This is quite a long lesson today. It is not complete. To make this complete it would be very long and then most people who need it would not read it. Also, we are in the holiday season and for many people this is a vary trying time in their life. So much going on all around us yet we can feel completely alone and helpless. I hope this helps some at least to show you how people manipulate others. I hear from and see how difficult the holidays are for so many people. Many people feel that company comes but that even their family doesn’t really care about them or care how they are doing or feeling. Some feel like it really isn’t them they are there to see, and then you have the people who sit and do absolutely nothing to help but don’t care if you do all the cooking, cleaning, and never get to sit down and actually be with the family. Some family members spend the holidays isolated and alone even with people around. Is there anyone who needs to know someone cares? Is there anyone you can actually get up and care enough to help with things to make it easier on someone?
This lesson should ring home for most people regarding some part of it. No matter how much we love and care for people, some people just annoy the poop right out of us, others use us to get something, some just are plain mean, some bully, some cheat, some angry, some lie, steal, and commit many a crime. The list is endless on this subject and this lesson won’t be complete by any means. People…and I would venture to say that all people we know we have some sort of feeling about how they act and treat others, and especially when it comes to us.
What about feeling used, even by those that say they love you? How does that make you feel? Let’s say someone declares they care about you; possibly says they love you and you have a relationship with them. The only thing is…is that relationship a one-way relationship. Maybe you just give and give and they never seem to go out of their way to do anything nice for you, some don’t even ask how you are or do you need anything, but there you have been giving and doing and now you are feeling demoralized or unwanted in that relationship. It hurts when people say they care but by all their actions they never show it.
I hear a lot about this next one: You want to be nice to your family and friends and be there for them when they need you, but are they really there ever when and if you need them? They usually are the ones who ask you for something, but if you were to ever ask them they would find excuses to not help, always be busy at “whatever” time it might be, make you feel stupid because you don’t know how to do something, and even though you really need their help…nope, too busy, out of town, going to a game, I have plans then. It hurts when you are always the one to give and help, but others won’t help you. This especially happens if you really need help or advice. Maybe you are truly struggling with something but when you ask for help…they do not care or have any interest in what you want or need.
What about within a marriage. Does your partner just want to have sex and maybe even hang out with their friends (either male or female here) and you love them, but that relationship just isn’t cutting it. They don’t have time for you personally. They don’t communicate, and it hurts. After all, haven’t they declared their love and said they were committed to you? Are they? Is their time more valuable than yours? Do they expect to get from you what it is they want, but they don’t return that love by spending quality time with you? It hurts! Are you in a relationship with a user? If your relationship suffers as a one-sided relationship maybe you should remind yourself that all relationships need love, time, and giving to each other what they can. You love and give in a relationship with no hidden agenda. If your relationship is out of kilter, then this should be a red flag for you. This needs to be dealt with sooner than later. Who actually do they want to spend more time with and why?
Do those you care about focus more on themselves than making any kind of time for you? Do they always have to go and do things their way and never consider any of your feelings or needs? Even simple meals out can be trying for many. They always get what they want but very seldom care where you might want to go. This can be about any subject. It is like the men like all the gung-ho movies, but if you want to go to a romantic comedy or such…oh no! Not that! But didn’t you go see many of those gung-ho movies that maybe you hated even because it was something they wanted to see? So many people out there are just into themselves and make themselves the number one priority. But shouldn’t it be a two-way street and you both care about what each other feels and think about doing things that also make them happy as well?
How many people have you seen that make themselves the center of the known universe, around which everything else rotates. It is them and their way or no way at all. Everything is about them, their money, their job, their family, their kids, where they want to go, what they want to buy and so on. And it’s all about what they want, what they need, and what you (and others) can do for them. There is no give and take…it is all you give to them or there is no relationship. It hurts when they’re busy focusing all their attention on themselves, they’ll have no interest in what’s going on in your life. They’ll expect you to devote plenty of time to listening to their self-obsessed monologue, though, do whatever it is for them, but just ask them or share something important to you and they are out of there with some excuse. Don’t you hate excuses? Your needs don’t ever seem to get consideration.
