ACoAs MANIPULATING Self & Others (Part 1)

controling manipulatorPREVIOUS: Multiple Intelligences

SITE: “Steve Jobs – biography by Walter Isaacson  & Commentary by Dave Smith

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 tomental fitness pyramid 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.
Normal needs
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 PTSDevents & severe trauma
EXP:
— 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)

MANIPULATIONsqueeze my brain
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

vs Influenceinfluence
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 byB invade 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)

BOUNDARIES & ACoAs (Part 2)

love hurts 

I DO THE BEST I CAN –
why does love always hurt me?

PREVIOUS: ACoAs & Bs (Part 1)

 

2. ACoAs (cont)
c. Some Results

i.  FAILURE: No matter how badly we were treated or how angry we were about it, like all children – we were/are deeply attached to our parents & didn’t want to injure them. They told us their unhappiness was our fault (Parents Blaming Us‘) – so we turned ourselves inside out in a desperate attempt to protect them – but it never worked. We were a ‘failure’ at fixing their pain, because what they objected to was:
— normal behavior for a child, with our many developmental needs & limitations
— a reaction to us from their unhealed damage (buttons) which never had anything to do with us

EXP: One young mother would snap at her 8-year-old whenever Katie came home from school excited by a newly learned piece of info: “Mom, mom, did you know that ________?”  to which the wounded ACoA parent would say with great annoyance: “Of course I know that!” instead of being proud of her daughter. What she ‘heard’ was that her own intelligence was being questioned, which came from being constantly put down by her mother!

ii. RISK: We developed a fear of taking any kind of risk, because it wasn’t safe to be ourselves at home where it should have been. How could we expect it to be safe anywhere else, with strangers?

This unconsciously created a fear of ‘leaving home‘ (S & I), so even if we physically move far away, we’re internally loyal to the very system that crippled us, by staying attached to their toxic rules!
We isolate or stay & stay in harmful situations, with unavailable or abusive people, don’t follow our dreams, or if we try – stop short of reaching our goals….

iii. INTENSITY: Given the message that we were “too much” for them, our child’s grandiosity made us conclude that we were ‘negatively powerful’ – that if we were so detrimental to our family, we would naturally hurt everyone else in the world too – especially with our rage – making us afraid to let anyone get too close to us as adults
✶ALSO, it left many of us with the deep-seated belief that it would be better if we were dead – it would spare our family the suffering we seemed to be causing but couldn’t change!

Consequences of weak or missing Boundaries
To US — we get used by othersB-less ACoA
— overwhelmed by their damage
— get burned out & exhausted
— eventually get enraged & attack
— bitter & disappointed with ‘love’

To OTHERS
— they get bored with us, or never let go
— criticize us for not being perfect
— take as much as they can from us
— unaware of our needs & hurt
— blame us for their weaknesses

d. No Boundaries – No Choices
Un-recovered ACoAs, even those of us who see ourselves as strong, smart, adventurous…. act like victims when we – feel powerless / don’t have the right – to choose who we connect with & who we leave behind!

Without Bs we fall into the co-dependent trap, because:
• we’re so afraid of having to face our abandonment pain, AND our S-H says no one can possibly love us — what a double bind! So when someone ‘wants’ us – our WIC is so relieved – that we accept them, even tho they may be totally self-centered & just using us as their narcissistic supply. Often some deep part of us knows they’re unsuitable, it won’t work out & we may not even really like them! BUT —

• we convince ourselves to stay because they have some characteristics we find appealing, maybe similar to ourselves – even tho it’s not nearly enough to offset the enormity of their dysfunction (addictions, depression, self-hate, immaturity, narcissism, controlling, cruelty…)
• we’re afraid to reject anyone, worry about hurting their feelings, identify with their pain… instead of honoring ourselves (we identify too much with their WIC, while ignoring our own!)
• we focus on fulfilling their needs, wants and demands, so they won’t get upset & shut us out – while most of ours go unfulfilled…..

NEXT: Part 3 – The Symbiotic Conflict