aware of manipulation, you can promote your own independence and happiness.

What’s your biggest takeaway from these manipulation quotes and sayings?

Do you have any other helpful quotes to add?

Let us know in the comment section below.

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