What about they just don’t listen to you. Boy, do I hear a lot on this one. People don’t listen. They look at you like they are, but they aren’t. Since a user is ultimately only interested in taking care of number one, the details of the ins and outs of your family life, your friends, and your day-to-day existence will go straight over their head. You can be sitting there talking about what matters to you and they are like in lala land. They don’t want to know or hear what you say and many of their minds they just don’t listen. If they don’t listen then they don’t have to make up some excuse for not doing something. If you were to ask these types of people what you said, many wouldn’t have a real clue. What you wanted to share with them could have meant the world to be able to share that with someone, yet they didn’t care enough to listen and respond. Sometimes people just need to talk and vent about something like they are sick, one of their family is sick, their job isn’t going well, they don’t know what to do about whatever…and they don’t expect the person to fix their situation, they just want someone to listen to them. It is like having a bad day and you want to tell you spouse about it. Gung-ho men think you want them to fix it, but all you want is someone to listen. You need a vent and many times no one allows you to have your say. It hurts. I am not saying that sometimes people don’t have a lot of things on their own plate and are preoccupied about something. But to those that do this tactic on purpose are self-serving and care little about the other’s situation.
What about finances for this is another thing people can use us for. We all need a helping hand with finances from time to time, and when we can help (on occasion) then it is up to us if we want to give the money or not. It should not be an ongoing thing, and the person should not play the guilt game with you. You do know there are serial borrowers out there and those people somehow think you owe them. You don’t! A lot of the time people want to purchase things (drugs, alcohol, sex, and many other things) with what you worked hard to earn. Help who you can if you so choose to for that is good thing, but you can’t help everyone, and some people need to learn how to handle money. Again, don’t get me wrong here…help who you can and when you want and can, but some people out there just want to use you for what you have. (Could this person need a job, or go and get help?) When someone is a repeated requester…and that is why they come by…you be weary. These people somehow forget to take their wallet to dinner and the like leaving you stuck with their bill that they swear they will pay back. If you’re frequently being asked to pay their way or contribute money, and they seem to depend on you as a source of funds, that’s not normal behavior. Again, be weary! What kind of value do they place on your friendship or being a family member.
If someone does a favor for you…do they feel that you need to give something in return? Ever have this super-helpful person is even quite annoying? Maybe they do this little thing for you, but expect you to do something great for them in return. They then will play the blame game or guilt game whichever you want to call it. Believe me they will want to remind you of what they did for you to get you to do something for them. They want people to be indebted to them. They didn’t really help you out from the goodness of their heart, but because they will use you later to get something more in return from you. Maybe they are only nice to you when they want something from you. Users are clever enough to know that they must be nice to get what they want. The thing is once they get what they want from you they somehow ignore you if it was a loan, think you owed it to them, and they show their real side most of the time. They want…but they don’t honor deals made either. After all…they think you owe them and they use that.
What about the many people who live a one-sided life/relationship with another. Everything is about the one with little about the other person in the relationship. One person in the relationship does all the work but gets very little in return. A real relationship needs to be balanced between people so that both people feel they are loved and needed.
What about those that only come around to whine about something. You don’t see them when things are going well. They don’t call or come by, but there are those that think somehow you want to just see them when they have an issue with something, but you are not good enough to hang with any other time. This type of family or friend though only want to hang out with you when they’re down and having a hard time, but when things are good for them…you don’t even ever hear from them. Are you somehow their security blanket? What happens when things go good for them?
What about the manipulation of someone you love, a relative, a spouse, a co-worker, whoever. They try to put you on the spot so that you just can’t say no to them. They have learned the art of manipulation. Do you ever feel that when someone asks for something from you it is not an ask but a demand to get it from you? Have you learned to see the manipulation and say no….or yes, if that is what you really want…but manipulation is not a good thing. To a real manipulator…you are nothing more than a power-play to them. They have these little strings like a puppet master and pull on the strings to get whatever it is they want from you. I have seen and heard a lot about these manipulator masters who use people. If you say no to them they act like “your” action is the end of the world for them. People need to look at the situation and see what this person is really like/ How are they making you feel? Does that feeling you have feel right? Does the situation feel off? Are they using fear tactics to get what they want, or that dumb whiny face to con you. You do what you feel is godly and right and don’t allow manipulators to rule you.
