Manipulators come in two main varieties. Most are covert-aggressors who carefully cloak their true intentions. But some others are more overt in their ways. They rely on a different strategy. But both types count on one thing to get their way: the characteristics of their targets.
To have character integrity you have to not only be genuine but also principled. Moreover, to be properly principled you have to both respect and be willing to subordinate yourself to some “higher power” or authority.
It’s not enough to just to be willing to admit the truth. Many folks will do that, especially after they’ve been caught lying. Rather, it’s more important to truly revere the truth. A solid character knows the value of the truth – its power to heal, to empower, and to free. But it’s always a choice to embrace the truth – a choice truly decent characters freely make.
The most disastrous relationships I’ve witnessed over the years all began with a “con” of some sort. Sometimes the deception was both knowing and deliberate but other times the wool was not so calculatingly pulled over the eventual victim’s eyes. There are times in all of our lives when we simply don’t trust our better judgment – when we won’t let ourselves see what we’re afraid to see – or when we simply can’t accept what seems too unsettling or unimaginable to believe.
Manipulative people are among the most skilled liars. As masters of deception, they know each and every little way to lie. Perhaps the biggest single reason their tactics of manipulation and control work is because their surface-level behaviors can easily have you believing one thing while underneath the surface something else is really going on.
A good rule of thumb for dealing with the problem character in your life: trust your gut before you trust their words.
Children are always observing. And they don’t just pay attention to what we say. What they mostly notice is what we do.