Some people are always on the lookout for others that they can use to advance their agenda, whatever that may be, through whatever means possible. This is manipulative behavior in a nutshell. People that attempt to manipulate often do so by playing on other people’s emotions. They generally don’t trust the logical capabilities of others and seek to “pull the wool over” their eyes. Truly a sad state, but this type of behavior exists.
Generally, people that display manipulative behavior display these and other “red flags” that can potentially unveil their capability to manipulate:
5 SIGNS SOMEONE IS TRYING TO MANIPULATE YOU:
1. THEY HAVE A HISTORY OF MANIPULATING OTHERS.
Have they been caught in a lie with you or someone else? Do they have a generally negative attitude? Have they spread rumors or gossiped about someone? Do they display predominantly individualistic types of behaviors?
These individuals also have an egotistical streak, thinking that they are smarter and craftier than anyone else.
Be aware of manipulative behavior by remaining vigilant in your dealings with others. Remain positive and confident while sending positivity and encouragement to these types of individuals. This could be the difference in changing their perspective along with their behavior.
2. THEY ARE MOVING FAST.
Manipulators try to get you hooked fast through sweet talk and a false sense of interest. That is how they build trust and form a bond. It enables them to use us emotionally once the real motive of the relationship becomes clear.
Among the simpler ways to find a hidden manipulator is to look for simple signs that show somebody only appears worried if something or someone will affect their desired outcome. Manipulators struggle with maintaining the “right kind” of associations because desired outcomes are everything to them, and they care about the way other people think in order to have control.
Take note of your friends’ feelings when you recommend something. Undercover manipulators could harshly react when they don’t agree with you or when criticized.
3. THEY’RE PLAYING ON YOUR EMOTIONS.
Emotionally, spiritually, physically; seduction is a manipulators tool. A manipulator likes to play on heightened emotions to engage you in behaviors that benefit them. They gather people that will serve their need to be in control, whether this is through a romantic relationship, a close friendship or a strategic partnership. They make being with them fun and exciting at first, and then they shift the focus of the relationship onto them and their needs.
4. THEY QUICKLY GROW IMPATIENT.
Impatience can be defined as (1) irritable behavior that results from delays or (2) a restless need for change and excitement. The display of impatient behavior is often tied into someone’s goals; specifically, anything that hinders or aggravates the person in active pursuit of these goals. These goals could range from getting ahead of you at the drive-thru to getting that promotion at work.
As with stubbornness, we all have the tendency to be impatient at times. However, there are some individuals that take impatience to the extreme. These individuals detest being held up at anytime, anywhere, for almost any reason, and will manipulate any situation in order to come out on top.
Impatience is a trait that develops from early negative experiences, misunderstanding the nature of self and others, and a persistent sense of insecurity. The early negative experiences often happen during childhood. In many cases, the child was often barred from having a normal social experience resulting in a sense of “missing out”.
When dealing with an impatient person, it is important to understand how they “tick.” For example, these individuals prefer to be in control. When they are not in firm control, they become angry, annoyed and frustrated. The best way to deal with the behavior is to be polite but direct. Do not beat around the bush with impatient people; this will get you nowhere.
5. YOU SEEM TO ALWAYS BE PORTRAYED AS “THE BAD GUY”.
While this might seem a little overboard, emotional manipulators have a habit of making you look like the bad guy, and twisting their words to fit any agenda. You might actually start to believe sometimes that you have done something wrong, when in reality, you have fallen victim to their terrible scheme.
To make sure you can actually show them what they said in prior conversations, jot down any details you think they might conveniently change later in order to justify their behavior. They may also try to convince you they never said a certain thing, but you can actually prove they did with your notes you take.
Get smart about protecting yourself from their wrath, and they may soon get discouraged from using you as their emotional toy.
