Joined: 29 May 2003
|Posted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 9:36 pm Post subject: Who's pulling your strings?
|this is an excerpt from a book (Who's Pulling your Strings?)I found quite interesting. It's from an e-library (netlibrary.com) though my local library. If your local library does not register to netlibrary you can get a library card through the oneI use here in Virginia. The wonderful Fairfax county library. http://www.co.fairfax.va.us/library/default.htm
Footprints in the Snow
Either way, the victim characteristically complains of feelings
of confusion about what the manipulator’s desires and motivations
really are. In the context of the relationship, the victim
often reports feeling unhappy, highly stressed, and full of
anxiety and worry. Subjectively, victims often feel quite “out
of control” in terms of their own behavior and emotions, only
sometimes recognizing that the manipulator is really pulling
In effect, while the mark or victim may not yet have clarity
as to the manipulative dynamic or to the role he or she plays
in the collusion, an experienced clinician certainly can read the
“footprints” left by the manipulator all over the victim’s emotional
state. In this sense, while the manipulator may not be
present for the therapy (although somewhat later he actually
may join in the therapy process, albeit usually reluctantly), his
or her identity is recognizable from the proverbial “footprint
left in the snow” or, more accurately, on the victim’s psyche.
The Silent Contract
There is often an implicit or silent agreement between the
manipulator and the victim not to speak directly about the
“rules” of their relationship. Part of what the manipulator
controls is what will and will not be permissible communication
in the relationship. This is often accomplished simply by
being unwilling or unavailable to participate in a given conversation
(e.g., “I’m not in the mood to talk about this” or “I
don’t have time now to discuss this”).
Nonverbally, the manipulator simply may convey his or
her displeasure by ignoring a comment or question, walking
out, ending a phone call, or otherwise indicating that he or
she is not receptive to discussion.
It does not take long for the silent contract to be set. Communication,
especially as it pertains to the power and control
dynamics of the relationship, is limited or forbidden. The
threat of conflict and confrontation looms large to the victim
for even suggesting that manipulation is taking place. Thus
the silent pact continues.
I hear many similar stories from frustrated patients who
ultimately report being stymied by this type of manipulative
wall. However, it usually takes a while for the victim to realize
what has been going on in the relationship.
When threats are implicit, no direct responses are tolerated.
In fact, the potency of the implied threat, coercion, or
intimidation lies in the victim’s inability—or perceived inability—
to talk about the fact that he or she feels manipulated.
As long as the real agenda of the manipulator is kept hidden
or obscured, the pattern will persist. By controlling and
limiting communication, the manipulator creates mounting
frustration and eventual hostility in the victim. However,
without a vehicle for expressing the negative feelings, these
feelings often become internalized, thereby contributing to the
process of emotional harm to the victim.
The Emotional Toll of Manipulation
In Chapter 10 you had a chance to evaluate the likelihood
that you are participating as a victim in a manipulative relationship.
If your score is in the danger zone, you are very
likely experiencing the negative emotional impact of manipulation.
Being manipulated means that you are ceding control over
your own feelings, actions, and even thoughts to someone else.
Although a manipulative relationship may begin with and even
explicitly recognize a big gain as its goal or purpose, the positive
character of the control almost invariably shifts to a coercive
or negative basis over time. Once manipulation takes hold,
the lever of control is more closely related to the fear or threat
of losing the promised gain or to the threat or fear of another
dreaded or undesirable loss or other negative consequence.
Recall from Chapter 9 on the mechanics of manipulation
that negative reinforcement—also known as aversive conditioning—
while very effective in controlling behavior, does not
produce a happy or well-adjusted subject. Negative reinforcement,
punishment, and traumatic one-trial learning are,
for the most part, fundamentally coercive in nature. And few
people enjoy being coerced into much of anything.
If the manipulation includes unpredictable or randomized
partial reinforcement—you are never quite sure when a
reward or a cessation of a negative experience (negative reinforcement)
is going to happen—the very strong and unpleasant
component of anxiety is added to the victim’s experience.
The lack of predictability creates high uncertainty that, in
turn, produces anxiety.
