I have chosen to write today on the manipulator as they are especially active during the Holiday Season. We all know the manipulative by different names and faces but at some time in our lives we will all know several. They are often times the charming that are generous with both their praise and gifts, until they have us totally convinced they are the victims of others,before they begin their attempts to victimize us.
If we could all just remember that people who do not expect something from us will walk away since they have nothing to prove, nor will they waste our time or their’s convincing us, unless we seek them out and ask for the facts, then we would all be the wiser before we find ourselves trapped by the manipulator.
Some are very obvious to those of us who have been conned ourselves, and too often when we try to warn our loved ones who are being victimized by these people or the person,we are the ones who lose the affections of our loved ones instead. They are so charming while they convince us that they are the benefactors or benefactress of the World, before we become sucked into their schemes and realize that those who tried to warn us,were our real friends.
Many times they enter our lives when we are the most vulnerable and reaching out to gain knowledge or comfort. They will many times be so perfect in our minds that we cannot believe ourselves that anyone so kind and generous can be in our lives. They run the gamut from Religious schemers such as Rev. Jones, who convinced or forced 900 people to drink the Kool-Aid,to claims of being a charitable organization but unless we check them out first they can be very convincing in their efforts to deceive, or many times they are a member of our own family. No one is a better manipulator than the family member who needs alcohol or drug money and they often times do not stop with the family members but move on to the neighbors and strangers who will fall for their stories of victimization, just as we do.
When the charm runs out of the manipulator,because they can only sustain it for so long,we will either be made to feel that we owe them the rest of our lives or we will wise up and run because just as charming as they can be, they can also be as intimidating. While we are convincing ourselves that we have welcomed the perfect people or person into our lives they are learning our weak or vulnerable points and they learn to use them to their advantage when the charm wears off. They capitalize on the negative feelings of guilt or feelings of betrayal in us, and use it to their benefits. We should never think it is just our imagination or we are being unfair to them, after they have been so good to us, because they trap us into believing just that so they can gain control over us.
As we gain more knowledge and comfort with ourselves we recognize them readily and to often think they are rather harmless to those of us who are aware of people who play on others’ emotions. While we ourselves are no contest to them they often times see us as a challenge to defeat and will deliberately,in some cases, prey on those who we befriend, is our child, or another loved one, just to prove that they can out smart us and defeat us when we do think of them as being harmless. It often serves in the best interests of all of us if we do not make it obvious to them that we do not believe them, but remain firm in what our ground rules are because then the more likely they will be to move onto their next victim. If we try to warn the next candidate to be victimized by the manipulator before they become victimized, they will not believe us either, unless they themselves are already wary of the charmers who manipulate.
They appear at family gatherings such as Thanksgiving,in the malls,in our group of friends,at the work place, at our church gatherings and in some cases even lead us in prayer,they are anywhere that the vulnerable can be isolated from others. If we donate to them once they will continue flooding our mail boxes or e-mail with more requests to give until they wear us down or convince us they need our donations, often under false pretenses. Other times they reach out through our telephones or the internet, as it is the perfect cover for the deceitful who never wish to be found out once they scam us into believing we are the most beautiful person in the World or they promise us that we will inherit a fortune if we just pay the taxes on it.If we are being manipulated or conned ourselves, we must first accept that we are as much at fault for allowing it to happen, once we become aware of it,as are the people who manipulate us.
So I offer all of us this Thanksgiving this simple advice even though I know those who need to heed it most, will not hear it, “If it is too good to be true, it almost always is.” We all make the dreams in our own lives come true. It takes a lot of doing without sometimes and the understanding of those who help us to realize our dream. No person ever realizes a dream as a single unit. It always takes a lot of hard work and co-operation to achieve our dreams. It doesn’t fall from the sky and land in our laps, we have to earn it, and anytime we find others trying to take from us on a song and a dance or a story of victimization, we should never question our own motives but always question their motives, first.
Good luck is only what others are waiting for because they were not willing to make the sacrifices for others who truly needed their help or to make their own dreams come true. Sometimes it is being in the right place at the right time but if we are not willing to put out the efforts it takes to achieve then we will not gain from the placement either. Dreams can still come true when we recognize our own strengths and weaknesses and accept help from those who do help us, by rewarding those who help us, through just and fair wages.
I wish each and all of you all the joy of giving that Thanksgiving can bring to all of us if we give in the spirit of giving. Once we become aware of the manipulator and we make ourselves dependent on the kindness or intimidation of the same, or allow those who do help ruin the spirit of giving, we must accept our role in the same. All the denial in the World cannot force us to fail to acknowledge that if we are being played by a manipulator there are others as well.
Sometimes people are placed in our lives to test the respect that we have for ourselves and humanity in general, and when we fail that test we will also fail the tests of showing respect to others, who truly do deserve our time and love. We have a responsibility to not only ourselves but to those who care about us to understand the difference of those in our lives who do respect our spirit of giving as verses the manipulators who take without a conscious. Once we become aware of the fact that we are the ones being used, then we need to accept that we enable the manipulators of the world and we need to stop the time,attention,and money often given to the manipulators, for all the reasons that allow them to operate on the unsuspecting. If we cannot stop them for our sake or the sake of the manipulator themselves, then we need to be aware of those who we hurt by going into denial of the part we play in it.
Thanksgiving is a time of appreciation and when we fail to appreciate those who should matter to us, we lose everything else of value as well. I feel truly Blessed for having the husband I have had for 45 years,my terrific daughters and son-in-law, and the two Bestest grandsons that a grandmother could ever have. I appreciate the value they add to my life by just being the genuine people that they are and their own faith in their own achievements.
All we who truly love really want is for our loved ones to be happy and for us to be aware when they are not, by offering them the emotional support they need,if they need our help. Too many times I have made the assumption that they needed my help when their maturity was leap years ahead of my own, at the same age they are. Age may be a teacher to those of us who are willing to learn, but we should not always assume that we know better because of it. May we all be Blessed this Thanksgiving while we remember those who are really victims with our generosity and prayers. Have a safe trip and a wonderful Thanksgiving Day!