ACoAs MANIPULATING Self & Others (Part 3a)

Manip chartPREVIOUS:
Manipulating ourselves (#2c)

SITE: Motivation & Manipulation (<—- Graph )

BOOK : “In Sheep’s Clothing”
~ Dr. Geo. Simon, PhD
Ways to deny personal accountability & manipulate others  (Extensive outline of book)


Most of us learned to manipulate (based on CDs) by watching/ living with manipulative parents & other family members, but some come by the skill naturally. All of us had to use it, one way or another, to cope with the painful, complicated environment we grew up in.

M. is a form of ‘acting out’ (Freudian def). Translation for ACoAs:
Compulsively taking actions or ‘forgetting’ to act, as a substitute for expressing painful emotions we have but don’t consciously feel

REASONS for manipulating others:
By now, having lived in the world for some decades, we’ve had the oenvypportunity to watch how others function, & envy their ability to get their needs met, while we feel stuck in the mud of our damage.
But we’ve also had many life experiences of our own – some even positive – so we DO know something about how to manage, but rarely if ever apply that info to ourselves – while using our extensive care-taking skills for others

This causes intense deprivation in PMES ways, since we are:
• Not allowed to have needs & not allowed to ask for anything
• Assume no one will ever provide for us if we ask directly, will be angry & punish us, the worst being Abandonment – withdrawing their connection to us
• Don’t have a right to give to ourselves (we think it’s arrogance)
• Believe we don’t know how to – not having seen it from role models & not taught directly

confusedThis leaves us confused, ‘starving’, desperate – so we resort to the default position of manipulating – to (GOALS):
• prevent others from having power over us
• cover up Self-Hate, Shame, Loneliness
• get needs met from others instead of from self
• show our contempt for everyone, especially authority
• make connections the only way we know how, to keep from getting abandoned – ever again (FoA)

FORMs of Manipulation
1. Direct / Overt (“Throwing others on the defensive”)
Bullies come in many guises, sometimes like a spiked hammer, sometimes like a Southern rose, sometimes covered in sheep’s clothing.
Each type has gathered an extensive repertoire of techniques used to gain power & to deny any accountability for their actions.

The Workplace Bullying Institute defines it as “repeated, health-harming mistreatment of one or more persons (the targets) by one or more perpetrators”

The overt style uses deliberate, intense confrontation – to verbal bullychallenge people’s personal legitimacy, validity of their ‘performance’, or the value of their point, issue or complaint.
The goal is to put others on the defensive, & nothing works better than intimidation. Tactics can be fired off so fast that they’re hard to identify or separate, & the slickest perpetrators use several tactics at once

Most ACoAs hide their aggressive side, sometimes from themselves, but definitely towards others, behind the many faces of co-dependence.
Sometimes it only comes out toward strangers, but more often toward their intimates – their mates, children & closest friends.
bylly typesBut the bully/sadist is there, created in response to the humiliation we suffered for so long – the greater the original abuse, the more intense is our sadist/bully.

In Recovery we can make friends with this aspect of ourselves by acknowledging that “It really was that bad!”, safely venting our rage, & never letting the bully/sadist act out on others or ourselves.

EXP: Drama is a sign of manipulation, used to bury the real issues (personal or relational) in a giant pile of noise.  Includes:
• taking over every conversation, taking up too much space
• knowing how to get their way & insisting on it
• yelling & screaming, threatening or doing physical harm
• not good at sharing – anything
• talking over someone, ignoring all types of boundaries
• pushing their point of view rather than asking questions
• always bragging & showing off, to make others feel small
• pushing their way ahead of others, like in line
• writing / texting attack messages, all verbal abuse
• escalating arguments, not ‘letting go’ ….

Add your own

NEXT: Manipulating (Part 3b)


to be successful!

Previous: Traits of Victims (#1)

P = Perpetrator / V=Victim


REVIEW – Emotional Abuse
E.A. is an ongoing pattern of behavior designed to control, manipulate & defeat another, usually occurring behind closed doors.  It’s any non-physical behavior or attitude that intimidates, demeans, punishes or psychologically enslaves another.

It devaluates, humiliates & terrorizes, by yelling, screaming, name-calling, or with subtler tactics such as isolating a person from family & friends, invalidating their thoughts & emotions, & refusing to be pleased with anything.

Vs are ABUSED by any Perp WHO :
⚠︎ is habitually cruel or overbearing (even in the guise of friendship or caring), especially to smaller or weaker people
⚠︎ looks for the V’s ‘tell’ – a weakness they can exploit – and does
⚠︎ hates certain categories of people (children in general, gender preference, ethnic or religious groups…)
⚠︎ has an authoritarian personality, combined with a strong need to control or dominate
⚠︎ uses emotional, verbal &/ physical tactics to force their ‘wants’ on others, either by aggression & intimidation or subtler forms of coercion
⚠︎ uses their position to make themselves feel more important BY humiliating others, keeping them ‘in their place’ (MORE…..)

• Whether in a family, on the playground, on the street or at work, bullies and criminals don’t usually target their Victims at random. abuse passed down

CHILDREN victimized by family:
💭 the child who is naturally compliant & wants to please, is easily singled out by a Perp who know that that one can more easily be manipulated to do what the bully wants OR
💭 it’s the child who is too clever & insightful who’s a threat to the P’s power & so must be crushed!
 by anyone:
While its NOT the Vs fault, their past history of trauma can make them more vulnerable. They may BE:
☀︎ anxious, insecure, not able to defend themselves verbally
☀︎ envied for their appearance, intelligence, talent & achievements
☀︎ too needy, clingy, eager to please
☀︎ withdrawn, seem odd, don’t fit in with their work or social culture

 Naturally, fully functional adults can be victimized as well, but are more likely to escape the abusive person or environments as soon as possible. They know & use many options the other types don’t, & will actively look for solutions, however long it takes.
CHARACTERISTICS** – preconditions for being abused, rather than innate weakness. The following PMES categories (Parts 2-4) are resulting emotions, beliefs & behaviors that come from prolonged exposure to Ps.
** Defense Mechanisms created by the False Self trying to survive years of mistreatment – NOT the fundamental & unique traits of the True Self.

a. re. Self – VICTIMS
• In early life — came from various combinations of emotional, mental, religious, physical, &/or sexual oppression & abuse ( Laundry List)
• are afraid of being visible, so don’t share much about themselves
• are impulsive with poor self-control, do whatever they feel like at the moment without thought to options or consequences
• a chronic feeling of emptiness / nothing is enough to fill the void
• a very sketchy awareness of who they are fundamentally (personal characteristics, abilities, skills, talents….)
• trouble relaxing & enjoying themselves, take themselves too seriously or not seriously at all
• believe they’re a fraud & will be found out. Lie when it’s not necessary
• don’t know, or don’t have internal permission to own & provide their basic human rights & needs
• feel responsible for others’ actions/ reactions, but don’t face their own
• lack internal motivation – only do what others want, or think they need

• never seem to get it together to leave the abuser (while endlessly thinking & complaining about it) OR keep leaving, but always go back OR pick another similar P
• project their disowned needs /desires onto others, without realizing it
• may end up with a personality disorder – such as Anti-Social, Co-dependent, Dependent, Love &/or Sex addict, Paranoid, Passive-aggressive …

NEXT: Trait of Victims – Mental & Emotional (#3)