What about the people that only seem to call you late at night? Why is that? Have they not heard of calling people at a decent hour? I’m talking here though about the so-called friend that wants to hook up with you…but late at night. Really? Are you a last resort for them? Beware! If they can’t ask you out at a decent time to do something decent…run! Another thing on this are they calling because their buddies couldn’t go out and they don’t want to be alone. You were most likely not their first call but the last one. Don’t be a void filler any longer! Do they just keep you around when whoever the company they wanted was unavailable to them. Again, Run! You can do so much better than whoever that jerk is. Sorry…they are a jerk and I have had many people tell me so. They felt so used.
What about the person using you is all talk. Their true agendas are in disguise. They seldom deliver what they tell you, or they tell you that they will do something but then never deliver or show up late. They always have an excuse for being late. Funny how you show up and do what you say, but they don’t.
What about the promise breaker. We all know those people. Seems no matter what they promise something will come up. No! Something that was not costing them their time and their honor came up and they wanted to do that more than help you out. How many people have said they will help someone move and they gave their word, but when the time came they said they couldn’t…oh sorry! Do they even care that now you don’t have someone to help you? Do they even care they left you in the dust and now you don’t know what to do? They always put something more important to them first. You were not their priority even though they made a promise to you. If your hurt emotions in the face of repeated frustrations are so irrelevant to them, something is clearly wrong and you are being used.
What about the person who is never grateful for the things you do for them. How many people find it so difficult to say thank you when you help them. Why is that anyway? Some people also expect you to do whatever it is, but if it were reversed they sure would want you to say thanks after all didn’t they help you, and maybe they would be reminding you of the time they helped you out. Can a thank you really be that difficult? But users don’t seem to have this phrase in their vocabulary. No matter whether it’s something big or small that you have helped them with, they disregard to show any gratitude whatsoever.
What about the no-boundary people. Some people just don’t like and won’t accept boundaries. Some boundaries like saying “no”! Everyone on this planet needs boundaries for which they don’t cross. But if someone is using you, they won’t pay any heed to your boundaries if those boundaries prevent them from getting what they want from you. How many woman/girls have been raped because they said no? There are those in this area that play the guilt trip as well in this…but I love you, but you know it is right. I’ll still love you if you do. They keep asking even if they didn’t go past the boundaries until the girl gives in. They don’t love you if they can’t wait. They’ll either simply ignore them, or they’ll poke and prod at them until they give in. No…………………..no………………….means no!
What about the people who just are not concerned with how you feel or your well being. Some people are just down-right selfish. Do you know anyone who wants you to be concerned for them and their needs but they care less about yours? How will this person/s benefit from what you do for them? Does the situation make you feel uncomfortable at all? Do you feel manipulated? Don’t do it. Don’t do whatever “it” is if your feeling something is wrong to do. Sometimes people give and give and give and give and they are mentally bankrupt. Some people ask and ask for let’s say money from you. Do you give it? Are they honest people? Really? Do they care that by giving them what you have then you can’t pay your own bills? Do they know that by giving them something you can’t take care of what you need to take care of and it could cause your own family a hardship as well? It is good to help people and as we can we should, but do these people who ask have their own hidden agenda and even if they know something will hurt you…do they still want you to do “it” for them?
What about the dishonest family member, friend, co-worker, neighbor etc. They lie to get whatever they want and they don’t care that they lied. Their needs are more important to them than your needs are. They lie to get what they want with little regard for you or anyone else. Deception is simply a tool to them, and because they don’t really care about you or value your relationship, they aren’t concerned by the damage it might do to you either. If you’ve ever caught someone in a lie they told so that they could get something from you, that person was using you. We have all seen people and been the victim of this one.
What about the people who just down-right ignore you, find you annoying because you care? What about your own family who can’t take the time to let you know they are okay or that they will be gone and where. They think it is meddling when it is concern in case something were to happen to them. Just look around at the news and violence. Parents want to know their family is safe and that doesn’t make them bad. This is one that is not taking advantage of you.
What about the people who totally ignore your concerns, wishes, and do whatever they want even if what they want can be one-sided? They are the ones who have a once sided decision making policy and your concerns are not relevant to them. These people think their decision is more important and more relevant than yours. They do not compromise. There are times, places, and things people need to compromise about and that is definitely within a marriage or in raising children. Also, if someone is not good enough in your eyes to be a parent to your children then why marry them? Blended families need all input and love from everyone and respect for all. Okay, these people who ignore your concerns and needs to be as relevant as theirs…they are master manipulators who make it clear what they want from you while ignoring any concerns you have. No, stepparents, are not the biological parent, but if you are going to marry the person then they need to be respected and their opinion always needs to be consulted. How can they have a good relationship with your children if they are not allowed to have a “relationship”?
