The Manipulation Detector
A sure-fire way to determine whether someone is trying to manipulate you is to say “no” to his or her request. For some odd reason manipulators seem to have developed a defect that causes some sort of disconnect between their ears and brain when it comes to understanding what you meant when you said “no. ” This causes them to act as though you not only never said the word “no,” but also were merely clearing your throat or perhaps asking them to repeat their request!
Of course, this is different from the type of requests you may receive from small children or teenagers who are trying to get their way. You see, when you say “no” to either children or teenagers, you will get an immediate reaction to let you know that they did in fact hear your “no” before they put in their counterargument (typically some sort of begging).
In contrast, manipulators will ignore the fact that you even said “no” and attempt to proceed with their agenda, which is most likely not in your best interest. In the beginning this may seem harmless but it is a rocky foundation on which to build a relationship (friendship, family, or romantic). Eventually it will lead to discord because one person is so concerned with him or herself that he or she will learn to only be content in the relationship when you, too, are only concerned about him or her…or at least 99% of the time. And knowing this, should you even be surprised when you find that when you need his or her time, attention, resources or whatever, he or she is conveniently unavailable or too busy to help with your request?
Relationships are a wonderful means of encouragement, growth and support in life and should be enjoyable for both parties. Honor your spirit and say “no” when you really mean to say “no,” and bring the manipulation to the other person’s attention if the relationship is important enough to you or limit your time and interaction with that person if it is not. Either way, your life will improve immensely when you stop warring against your spirit by trying to force yourself to focus entirely upon meeting the needs of another person to the detriment of your own needs. You are valuable. You are worthy. And you deserve the God-given right to say “no” and have it heard and respected.
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