How to Avoid Being Played


Being involved with manipulative people can be a devastating experience, but with the right knowledge, you can protect yourself from falling into their traps. In this article, we will uncover the secrets to detecting the warning signs and provide effective strategies to safeguard your emotions. By becoming aware of these indicators, you can focus your attention on individuals who will truly honor and respect you.

Signs of Manipulative Players

1. Early Intensity and Overeagerness

Watch out for partners who bombard you with constant calls, texts, and requests to spend all of your time together. They may use endearing nicknames to create a false sense of intimacy. However, it’s important to take your time and maintain your personal schedule to ensure their intentions are genuine.

2. Premature Intimacy

Some players may try to initiate physical or emotional intimacy before establishing a solid connection. While casual encounters can be enjoyable, if you’re looking for a long-term relationship, this behavior may indicate a lack of commitment.

3. Empty Promises

Players often make grand declarations of love and commitment but fail to follow through with their actions. Pay attention to their behaviors instead of solely relying on their words. A genuine person will consistently show you respect and care without the need for dramatic promises.

4. Inconsistent Communication

While occasional lapses in communication are normal, players often make excuses for not spending time with you and may dismiss or invalidate your feelings. Remember, you deserve someone who values your time and emotions.

5. Disregard for Boundaries

Manipulative players tend to ignore your personal boundaries and make you feel guilty for expressing your needs. Being sidelined and feeling disregarded is not acceptable, and you deserve a partner who respects your boundaries.

6. Reacting to Rejection

Observe how a potential partner reacts when you say “no.” If they lose interest or pressure you into activities you’re uncomfortable with, it may be time to reconsider the relationship. Remember, your boundaries should always be respected.

7. Secretive Behavior

Players may be hesitant to connect on social media or keep certain aspects of their lives hidden. While this might signal a sincere lack of readiness for commitment, players typically have no interest in a genuine partnership.

Establishing Personal Boundaries

1. Communicate Your Needs

Clearly express your communication style, personal space preferences, commitment expectations, and boundaries for physical intimacy. If your partner fails to respect these boundaries, it’s a clear sign that they are not worthy of your time and effort.

2. Look Beyond Surface Qualities

Focus on getting to know your partner’s core values and how they treat you and others. Assess whether their intentions align with yours, particularly regarding the desire for a committed relationship.

3. Trust Your Instincts

Don’t ignore red flags or justify manipulative behavior. If your boundaries are repeatedly disregarded, assertively communicate your concerns. If your partner shows no interest in changing, it’s crucial to prioritize your self-worth and consider walking away.


Spotting and avoiding manipulative players requires awareness, setting boundaries, and valuing yourself. Remember, a healthy and fulfilling partnership should be built on trust, respect, and genuine care. By staying vigilant and asserting your needs, you can navigate the dating world with confidence and protect your heart from unnecessary pain.

This article was written by Kate Dreyfus, a Holistic Love Coach and Holistic Empowerment Coach, in collaboration with Glenn Carreau, a wikiHow staff writer. Kate has over a decade of experience in guiding clients towards exclusive, romantic relationships and supporting personal growth and healing after breakups. Her expertise is backed by her membership in esteemed professional associations and her BA in Psychology.

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