Friday, February 17, 2012

Resisting Manipulation.

We teach other people how to treat us. This painful truth can be a lesson I must learn time and again with regard to some of the alcoholics in my life.

It can be a matter of remaining polite and cheerful while the other person is settled in for a long siege of mind games, emotional withdrawal and/or ignoring, in an effort to make me do what they want, in response to my having stated firmly and courteously that I am not going to do ____ anymore.

So, how to resist this sort of manipulation? I focus upon my own program, work with my sponsees, and use prayer and meditation to increase my conscious contact with my Higher Power. I need that conscious contact to keep myself in balance, and be able to maintain my boundaries.

I also don't do anymore what I once did - bring the topic up repeatedly, trying to explain again my feelings, decisions, and reasons for my choices. I try my very best to say it once, then step back, and let it go. Turn it over. Turn them over. Don't keep going over and poking them with my words, trying to control them, wanting them to respond differently.

Let them do whatever they are going to do, and don't provide them with an audience for their tantrums and head games by wandering around the house following them, like a puppy trying to make amends after a scolding. If someone turns their back to me when I'm speaking, I stop talking, and walk away. If I were to stay and continue speaking to their back, I'm enabling that rudeness.

If I agree to have conversations during which the other person is playing head games with me, I'm enabling those mind games.

I'm realising that I still have some areas of life in which I can be manipulated through fear, and financial security is a big one for me, as it is for many of us. This is on my mind a lot lately, this fear, and every time it arises, I have been turning it over to my Higher Power, and then letting it go. It's all out of my hands anyway, so why would I torture myself with it?

I desire peace, and the way to peace for me, is through staying in the moment, because in the moment, I have everything I need, and through prayer and meditation. I need to be willing to do what I don't want to do - let go of my fear of financial security and believe that I am in my HP's care. I also need to be willing to stick to that which I know is best for me, regardless of how scary that may feel right now.

I need to feel my fear, and then turn that over, too. I pray for courage, for peace, for acceptance.


  1. Sticking with the boundaries is a challenge for me. My fear is being rejected and not feeling loved. Feel it, turn it over, turn them over to HP, let it go = serenity...excellent!!!

  2. Thank you.
    The second time in two days when I heard about turning it over.. Maybe there is something to that!

  3. Thank you for your post. I can relate to it. Overall, I know I'm making progress in letting go, but finances are one area where I also repeatedly feel triggered. Often I find it difficult to trust that everything is going to be OK. Sometimes living in the moment feels like a guise for denial. I need to keep reminding myself of the difference between planning and worrying.

  4. I echo the thank-you. I felt blindsided the other day about another member's assessment of a volunteer position I've assumed in my group. The person intimated that I wasn't doing a very good job at it. I don't believe that's an accurate assessment, but I certainly felt manipulated in the exchange. It's clear to me that this is a power play, a control issue.
    I hate this sort of manipulation. Honestly, my feelings were hurt but now I'm just resentful. But I'm going to use the tools suggested--no defense, a simple reply and then step out of the exchange. If necessary, I'll resign from the position knowing I did my best as time allowed. Thanks.

  5. Your discussion and practical ideas are so helpful. Thank you...

    from timbre

  6. Fear blocks me from right action. If I let go of the outcome, trust my HP, then I can take the right action needed and live life on life's terms. What a powerful program and a powerful concept. Just let go and fall into God's hands.