See ACRONYM page for abbrev.
DEFs : Manipulation (M) is made up of a series of statement &/or actions, always indirectly trying to &/or succeeding in get our needs/wants met, in round-about ways
Normal – must be used sparingly, & only when there is no other legitimate option. When used for good, one can try to manipulate others to help a worthy cause, but even when well-intended, for M to be effective it has to target people’s weak spots
Unhealthy – Because M is never straightforward, it’s hard to spot, especially when used by an experiences & skilled perpetrator, for strictly selfish reasons (narcissistically).
The subtle control of M can easily be overlooked or denied – our awareness buried under obligation, love, guilt, fear of abuse, FoA & long-term exposure
Severe – A perpetrator / bully forcefully controls another person or group who feel or actually are powerless to resist (child, battered spouse, sex slaves, gang members, war victims…..) to satisfy the manipulator’s ‘sick’ needs
PURPOSE – For ACoAs, addicts & other wounded people:
• M. is used to try getting needs/wants met by underhanded tactics, to extract from other PPT something they may or not want to give
• OR trying to force PPT (person, group, environment) to provide something we need/want which they actually do not have to give
• AND which in many cases we can provide for ourselves OR find a more direct way of obtaining something we lack – from appropriate sources
Re. NEEDS: It’s important to note the 2 major categories of needs.
Without deep FoO work we compulsively, slavishly insist on reinforcing unhealthy childhood patterns.
This insures that we stay deprived the same ways we were back then.
a: Those which EVERYONE has, & which we can’t get rid of because they’re fundamental to our humanity
b: Needs specific to YOU, based on your native personality
EXP: need to be/live near water, or other outdoor nature // to be artistic/creative // to be orderly/organized….
c. AND to some degree your specific needs in response to repeated harmful childhood events & severe trauma
— need to live in one location for the rest of one’s life after moving 10-20 times as kid
— need to not be around crazy/angry people – at all, ever!
— need for a great deal of predictability…..
Unhealthy ‘needs’ / compulsive desires TO —
• please & be approved of by parents who can’t be pleased
• stay in unhappy, unsuitable or abusive relationships, jobs…. for fear of abandonment & disobeying Toxic Rules
• hang on to negative thinking & actions, believing it’s ‘safe’
• keep using addictions (sex, food, spending, internet, chemicals….)
so we don’t have to face the pain underneath
• keep trying to fix other people, especially those who don’t want to change/grow/improve
• keep chasing people who don’t want to connect with us, always finding the one person in the group who will reject us
• always be one-up on others, to show off, to act superior
• grab & hang on to position, power, status…. at any cost to others
• always be the center of attention (Add your own)
General: serving a hidden agenda, to coerce others into giving in. Perpetual manipulators present themselves as strong & in control, but underneath – have a great deal of insecurity & a deep sense of personal powerlessness to get their needs met – directly. They can’t connect to or keep healthy, loving relationships
Used on others to advance a goal, a mark of normal social interactions – in general, & a way of functioning effectively in the world – personally. Uses direct, honest communication, recognizing the integrity, boundaries & rights of others, including the right to not go along with the attempted persuasion
vs Boundaries (Bs)
Knowing our rights & personal needs so well that we can set Bs by telling others what’s acceptable & what’s not. Like with influence, it’s also direct, but a way of getting our needs met without depending on other people’s help or co-operation. Comes from having permission to provide for oneself, & having access to choices
vs Personality Disorders (PDs)
In PDs, manipulation is a defensive style permeating a person’s every interaction, even tho they may hide their true intention, & act in ways that look ‘normal’, which in itself is a manipulation.
NEXT : Manipulating OURSELVES (Part 2a)