75 Manipulation Quotes to Stop Gaslighters & Toxic People

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Life can throw all kinds of obstacles in your way, and sometimes these obstacles can take the shape of toxic individuals.

In today’s piece, we’ll be providing you with some manipulation quotes and a little dive into why specific individuals are drawn to this behavior.

Being in the midst of accomplished manipulators can almost feel like a fly caught in a spider's web. Manipulators can make you second guess yourself and erode your self-confidence.

Before we get into the quotes let’s explore a little bit more about manipulation and why these quotes can help you.

Why Read Manipulation Quotes

As mentioned, being caught in the midst of manipulators can have you feeling trapped. Understanding the motivations and psychology of this kind of person (often very rightfully deemed “toxic”).

A manipulator wants to control you in a way that benefits them, but may not be in your best interests. A manipulator only usually targets people whose good nature they can exploit (and they are very well practiced at selecting these people). A masterful manipulator can control you without even realizing it.

So, how can these quotes help you? The words we feed our minds often determine how we perceive or understand what is happening to us. Spotting manipulators can be incredibly tricky and involves intuition (especially if you’re dealing with someone who's good at it).

Often the only way you can spot a manipulator is by listening to your gut. You may get a bad “vibe” or be told a version of events that you know isn’t directly true – or paints you to be at fault for something you weren't (AKA gaslighting).

Now, let’s take a look at these quotes.

75 Manipulation Quotes to Stop Gaslighters & Toxic People                                   

  1. “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
  2. “Playing with people's feelings through manipulation is a way of controlling their hearts.” – Ron Prat
  3. “In a dependent relationship, the protégé can always control the protector by threatening to collapse.” – Barbara W. Tuchman
  4. “Manipulating people always involves utilizing a half-truth or a lie in order to achieve a certain goal.” – Ralf Juhre
  5. “When people learn no tools of judgment and merely follow their hopes, the seeds of political manipulation are sown.” – Stephen Jay Gould
  1. “Manipulation for good purpose is still a manipulation. Sometimes actions triumph over intentions.” – Sarvesh Jain
  2. “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
  3. “We cannot have a society, in which, if two people wish to communicate the only way that can happen is if it's financed by a third person who wishes to manipulate them.” – Jaron Lanier
  4. “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
  5. “Vision without integrity is not mission – it's manipulation.” – Howard G. Hendricks
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  1. “The publicists of mass-production economics have successfully altered public taste to believe it doesn’t make sense to repair something old when for the same price you can have something new.” – John Taylor Gatto
  2. “You can’t manipulate people who know how to think for themselves.” – Trish Mercer
  3. “Because of our built-in insecurity, we are very sensitive when it is manipulated.” – Rick Tobin  
  4. “I like to think of myself more as an outcome engineer.” – J.R. Ward     
  5. “If we inspire people, they will give us more than we asked for. If we manipulate them, they will give us exactly what we paid for” – Simon Sinek
  6. “For to deceive someone by manipulation is to distort their relationship with the world, and that will always threaten to undermine the calmness and steadiness of mind upon which their retention of the practice of truth depends.” – Jonardon Ganeri
  7. “We live in a world where unfortunately the distinction between true and false appears to become increasingly blurred by manipulation of facts, by exploitation of uncritical minds, and by the pollution of the language.” – Arne Tiselius
  8. “Often enough the manipulator approaches, stimulates, or even creates a powerful wish or a strong desire in the target's mind.” – Sapir Handelman
  9. Guilt is a special kind of manipulation tactic.” – D.T Bloom
  10. “Some people pretend to be the beach, but they are actually quicksand.” – Steve Maraboli
  11. “Nothing manipulates people more than the desire to please.” – Zoe Durlock
  12. “Genuine sincerity opens people's hearts, while manipulation causes them to close.” – Daisaku Ikeda
  13. “Aggressive or manipulative people do not consider the other person's point of view; they will take at the expense of others.” – Richard Malthouse
  14. “A mind attacked and conquered is guided easily away from the paths of its own soul.” – Ayi Kwei Armah
  15. “Manipulative people are those who wish to be loved on their own terms.” – David S. Viscott
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  1. “I know that we create our own reality, but dealing with manipulation is an uncomfortable lesson that many have had to learn.” – Zoe Hagon
  2. “The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.” – George Orwell
  3. “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
  4. “Women work very hard to prevent or stop their sons from being manipulated by their women, like their sons’ fathers were or are being manipulated by their sons’ mothers.” – Mokokoma Mokhonoana
  5. “When someone tells you that there is no agenda, you can be certain there is nothing but an agenda.” – Craig D. Lounsbrough
  6. “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
  7. “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
  8. “When we allow another to alter our thinking, it can take a long time to return to our previous reality. That's the awesome power of manipulation.” – Ryan James
  9. “Psychopaths view any social exchange as a ‘feeding opportunity,’ a contest or a test of wills in which there can be only one winner. Their motives are to manipulate and take, ruthlessly and without remorse.” – Robert D. Hare
  10. “The maniacal lunatics in control of our society know exactly how human beings tick and they are masters at manipulation.” – Bruce McDonald

The maniacal lunatics in control of our society know exactly how human beings tick and they are masters at manipulation.” – Bruce McDonald

