Thought Catalog Agency

How Each Zodiac Can Manipulate You

Let’s be honest—we are all capable of being manipulative from time to time. 

Intentionally or not, it can be easy to slip into manipulative tendencies if we aren’t actively working on ourselves. In terms of how we manipulate, though, each person may operate differently. 

Astrologically, despite popular belief, there aren’t certain zodiac signs that are inherently more or less manipulative (sorry Gemini and Scorpio haters!!). Every sign has its vices, and whether a person manipulates you is a reflection of their character rather than their sign. Each person can choose to engage with the more positive and uplifting aspects of their zodiac chart or with the negative, destructive aspects. So if a zodiac sign is operating on a lower vibe, what can that look like?

Check out the signs below to see how each zodiac sign can potentially manipulate you.


They pushe you beyond your boundaries, and taunts you into believing you have to do a thing.

Aries are known for having a competitive side—in the game of life, they are determined to win. This ambition can go south, though, when they use it manipulatively. Aries are good at getting under your skin, at pushing the buttons they know will get you riled up. They will taunt you and skew the situation to imply that having value in their eyes hinges on your doing something or reacting in a certain way. Even if you know that you don’t actually have to cave in, they are persistent.


They tell you that you can do whatever you want, but that they would never do *said thing.*

Taurus signs are big on the idea of “work smarter, not harder,” which can be a positive sentiment when it means taking care of oneself. However, it has its drawbacks. If a Taurus wants (or doesn’t want) you to do something, they will find ways to position the circumstances as fully your choice but will also clearly state what they would do ina situation. Their hope is that their opinion holds enough weight that you will opt to make the choice on your own so they can evade the blame if any fallout occurs. 


They will tell you what you want to hear, but only in vague terms that can easily be misconstrued later. 

Geminis have the gift of gab, and when used wisely, it can be a wonderful quality. That skill can be weaponized into something less than ideal at times, though. Gemini signs will flatter, compliment, and make promises to ensure that a person is on their side (or at least appeased for the current moment). However, they will do this in very vague, generic ways that can be misconstrued later—ex. “I said I wanted to meet up with you later, not that I definitely would meet up with you!”


They will act wounded or be very passive-aggressive until you apologize. 

Cancers may be known for their sensitivity, and that isn’t always a bad thing. However, that reputation can give some a pass to use it to their advantage. They will expect you to read their mind and get upset when you don’t, or they will be “wounded” by something you said or did. They will ensure you know they are upset and won’t stop until you’ve apologized—and then they will give you the opportunity to “make it up” to them by having you do what they wanted from the beginning. 


They will project their insecurities onto you.

Leos can have an ego at times, and if they are called out for it, it usually doesn’t go well. Yet it’s very important to them that a person doesn’t see them sweat, so they can resort to projection to take the heat off of them. They will make claims about things that are wrong with you or that bother them, usually in an attempt to even the playing field and feel more secure in where they stand. When you become too busy trying to defend yourself over the accusations, they know they’ve been successful. 


They will give unsolicited advice or opinions about what they would do, until you do the things.

Virgos are often wise and the go-tos when a person needs help, as they try to be prepared at all times. However, Virgos also like having control of a situation, and they know they can’t always just take the reigns. When Virgo wants you to do something, they will simply tell you that this is what they would do if they were in your circumstance. They will go on and on about why this plan is the most ideal plan and why you should do things in this way—and when you finally cave, they will thank you for making the right decision. 


Will pretend they need help, and that they can’t function on their own.

The phrase “weaponized incompetence” was made for manipulative Libras. This sign often can get away with getting others to do their work for them—they are charming and welcoming to most they come in contact with. If they want something done (or don’t want to do a thing) they will fully lean on someone else and insist they need their help. Even if the task is small or easy to do, they will keep this up until someone comes to their rescue.


They will weaponize what they know about you and ensure you aren’t in a position to refuse what they want from you.

Scorpios can be devoted and loyal partners and friends—but they also can make the worst enemies. Scorpios are beyond skilled at acquiring information about others without showing too much of their own hand. If they want to use this manipulatively, they will simply bide their time until they want something—and if they are refused, they will leverage the information they have to sway the other person. They make it almost impossible to refuse. 


They will vanish from a situation until you chase them down. 

Sagittarius signs can be fun and enigmatic, but they can be difficult to pin down. While they aren’t big on dealing with heavy things and solid commitments, they can get swept up in a moment and make promises they can’t follow through on. However, they will still say these things anyway because when the time is right, they will completely ghost. If you’re able to track them down and confront them, they will make you feel as if you are so lucky to have caught up to them. If you don’t, then they don’t have to answer for the things they said.


They will only use “cold hard facts” and wait until you’re emotional to hold it against you.

Capricorns are the kings and queens of stoicism. They know how to keep their emotions under lock and key, and can be difficult to read. If a Capricorn wants to manipulate you, then they will do so by saying/doing the manipulative action, hoping to coerce you with their bluntness. If you call them out or become upset over the situation, they will accuse you of being “too emotional” and try to make your (valid) concerns appear frivolous, because they will stay totally calm and collected. 


They will be extremely self-aware and tell you they know what they need to work on and promise it will change, but will repeat the same things.

Truthfully, Aquarians are more self-aware than they claim to be. While their desire to reflect and spend time alone isn’t a negative quality, it can be very easy for them to use this intellectual stance to manipulate others. If an Aquarian does something you don’t like, they will be honest and own up to it. They will tell you that you’re right, that they need to do better, and that they will do better in the future. Once they feel you are satisfied, they will revert back to their original behavior, and continue the cycle for as long as you’re willing to stick it out with them. 


They will go off on a tangent about things that happened before, or bring up all the things they did for you.

Pisces have a slight reputation for playing the martyr card–and if they want to be manipulative, it’s usually their first go-to. If you call a Pisces out on a terrible behavior, or if they want something from you, they will start to list things they have done for you or moments they have forgiven you in the past (even if they never asked them to do those things). They will heavily imply that because of what they have done, you should cave into their request. If you insist otherwise, they will paint you as a villain.