In the last installment, we introduced characteristics of what I call “Lifestyle Manipulators,” people who use manipulation as their primary interactional mode. Do you recognize when you’re being manipulated? There are expectable patterns of action and behavior performed by all Lifestyle Manipulators. Knowing them enables us to take quicker action in removing ourselves from manipulative situations.
Chapter 6: More manipulative behaviors
“A Lifestyle Manipulator frequently appears interested in you and others. Yet a closer look proves the interest is not real.”
“One of my acquaintances seemed very concerned about his employee, who had applied to attend graduate school. The prospective student asked the employer to write a letter of recommendation for him and he agreed. Several weeks later, the prospective student showed up at his employer’s home in tears, reporting that he had been turned down for admission to graduate school. He thanked the man for all he had done to help him. “It was nothing,” replied the employer. “I’m only sorry you didn’t get admitted.” “
“Two weeks later, the employer’s wife came to me in great distress. “I always type things for my husband, because he cannot type,” she explained. “I know he never wrote that letter of recommendation because I never typed it. When I asked him about it, he shocked me! ‘He was never going to get into that college in the first place is what he told me.”
“This man appeared to be interested in the prospective student, yet not only made a promise he did not bother to keep but also neglected to tell the truth about his choices and actions.”
“The Lifestyle Manipulator’s need to stay connected to avoid facing life alone takes precedence over real interest, love, or even empathy. The reason the Lifestyle Manipulator shows interest is twofold: (1) to keep connected and (2) to collect information or fulfill an obligation.”
We can easily get drawn into relationships in which it seems the other person is interested in our life. Beware of this: “With manipulation, all extraneous bits of information WILL be used against you.” A lot of hurt occurs because the manipulative person “appears interested,” yet, in reality, is interested in gathering information that can be used to exert control at opportune times in the manipulator’s life.
“Behaves Differently with Different People”
“Many surveys and studies have reported that one of the activities Americans fear most is getting up in front of a group of people to give a talk! This fear surfaces, in my observation, especially because we are such a nation of manipulators. As manipulators, we become the person we think the other person needs us to be. When we do this, we feed energy to the other person, which then positions them to pay attention to us, giving us the energy that we crave. The manipulator gives a little bit of just the right kind of attention; the target person gives a lot of energy in return….”
“This means, however, that the Lifestyle Manipulator must become someone different for each person with whom he has a manipulative connection. If you stand before a room full of people to offer a speech, this pressures you to be a different person for every individual in the room. Too much pressure!……”
“When we are with Lifestyle Manipulators…. Most of us do not realize that they are draining energy out of us all the time we are together! …. we get tired just by talking with, hanging out with, or locking eyes with a Lifestyle Manipulator… Exhaustion can creep up on us, leaving us suddenly and unexplainably deflated.”
“…. if we leave the Lifestyle Manipulator for a while to go do something on our own, we are amazed at how short a time it takes for us to start feeling good and having energy again. The immediate hemorrhage of our vital energy has stopped. Many people think there is something wrong with them….”
“Examine how you feel after you spend time with the people in your life. If you find yourself consistently exhausted…. following visits with particular people, consider that they might be Lifestyle Manipulators.”
“…. manipulative people have an uncanny ability to select their victims’ most tender area and push on that area in order to get what they need…. Whatever you hold most dear, this is where the Lifestyle Manipulator will enter and agitate. How?”
“…. manipulation occurs from the earliest moments of life. This means that a
person who has not outgrown it still operates as a small child does. Children study the people (parents and caregivers) around them, then “push their buttons”!”
“It’s their job. Children push buttons, pinpointing the weaknesses of parents as part of a system to get parents to notice where they themselves are incomplete, where they still need to grow….”
‘…. the Lifestyle Manipulator can read your energy even when he is far away from you…. Emotionally, this kind of energy-draining can leave people tired, out of sorts, ungrounded and upset—all without having a clue about the cause.”
“…. the Lifestyle Manipulator can be so extremely perceptive in reading others, yet also cannot see them for who they really are “
“Cannot See Others as They Really Are”
“To see you for who you are, I must stand back and become an observer. While I am doing this, you and I are separate. As a Lifestyle Manipulator, I am terrified to be separate from others. Because I cannot take the risk of separating from you long enough to observe you as a separate person, I will be unable to see you for who you really are.”
“…. If you insist that you are different from me, it may shock me. If you become too different from me, I may have to let you go, moving on to someone else who is willing to not identify themselves as separate from me, thus ensuring our ongoing connection.”
They’re 7 more characteristics. Next time we look at how manipulation is accomplished!
Connect with Ilene on The Wellness Universe.
All information, content, and material is for informational purposes only and is not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider. The information supplied through or on this page, or by any representative or agent of The Wellness Universe, is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical, legal, or other professional advice. Health-related information provided through this website is not a substitute for medical advice and should not be used to diagnose or treat health problems or to prescribe any medical devices or other remedies. The Wellness Universe reserves the right to remove, edit, move or close any content item for any reason, including, but not limited to, comments that are in violation of the laws and regulations formed pursuant to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. None of the posts and articles on The Wellness Universe page may be reprinted without express written permission.
Self-development, self-care, and inspirational classes and sessions by Wellness Universe World Changer instructors who support your total well-being.
The Wellness Universe is here to serve your best well-being. If you are experiencing anxiety, grief, overwhelm, guilt, anger, or seeking ways to cope and get help for stress, relationships, parenting, or any other issue during this challenging time, we have wonderful resources for you to connect with. Our WU Best Help members are offering reduced rates, sliding scale payment options, and even pro-bono sessions.
WU Best Help
Ilene Dillon, MSW, has dedicated her life to helping people resolve personal challenges once and for all, then design life to be what they want it to be. A Transformation Specialist, she has worked 50 years as a psychotherapist and 15 years as a coach. She is a global speaker, Amazon International Best-selling author (The Wellness Universe Guide to Complete Self-Care, Volumes 1 and 2), podcast guest, and plans to give her first TEDx speech (on Anger) later this year. Ilene is also the author of Emotions in Motion: Mastering Life’s Built-in Navigation System and End Manipulation: Stop Being Jerked Around by Toxic, Energy-draining People. With her little dog, Pi, Ilene lives and travels full-time throughout North America in her RV, writing, teaching, and speaking along the way.