  1. “When you know what a man wants you know who he is, and how to move him.” – George R.R. Martin
  2. “The ultimate manipulation is to kill someone, and sociopathy is murderous in a psychological sense – there's a kind of soul-murder going on.” – Martha Stout
  3. “Manipulation is a contagious disease, much more dangerous than the flu because it can endure for a lifetime.” – Dorothy Mccoy
  4. “Belief can be manipulated. Only knowledge is dangerous.” – Frank Herbert
  5. “To toy with something is to manipulate it, to try it out within sets of contexts none of which is determinate.” – Susan Stewart
  6. “Because to take away a man's freedom of choice, even his freedom to make the wrong choice, is to manipulate him as though he were a puppet and not a person.” –  Madeline L'Engle
  7. “Full of wiles, full of guile, at all times, in all ways, are the children of Men.” – Aristophanes
  8. “Love without sacrifice is like theft” – Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  9. “You can rule ignorance; you can manipulate the illiterate; you can do whatever you want when a people are uneducated, so that goes in line with corrupt business and corrupt politics.” – will.i.am
  10. “Is there any point in public debate in a society where hardly anyone has been taught how to think, while millions have been taught what to think?” – Peter Hitchens
  11.  “Until you realize how easy it is for your mind to be manipulated, you remain the puppet of someone else's game.” – Evita Ochel
  12. “Why am I letting you comfort me?” He stared over her head. Because I’ve made sure you have no one else to turn to.” – Kresley Cole
  13. “Good words are not persuasive; persuasive words are not good.” – Lao Tzu                    
  14. “I’m constantly lying to my dog. He only responds to manipulation and blackmail.” – Riley Keough
  15. “If you don’t give education to people, it is easy to manipulate them.” – Pele
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  1. “If you can manipulate news, a judge can manipulate the law. A smart lawyer can keep a killer out of jail, a smart accountant can keep a thief from paying taxes, a smart reporter could ruin your reputation – unfairly.” – Mario Cuomo
  2. “Everybody has the ability to be manipulative, to be hateful and deceitful.” – Neil LaBute
  3. “True love is built on free will and free choice, not control and manipulation.” – Ken Poirot
  4. “The best way to manipulate a man is to make him think he is manipulating you.” – John Smith
  5. “Manipulation can give you anything in life you want, if you can afford it.” – M.F. Moonzajer          
  6. “Manipulation. Domination. Control. These are the three watchwords of violent serial offenders.” – John E. Douglas
  7. “Commercials … provide a slogan … that creates for viewers a comprehensive and compelling image of themselves.” – Neil Postman
  8. “Things come apart so easily when they have been held together with lies.” – Dorothy Allison
  9. “Joy bursts in our lives when we go about doing the good at hand and not trying to manipulate things and times to achieve joy.” – C. S. Lewis                                           
  10. “Rigged games are the easiest ones to beat.” – Neil Gaiman
  11. “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
  12. “The art of pleasing is the art of deception.” – Luc De Clapiers
  13. “Those without heritage, history, and place are subject to exploitation, manipulation, and deception.” – Wayne Gerard Trotman
  14. “When it comes to controlling human beings there is no better instrument than lies. Because, you see, humans live by beliefs. And beliefs can be manipulated. The power to manipulate beliefs is the only thing that counts.” Michael Ende
  15. “Will people ever be wise enough to refuse to follow bad leaders or to take away the freedom of other people?” – Eleanor Roosevelt
  16. “When they can no longer control or manipulate you, they smear you.” – Steve Maraboli
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  1. “One must change one’s tactics every ten years if one wishes to maintain one’s superiority.” – Napoleon Bonaparte
  2. “If you want to continue to play, never become a pawn!” – Lamine Pearlheart                    
  3. “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
  4. “Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” – Rudyard Kipling
  5. “Behind every angry mob there is a puppeteer pulling the strings.” – Marty Rubin
  6.  “People turned against each other cannot turn against those responsible.” – DaShanne Stokes
  7. “I should've known that when you make a deal with the devil, he only takes and takes until there'd be nothing left but bones and dust.” – Lee Matthew Goldberg
  8. “Domineering-types may appear omnipotent but, inevitably, will smother everything they love and lose all.” – Stewart Stafford                                  
  9. “When manipulation flutters around everywhere, neither pull nor push anyone. Just do one thing – don’t trust anyone!” – Ashish Patel

Final Thoughts on Manipulation Quotes

That brings us to the end of our manipulation quotes compilation. We hope some of these quotes can help you find some balance and perspective on manipulative behavior in your own life.

Encountering toxic people of all kinds can be incredibly challenging and can often wear away your own mental health. Check out these 70 “I release” affirmations for letting go of negative thinking.

And if you want more inspirational quotes, be sure to check out these blog posts:

Finally, if you want to use these quotes to make a lasting change to your life, then check out and recite these 57 affirmations for success.

Tom Smith is a creative writer with over 6 years of professional experience. He discovered the joy of writing after covering some furniture in his childhood home with graffiti. In later years, he got himself a BA in creative writing and hasn’t looked back. After discovering the power of positive thinking and discovering the spiritual side of life, he believes it's a huge privilege to be able to write about all things personal development.

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