“Unfortunately there can be no doubt that man is, on the whole, less good than he imagines himself or wants to be. Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is. If an inferiority is conscious, one always has a chance to correct it. Furthermore, it is constantly in contact with other interests, so that it is continually subjected to modifications. But if it is repressed and isolated from consciousness, it never gets corrected.” ~ Carl G. Jung
I remember the day I fell back into my bad habits. I was in the middle of a course of CBT to help me overcome my depression and anxiety at that time in my life and at this one particular session I told my therapist I had nothing to talk about. “I’m fine, there’s nothing I feel I want to say this week” I said. Except that both she and I could sense the huge elephant in the room. I was avoiding something. I was doing what I used to do best and shutting down when I had ‘messed up’ or when I felt guilty, ashamed or angry with myself. Until the next session that is, when I tearily opened up and confessed that the previous weekend I had slipped back into old habitual behaviour and had ended up having a huge blow-out night drinking and taking drugs. When she asked me why I didn’t tell her, I said that it was because I felt ashamed that I’d done something bad and thought she’d judge me for not fully participating in our work together. At that moment she asked me a question which has stayed with me forever since.
“What does ‘bad’ mean Natalie?”
I told her it meant getting swayed off course, doing something I shouldn’t, and being pulled back over to the dark side of my personality.
But then she asked me, “Why is it bad to have a dark side? You’re a multi-faceted person. You’re allowed to have different aspects to your personality and it’s only you who is saying that these aspects are either good or bad”.
It was in that moment that I became acutely aware of just how much I’d judged myself over the years. Any time I did anything I thought to be wrong, stupid or bad, I leapt right in there and tarnished myself with the ‘you’re a really bad person Natalie’ brush. I had been living in a very black and white world, when in reality, as we go about our lives and do different things, make mistakes, make healthy decisions and not so healthy ones, we’re just navigating, we’re just learning, we’re just doing what we feel is right at the time, and none of that necessarily makes us a good or bad person, it just makes us human.
From that moment on I began to challenge the relationship I had created with my so-called dark-side. Who was that part of me anyway?
Well to me she was a bad person, mislead, a screw-up, a failure, and any time I even hinted back towards my previously constant party-girl behavior I got out my little black and white paint brush again and decided that I was a bad person because of one little night out letting my hair down. The problem with this viewpoint though, was that I was completely ignoring what wasn’t ‘bad’ about this part of me as well. So I’m an ex-party girl, so what? What I’m also really good at is bringing people together, being a great hostess, making people feel welcome, making people laugh, having fun and knowing when I need to relax. Yes maybe I didn’t always make the healthiest choices when it came to relaxing or having fun at times and yes, I had to question those choices and why I was making them, but I really had to stop with my own self-defeating self-talk talk. It was finally time to let go of that harsh, self-critical inner voice, because she wasn’t doing me any favors. And so I began to explore how, instead of shutting her out, I could at least be friends with her and if you’ve been fighting with an aspect of yourself lately, I encourage you to do the same.
Below are the 3 simple shifts that I made and that can help you make friends with your dark side:
1. Acknowledge her but don’t indulge her.
“Why, when we know that there’s no such thing as perfect, do most of us spend an incredible amount of time and energy trying to be everything to everyone? Is it that we really admire perfection? No – the truth is that we are actually drawn to people who are real and down-to-earth. We love authenticity and we know that life is messy and imperfect.” ~ Brene Brown
The worst thing you can do with an aspect of your personality you’re afraid to come face to face with is ignore it or suppress it. That part of you you’re wrestling with is still part of you. Yes, he/she might represent fear or doubt at times, but that’s still part of who you are, so acknowledge him/her. If you shut the door in her face, her knock will just get louder and more persistent, so let her in and get to know her, but when she acts up, don’t indulge her. My inner party girl would often be the source of my unhappiness because she never wanted to sit still; she was always searching for ways to be better, more popular, more loved, when what I really had to do was tell her to love herself. Instead, for years I made the mistake of sitting with her and wallowing in self-pity over a beer when she was feeling insecure. I completely indulged her victim mentality, so these days I have to pull her back if she starts peering over the rabbit hole of the downward negativity spiral and let her know that although I’m listening, I’m not buying into everything she’s saying.