What about the person who says they love you but wont’ talk about a future with you. If someone who you have cared about for some time doesn’t want any type of commitment…and I am not talking about just marriage, but in talking about a future married or not…what are they hiding? What do you really know about this person? What is their family like? How do they treat the very members of their own family? Their parents? Their siblings? If they have kids or an ex…how do they treat them? How one treats their family is a sign as to what and how they might treat you as well. Do they just not talk about a future with you? If they don’t want a future with you and you want a lasting relationship…why are you staying with them. Spots don’t change! Do they hang with you because they get something they want from you, but they don’t want a relationship of giving back. But to be fair in this some people have commitment issues. It is still they need to talk and be honest, or are they worth putting your life on hold about? However, if it is you who wants a lasting relationship and they say “no way” are you willing to never have a permanent relationship with them?
What about never being there for you in the support department? Another indication that a friend or partner doesn’t really value you and only wants to use you is when they don’t make any attempt to support you when you really need them t(I’m not talking money). Some people walk out of relationships with there are hard times. They don’t want to deal with difficult situations. In a relationship you do for each other, you support mentally each other, and you show love, compassion, and understanding. You make sacrifices to help them through hard times. People need to be an emotional support to those they claim to care about.
What about the people who are defensive when you tell them how you are feeling. We all want to be needed and loved. We want to know the person we are spending time with either in a relationship or marriage cares about our feelings and relationship. We don’t want to hear excuses for their behavior but the truth. We don’t want to play a blame game, or guilt game with them. Just be honest with each other. If the relationship is wrong then you need to move on. You can’t make anyone love you. Many people in this circumstances sures knows how to blame and stay clear of commitments. They want you to believe that everything must be your fault. Don’t fall for it.
What about the people who are just down-right resentful? Those guilt people who demand attention but don’t give back? They can’t reciprocate so they play the blame game. Both people in a relationship have needs, desire, and don’t want to be resentful…yet some relationships have jealousy, anger issues, power issues, abuse issues…and they treat the person they are with resent and mean behavior. This is not right and it is a master manipulator. No one…and I repeat no one needs to be in an abusive situation. No one has the right to abuse anyone. Are you feeling bitter now over the situation in your relationship? You are being manipulated and you need someone to intervene and someone to talk to. Find a good Christian counselor…word being GOOD!
What if the person makes you feel uncomfortable? No real and honest relationship should give off feelings of being uncomfortable. You should feel loved and comforted in a relationship. Even the getting to know someone stage should not send you vibes of uneasiness. Beware of your instincts. Really…beware. These instincts have got people out of dangerous relationships. Pay attention to these red flags as they multiply over time with people. Don’t shrug them off. God gave us instincts for a reason.
What about this: Most family involve some degree of manipulation. We are human and humans want without thinking of the needs of others.
What about being in a family that evokes strong emotions. Some good and some bad ones. What about if you were in a family who when young were quite abusive mentally, physically, or sexually? Emotions run deep. These emotions when people get together can come out and cause a lot of havoc at family functions especially. You know you were manipulated as a child/teen/even a spouse, but maybe you didn’t deal with the pain of it. Going to add another thing on this one. What if what you felt was 100% a lie but you believed it for so long you think it was true? This happens as well in the life of family members.
Red flag manipulation: Manipulation involves an attempt to control someone else. You often feel tricked or pressured into doing things. It seems as if you can’t do anything right. It no longer seems possible to say no. They often twist the truth. You often feel guilty or confused. Your efforts never seem good enough.
What about people invalidating just how you feel? It can be family or anyone else that you deal with in life. People invalidate feelings by: not giving you a chance to share. interrupting or talking over you. dismissing your concerns. reprimanding or punishing you for showing emotion by telling you how you should feel.
