Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Manipulator's Behavior Defined

Manipulators are very good at controlling others. Their behaviors consist of flattering, threatening, making you feel guilty, and demeaning you. You may get confused over a period of time because they use different tactics to best fit what they want at the time. If you often feel stressed and resentful after spending time with this person, you are most likely dealing with a manipulator.

The manipulator's behavior defined:

Flattery. Manipulators will pour on the flattery when they think it will help them work their way into a person's life. Manipulators use flattery to pull in unsuspecting prospects. Every time you turn around they pour on the compliments, sometimes to the point of being ridiculous.

Threats. Threats can be subtle or they can be severe. Some threats may include refusing to allow family members to see the children, divorce, and even suicide. In many cases these are just empty threats because manipulators are bullies on the outside, but cowards on the inside. However, never take a threat lightly and always take the proper precautions to protect yourself.
Guilt. Manipulators will make you feel guilty if you try to call them on the carpet. They are never wrong in their eyes and in most situations you cannot win against a manipulator. They play the victim and place the blame on everyone but themselves. You will find yourself constantly apologizing when you haven't done anything wrong. The best thing you can do is not deal with a manipulator at all.

Demeaning. When things don't go their way they will try to tear you down. They will call you names, talk bad about you to others, and sometimes even physical abuse is involved. The manipulator will try to wear down your self esteem so that you will become dependent on him/her. Most manipulators have terrible self-esteem issues.

Tips on dealing with a controller or manipulator.....

*When you recognize that you have been controlled or manipulated, distance yourself from the manipulator and his/her agenda.

*You should know that you cannot change them. You can only change your reaction to their bizarre behavior. (Many times you don't even realize how bizarre their behavior really was until you are away from it for a while.)

*Have the self-respect to stand up for yourself and do not let the controller take away your independence any longer. Life was meant to be enjoyed with a person who respects you and allows you to be yourself.

*Don't blow off the opinions of your friends and family. They have your best interest in mind. If everyone who cares about you is concerned about your relationship, trust them. You may be under such control that you just can't see it for what it is. Once you get away from the manipulator you will begin to see it for what it truly is.

*Know that people like this rarely change and probably the best thing for you to do is remove yourself from this type of relationship and not look back.

(If you found this post helpful, you may want to read Dealing With Manipulative People and Are You Dealing With A Manipulator?)

How To Live

There are many people who lived under strong legalism for many years in our former church. There were so many rules it was hard to enjoy life, but that has all changed now for the better. The people who have left are thriving and we are very happy. The sad thing is, for all those years many good people were trying to live by every single rule only to find out the leaders were living a double life. There was nepotism, lies, money issues, mistreatment of members and staff, promises made that were never kept, and to top it off the youth pastor recently went to prison on federal sex charges.

Sometimes when people have been in an extremely controlling situation, they have to learn all over again how to live life and be themselves. This is true for church situations, job situations, bad marriages, and other types of relationships gone bad.

This is a great song that encourages you to enjoy your life and not let someone else control you and rob you of your freedom.....

The Controlling, Narcissist Leader/Pastor

Ungodly, controlling pastors have hurt many people. The phrase "ungodly pastors" seems to be an oxymoron. These two words shouldn't go together in the same sentence, but the sad truth is there are pastors and leaders who are only in the position for their own lustful desires.

These dictating leaders can be described by many words - controllers, manipulators, narcissists, psychopaths, cult leaders, false pastors, and dictators, to name a few. There are varying degrees of this type of leadership and some are more damaging than others, but I have seen the negative effects these type of leaders can have on people. Some pastors are just strong leaders, while others are narcissitic psychopaths. If you haven't ever been around a person like this it may be hard for you to imagine that there are people who go to these extreme measures. But for those who have suffered under this type of heartless leadership, you know all too well how deep the wounds go.

Here are some signs and characteristics of a narcissist, unscriptural leader.....

*Resembles the same attitude Diotrephes had in III John verse 9. He is proud, carnal, demanding, overbearing, impatient, uncompassionate, "loving" only toward those who submit to him, but mean-spirited toward those who do not agree with him.

*He develops doctrines from pet verses that appear to support his view.

*He makes people feel that they cannot make important decisions and know God's will without him.

*He exalts himself before the people.

*He ridicules his associates, making them look small in the eyes of the church members, thus increasing his own prestige and authority and decreasing theirs.

*He treats men who leave as fools and evil men. All kindness and friendship is withdrawn by the leaders. People are only treated kindly when they submit to his doctrines and "authority."

*He contradicts himself a lot.

*He is accountable to no one.

*He provokes and intimidates people to get what he wants.

*He demands respect instead of trying to earn respect.

*He wears a phony grin and acts like everything is all right even when things are falling apart in his church.

*He acts as if he knows everything, but he really doesn't know how to handle problems he has caused.

*He is a captive storyteller and exaggerates the truth all the time. He is able to spin a web that intrigues others and pulls them into his life.

*He has the capacity to destroy his critics verbally and disarm them emotionally.

*He does not recognize the individuality or rights of others.

*He is extremely self-serving and thinks he deserves royal treatment.

*He has no checks on his behavior - anything goes.

*He has tremendous feelings of entitlement. He believes everything is owed to him as a right.

*He presents himself as a genius.

*He has an insatiable need for adoration. When others aren't praising him, he will praise himself.

*He gives the perception that he lives a grandiose life, but paranoia rules him. He creates an us vs. them mentality because of his perceived hostile environment.

*He lies coolly and easily, even when it is obvious he is being untruthful. It is almost impossible for him to be consistently truthful about either a major or minor issue.

*He is a plagiarist and a thief. He seldom gives credit to the true originators of ideas.

*He is extremely convincing and could more than likely pass a lie detector test.

*He does not have friends.

*He doesn't not have feelings of remorse, shame, or guilt. He feels justified in all his actions because he considers himself the ultimate moral arbiter. Nothing gets in his way.

*He is unmoved by things that would unset the normal person, while outraged by insignificant matters.

*He is cold, with shallow emotions, living in a dark world of his own.

*He can witness or order acts of utter brutality without experiencing a shred of emotion.

*He casts himself in a role of total control, which he plays to the hilt.

*He is tragically flawed in being able to either give or receive love.

*He despises community and emotional intimacy, and so he is profoundly lonely. On the one hand, though, there is something about his loneliness that he likes; for he can attribute it to his unique and superior nature.

*He constantly tests the beliefs of his followers, often with bizarre behaviors.

*He readily takes advantage of others, expressing utter contempt for anyone else's feelings. Someone in distress is not important to him. Although intelligent, perceptive, and quite good at sizing people up, he makes no real connections with others. He uses his "people skills" to exploit, abuse, and wield power.

*He will favor and offer help to people who are down as long as he thinks they will be useful to him later on down the road. Such favors might include offering employment, loaning money, or offering personal counseling. He may call in his favor if he sees you slipping away. Also, such opportunities help the narcissist persuade himself that he is good, despite the gnawing awareness of the dark cellar at heart.

*He has an inflated sense of superiority which propels him to recklessness; for he is subject to fantasies of omnipotence and unequalled brilliance, and he feels that he is above the law. And it is this sense of superiority that allows him to underestimate the intelligence and determination of his adversaries.

*He is indifferent to injustice and it's victims, but he rages against the person who is a threat to his charade and/or who refuses to cooperate with his underhanded schemes.

(I have taken a few of these statements from an article I have been reading, entitled Narcissism and the Dynamics of Evil. I decided just to add the link instead of continuing to add to my post. It's a very informative article.)