PREVIOUS: Manipulation #3b
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Our Manipulative WAYS (cont.)
You start by asking someone for a small favor they don’t mind doing, & then when they’re in the middle of it, add on other things or ask for the big thing you really wanted – making it hard for them to say no
Telling a conscientious victim that they don’t care enough, are too selfish or have it easy, keeping them in a self-doubting, anxious, submissive position. OR make someone feel bad that you don’t have qualities, people or things the way they do (you’re jealous /envious), so they’ll feel sorry & volunteer to help you out
Judgmental – the (T) form of T.E.A.
— all the time about everything, a characteristic of narcissism
— occasionally, an indirect expression of abandonment terror, when triggered now by a person or situation, but don’t recognize it for what it is – a reminder of childhood neglect & abuse
Physically &/or verbally copying someone you want to influence, using their same body language, intonation pattern, language, preferences… makes them feel ‘seen’
Saying yes to anything asked of you even when you’re not interested or it doesn’t suit you, & you don’t have time anyway – just so you’ll be liked. You over-book & then forget or cancel at the last-minute
One up-One Down
a. Believe you’re better/superior – morally having more value as a person, rather than being better at certain things (not the same as having a higher IQ), in order to keep everyone at a distance & not acknowledge the need for connection, help, comfort….
b. Feel inferior, believing you’re worse than everyone else (weaker, dumber, less capable….)
— in order to stave off assumed inevitable abandonment, disappointment AND — to obey Family rule “I am unlovable” / “I’m too much trouble” / “Don’t have needs”….
— try to get other to meet our needs by starving ourself / deprivation indirectly by being ‘incapable’
c. Fake humility – hiding the compulsion to dominate by taking on the role of servant, helper, assistant – perhaps serving a ‘higher cause’…. while controlling things from the wings
People-Pleasing / Perfectionism
Constantly trying to be or do whatever others want, or what you think they need/want, & going above & beyond what is called for or expected. to make yourself indispensable so they’ll approve of you & never ‘go way‘ (from self-hate & fear of abandonment)
Put a burden on others to be the good parents you never had BY:
• dismissing your own ‘voice’ & not taking up enough space
• going along to get along, suffer in silence – but others can feel it
• give up what you want, to avoid conflict, but are quietly resentful
• don’t ask question, but always trying to explain or defend yourself
• talk in indirect or convoluted ways, instead of declarative statements
• being withholding, as a form of silent disapproval
• believing you have nothing worthwhile to contribute……
COMBINED Manipulation of Self & Others
Taking on the Scapegoat Role as a child (NOT the same as being scapegoated by the family) – is a child’s attempt to spare the narcissistic family its pain, by taking it on & acting it out for them – assuming its efforts will alleviate the heaviness it can feel in everyone. It’s a way for this child to deny knowing that the alcoholic, narcissistic, codependent parents & other relatives are not willing to work on themselves, not going to take responsibility for their emotions or actions.
It’s a manipulative tactic (usually unconscious) which continues into adulthood. These ACoAs will go on sacrificing their own needs, their good name, their standing in the family or community, even their very life – if it will make others in the family ‘feel better’ by not having to look at their own damage & dysfunctional behavior! By extension, the Scapegoat will do the same for anyone else they care about.
By staying in this Toxic Role they set themselves up to be a negative focus for others – at home, in school, in business, in groups…. but ignore the fact that they are actually manipulating, as a way —
— to keep playing out the only ‘field position’ they know
— to get punished for being soooo bad, according to the abusers
— to get absolution for sins they were told they committed
— to solicit sympathy & ‘help’ without being able to ask for it
On one level this Role is genuinely taken on in the name of love, but at a deeper level it’s about the fear of losing connection, the ultimate childhood terror. Unfortunately, the sacrifices go unappreciated & are never successful anyway, but only make others disrespect & dismiss the Scapegoat. So when they’re treat badly or ignored, this ACoA gets very angry at the people they’ve been trying to ‘save’.
Scapegoats only see the rejection & invisibility, feel unloved, excluded, attacked – not recognizing or admitting that they —
— allow themselves to be used & toyed with by unscrupulous types
— experience any (real or imagined) slight as a direct rejection, as if others are even paying attention, or are hell-bent on hurting them
— perpetuate their childhood environment of fear, loneliness & abandonment BY not having a strong core identity based on self-esteem & self-respect.
NEXT: Manipulation #4a