I’ve been manipulated by the best of them. It obviously took me awhile to figure it out.
I found information on studies of the consummate manipulator that I found to be accurate in my own life. The brazen schemers stand out in my life like a splash of ice water on a hot day…now, anyway. I don’t like them or the me that they were able to control by using exactly the tactics in the wiki article. If I had turned it around on them – would they succumb to a different game? I think some narcissists are completely unaware of their unstable personality but deep down in their psych, they know what works..but I think it is habit rather than intellectual awareness.
What I really want to know is really the answer to my own question…
I’ve manipulated and I’ve been aware of it. Sometimes I think we learn to manipulate because we know what to do to accomplish our goal. I can simplify my theory by just saying that I know how to ask the question so as to get the response I want. I’ve learned to lead into a question, read body language or facial expressions to help me determine how I will approach the request. This seems simple to me….yet I absolutely do not consider myself a textbook manipulator.
I remember Dr Phil’s mantra – You teach people how to treat you – and I think that can go both ways. Most often in a significant other relationship, it is pretty easy to know what buttons to push to get the reaction you want. The victim, in this case, accepts the abuse or cowtows to a mood, a look or a tone of voice and complies with the request. The “manipulator” knows what works and perfects the control. Once established, the rest is easy. Until the manipulated figures it out. You teach people how to treat you and they will…. until you change the rules.
Sometimes I think those rules can be changed through conversation and a mutual desire stop the behavior…but I think most often, the victim must refrain from allowing it to work…. the theory that I can’t change you but I can change me which will change you.
There’s my answer.
Until next time…