I Have A Confession: I Was A Skilled Manipulator
I always thought of myself as an indifferent person. I might not be the kindest, but I always tried not to harm others. Manipulative is not the adjective I ever imagined to be associated with. But here I am, admitting that I have used manipulation as a tool to get what I want.
It was months after a breakup that it dawned on me. Listing all of my ex’s worst behavior was the way I could move on. However, by doing that, I realized something. I, too, had done something bad to him.
“It is okay if you can’t come with me. I could just take the bus or something even when the weather is a bit hot today.”
“I had never felt this way before until I met you.”
“You really like eating so much!”
It might sound innocent at first, however, it was totally not. Do you know why those remarks are problematic?
Because I said those remarks with an expectation of getting someone to act the way I wanted.
I was not okay with taking the bus to work that day. I mentioned that the weather was hot specifically. I know he would feel guilty for making me drenched in sweat, in the middle of summer. In the end, he gave in and he drove me to work, even when he didn’t feel like it.
2. Excessive use of vulnerability
It is no secret that in order to make someone vulnerable, you need to open up first. “I had never felt this way before until I met you.” might sound like an innocent confession. But when it was said multiple times, along with the L words stamped everywhere, I had unknowingly used the love-bombing trick to get him to express his feeling.
3. Critic in disguise
I never liked the fact that he sometimes ate too much. Instead of communicating like an adult, I used sarcasm as a way to tell him that I did not like that behavior. Sometimes with the presence of other people in the room.
All this time, I thought in order to be cunning you have to be intentional. You need to possess some characters that the villain in a movie usually has. Well, turns out I was wrong. You can be kind but also commit manipulation acts without knowing it.
I was guilty, period. Upon finding out that fact, I sentenced myself to a long period of self-introspection. To this day, I am still reflecting on my improper and immature behaviors. Adulting is hard, but I am relieved that I’d rather swallow my ego than ignore my mistakes.