ACoAs MANIPULATING Self & Others (Part 1)

controling manipulator

PREVIOUS: Multiple Intelligences

SITE: “Steve Jobs – biography by Walter Isaacson  & Commentary by Dave Smith

NOTE: See ACRONYM page for abbrev.


DEFs : Manipulation (M) is made up of a series of statement &/or actions, always indirectly trying to &/or succeeding in get our needs/wants met, in round-about ways

Normal – must be used sparingly, & only when there is no other legitimate option. When used for good, one can try to manipulate others to help a worthy cause, but even when well-intended, for M to be effective it has to target people’s weak spots.

Unhealthy  – Because M is never straightforward, it can be really hard to spot, especially when used by an experiences & skilled perpetrator, for strictly selfish reasons (narcissistically). The controlling aspects are sometimes very subtle, so can easily be overlooked or denied – our awareness buried under obligation, love, guilt, fear of abuse, FoA & long-term exposure.

Severe – A perpetrator / bully forcefully controlling another group or individuals who feel or are actually powerless to resist (child, battered spouse, sex slaves, gang members, war victims…..) to satisfy the manipulator’s ‘sick’ needs

PURPOSE – For ACoAs, addicts & other wounded people:
M. is used to try getting needs/wants met by a variety of underhanded tactics, to extract from other PPT something they may or not want to give
OR trying to force PPT (person, group, environment) to provide something we need/want which they actually do not have to give
AND which in many cases we can provide for ourselves OR find a more direct way of obtaining something we lack – but from a more appropriate source

Re. NEEDS: It’s important to note the 2 major catmental fitness pyramidegories of needs.
Most of the time (without deep FoO work) we compulsively,slavishly insist on reinforcing the pattern set out for us by our unhealthy upbringing. This insures that we stay deprived in the same ways we did as kids.
Normal needs
a: Those which EVERYONE has, & which we can’t get rid of because they’re fundamental to our humanity

b: Needs specific to YOU, based on your native personality
EXP: need to be/live near water, or near other outdoor nature // need to be artistic/creative // need to be orderly/organized….

c. AND to some degree your specific needs in response to childhood PTSDnegative experiences & severe trauma, endlessly repeated

: need to live in one location for the rest of one’s life after moving 10-20 times as kid // need to not be around crazy/angry people – at all, ever! // need for a great deal of predictability….

Unhealthy ‘needs’/compulsive desires —
• to please & be approved of by parents who can’t be pleased
• to stay in unhappy, unsuitable or abusive relationships, jobs…. for fear of having to feel abandoned & obey Toxic Rules
• to hang on to negative thinking & actions, believing it’s ‘safe’
• to keep using addictions (sex, food, spending, internet, chemicals….)
so we don’t have to face the pain underneath
• to keep trying to fix other people, especially those who don’t want to change/grow/improve
• to keep chasing people who don’t want to connect with us, always finding the one person in the group who will reject us
• to always be one-up on others, to show off, to act superior
• to grab & hang on to position, power, status…. at any cost to others
• to always be the center of attention   (Add your own)

MANIPULATIONsqueeze my brain
M= serving a hidden agenda, in an attempt to coerce another person into giving in. Perpetual manipulators present themselves as strong & in control, but have a great deal of insecurity under the facade & a deep sense of personal powerlessness about getting their needs met – directly. They can’t connect to or keep healthy, loving relationships

vs Influenceinfluence
This is used on other people to advance our goals – a mark of normal social interactions – in general & a way of functioning effectively in the world – personally. It uses direct, honest communication, recognizing the integrity, boundaries & rights of others, including the right to not go along with the attempted persuasion

vs Boundaries (Bs)
Knowing our rights & personal needs so well that we can set Bs byB invade telling others what’s acceptable & what’s not – in our interactions with them. Like with influence, it’s also direct, but it’s a way of getting our needs met without depending on other people’s help or co-operation. It comes from having permission to provide for oneself, & having access to choices
vs Personality Disorders (PDs)
In PDs, manipulation is a defensive style which permeates a person’s every interaction, even tho they may hide their true intention, & act in ways that look ‘normal’, which in itself is a manipulation.

NEXT : Manipulating OURSELVES (Part 2a)


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