SITE: 8 Ways to spot Manipulators
See ACRONYM page for abbrev.
Manipulative TACTICS (cont.)
Start by asking someone for a small favor they don’t mind doing, then when they’re in the middle of it, add on other things or ask for the big thing you really wanted – making it hard for them to say no
Telling a conscientious victim they don’t care enough, are too selfish or have it easy, to keep them in a self-doubting, anxious, submissive position. OR make someone feel bad that you don’t have qualities, people or things the way they do (you’re jealous /envious), so they’ll feel sorry & volunteer to help you
Judgmental – the (T) form of T.E.A.
— all the time about everything, which is narcissistic
— occasionally, when old abandonment terror is triggered by a person or situation, but you don’t recognize it’s a reminder of childhood neglect & abuse
Physically &/or verbally copying someone you want to influence, by using their same body language, intonation pattern, language, preferences… making them feel ‘seen’ – so then they’ll copy you (symbiosis)
Saying yes to anything asked of you even when you’re not interested or it doesn’t suit you, & you don’t have time anyway – just so you’ll be liked. You over-book & then forget or cancel at the last-minute
One up-One Down
a. Feel superior – morally better with more value as a person, rather than being better at certain things (not just having a higher IQ), in order to keep everyone away, & not acknowledge your need for connection, help, comfort….
b. Feel inferior, believing you’re worse than everyone else (weaker, dumber, less capable….)
— to stave off assumed inevitable abandonment, disappointment AND
— obeying Toxic Rules “I am unlovable” / “I’m too much trouble” / “Don’t have needs”….
— living in deprivation, trying to get others to meet your needs
c. Fake humility – hiding the compulsion to dominate – by being the servant, helper, assistant, perhaps to serve a ‘higher cause’…. while controlling things from the wings
People-Pleasing / Perfectionism
Constantly trying to be or do whatever others want, or what you think they need/want, going above & beyond what’s called for or expected. Make yourself indispensable so they’ll approve of you & never ‘go way‘
Put a burden on others to be the ‘good parents’ you never had, BY:
• dismissing your own ‘voice’ & not taking up enough space
• going along, suffering in silence – but others can feel it
• give up what you want to avoid conflict, but are quietly resentful
• don’t ask questions, but always trying to explain or defend yourself
• talk in indirect or convoluted ways, instead of declarative statements
• withholding, as a form of silent disapproval
• believing you have nothing worthwhile to contribute……
COMBINED Manipulation of Self & Others
Taking on the Scapegoat Role as a child (NOT the same as being scapegoated by the family). It’s the child’s attempt to spare the obvious narcissist / addict their pain, by taking it on & acting it out for them – assuming this will alleviate the heaviness it can feel in others.
It’s a way the child denies admitting that the abandoning adults are as sick as they are & not willing to change
This manipulative tactic (usually unconscious) continues into adulthood – the ACoAs continuing to sacrifice their own needs, good name & standing in life – if it will make others ‘feel better’ by avoiding responsibility for their own damage
On one level this Role is genuinely taken on in the name of love, but at a deeper level it’s about the fear of losing connection, the ultimate childhood terror.
Unfortunately, the sacrifice is never successful or unappreciated, only being disrespected & dismissed. So when the Scapegoat is treated badly or ignored, this ACoA gets very angry at anyone they’ve been trying to ‘save’.
Adult Scapegoats only focus on being rejected or & invisible, feeling unloved, excluded, attacked – BUT not seeing that they —
— allow themselves to be used & toyed with by unscrupulous types
— experience real or imagined slights as a direct rejection, as if others are focus on them, or hell-bent on hurting them
— perpetuate childhood environment of fear, loneliness & abandonment BY not having a strong core identity based on self-esteem & self-respect.
NEXT: Manipulation #4a