For example, you tell your parent, a relative, or a friend that you won’t attend your grandmother’s birthday party because you know that the cousin so and so will be there and who abused and bullied you in childhood will attend. This person you told tries to invalidate your feelings by telling you that it was a long time ago so grow up. You had pain and the choice is yours to make to go or not to go. Most likely nothing will happen, but you still have not dealt with the pain completely and don’t’ want to put yourself in that position to be on pins and needles. The person who told you this might not have meant anything bad even, but you now feel manipulated. Many people don’t want you to internalize your feelings but to forget them. How many people have not dealt with their pain of abuse of any kind and taken those feelings into relationships later and actually destroyed the relationship because they couldn’t completely trust the person.
What about emotional blackmail. It happens a lot in some relationships. The person doing it wants to convince you to do what they want and as they make demands on you…throws out things to make you feel you can’t say no to them. This tactic follows a clear pattern: They make a type of demand on you, and if you refuse, they will pressure you to give in. Maybe by flattery or even threats. They want to engage your emotions and maybe your sense of obligation to them. If you agree, then you are hooked and there will be a next time.
What about the person who wants you to feel confused even to the point of doubting your own memory. The person who does this is very manipulative for sure, and over time it can cause you to doubt yourself and your mental health. They do these things by denying the event and accuse you of not seeing what you saw, they insist they didn’t do whatever “it” was. They try to convince you nothing really happened and that you are not remember the truth. They tell you that you just imagined something. They insist you are just making it up and it never happened.
What about the one who wants to guilt you even though they know you didn’t do “whatever it” was but they want to make you think you were the one responsible for whatever “it” is. When you feel guilty, you’re more likely to do what the other person wants.
What about when a family member regularly uses guilt to make you feel bad or do things you’d rather not do, this usually suggests manipulation.
What about the person who withholds affection to manipulate you? A family member offering conditional love or affection will demonstrate kindness and other caring behaviors only when you do what they want.
What about when you make a mistake (in their opinion) and they say that you disappointed them do they: punish you, criticize you, imply that you don’t love them or you would do what they say, blame you, and maybe even tell you that you somehow are a failure.
What about the person who wants to isolate you even from family and friends. The person who makes the decision of who you can see, where you can go, what you can do. They want control over you and go to great lengths to get it.
What about the person says no one cares about you but me. That somehow they are the only one who can possibly care.
What about the person who even gets jealous of your family loving you and wanting to spend time with you.
What about the manipulator who wants you to think somehow they are the victim.
What about the person who downplays their responsibility and makes it look like everything was someone else’s fault and not theirs.
What about the person who turns the situation around so they can blame you for whatever “it” is. If you hadn’t done this or that this would not have happened. This is all your fault.
What about the person who is aggressive and uses manipulation to control you. This can include things like mocking you, shaming you, scapegoating, and blaming you for whatever “it” is, put-downs, insults, harsh criticisms, nand other tactics designed to make you feel inferior. They use threats, intimidation, anger, rage, and abuse as well.
What about the person who uses verbal abuse to control you. This type of person can tell you this is for your own good, or that they have to use tough love on you, or they can even say this is only a joke…get over it. Why are you being so sensitive.
What about the person who is constantly shifting the goal pole. That no matter what you do or say…it is not good enough now. But this failure doesn’t stem from your shortcomings; instead, it’s because they set overly demanding criteria, nitpick at tiny mistakes, or add new expectations every time you think you’ve finally succeeded. They make you think no matter what you do it will never be good enough to please them. Changing the goal posts happens a lot within the family. If you do this then we will do or give you this and you do your part…and then they change the conditions for which you both agreed.
What about when dealing with family, friends, co-workers, bosses etc….and the situation becomes toxic to you and your health even. What about you not knowing what to do to change the situation. Oh, with a job you can quit, but then what if you can’t find a job. There are many bosses who definitely use manipulation over just being a good boss where people want to do their job right. But what if its family and friends who are toxic to you. What or who do you go to for help. Most times people just avoid the conflict by giving in to their demands.
So……………..do you………….will you call out the manipulation that is going on? Why or why not? Do you feel things will just get worse if you do? Do you know it is normal to feel upset when people are manipulating you. But………how far are you willing to go to put a stop to it? Are you willing to talk, discuss, or are you going to be confrontational. With some people you can definitely talk for some people don’t even realize they are being manipulative. Some think what they do is somehow normal. You can try telling some people what you feel and why and that it upsets you, but with many of these people they just go into more manipulation and blame.
