When you’re surrounded by a world of constant lies, manipulation, and deceit, that dark energy is bound to seep into you eventually. – Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman
Sometimes, we let ourselves be guided by other people, and that’s not always a good thing. Others might push us to what suits their needs, not ours. If we tend to be trusting or go along with what they say, the consequences are likely to be negative. But what can you do about it? Let’s find out.
It’s easy to say: just stop letting others manipulate you! In practice, there are other things that get in the way. First, we might not notice others are playing their own game. Second, we might feel pressured to act a certain way through guilt, shame, pride, or other emotions. Here is what we can do.
If you have a hard time realizing something is a manipulation, give yourself time to do this. Be wary whenever somebody is pressuring you to make a choice quickly or is goading you into a situation. Always take a break before you commit and try to take your time. If someone wants you to decide right now, unless you are running from a fire, they probably don’t have your best interests at heart.
If what happens is the second problem, that you feel strong emotions like guilt or shame and others use them, then it’s also useful to take pause and consider what’s going on inside you. However, the second thing you can try is to focus on your emotions.
With guilt or shame, it’s important to be mindful. Ask yourself: is there a real reason to feel these feelings? Did you do something bad? Or is the other person pushing you to feel these things?
When unsure, give yourself permission to just take the time you need before making a choice. You got this! Don’t commit to a yes or a no when it feels hard and you have reservations. Take more time.
Talk it over with other people. Others can help you identify a manipulation and point out things about the situation that you did not see. Focus on the people you trust and share with them when you feel something is fishy.
Learn to know exactly what you need and where you are going, while also giving yourself permission to stick to that. You are allowed to take care of your needs first before agreeing to what others want from you.
Give yourself the opportunity to avoid manipulation. Instead, pursue the things that truly matter to you with all the resources at your disposal.