Never Be Manipulated Again
Photo Credit: Sergey Nivens / Shutterstock.com
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[muh-nip-yuh-ley-tiv, -yuh-luh-tiv] adjective
- influencing or attempting to influence the behavior or emotions of others for one's own purposes: a manipulative boss
You’re reading this because you have reached an “enough already” point in your life. Or someone really manipulated you into doing something you didn’t want to do or into not doing something you wanted to do and you became so infuriated with them and yourself that you reached a “never again” moment. Isn’t that true?
Instead of going into why do they do that, let’s just leave that as, because they can get away doing it with you. This article is about why you have continued to let them do it, why you reached your last straw with them and more importantly how you can put an end to it and never be manipulated again.
Why have you let people manipulate you and continue to do so?
One reason is that you may be so hungry for positive attention and adoration (because you didn’t receive it as a child or from an important current relationship), that when they flatter you or tell you how different, wonderful and special you are for treating them better than other people do, you lap it up. This can also play to a grandiosity in you where you say to yourself, “I am special because I see the goodness in this person that nobody else sees.” Then you continue to lap it up which sets the stage for feeling either you owe them something in return or would feel guilty in disappointing them.
A deeper psychological reason may be that you really don’t know what it’s like to feel truly wanted or valued for you, so you have decided that a close second is to get people to need you. And then you think you can control the relationship by just giving people what they need. This is not unfamiliar territory to you. Over time however, you realize that although you like to feel needed, you don’t like to feel used and begin to resent it.
But you can go a long time letting people need you and feeling that you’re special before it dawns on you that you are being royally exploited (euphemism for another word that is a tad vulgar). This is despite your being warned about these people by people who do care about you. At that point, you can go from feeling kindly and benevolently towards these people to feeling duped, hurt, frustrated, resentful, angry, furious and enraged.
When you feel those more deeply hostile and dark emotions it is directly in conflict with your wanting to believe that you are kind, caring and benevolent and having hostile or even violent feelings can not merely trigger guilt for feeling those emotions, but also shame for being such an angry person.
And so what do you do when the discomfort of that conflict becomes too intense? You pull an “out damned spot” Lady Macbeth and do even more for them using a defense mechanism referred to as “reaction formation” where in order to lessen your anxiety (about your shameful feelings) you do the opposite of what you want to do.
Your last straw
This possibly occurred because when they most recently tried to manipulate you, you said, “No,” and then they said something insulting implying that not only are you not special, but that you turned out to be as bad as or even worse than all those other people who have mistreated them. At that point it was all you could do to restrain yourself from telling them to go kill themselves (if that was where their threats escalated if in a family situation) or feeling tempted to do it for them. Feeling those raw murderous feelings were so out of sync with your core identity as a caring and loving person that it scared you. And it scared you enough to not appease them this time, but instead to finally say, “No more” to them.