We’ve all been manipulated by other people, and it’s likely that we’ve done a bit of manipulation ourselves. Telling a white lie in order to get what we want is one way of manipulating someone. Students are notorious for telling teachers that they couldn’t get their paper in on time because their computer crashed last night. Employees claim to have car trouble in order to miss a day of work. Politicians inflate a problem or make misleading statements in order to gain public support for their agendas.When we manipulate other people, we deprive them of their integrity and their ability to make decisions based on their own accurate reading of reality. When we tell a lie, we provide an alternate reality to the other person – and they make decisions that may be to our advantage, but it may not be a decision they would make if they knew all the facts. Manipulation shows disrespect to the other person – but ultimately we are disrespecting ourselves and compromising our own integrity when we manipulate others. We give ourselves the illusion of control, but it is hardly a feeling of control that we can be proud of. Even if nobody ever finds out about it, we know that we got ahead by taking from another person. “I win and you lose – and that makes me feel good.” We deprive ourselves of the knowledge that our accomplishments in life are based on our own resourcefulness.Most of us want to trust and assume the best in other people. We believe that when someone tells us something, the other person is telling the truth. When we have been repeatedly hurt because others have taken advantage of our trust, we may change our beliefs about the world. We may become cynical and try to undermine others before we are hurt yet again. The best strategy is probably to trust until someone shows us that they can’t be trusted. Hopefully, then, we can learn how to recognize emotional manipulation when it appears.
Recognizing Emotional Manipulation:
- Emotional manipulators turn your statements around and make you the problem.
- They’ll say one thing and later assure you that they didn’t say it.
- The manipulator will offer to help you, but then the torrent of sighs begins.
- The manipulating person will set a negative emotional tone in a group and others feel compelled to make the manipulator feel better just to ease the tension.
- Manipulators don’t fight fairly.
- They negate what you say by outdoing you.
- Emotional manipulators are experts at playing on your emotions.
- Manipulators project blame onto other people or circumstances.
Next time I will talk about how to Deal with the Emotional Manipulator and why people manipulate others.
If you are experiencing difficulty with someone you think is emotionally manipulating you or someone you care about, I can help you learn what you need to overcome the feelings of anger and frustration in short term Counseling. Call me at (858) 735-1139 and let’s get started.