Manipulation and people pleasing

Lots of stuff  floating around in my head.

I didn’t mention this, but I know a lot of it is because I had space to grieve for Nata. Things kind of shook loose in my mind. I don’t mean I remembered new things, but I made new connections.

I was looking at something C had posted to her new and terrifying boyfriend–a kind of love note thing.

It popped into my head she’s manipulating him. Well, maybe she is and maybe she isn’t, but I’ll tell you why I thought that. It seemed to me she was using his disordered attachment, his emotional hunger, to protect herself from the possibility of abandonment. If he shows signs of getting too close to too far or whatever, she can distance herself, he’ll grovel. She gets a hit of importance, power and control. Meanwhile, she gives him what she believes he wants–what she believes everyone wants, because that is what her abuser wants, which is a sense of superiority and specialness by telling him complimentary things.

No one is really vulnerable. No one is showing their real selves. He emotionally blackmails her with need. She insulates herself against real need.

I don’t really know whether she’s doing that. I did start thinking about all of the ways she has struggled to remain in control with me, and how I’ve just kept going, because she needs me.

But people do.

I think my ex did. It affected me differently, because I didn’t know why she was doing it. I didn’t know why someone would want that much control. I didn’t know how much fear it pointed to. Thinking about it gave me insight into the push and pull involved, the cycle of it, and what my ex got out of the ruptures she claimed to hate.

I didn’t know that if I you believe, deep in your soul, that you are destined to be unloved, unwanted and unaccepted, the best you’ve got to keep people around you is tricks. Your best shot at life is people-pleasing and manipulation.

That’s a lot of fear.

And at the end of it, I would guess, you have no idea who you are.


2 thoughts on “Manipulation and people pleasing

  1. Alexandra Roth April 25, 2017 / 12:27 am

    I think that all people like power. Babies like power, toddlers like power, and so on up. Another way of saying power is “agency.” What’s more surprising is that we ever relinquish the drive and let someone take care of us, but babies do and toddlers do, and so on up. But if it was never safe to let go, it’s terrifying to let go. And maybe sometimes, if it’s that terrifying, when you do let go, you flail around so much or you are in such frantic condition when you do, that it’s a bad experience; the other person gets freaked out or you are too frightened to be helped. So it’s a negative spiral. But a young person like C, she isn’t aware of this; she just uses what she knows to help herself feel comfortable, which is to control the other person as best she can. And this might be all she can do right now.

    • Ashana M April 25, 2017 / 2:21 am

      I really don’t like power very much. The more power I have, the more responsibility I have, and it feels stressful. Freedom is nice–choices with no consequences. But many people do respond to feelings of vulnerability by trying to take power. It tends to drive people away after a while. (I don’t really know that she’s doing that, but people do.)

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