Whether they’re overt or covert about it, manipulative aggressors will always try to dictate. Therefore, to empower yourself you must re-define engagement terms and do so quickly. Taking these two actions are your principal empowerment tools.
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.
Manipulators are covert-aggressors. They’re out to win, dominate, and control but don’t want to be seen that way. If you knew what they were really up to, they’d run a higher risk of being resisted. And if you knew what they were really like, you’d be more wary of them. They’re the proverbial wolves in sheep’s clothing.
Some habitual liars are called “pathological” liars because they lie for no apparent reason. They lie even at times when the truth would suffice or serve them better. Some have regarded such senseless lying as a kind of mental illness or even insanity. But these liars are not insane. Rather, they belong to a group of the most severely disordered characters among us (i.e. psychopaths, sociopaths, etc.), and they’re perfectly rational. There’s a “method” to their apparent “madness.”
How did we end up here? That’s the question so many folks who have been struggling in or recovering from a toxic relationship find themselves asking. Many also question how we ended up here as a society. My new book with Kathy Armistead provides a practical guide to surviving and thriving in a character-disordered world.
Survivors of toxic relationships know how difficult it can be to restore one’s emotional sanity, pick up the pieces, and move on. They need answers that empower and help protect them against future harm.
Disturbed and disordered characters use blame as a tactic to manipulate those whom they know to be conscientious enough to accept all or part of the responsibility for something that’s really not their fault at all.
Trust is not just a prerequisite for a sound therapeutic relationship. It’s an essential ingredient – perhaps the single most important ingredient – in any relationship, especially our more intimate relationships.
The “smoothness” or social facility psychopaths display is generally not matched by congruent and concomitant emotion. They may have a very easy “way with words” (sometimes accompanied by equally charming nonverbal gestures), but usually their smooth talk is not accompanied by any emotion that matches what they’re saying or that can be sensed and felt by others as genuine.