In order to achieve the desires of the ego,
we often end up being manipulative in our relationships. This does not only
happen in intimate relationships but in relationship with family members,
friends, and colleagues at work. Some people may not be conscious of the fact
that their actions are manipulative.
A manipulative relationship is one-sided and
unbalanced, advancing the goals of the manipulator at the expense of the person
being manipulated. No one likes being manipulated, so when the one being
manipulated finds out about the manipulation, the relationship becomes
Manipulation is not influence. One may try to
advance oneâ€™s goals with influence but one recognizes the rights and boundaries
of other people, and it is based on direct, honest communication. Influence
recognizes the integrity of the other person including the choice not to go
along with attempted persuasion. Manipulation, on the other hand, depends on
covert agendas and usually attempts to coerce the other into giving in. A
manipulator may appear strong and in control but behind this show, insecurity
is often found. With the tendency to exploit others, people who manipulate
others have difficulty in maintaining good interpersonal relationships.
A manipulator does not usually start his
manipulation at the beginning of a relationship. What does he gain if the
relationship ends immediately? So, the manipulation progresses over time. The
manipulator observes the other personâ€™s vulnerabilities and learns how to
Manipulative people have a strong need to be
in control. Full of ego, they believe they will be annihilated if they lose
this sense of control. They may display strong self-confidence but that is a compensation
for the underlying feeling of insecurity. Their motives being self-serving,
they pursue their goals regardless of the cost to the other. They find it
difficult to show their vulnerable emotions because to them, this suggests they
are not in control. One who is being manipulated may actually be enabling the
manipulator. So, if you feel you are being manipulated in your relationship,
you may want to sit down and see how you may be encouraging the manipulator unwittingly.
Depending on the severity of the manipulation
and the damage it has done to your sense of integrity, you may need to consider
whether it is worth it to continue in the relationship. There are of course
situations where instead of leaving you may have to change the situation.
Parent-child relationship is an example.
It is not helpful to try to out-manipulate a
manipulator. You will be making yourself vulnerable to further manipulation.
The relationship will then be a battle between egos and this can in no way be
of benefit to you. Instead you open yourself to a continual experience of pain
and suffering as you persist in your resistance mode.
You can disable a manipulative behaviour by
making a change within yourself. Surrender. Surrendering does not mean you
should be okay with the manipulation. Surrendering is more of an internal
acceptance than an external resignation. It involves you seeing the situation
the way it is. You do not surrender because you like it. You surrender simply
because it is and so that you offer no resistance to what is. Surrender, then
act. Change the dynamics of the manipulative relationship. Cease to be cooperative
with manipulative tactics. Manipulators who keep working hard to maintain
control in a relationship without success usually give up by leaving the
relationship and looking for someone else to control â€“ until they become