Under the gaslight, you stop trusting your gut. But once the mask comes off your manipulator you realize your gut was right all along and you’re free to start trusting yourself and your instincts once again.
Revering truth is crucial to character. To have healthy intimate relationships, we have to be honest and sincere with others. And to be psychologically and spiritually healthy, we have to be honest with ourselves.
Reverence for the truth builds character and can truly set us free. But narcissists and other disturbed characters have declared war on truth. For them, reality is what they say it is. Believing themselves superior, they know they’re right and everyone else is wrong.
Manipulative narcissists are covert-aggressors who use various, subtle tactics to charm, disarm, and otherwise take advantage. Playing on your emotions, many find the game of getting the better of you amusing and satisfying. They enjoy “toying” with you.
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.