Last time, we took a look at working with Manipulators. Manipulators are not always so obvious. Like in my story with my former boss, she was a manipulator, however the signs were not always blatantly obvious.
So how do you know you are being pulled by invisible manipulated strings?
Here are 7 manipulative traits signs to look out for:
##1 Manipulators are great psychologists
Do you know the right buttons to press to get the desired reaction from another?
Scenario: 3 year old boy, Tim, times his tantrums right in the middle of a crowded supermarket.
Response: His obviously flustered mother, (Tim knows mum will get embarrassed), seeks to do anything to divert the flood light attention that has been afforded her!
Manipulators seem to master human nature. Manipulators appear to know their ‘manipulatees’ more than the manipulatees know themselves at times. Manipulators are on the lookout for so-called insecurities and weaknesses and time their moments.
##2 Manipulators are like foxes
Are you devious in your techniques of getting things done your way?
Scenario: Tim screams at the top of his voice whilst rolling on the floor.
Translated action: ‘If you want to do any shopping tonight, you are going have to give me sweets!’
Manipulators don’t necessarily state what they clearly want. They are as sly and crafty like a fox.
##3 Manipulators give confusing messages
Do you leave others feeling confused because your communication is somewhat deliberately unclear? Do you change the conversation or steer the conversation in the manner you wish it to go? Or perhaps you use flattery and excessive words?
Manipulators will even lie at times or use deceptive language in communication whilst hiding under the mask of sincerity or charm.
##4 Manipulators can be selfish
Are you sometimes selfish with your intentions?
Sometimes, our flesh wants to demand that we put ourselves first especially if we feel we are deserving of something better than what we are currently getting. We just selfishly want our way.
What does our darling 3 year old Tim want? Sweets and sweets NOW! His mother’s concern, not his. Christianity however, is about putting others first before ourselves. That is what characterises the God-love in us (see 1 Corinthians 13).
##5 Manipulators seek to promote their ambitions, desires or purposes at any costs
Do you achieve your goals at the expense of others?
Scenario: The desire and purpose of Tim is to have sweets. Whether his mother is in the middle of an isolated desert or actually at the sweet shop is no consequence to him.
End result: That purpose MUST and WILL be met at all costs.
Manipulators are after the end result. Their vision clouds every other thing in their mind. Ambitions, desires, purposes motivate manipulators. Yes we must have visions.
The Bible clearly states we must even write down our vision (Habukkuk 2:2) – there must be a vision before we can write it. A purposeless Christian after all is a Christian that is heading for the pit of life. However, we must be careful when our ambitions are our only driving force to such an extent, that it does not matter who gets hurt along the way.
##6 Manipulators are egocentric
How much of a big ego do you have?
Some manipulators are too sure of themselves at times in a pompous, prideful way. As Christians we must boast in the Lord. Instead of thinking too much of ourselves, giving heed to self-glorification and so on, why not praise God who has given us the enablement and abilities (see Philippians 4:13)? As long as we praise ourselves or seek praises from others, we limit God’s own rewards – those praises we seek becomes our reward instead of the ones God had for us.
##7 Manipulators can be intimidating
Do you laud yourself over others making others feel small at times? No Christian sets out to be a bully. Bullying is an ugly word. Yet, manipulators can be seen as bullies.
Manipulators think they have one up on the ‘manipulatee.’ Manipulators are quick to highlight other people’s mistakes in a discrediting way. What do we gain by discrediting others?
Others see through those who make others smaller to make themselves appear big.It is often said however, that bullies are themselves cowards. So in actual fact, manipulators are just putting up a front. Christians must resist any bully-like tendencies with the Word of God. Apart from bullying, manipulators can use other emotional responses like anger, tears, pouting, creating atmospheres and so on.
We have all been guilty of being manipulative at one time or the other, even as toddlers just like Tim. However, manipulation is very distasteful as can be seen from my account with my ex boss above. We must unlearn manipulation.
In the church, manipulation can cause divisions. In the home, it can be unsettling. In the workplace, it can be unpleasant. Let us endeavour, especially as women not to craft this art in getting what we want. Not to be so calculating, it becomes a new science.
After all, we have a Father who loves us and desires good gifts for us. We can enter our rest in that knowledge.
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