If you choose to confront someone be respectful (as best as possible) Don’t just use accusations, but tell them that their actions make you feel bad and that it hurts you. Some people might understand, but there are some manipulators who could really care less in what and how you feel. Sometimes we just must remove ourself from the situation entirely. Though good intentions sometimes lie behind manipulation tactics, it doesn’t excuse a person’s behavior. By telling them that their behavior affects you negatively, you can help them realize that manipulation isn’t the answer.
Know this: your safety matters. It greatly matters. If you feel that going to them and telling them could cause an outburst then you need to get help for this somewhere else. Don’t do anything that puts you in danger.
If you have children and you fear for their safety then find a shelter and take you and them there. Even if it has to be in another town. Sometimes running to parents or best friend is not good. That would be where they look for you. Whatever you do…get to safety. You can also notify police or an attorney. I know they will say get a letter to keep them away and for some that works…but for many that just makes things worse. Your safety comes first. There are many crisis lines as well you can call and see what they think as well. Be honest with them. Don’t you manipulate the story but tell the absolute truth as to what is going on.
We can’t make people love us, respect us, or treat us like we deserve, but we can change our situation. You can set boundaries and don’t allow others to cross those boundaries. We have one earthly life and we need to do what we can to protect our way through it. Get help if you need to and never feel bad for doing that no matter who tries to manipulate you to stop. Where is your line in the sand drawn?
I do want to say one more thing at this point…sometimes we tell the person we though we could trust and love a wee bit too much and we tell them things over time because we love and trust them. Then something comes up or the relationship breaks apart and they use what you told them to hurt you. However, some of what people say those things the manipulator will use against you. So beware what you say. Don’t think I am saying to keep things from your spouse but beware of what or how you say something if you ever think someone can use it against you or someone you care about.
Stop isolating yourself. You need your family and friends. But beware of hanging out with friends of the opposite sex. Never looks good to a spouse either male or female. Couples yes, singles no. What you do should not raise flags for your spouse either. Sorry folks but how things look matters. If you are hanging out with the opposite sex and you are married…stop!
No matter what people feel there is dysfunction in just about all families to a point. Some not a lot, while others are main-line dysfunction. We all want to live in peace and have a great family life with no problems, no drama, no lies, no cheating, no anger, no abuse etc., but if people are really honest stuff happens within the family and some of it isn’t always so pleasant. Some dysfunction is down-right bad and needs dealt with no matter the cost in taking it on. When and if you keep things bottled inside especially for a long time…it cases depression and anxiety, along with many other mental issues. Sometimes people go for years without dealing with it in their own life or ever bringing it up. They don’t want to make things worse or hurt the innocent party in the home. If a family is toxic and hurtful/abuse. This definitely needs dealt with, but how many of us have watched shows where the system didn’t help and things got worse. None of us wants that to happen.
Beware of this: You can’t change anyone who doesn’t want to change. You have to deal with you in the situation. Duty…do you feel a duty to be the victim of manipulation? Don’t be. You take care of yourself. Some manipulation will always happen because we are human, it is the manipulation that causes us grief, and fear we must deal with so it doesn’t hurt us even more. Don’t be afraid to deal with it, but deal with it right.
Lastly….in my opinion and who am I to tell anyone what to do? My advise is to find a good…I repeat a good and godly counselor who deals with this type of situation (not all do). Many churches have lists of people who can help you. Ask the pastor at your church to recommend someone. If they don’t know keep asking and don’t give up. I know many places have godly groups that get together in some cities. Maybe some are even on line with all this technology out there. (and don’t ever go on a dating site or look at porn thinking it could help…it won’t) At least you could find others who have gone through things or are going through things and you can give each other support mentally and emotionally. Do not give up. Don’t put yourself in danger. Pray a lot and ask God to show you which way to go and to open doors for you and to close others. I personally hate manipulation of anyone.
I know this had a lot in it today, but it sure doesn’t have everything or every situation of manipulation. Manipulation has gone on since time began and until Jesus comes for His church it will continue. Don’t give up!
Now, may the Lord bless you, guide you, open and close whatever doors you need, heal you, keep your family safe, and may He each day protect your way.
God bless you