ACoAs MANIPULATING Self & Others (Part 4a)

re-frameMPREVIOUS: Manipulation #3c

SITE: Response Options to a Controlling/ Manipulative Person

See ACRONYM page for abbrev.

RE-CAP – Manipulation (M) is the resort of :

a. the legitimately powerless (consider Children, Women, Poor & homeless, the Chronically ill, Minorities….), usually in small ways

b. anyone who internally believes themselves to have no options (the Learned Helplessness of ACoAs, addicts, victims….) BUT who actually do have the capacity to empower themselves – with the right help & persistent work in Recovery

c. AND, ironically, high achievers who’ve clawed their way into positions allowing them to be high-level manipulators, usually on a large-scale.

MOTIVATION: By definition, such people shouldn’t need to manipulate – their whole life is about getting exactly what they want, BUT at any cost.
These externally powerful bosses, politicians, parents, church leaders, salespeople…. have to be one-up, using every dirty trick in the book

This tells us that the seemingly ‘lucky ones’we envy also grew up in very damaging circumstancsuperiorityes, leaving them with a great need to compensate. Hidden under many layers of intelligence, determination & deviousness, they do not feel OK ‘just as they are’, with both strengths & limitations, so they rarely let their vulnerability show, even to themselves

They’ve suppressed the awareness of their basic needs (safety, unconditional love & acceptance, mirroring, help….. AND having emotions!), which they consciously consider as weaknesses.
Instead they settle for being feared, having power of others, looking good on the outside, & accumulating as much money & ‘stuff’ as they can manage.

So like the rest of us, whatever childhood needs were punished or neglected – will become the focus of their life’s activities, & how those are expressed will depend on their individual native personality, combined with the social environment of their upbringing.

a. In order to change the need to manipulate, we need to start by identifying our specific ways of ‘getting over’, looking at the harm they do when used, & their long-term effects

b. Instead of simply considering Manipulation as an evil thing (motivation ideasbad, arrogant, narcissistic), we need to also understand it as a defensive maneuver. It’s used by the WIC in an attempt to provide for itself what our family & community should have but didn’t.
We began using it to survive as kids, & we’ve continued it as adults, fed by toxic family messages & bad examples.

c. On the surface this character defect is made up of conscious or unconscious BEHAVIORS, but to get anywhere we need to focus on MOTIVATION, rather than on visible actions.
Motivation is goal-oriented energy which moves us to action, using mental focus & physical exertion to reach specific outcomes.

Motivation Types
1. PRIMARY / basic = unlearned & common to both animals and humans (food & shelter, sex, fear & aggression, avoidance of pain….)
or SECONDARY / learned = which can differ from person to person (need for achievement, need for power….)type of motives

2. EXTRINSIC M.= when somebody else tries to make you do something
or INTRINSIC M. = when you want to do something

3. PULLING M. = external goals that influence how we act in order to achieve them
or PUSHING M. = internal changes (emotions, beliefs, hunger, illness….) that trigger a specific desire to act

4. POSITIVE M. = having the desire and the willingness to get or achieve something good
or NEGATIVE M. = to avoid undesirable or threatening situations

As for all human being, our primary motivation is survival – in any way possible. And for ACoAs – the over-riding need is for SAFETY – by avoiding possible abandonment & punishment (which feel like the same thing!)

SAFETY, BELONGING & MATTERING are essential to good brainbelonging functioning, allowing us to live well:
• the greater the feeling of safety, both emotional & physical, the more easily we can take appropriate risks
• the greater the feeling of connection with others, the more we can feel we’re in this together & belong
• the greater the feeling that we personally matter, that we can make a difference, & are contributing to the greater good, the greater the success in all parts of life (MORE….)
SO, since our upbringing did not provide us with these 3 fundamental needs – manipulation is the way we think we’ll be safe. Unfortunately it doesn’t work!

Motivation: The Why’s of Behavior(7 theories)
Study of Motivation”(Scroll down)

NEXT: Manipulation #4b

PURPOSE of Emotions : Motivation (Part 1)

music 5

how much my feelings make me do things

Previous: For Decisions #2



f. To MOTIVATE Actions
DEF: MOTIVATION is the driving force behind the push to achieve goals (internal & external factors that cause & direct behavior), and it’s our emotions (Es) that prepare us to take those actions.
The urge to act is hardwired to specific emotions, which are automatically built in & produce physical sensations – muscles tensed or relaxed, blood vessels dilated or contracted…. These sensations signal us either to urgently do something or stay in a comfortable state

ACTIVE : In all motivation theories, ‘goals’ are very important. One form of goal setting is expressed in a Feedback Loop concerned with how people self-regulate in pursuit of their goals. A Self-regulation System tries to keep some condition fixed, even in the face of various kinds of disturbances from outside.
D = a Reference Value, either as a goal or standard you want & an undesired state to avoid, OR where behavior is adjusted so that discrepancy between input & goal is reduced.
A = an input sensations coming in, to tell you how far you are from achieving the goal or avoiding the anti-goal.
B = an output, behavioral or motor activity to move closer to the goal
C = a mental comparison, the conscious or unconscious appraisal of how near you are to the goal (MORE…. Emotions & Motivation“)

AVOIDANCE: By nature we’re motivated to take specific actions in order to experience pleasant emotions & minimize the probability of feeling unpleasant ones. (7 Negative feedback loops)
EXP: As a kid in school, what made you decide to raised a hand to answer a question? It depended on which felt safer / better: the pleasure & recognition of answering it right, or avoiding the embarrassment of getting it wrong
EXP: You might participate in social activities or hobbies that provide a sense of happiness, contentment, or excitement. On the other hand, you’ll probably avoid situations that could lead to boredom, sadness, or anxiety.

RISK: Action requires risk, & the willingness to take risks is rooted in our Es, which are themselves based on moral convictions – those values that do move us, not those that ought to move us.
When confronted with a new experience, opportunity or danger – we wonder: Should I be courageous? withdraw? hedge my bets? What’s an appropriate risk?
To make sense of an unexpected experience we need to interpret what it means:
Is it good for us, bad for us or irrelevant?  Our values —-> generate —-> the emotions that inspire up to act.

Es for solutionsOBSTACLES: Emotions can help us overcome obstacles in our life. EXP:
anxiety when you’re about to take a test – although uncomfortable – helps motivate you to study to do your best
• anger can motivate you to protest injustices,  & help override the fear you might feel at a demonstration or rally
• guilt may keep you sticking to a diet or finishing a work assignment.
It’s not to say that we should feel guilty, just that it’s what prompts some to follow through with a difficult project or goal

LIMITATIONS:  Es cannot fix problems – we can’t ‘anger’ something into a solution. We also need free will. Sometimes we can have a strong desire for something but then don’t create an action-plan to go after it. Es may be a driving factor in wanting to change, but they have to be combined with a desire to act, in order to become motivation.
And once we have the motivation, there has to be actual carry-through, the signals sent to our muscles that allow us to move. However, if Es are too overwhelming, they will prevent us from taking any action at all.

NEXT: Motivation #2