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What is the best way to handle manipulation? (OT)

Old 12-31-2013, 06:58 AM
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What is the best way to handle manipulation? (OT)

And by manipulation, I do not mean manipulation of an alcoholic or a drug addict. I know it probably varies from one case to another, but do you think that telling the person that you feel manipulated directly (in a nice way, of course) is the best solution? Right now, I feel like avoiding that person, not talking to her at all, till my emotions cool down. I do not like being alone with her, or discussing anything except the weather forecast.

For example, let's say you do not want to attend a family gathering, and you simply say that you are not going to come. The reply you get is "grandma won't live forever," and you have always been nice to grandma, and you actually like her most and are attached to her (and the person who says it knows it very VERY well). Also, let's say that you are well over 30. Does this sound like a guilt trip to you? I find this sentence incredibly inappropriate and it makes my stomach roll. My answer would be "you never know who is going to die first," but what do you guys think?

This is only one little example out of many.
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Old 12-31-2013, 08:40 AM
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Sounds like folks with poor boundaries.

and THAT is why *we* have good boundaries.

And an opportunity to practice yours.
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Old 12-31-2013, 08:54 AM
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My retort would be, "That is correct, you don't ever know when someone may go. However I have plans to spend with grandma another time because today does not work for me. I love her and will definitely be spending time with her another day." Polite and direct. Also if you could say you have already told grandma yourself you will not be there it would remove everyone else from the equation completely.

I did sit my family down last year and explain to them (they spend alot of time together and have lots of functions) that while I would love to (and I would) that I cannot make every single thing they do together. Sometimes it is just because I am busy and need a break for myself. Sometimes it is because we have another side of the family we also spend time with. I found that conversation really helped them and me. It made them stop pressuring me to be there and then I did not feel guilty for missing things. I do still spend lots of time with them (they are my rock, love them), I am still free to say that I just cannot that day.

Explaining the method to your madness can go a long ways lol!
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Old 12-31-2013, 09:00 AM
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It is very true, Hammer. I like how you put it, "an opportunity."
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Old 12-31-2013, 09:29 AM
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Hi healthyagain! Love that name. Manipulative people are just that, manipulative. Detach from it just like you would quacking, it's the same thing sort of. Your decision is yours, no explanation is needed unless you want to privately call Grandma and just let her know. Coulda woulda shoulda's fall all over the place when we lose someone in life. Do the best you can when you can. I'm betting Grandma is wise enough to know your love for her is not dependent on you showing up everytime the family is gathering. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 12-31-2013, 10:25 AM
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Thank you, HikerLady! It is kinda funny. When I hear that person talking, I actually hear a donkey, not quacking, but a real donkey. It is like, "Stop it, you're hurting my ears!"
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Old 12-31-2013, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by healthyagain View Post
It is very true, Hammer. I like how you put it, "an opportunity."
Had a Professor. That was what he called his tests and exams.

PDO. Performance Demonstration Opportunity.
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Old 12-31-2013, 11:21 AM
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i don't see why a reply is even necessary. you already stated you are not attending. period. whatever she thinks about that is totally HER stuff. she can buy you a ticket for a guilt trip, but you don't have to get on the bus!
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Old 12-31-2013, 06:00 PM
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Grandma won't live forever- that is pretty bad. Neither will whoever told you that, though it's kind of mean to bring it up in a conversation.
I once told my former MIL that "guilt trips only work if I give a [email protected]$k about how you feel." Not very diplomatic, but it worked. Some people can't abide a simple "no thank you", and silence just leaves them room for nagging and manipulation...
Or you could bite the bullet and go, but leave an upper decker in their bathroom.
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Old 12-31-2013, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by healthyagain View Post
It is kinda funny. When I hear that person talking, I actually hear a donkey, not quacking, but a real donkey. It is like, "Stop it, you're hurting my ears!"
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Old 12-31-2013, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by healthyagain View Post
For example, let's say you do not want to attend a family gathering, and you simply say that you are not going to come. The reply you get is "grandma won't live forever,"
A good reply to the manipulative guilt trip:

"I can see why you would say that"
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Old 12-31-2013, 08:47 PM
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The best way is just to call them out on it.

I usually say, "I feel like you're manipulating me and trying to get me to something I don't want to do. I just want you to know I don't appreciate it and it's not going to work."

Being direct usually stops the person straight away.
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Old 01-05-2014, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by ladyscribbler View Post
Grandma won't live forever- that is pretty bad. Neither will whoever told you that, though it's kind of mean to bring it up in a conversation.
I once told my former MIL that "guilt trips only work if I give a [email protected]$k about how you feel." Not very diplomatic, but it worked. Some people can't abide a simple "no thank you", and silence just leaves them room for nagging and manipulation...
Or you could bite the bullet and go, but leave an upper decker in their bathroom.
After another phone conversation we had, I actually decided to stay silent this year and simply not answer the phone. And you know what? It felt good, not to answer, or even call back. The point is, I have my reasons (this person actually knows my reasons very well, I have expressed my feelings). Guess what? She even said she bought me a present!
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Old 01-05-2014, 08:57 AM
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I have a few people on the silent ringer. I can then listen to their voice mail when I want to, sit and wait to decide on a response, if any, and call on my terms.

When I set the boundaries and live them, it does make a difference...Well, for some of my relationships it has!
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Old 01-05-2014, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Pelican View Post
You know what?

I have that same picture on my wall.

Other folks call that picture a mirror. hmmmm.
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Old 01-05-2014, 09:50 AM
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Usually, the manipulative crazies become so transparent when we use our healthy retorts. I disinvited my NPD father and my borderline, NPD, alcoholic mother to an event at my daughter's elementary school right before Christmas because my mother was wasted that morning and I did not want to worry all day about what shape she would be in at the school.

So, they called my cell phone 16 times and my home phone about the same number of times. At one point I picked up the phone with my father and said, "Dad, you are not respecting my boundaries."

His retort? "Well, those aren't my boundaries."

Wow. Thanks for making your craziness completely transparent, Dad.
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Old 01-05-2014, 10:10 AM
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Thank you for this post -- it made me think of this thing about saying NO...

A former pastor of mine once had a sermon title "A NO is just as sacred as a YES" -- and he talked about how people never need any explanation or justification when we do what they want us to, but when we DON'T, all of a sudden they feel we owe them one. Even though they come barging into our lives with this THING they want us to do as if they brought a gigantic sculpture into our house and expected us to put it up in our living room -- without them ever having been in our living room and without them considering whether it was something we had room for or liked.

So his admonition to folks was "when someone says no, treat that as if God has given them that answer to give to you. Badgering people after they say no is rude."

You know, like Al-Anon says "NO is a complete sentence"?

I was also reading a blog post by an inspirational writer who said "if you handle your NOs, your YESes will take care of themselves." That is -- we are so trained that saying YES is virtuous and saying NO is wrong that we forget that every time we say YES to something, we say NO to something else. And sometimes, we say YES to things we don't want to -- and because of that we may exclude the option of doing something more important. We say no to the great in order to say yes to the good.

I know that was kind of sideways. But I think you did a good job standing your ground. And I guess I wanted to remind me and you both that you saying no doesn't automatically entitle the other person to an explanation.
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Old 01-05-2014, 10:38 AM
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If you can't say no then your yeses are meaningless.

No is a complete sentence.

Some adve that was given to me several years ago.

Your friend,
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