2. Ask her what she really needs.
I have accepted that I can get a little carried away at times and I certainly know how to have fun, but these days I’ve learnt to distinguish between when my party-girl is trying to trip me up, or when she really does just need some TLC. I can feel the need to cut loose and reach for an instant quick fix when I’m feeling bored, insecure, low, when I feel my energy has been drained by someone else, or when I am craving some sort of attention or reason to escape. In those moments, I take a deep, conscious breath and ask myself what I’d love to do that’s fun but that will fill me up and nourish me again. Sometimes its organizing lunch with my girlfriends, sometimes it’s running a hot bath to soak in with a good book, or sometimes it is planning a night out at a gig where we might have a few drinks, but it’s all much more mindful and so I’m no longer numbing-out or ignoring myself.
3. Learn to love your dark side.
Even if your dark side doesn’t always want to love you, you have to love her first. This really just comes from practicing self-love every single day even when you might not feel very lovable, and knowing that you’re worthy of that love and attention. For many years I thought I wasn’t worth anything to anyone and I certainly didn’t believe I was attractive or desirable, hence my party-girl looking for drugs and alcohol to boost her confidence and keep her appearing outwardly energetic and happy. If you really love your body and want to feel good, no external thing or person can do this for you, this work comes from inside you and it’s up to you to lean into the moments that you feel light, expansive and joyful and know that it’s OK to feel that way. Life doesn’t have to be an uphill struggle, but it will continue to be if every time you look in the mirror you go back to your dark side and start saying mean things to yourself about the way you look. You are worthy of the best and nothing less and you are certainly none of the things you say to your reflection, those are just plain mean.
“Inner peace can be reached only when we practice forgiveness. Forgiveness is letting go of the past, and is therefore the means of correcting our misperceptions.” – Gerald Jampolsky
None of us are perfect, but both the so called light and dark sides of us make up the whole person we are. It’s not all about the shiny, beautiful, well-behaved, or ‘perfect’ ideal. Being who you truly are means embracing, accepting and loving every part of you and showing those parts to other people, especially those that truly love you. Living that way means living authentically, unedited and being 100%, unapologetically you, and in my opinion, that is the only way to live our best, most beautiful life.
Do you have a dark side? Something about yourself that you’re ashamed of? Something that not everybody knows about you? Well how about exploring that part of yourself instead of keeping her locked away? Because to deny a part of yourself means not living wholly. To suppress a part of yourself and pretend it’s not there means you’re not fully accepting, embracing and getting to know yourself and loving every part of you whether it’s ‘good’ or ‘bad’ in your eyes.
This article was written by Natalie Edwards. Natalie is a Transformational Coach and Forrest Yoga Teacher guiding women who are searching for more to drop from their head to their heart and create a business and life they love. Fascinated by the body-mind connection, she helps her clients reconnect to their bodies and come back to a more inspired and truthful way of living, and create a freedom-based lifestyle that’s completely on their terms. You can find out more about her at www.natedwards.co.uk.
With all my love,
There are so many important things you don’t know about yourself, so many wonderful and precious things. And today I would like to share with you 9 of these things.
1. There is a life-force within your Soul.
From a very young age you were taught to look outside yourself for all the things you thought were missing from your life. Not knowing that “There is a life-force within your soul, seek that life. There is a gem in the mountain of your body, seek that mine. O’ traveller of you are in search of that, don’t look outside, look inside yourself and seek that.~ Rumi
2. You know more than you think you do.
Another important thing you should know about yourself is that your heart and Soul are a lot wiser than you think. They know everything about you, about your life’s path and about the many wonderful things you are capable of being, doing and having. And if you could just get into the habit of conversing with your Soul – listening, trusting and following the guidance of your heart and the wisdom of your intuition, you will soon discover that all the answers you were once so desperately seeking outside yourself, were within you all
“I have been a seeker and I still am. But I stopped asking the books and the stars. I started listening to the teachings of my soul.” ~ Rumi
3. You weren’t created to live in a “box.”
Your true nature is soft and flexible, fluid and expansive. Who you are underneath it all is much grander and much more complex than your conceptual structure of reality. Much more precious and a lot more valuable than all the labels that have been placed on you up until this moment, and all the labels that will continue to be placed on you in the future. And when you use all kinds of rigid concepts and labels to define yourself, placing yourself in a “box” and conforming to strict ideas of who you are and how you should live your life, you deny yourself the right to realize your true nature. You deny yourself the right to become all that life created you to be.
