Blog post #24 of #ShiftYourHabits by Dace Pavloviča
Shift Your Habits
Photo taken by Manfred Richter
Don’t Allow Yourself To Be Manipulated
Today let’s talk about manipulation. And how it can destroy any relationship we have. Also we will figure out what to do to avoid it. And how to transform it in more healthy way!
But since very beginning let’s return in the past. What are the main reasons for us manipulating each with another and from where it usually starts?
Yes, you are right. It is the experience we face being children. That’s very common that most part of us have been raised in that way. Parents often get the necessary behavior from their children using manipulation. As they have been in the same way when they were small.
At the first, that’s the fastest way to get the behavior they expect from their children. For example this one: “If you will do what I asked for, I will become very sad.” Although this phrase will not work out for very small kids, it’s quite effective for children being 5 – 9 years old. No child wants to see their moms see sad. (There is unconscious feeling of responsibility for child. As he would be responsible for his mom’s happiness.)
The second, it’s also very common that fears are used as ‘raising tool’. To correct behavior of the child. For example: “If you will not listen to me, just wait, until your dad will come home..”
Through fear you can get the results instantly. It’s powerful. By the way, based on my experience also that phrase is often used. “If you will not do that and that, mom will leave you”.
What does it mean to small child to hear those words? The highest intensity of desperation. Insecurity. Feeling of not being loved. And sometimes we do so. We do stand up and go away.
Let’s return back to the present – what will happen next when this child will grow up.
He/she has gained experience. Relationship through manipulation. To get what you want – you need to manipulate and to create feeling of guiltiness in other.
It all is unconscious process. Until we realize what is truly happening. By revealing the reason – why we do so.
What can you do - if you experience manipulative relationships? First, recognize them. Second, reset your boundaries.
It is very healthy for both parts involved in relationship for boundaries to be reset. Nobody is guilty. There are just two souls with different life experiences met, each with his own pains and struggling.
It is not point to reproach someone who does it. The highest understanding is necessary – nobody manipulates because he/she nothing else to do. It’s still survival. And the way how she/he is used to get what they want. Trough manipulation.
How to reset those boundaries? Don’t react on manipulation. Don't allow yourself to be manipulated.
How will you know if someone manipulates with you?
The feeling of guiltiness will arise in you. And because you are ‘good’, you never say ‘no’, you will do what you are asked for.
I will emphasize it again because that’s very important.
We don’t do because we WANT to do what we are asked to do, but because it could look BAD from outside if we will refuse. It is like trap. If it is difficult for you to say NO, it can become your weakest part. Your shortest path to burn out also, by the way. But behind that – it is your need to be loved. (We all have the same need – to be loved – one of the most essential) And unconsciously – if you do something you actually don’t want, there is ‘hope’ – others will love you…)
Manipulation hurts. It can make us feel like living in the cage. Not being free.
If you have children, it is worth to reevaluate your relationship. To step back and to observe yourself how you usually interact with them. If you always get from your child behavior through manipulation, when he will grow up - he will replicate it in his life. You know - that it hurts so much. You have experienced it. Do you really want it for your child also..?
If you recognize you being involved in manipulative relationship, it doesn't mean that it will last forever. That manipulation. As soon as you will change your behavior (won't responding to those manipulative moves), relationship should also change. If you don't respond in usual way, other person can't do things he/she used to do before. He/she also has to change.
Don't allow to be manipulated. Don't manipulate with others. It's poison for any relationship.
Choose love. Choose acceptance. And don't forget about your needs. You are not less important than others. You also need the same. To be loved and accepted. Without manipulation. Pure relationship. Based on truth. Based on genuine interaction each to other. No manipulative games. Just love.
Shift Your Habits
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My name is Dace Pavloviča.