MBTI: Emotional Manipulators


There are all kinds of manipulators out there. Some scientists even call our own fingers manipulators. Can you believe those guys?

But when it comes to emotionally manipulating others, we’re all guilty from time to time. Some of us make it more of a regular thing than others and it seems most people prefer a particular type of mind game. Below are the types that best fit each kind of manipulation.

Keep in mind that these are not “cool” things and anybody can be guilty of this stuff. We’re not talking about Death Note-style mental chess but the day-to-day degradation that really breaks us all down in the long run.

While many sources argue that there are only four core types of emotional manipulation, according to onlinecounseling.com college, there are ten types of emotional manipulation. Here they are as presented.

1. The Constant Victim – This kind of individual will always finds a way to end up as a victim in their relationships.

2. One-Upmanship Expert – This person uses put downs, snide remarks and criticisms, to show that they’re superior, and know much more than you.

3. Powerful Dependents – They hide behind the mask of being weak and powerless – then use their helplessness to dominate relationships. That is, they send the subtle message “you must not let me down.”

4. Triangulators – This person tries to get other people on their side. They’re quick to put you down, and to say some nasty things. They separate good friends or drive a wedge in families.

5. The Blasters – They blast you with their anger or they blow up suddenly. That stops you asking questions – in case there’s a showdown.

6. The Projector – This person thinks they’re perfect and others have the flaws. They take no ownership – because they’re never, ever wrong.

7. The Deliberate Mis-Interpreter – They seem like a nice person – but they twist and use your words. They spread misinformation and misinterpret you. Thus, they deliberately present you in a false, negative way.

8. The Flirt – This person uses flirting to get their way in life. They want to be admired and to have an audience. However, your feelings and your needs are of no concern to them.

9. The Iron Fist – They use intimidation and throw their weight around, to use you for their ends, and to get their way in life.

10. The Multiple Offender – This person uses several of the techniques we’ve described – and they’ll often switch between them if it suits their purposes.

Manipulation and Type

The Constant Victim- ESFJ, ISFJ, INFJ, ESFP, ISFP


The major factor in many cases are those with strong Fe. With this, the “victim” is actually the perpetrator and at times, they might not even know that this is what they’re doing. But since Fe will have a user going by the mood in the room, if they’ve read their person of interest’s feelings as negative toward them, their way of turning things around is that you did this to them.

The ESFP and ISFP go off of their Fi will which normally guide them with what they believe to be right or wrong but here, everything is made sense by believing (or just playing) they’re the victim. If it gets them out of a “hostile” situation, they’ll do it.

One-Upmanship Expert- ESTJ, ESTP, ENFP, NTs


Strong Te users types are intent on displaying what they know. This often turns every interaction into a chance for them to display what they know, even if it’s holding onto information until they tell it to someone else. Point being? They’ll always know more. This twisted way of using their Te possibly stems from their love of organizing and constructing but ends up only constructing their own ego.

The more extraverted types have an obvious love for people but this This could easily turn into the mind games no one else is interested in playing. The Ne of the ENTP and ENFP will have them seeing the other side of a conversation which could easily turn into an argument while the ESTP has the desire to win (everything) due to their in-the-moment Se and their analytical Ti.

Powerful Dependent- ISFJ, INFJ


These are types that are less likely to show themselves to the world as the people they are but bring friends into them. And once the person has their circle, it becomes easy to manipulate those that already see you as weak. Why? Because if they let their weak and powerless friend down, the fault must be their own; how could it be the weak person’s fault?

The INFJ and the ISFJ may be more prone to this behavior due to their way of having only a small group that they care to interact with, and if things get sticky, it’s more likely to go this route. Outright saying the manipulating things can only work if stronger personalities aren’t around.

Triangulators- ISTJ, ESTJ, INTJ, ENTJ


Why would these Te users be more likely of this behavior? Their preference for Te will also have them going off of a “majority rules” attitude. As in, if it’s established by the majority, it must be right. So if this person gets others on their side, you’re going to feel like a complete idiot if you don’t agree and who wants to feel like that? “Nobody does. So agree with me.” says the triangulator.

The Blasters- ESFP, ESTP, ISTP


Any type that just wants people to leave them alone may do this, i.e., anybody. But what makes these types more likely to engage in this type of manipulation is their Se. Since it has the user living in the moment, they won’t think twice to not scream, hit, whatever; just to get you off their back.

They don’t want to get down to of the core of the issue and have their problems brought to light, they’d rather just intimidate you into leaving them alone.



See the trend here? Everyone can be guilty but it’s the image-conscious extraverts that especially won’t want to be seen as flawed- that would hinder any plans they have for the future that will undoubtedly involve people to some degree or another. And these types are more likely to want to be seen in the very specific light that they choose.

The Deliberate Misinterpreter- ISFJ, INFP, ENFP


The introverted types here may do this in an effort to make a rival look bad, thinking that if they look bad, by proxy, the manipulator will look good. The extraverted version of this is more like to do this to get what they want. While one’s goal is to feel better about themselves, the others’ is to achieve a goal wherein they attain something, even if it just means a better deal.

The Flirt- All SPs, ESFJ, ENFP


With these types, the goal isn’t actually to make you feel good when they don’t want a relationship but to make themselves feel better by having you want them. SP types are likely to go this route of manipulation because their Se has them drawn toward the the immediate.

ESFJs that engage in this behavior are more likely those that went from playing the field and dating around to just having fun at the expense of someone else. ENFPs on the other hand often can’t make up their minds in relationships which can lead to toying with others and never making an actual connection with anyone.



Seems a little obvious doesn’t it? Te has to have it their way or no way, so get out of their way if you’re not going to listen. The positive things about Te users is their direct and efficient organization. The problem can be that they want to use you like a trash bag until they’ve chosen to discard you.

How is this manipulation and not just plain bullying? Nothing you do can ever be good enough, so many others hope to “please” the Iron Fist to be the one that does things right; never taking into account that the manipulator isn’t right either. Plus, they make you feel like crap about yourself.

The Multiple Offender- All and any types


There is no specific type that’s more likely to use all of these manipulation tactics in the same way that being a manipulator is subject to one type. So while some types are more likely to lean toward certain styles, anybody can be a manipulator. Watch out!

6 Responses to “MBTI: Emotional Manipulators”

  1. danprce Says:

    HA! INTP doesn’t make the list! I guess that’s because we have no emotions… therefore how could we manipulate them x-) /s

    • Technically, you’re correct. INTPs aren’t specifically mentioned but NTs are listed as being most likely to use the One-Upmanship Expert type of manipulation. And, yes, that includes us. Sincerely, an INTP who likes to think she isn’t manipulative.

  2. Lol INTPs are most likely have no interest in manipulating people. Or just totally clueless on how to manipulate them.

  3. INTP stands for radical honesty. INTPs hate manipulation and manipulating. Though “The One-Upmanship Expert” can be done by them for ego-boosting. INTPs are the manipulation breakers. see through all bullshit.

    • Until their Fe gets better of them, that’s it. I think they probably will not even notice that they are doing manipulation of sort. As of what kind I would put my finger (my manipulator :D) at “The One-Upmanship Expert” too.


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