Sunday, April 6, 2008

Stop Helping the Manipulator

From Harriet Braiker's
Resistance Tactics....
"To Resist or Leave, That is the Question"
(Pgs 172 - 175)

If you are caught in a web of interpersonal manipulation, your immediate goal is to stop participating as a compliant victim who yields to pressure and capitulates to insidious, coercive or unfair tactics of control. There are two approaches to this goal: Resistance and/or Extraction (leaving the relationship altogether). In a turn of the tables, both approaches comprise the countercontrol that you will now exercise over the manipulator....


When you resist manipulative pressure successfully, you recalibrate the power balance in the relationship. You must realize that this shift in the power equation inevitably will alter the relationship and the behavior of both parties involved. Do not be afraid of this change...

Since you will initiate the changes and will hold your ground, the manipulator can choose either to adapt to your lead or else remain stuck in a strategy that no longer works, at least as far as the relationship with you is concerned. You must keep your eye on the prize: By remaining clearly “on message” – that the old manipulative methods will no longer effectively work to control you – you can reclaim your freedom, autonomy, self-respect, integrity, and self-esteem. This is absolutely a battle worth fighting and winning...

And many manipulative personalities – particularly those that comprise full-blown personality disorders, as discussed previously – simply do not and will not change....

For such individuals, manipulation of others is their modus operandi – their immutable way of functioning. When you proclaim your independence from manipulation by effectively resisting coercion and pressure, the manipulator’s response simply may be to change partners and continue dancing. If you will not play the game, the manipulator will find a more vulnerable target who will....

Remember, manipulators use manipulation because it works.
Stop helping them...


There are worse consequences than leaving or losing a relationship altogether. Certainly losing yourself in the fog of manipulation – losing sight of who you are and what you value, need and believe – would be a truly dire outcome. Remaining a victim of manipulation, diminishing your self-respect or integrity, and losing your self-esteem are far too high a price to pay for holding onto the elusive or illusory security that such a relationship may represent.

Finally – and this is important – if your willingness to be manipulated costs you a relationship,
What did you really have in the first place?