Jun. 15, 2016
Manipulation is a trait that wears two faces. On one side, it can be that skillful ability to operate a machine, work a craft, or make your partner's body quiver with pleasure.
On the other side, it denotes a dark desire to control others through deception, coercion and exploitation. This selfish skill takes over when a partner won't conform to our expectations.
Instead of accepting our partner as he or she is, trusting the wisdom of his or her choices and letting them come to the understanding on their own, we decide we won't take "no" for an answer, and begin to pull the marionette strings and push all the right buttons. Some will use guilt subtly, in order to ensure our partner won't hang out or be with anyone else. Maybe we make false promises in order to lure our partner into our premeditated schemes. Or we use the threat of anger or temper tantrums to make sure nobody disobeys our wishes because they won't want to deal with the backlash.
Manipulation is the beginning of a cycle of abuse, and it must be nipped in the bud if any real intimacy is ever to be achieved.
Being on the receiving end of such behavior is often too painful to acknowledge: How could my partner act with such blatant disregard for integrity?? Yet when it comes to passion, we have all experienced moral weakness. Love can bring out the best and the worst in us...in equal measures.
The only path out is to embrace wholehearted honesty. To show your partner that you may be vulnerable but you can still see the deceptive behaviour, this provides the antidote to our own manipulative instincts.
Being transparent, even when we're full of fear, increases our self-esteem, whereas manipulation destroys it. Gradually we really want them to learn that there is no separation between ourselves and others: to honor another's autonomy is to honor your own.
Thanks for reading.
Live. Well. Now.