5 Signs that Your Mother-In-Law is Manipulative

Still in denial she's manipulative? Here are signs to prove it!

By Aey
5 Signs that Your Mother-In-Law is Manipulative

What Does It Mean To Be Manipulative?

Have you ever been so sure that you weren’t going to do something and then ended up in the same situation? The chances are that you’ve been manipulated. However, there are chances that someone might have convinced you. You should know the difference between the two because one is healthy and the other is abusive.

So, manipulation is a psychological strategy used to often get another person to act as the manipulator wills. While asking is a better way to go about it, most people know that you won’t say yes if they straight up ask, so some choose to turn to mind games. While we all try to manipulate situations to our favor at one point or the other, doing it at the cost of the other’s discomfort is when it’s abuse. Manipulation can be seen in any relationship, whether it’s with your partner, your parent, your sibling, or even your spouse’s parent.

I can explain a situation where I turned to manipulation unknowingly and some of you might even relate. I used to go to my dad and say, “dad, mum said I could go on the trip on Friday, can I go?” and when my dad said yes id go to mum and say, “mum, dad said I could go on the trip can I” since I know no one wants to be the one to say no, I used to manipulate the situation to my advantage. This is an innocent example of most kids nowadays. However, adults, these days aren’t keeping it as innocent. Manipulators have a way of justifying manipulation to keep their conscience clear. You need to be prepared to not be a victim of these abuses.

If you’ve seen the Netflix original “YOU” you have a clear idea of what manipulation is, and you must want to stay safe. So, here mentioned below are a few ways you can spot a manipulator from far away.

What Is Emotional Manipulation?

Emotional manipulation is when someone uses your vulnerability to make you do things you otherwise would not do. For example, they try to gain sympathy, and then once they have it, they play with your vulnerabilities. They might try to sway your decision by a slight remark, a show of disapproval, or passive-aggressive criticism.

 While you always want to think the best of the people around you, know that if you just can't seem to meet someone's standards and you're constantly letting them down, it might be a sign that you're being manipulated.

What Is A Toxic Person?

As the name suggests, a toxic person is someone whose presence in your surrounding is toxic. If they bring out the worst in you and you don't feel like yourself around them, they're toxic.

What Are The Signs That You're Being Manipulated?

Here mentioned below are a few signs that you should look out for in any relationship to make sure you don't fall victim to manipulation.

1. You feel an undue obligation

Doing things for other people and helping them out is a good thing, but if you find yourself feeling obligated to do something, then you might want to sit down and think about why you're doing this? For example, has the person you feel obligated towards ever done anything for you? Or are they just taking advantage of your love? If you were in a tough spot, would they step up? 

2. You lose faith

If you feel like you are second-guessing yourself, and you can't make a decision when they're around, the chances are that they're toxic. Not being sure about everything is normal but if you can't make a simple decision such as how to sit, what to talk about, what to wear, you should try and spend some time apart and see if things get better. If they do, it might be time to cut your losses.

3. Guilt-tripping into doing things

This often happens when someone helps you along the way and then guilt trips you into helping them for the rest of your life. Remember, no favor is worth your health and mental peace and that it's okay to say no. If you're doing someone a favor, and the first thing that comes to mind is that "I can't say no, I owe them," chances are you're being manipulated.

4. You are feared into doing things

Doing something for the ones you love out of love is beautiful and heartwarming, but if you do something because you fear how the other person will react, chances are you're being manipulated. Whether it's the fear that someone might throw a fit, cry, be mad or disappointed; depends on what kind of manipulator you've got on your hand.

5. You start doubting your reality

If your words are being taken out of context and you're often in trouble for something you didn't say, you are being manipulated. An honest misunderstanding can happen once in a while, but if it is a normal occurrence, you need to look at things critically. No one can be so oblivious to the truth that they end up causing trouble without intending it to happen.

5 Signs Of A Toxic Mother-in-Law

 While most of you out there may have an amazing mother-in-law, some do end up being a "monster in law." If she straight up says she doesn't like you, that can be rough, but that is easier to maneuver than the smart, manipulative type. If your mother in law seems to be a sweet cookie on the outside but still somehow manages to make you feel crappy about yourself, here are a few signs that can help you identify if she's manipulative.  

1. She has to win

If it seems like you're in a constant competition even when you don't intend to be, chances are you've got a manipulative mother-in-law. It can be something as simple as baking a cake; for example, if you bake a cake and bring it over, she says she likes it, but soon after, she starts to hype up her own baking skills and to point out shortcomings in yours; she's being manipulative. While she did shower you with a compliment, she immediately brought you down with passive-aggressive comments about your cooking.

2. Your partner acts shady with you around them

If you feel like your partner isn't acting the same around their mother, you need to keep your eyes open. If he's criticizing you about things he didn't care about, chances are someone's saying something when you're not around.

3. She manipulates situations

Source: http://giphy.com

If you often feel like situations take a 180 turn when she's around far too much for it to be a coincidence, you might be right. It's okay to love and go into a relationship with an open heart, but you also need to make sure you aren't a victim of manipulation. For example, a friend of mine once left her mother in law to look over the turkey while she went out to get something. When she came back, she saw the stove was turned to maximum heat, and the turkey had burnt to crisp. My friend swears that she saw the timer ten times before she left, so guess who was lying?

4. Brings up your insecurities

If you are dining with your partner's family and it seems as though you're under fire for your insecurities all the time, you need to start coming to terms with the fact that you're being manipulated.

5. Conditional approval

If you think that your mother-in-law only approves of you if you act a certain way, then that my dear is toxic. You are your own person, and everyone should accept you the way that you are. Conditional approval is the hallmark of a manipulative person.

How To Spot Controlling Behaviour By Partner's Parents

If you still aren't sure if your partner's parent is controlling, here are three ways you can do that.

  1. Do they lie often? (Fact check them if necessary)
  2. Is their compliment always followed by a low jab?
  3. Do you feel your relationship is in jeopardy around them?

Related Article: Top 12 Signs Of Toxic People And How To Deal With Them
Top 12 Signs Of Toxic People And How To Deal With Them

We all know that one of the stressing things in life is having to deal with a toxic person! But no worries, here's what you have to do.


Granted that your mother-in-law might be manipulative, know that you need to tackle this tactfully. No one wants to hear that about their parents. So, be smart and be tough.