What to Do if You Are Under a Manipulator – Part 1

If you and a manipulative person are thrown in together in a way where you cannot escape, what can you do?

  1. First, realize this does not apply to your God-ordained authorities. This means your pastor, husband, parents (if you are young and single), boss, police, mayor, judges, etc. These people are supposed to have some say in your life and you should do what they say if it is not illegal.
  2. Be careful of receiving gifts, compliments, invitations, etc., especially if they have implied debts attached to them (strings attached). You may feel that God wants you to accept the item, but always remember that anything given to you is yours to do with or about as you see fit. A gift is not a contract. If you did not say you would reciprocate with a certain favor because of what you have received, you are not bound to do so when such favors are brought up after the fact.
  3. Seek God daily about your daily activities. Make God your daily planner, not the person who is trying to be God.
  4. Plan ahead. Decide before the telephone rings how long you need to spend on the telephone today. Decide before you receive an invitation for dinner whether or not you are available to go out. Decide before the next time the person is trying to cry, just exactly what your response should be, then . . .
  5. Do not back down! Make “no” mean NO. you can be very polite and still say “no” and make it stick. Do not worry about what the person will think; these people are not responsible for their thoughts and their thoughts are mostly irrational and unpredictable, anyway. No matter what you do, you will invoke base thought from a manipulator.
  6. Be merciless with the sin of control; love the sinner. You can be very distant from a person for his own good, out of love for the person. You could deny an alcoholic liquor because you loved him, right? This time, you are the addictive substance that is being consumed to the point of abuse. Someone has to stop it.
  7. Don’t major on minors. Allow a little control, if you see that it doesn’t matter, especially at first. Let the person choose your ice cream, parking spot, whatever will soften the initial blow of weaning. Save your insistence for choosing friends, movies, books, etc. Also, if the controller lies about the laundry, for instance, let it go, but if lies about your children pop up, expose them.

Hope this is beginning to make sense. More coming tomorrow!

Published by Katharine

Katharine is a writer, speaker, women's counselor, and professional mom. Happily married over 50 years to the same gorgeous guy. She loves cooking amazing homegrown food, celebrating grandbabies, her golden-egg-laying hennies, and watching old movies with popcorn. Her writing appears at Medium, Arkansas Women Bloggers, Contently, The Testimony Train, Taste Arkansas, Only in Arkansas, and in several professional magazines and one anthology.

13 thoughts on “What to Do if You Are Under a Manipulator – Part 1

  1. I like the point you make about regarding yourself in a kind of parallel with substance abuse – and if you are that substance, it is bad for the person to have too much of you!
    When you say “their thoughts are mostly irrational” do you mean that they should be seeking psychiatric help? Or do you mean a lesser kind of irrationality?

    1. Thanks for your comment, Sanstorm! Thanks for asking such good questions!

      It is bad for someone to have too much of someone else, but I just meant to say it is not normal for someone who is not really in your life as a true authority to act like they have authority over you; it is abuse, which I think means “wrong use”.

      By “irrational” I meant “not based on clear reasons”.

      I’m a wordy.

      I use words as if they still had their original Latin meanings, or something. My poor brain is always filtering words to find the one with the perfect derivatives. Sighs. It’s like having the wavy green line instead of DNA spirals, or something. IF ONLY my fingers would cooperate, I could really write!!! 🙂

      Anyway, I do not hold psychiatry in very high regard, but counseling would probably be of some help, if the couselor, first, were to be rational. I hold logic and reason in very high regard. People who control others at the expense of their own and their family’s lives, are not thinking straight, not making sense. Maybe lessons in logic would help most. I don’t know.

      I just know how I survived, what helped and what did not. Reasoning with these people does not help; that part of them is broken by their past pain. Sad but true.

      Thanks, again!

  2. Thanks for the clarification! I think I’m in favour of cognitive behaviour therapy over counselling – but they’re not mutually exclusive.
    As for psychiatry, I think it is necessary where it is an illness, rather than a reaction – rational or not – to event in the past.
    I think counselling can be counter-productive in some cases, being part of the addiction to self-obsession. (But perhaps blogging is distance counselling…!)
    I think that the necessity for couselling in an official capacity is sad – as that is what real friends are for. But maybe being open to be a counselling friend is opening the door to a manipulator…..
    And so it goes on…

    1. Of course. Thanks, again. I forgot to specify something I always wrongly assume: nouthetic counseling. Works. Anyway, my main goal is to give controllees a heads up about what may be happening to them, to help them see there may be another way, to give hints about how to make it through the day without succumbing to wrong pressures. Of course, each person must be allowed freedom to make his own life mistakes and the power of manipulation is first, hard to realize, second, inherently difficult to address, and third, nigh impossible to extricate one’s self from. Still, my aim is to educate the victim of the external controller, not the victim of the controlling personna inside.

      1. i know i can always use a reminder about not succumbing to wrong pressure. It crops up in my life now and then in unpredictable ways…so periodic reminders are perfect. I tend to think the best of everyone and assume “it won’t happen again”…working on finding the balance between being prepared, still believing someone could change, and remaining optimistic yet realistic without becoming cynical. should be a piece of cake, right?

        1. Absolutely easy, like taking candy from a baby, right? Ha.
          I only recently realized some people are not truly liars, but rather they just talk and everything they say really has no discernable signifcance. It might come true or not, but the fact that they said it was just a coincidence with no bearing on what they said. Hmm. What a world. 😐

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