Manipulative people get the better of you frequently by pushing you into your guilt, rage and shame. They do this by complaining, whining, venting or acting sullen all of which is their way of making their problem – and their responsibility – your responsibility to fix and even your fault for either causing it or not doing anything to make it better.
They often get their way because they are successful in causing you to feel guilty. And in so doing, you feel as if you’ve done something wrong and therefore have to accede to their behavior.
Over time it gets much worse for you because there is a cumulative effect from their manipulation that pushes you into resentment, deeper resentment and eventually rage. When you are pushed into your rage and into even a desire to say cruel and mean things back to them, if that goes against who you believe yourself to be, that can then trigger shame. All of this can make their manipulation even more effective as you unconsciously flirt with wanting bad things to happen to them… really bad things.
How do you recognize them? That’s easy. Just a text from them, a voice mail, an email or even the mention of their name, puts a knot into your stomach. (Of course you can also get that reaction because you’re afraid of being held accountable for something that you did or failed to do).
But there is hope if you follow these ten steps:
Following this, you might want to make a commitment to stay away from manipulative and high maintenance people who are usually easy to upset and difficult to please and spend more time with low maintenance people who are easy to please and difficult to upset.
As you spend more time with those wonderful low maintenance people, be sure to thank them from time to time for being in your life. One of the worst things you can do is have the high maintenance people in your life cause you to take the low maintenance people for granted.
If you find the above helpful, you might want to check out my book, Talking to Crazy: How to Deal with the Irrational and Impossible People in Your Life or perhaps you’d prefer the Russian edition, How to Talk With A—holes.