Posted by: Jo Banks
You probably are...
Our gut feeling is a wonderful thing. It’s a primeval safety mechanism specifically designed to keep us out of harm’s way, and yet it’s something that we so often completely override.
I know without a doubt that whenever I’ve made a mistake, especially in my judgement of whether a person or situation is good or bad/right or wrong for me, it’s because I’ve overridden my basic gut instinct.
We instinctively know if something isn’t right. Yet we often choose to ignore it, finding ways to rationalise what we know deep down to be wrong. Subconsciously, we process information on so many levels, clearly spotting incongruences and we yet we consciously choose to convince ourselves that everything is/will be fine. This is especially true when we come to being manipulated by others.
I recently had a client whose situation clearly demonstrated this. She managed all the household finances. Her husband completely delegated that responsibility to her. However, whenever she tried to talk to him about his excessive spending, he would blow up, shouting at her, causing her to retreat without resolving the issue. It got to the point that their debts were becoming unmanageable, yet she still felt that she couldn’t raise it for fear of his explosive reaction.
It was only when I asked her why she thought he reacted that way and what his gain (conscious or subconscious) might be for this behaviour, that she suddenly realised that he had been manipulating her. She had a real lightbulb moment as she came to the conclusion that he blew up because he knew she hated conflict and would do anything to avoid it. By stopping her from raising financial issues, he could remove himself from any responsibility for his excessive spending and their dire financial situation and continue in self-imposed ignorance.
Following our conversation, she calmly wrote down everything she wanted to say to her husband (including her desired outcome) and for the first time. She decided that no matter how heated the discussion got, she wouldn't let him off the hook. She eventually had the conversation with him (it took a couple of attempts), and whilst she found it uncomfortable and he did try all his usual intimidation techniques, she stuck to her plan and refused to back down. As a result, he finally gave up and sat and listened and they were able to design a plan for how they were both going to deal with their debts.
OTHERS TREAT US THE WAY WE ALLOW THEM TO
If you find yourself unable to deal with certain situations because you think the other person will ‘blow up' or it will cause and argument or you're frightened of how they will react, it’s likely that you’re being manipulated. The problem will not go away until you do something about it. Others treat us the way that we allow them to.
No matter how difficult it may be, you need to do something differently and talk to them about it. It doesn’t have to be in a confrontational way.
Traits of a Manipulator
How to recognise if you’re being manipulated:
How to deal with a manipulator:
Finally, once you recognise that you're being manipulated, it can give you power. You know what the manipulator is trying to do, so you’re actually in the position of power, not them! Stop letting them get away with it, make a plan and take action.
If you would like help with this or anything else, give us a call for a free no-obligation conversation on how we can help you.
Visit the website for Jo Banks' first book, Thoughts Become Things now available in paperback and Kindle formats.
Visit the website for Jo Banks' new book, Land Your Dream Job Now! now available in paperback and Kindle formats.