Ding, Ding it’s about control

Back when I was all up into organized religion, I was ever reminded that whenever doubt crept in about what I was suppose to believe, that meant I didn’t believe enough. I totally bought it. I bought it because I already had a perfect score in domestication. My parents probably did the best they could bringing up little Nina by passing their own rigid rules and “because I said so” “never cross the line”. AND if you do cross the line or if you don’t live up to expectations then you are not a good girl. What is wrong with you.

So, of course, I internalized how bad I was, how different I was because I didn’t get it…didn’t believe at face value what everyone expected me to believe. I just didn’t have the faith that everyone else had, something was off with me, WHAT WAS WRONG WITH ME?

As I entered my middle age years, I stepped out…I quietly rebelled. I followed rules even when they made no sense. But, I Started gently balking the system. In my head I fought like a ninja to change the rules. For the most part I was polite and strategic and realized in my work and in my family and among friends that if I could put enough evidence out there that change was actually their idea, I succeeded. That’s when I realized I was manipulative. I had learned the art of manipulation.

It all came together for me when I put two and two together and figured out organized “religion”. That’s when I started seeing the flashing lights over the pulpit spelled out — Do as I Say, Not what I Do. That’s when I figured out that the rules and laws and the “interpretation” of the holy book was the way organized religion supervised the running of private lives. That’s when, ding ding, I realized that just because someone says it, just because someone else believes it, just because it’s someone else’s rule does not mean I have to believe it. And the BEST PART ….. I don’t continue day to day with the voices of doubt, the feelings of not being good enough. There is nothing wrong with me. I have choices. I am able to live by intuition. I am able recognize when something feels right and something feels wrong. I am learning to love everyone. I recognize that we are all the same but we haven’t all taken the same road to discovery.

Ding, ding. It’s really all okay until we think it is not ok.

Can manipulators be manipulated?

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…