If you and a manipulative person are thrown in together in a way where you cannot escape, what can you do?
- 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.
- 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.
- Seek God daily about your daily activities. Make God your daily planner, not the person who is trying to be God.
- 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 . . .
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!