Thus manipulation is both coercive and anxiety-producing.
And it is highly frustrating, which, in turn, creates hostility
and anger. These are toxic feelings that begin to take a
substantial emotional toll on the victim.
However, there are other signs and symptoms that victims
of manipulative relationships develop. Characteristically, victims
frequently feel responsible for causing these negative feelings and
reactions in themselves. The self-blame becomes a major feature
of victim status.
A closer look at the way manipulation operates, though,
will help you to understand that the negative feelings are
understandable and largely even inevitable reactions to the
stress and frustration caused by the manipulation.
Let’s take a look at some other common emotional reactions
to being victimized by manipulation.
Confusion About the Manipulator’s True Motives
The confusion that develops in the victim about the manipulator’s
motives is often an integral part of the manipulative
control. Recall that the endgame for the manipulator is to
advance her own self-interests and goals with little or no
regard for those of other people. However, a skilled and clever
manipulator will disguise her actual motives, often with disarming
and effective reassurances, such as “You know I only
want you to be happy” or “I have only your best interests at
heart” or “I am on your side—I’m trying to help you out.”
The victim’s confusion is magnified many times over
when the manipulation occurs in the context of a family/
marital/romantic relationship. In such relationships, there
is a general expectation that love and altruism will prevail
over the self-centered goals of manipulation. You may not
expect those who say they love you to manipulate and
exploit you, so you are likely to use the defense mechanism
of denial to protect yourself from painful—although ultimately
necessary—realizations. But some of the most
painful experiences of manipulative relationships that I
have seen have, in fact, occurred in families.
Sometimes the victim’s confusion lies with the manipulator’s
carefully disguised motives. Other times the victim’s own
denial and fear keep him from recognizing the manipulative
methods being used to control him. In such cases, the victim
is often deeply entrenched and enmeshed in a sustained
manipulative pattern before he becomes fully aware of the
negative toll the manipulation is taking on his emotional and
often even physical health.
For example, in family or marital relationships, the expectation
or assumption of love can fog an accurate perception
of the manipulation that really exists. “I know that my husband
really loves me,” a depressed wife who had been victimized
by emotional abuse and manipulation for years once
told me in a therapy session. “But I am just a constant disappointment
Such a victim also illustrates the erosive effects of manipulation
on self-esteem. Frequently, as in this case, these erosive
effects can cause the victim to internalize the blame and to see
herself as the main reason that the relationship is problematic.
When working with patients in this category, helping to
rebuild their shattered self-esteem is usually a top treatment
priority—even before helping them deal with the manipulators
in their lives.
Confusion about what the manipulator “really means” or
“truly wants” is the inevitable result of maintaining the silent
contract to keep the manipulative agenda hidden or obscured.
When direct communication—especially about the power and
control dynamics of the relationship—is avoided, the most effective
tactic for clarification and for ending or reducing confusion
Joined: 29 May 2003
|Posted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 9:38 pm Post subject:
|This book really gets into HOW and WHY manipulation work. Very interesting when the book goes into how even an animal can be trained using the simple methods of positive,negative,punishmnet, and One Time Trauma tactics. I recommend this book, as it realtes directly to racism and ALL forms of mistreatment.
Joined: 12 Apr 2003
Location: Wherever I'm sent.
|Posted: Sat Jun 19, 2004 3:39 pm Post subject:
|very intresting post copious.
Having been "college educated", whatever that means, I have learned one thing if nothing else; White people are not gonna teach you how white supremacy works...Directly
In other words, the "playbook" of the white supremacists are full of codified strategies that are proven, based on the success of the business or racism/white supremacy...
Thing is, they're racist code is so tight, they can 'cut-n-paste' outta the Racist-handbook and use it to solve the problems of their choosing.
Copious your article is one example.
One thing I notice when I examine what white people teach me is that they have the equipment or "methodolgy" for proporley "diagnosing" and "solving" any and all problems.
Unfortunaly, many of them choose to use these talents for other purposes.
Mainly, the mistreatment of people based on COLOR.
Understanding is honoring the truth beneath the surface.
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