It seems like crazy-makers are everywhere these days. These are the folks you know in your gut there’s something wrong with. But somehow they make you feel like you’re crazy for thinking so. Crazy-makers prey on your good nature and your conscientiousness. They know you care enough to want to get things right. And it’s because you care so much that it’s easy to make you doubt what you can’t firmly prove. So, now you know the secret of interpersonal manipulation! Get someone to question what they know in their gut to be true, and you can have your way with them.
Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing
In my book In Sheep’s Clothing, I describe the consummate crazy-makers. I call them covert-aggressors, These folks make you feel crazy by cloaking their true nature and intentions. They’re out to get the better of you, for sure. But they don’t want you to know it. And when they sense you’re on to their game, they try to convince you that you have it all wrong. Unfortunately, they often possess skill at this. They can employ a slew of subtle tactics to make you doubt. Moreover, the more charming and polished they are at convincing you, the more unsure and crazy they can make you feel. Covert-aggression lies at the heart of manipulation.
“Gaslighting” and Its Effects
The term “gaslighting” has come into vogue in recent years. Some use the term to describe the crazy-making behavior of manipulators . I’ve posted many articles on this. (See: Gaslighting Victims Question Their Sanity.) (See also: How Manipulative Characters Gaslight.) But long before gaslighting became a fashionable term, I described the behavior and its effects.
Victims of covert-aggression often end up feeling confused, unsure, and even depressed. They try so hard to understand. But they don’t trust their gut instincts. This happens easily for folks who are conscientious. And good manipulators know this. In fact, they count on it! They count on your good nature to be able to sway you. In the end, you end up feeling taken advantage of. You can also feel played for a fool. Nothing crushes the spirit quite like gaslighting. And all of my 4 books address just how this happens. They also tell you what you have to do to revitalize your spirit.
Ending the Craziness
I wrote In Sheep’s Clothing and my other books for one main reason. I wanted to help folks put an end to the craziness they felt. Restoring one’s sanity takes both courage and understanding. Ultimately, you end the craziness when you understand and know how to respond to a manipulator’s tactics. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be revisiting manipulators’ favorite tactics. And I’ll be emphasizing what it takes to stop feeling crazy and become truly empowered and alive again.
Character Matters will air live Sunday March 18, so call in to join the conversation.