4. You are not a finished product.
Who you are is constantly changing, growing and evolving; taking different forms, different shapes and becoming something new each day. And that is why it is so important to be flexible. To be open to change and to allow things to take their natural course. To allow yourself to be who life needs you to be, not who you think you should be. And to always remember that “The more a thing tends to be permanent, the more it tends to be lifeless.” ~ Alan Watts
5. When you try to shine, you dim your inner light.
Verse 24 of The Tao Te Ching talks about this in a glorious way: “He who stands on tiptoe doesn’t stand firm. He who rushes ahead doesn’t go far. He who tries to shine dims his own light. He who defines himself can’t know who he really is.” ~ Lao Tzu
You came into this world shining bright like a star. And even though you might have forgotten how valuable you actually are, if you could just be who you are without constantly trying to prove your value to those around you, you will eventually allow your inner light to be seen, valued and appreciated. And you will no longer depend on others to confirm that you’re worthwhile.
6. Your self-worth cannot be verified by others.
Other people can’t determine how worthy and valuable you truly are. And you know why? Because most people have no idea how valuable they themselves are. Most people allow external things, places, people and circumstances to determine how much they are worth, and so they judge you as being worthy or not so worthy based on the same criteria, not knowing that these things have nothing to do with your value and self-worth. Make sure you don’t fall into the trap of thinking that who you are is not enough and that you need other people’s approval, love and validation in order for you to feel that way. Never allow external things, places, people or circumstances to determine how much you’re worth. Decide for yourself. It’s called “self-worth” not “other-worth.”
“Self-worth cannot be verified by others. You are worthy because you say it is so. If you depend on others for your value it is other-worth.” ~ Wayne Dyer
7. You don’t have to compare or compete with anyone or anything else.
The life you are meant to create and the person you were born to be are unique. And since your path in life is different from everybody else’s, there is no need to compare or compete with anyone or anything else. No need to try to be better than those around you. You are safe.
“When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.” ~ Lao Tzu
8. Your path in life is different from everybody else’s.
You have your own unique path to walk in life. A path that is different from everybody else’s. And even though you might be tempted at times to imitate and follow the herd; to do what everybody else does, please don’t! Follow the wise advice of Ralph Waldo Emerson and “Insist on yourself; never imitate… Every great man is unique.” Embrace your uniqueness. Walk the right path.
9. You are never alone.
You are never alone wherever you are. You are always in the company of your wonderful, precious and loving Self. Your heart and Soul are always with you – guiding you, protecting you, and making sure that you feel safe, loved and cared for. And that my friend, is something that no one can take away from you.
“As a body everyone is single, as a soul never.” ~ Hermann Hesse
With all my love,
“Study me as much as you like, you will not know me, for I differ in a hundred ways from what you see me to be. Put yourself behind my eyes and see me as I see myself, for I have chosen to dwell in a place you cannot see.” ~ Rumi
Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhī, also known as Rumi, was a 13th-century Persian poet, jurist, theologian, and Sufi mystic who, in my personal opinion, wrote some of the most beautiful and most profound words that were ever written. You won’t believe it how much wisdom and how so much power there is in his words. It’s incredible.
Today I would like to share with you 25 life changing lessons to learn from Rumi, lessons that have the power inspire and empower you to live a more authentic, beautiful, loving and meaningful life.
1. Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.
“You were born with potential. You were born with goodness and trust. You were born with ideals and dreams. You were born with greatness. You were born with wings. You are not meant for crawling, so don’t. You have wings. Learn to use them and fly.”
“You sit here for days saying, This is strange business. You’re the strange business. You have the energy of the sun in you, but you keep knotting it up at the base of your spine. You’re some weird kind of gold that wants to stay melted in the furnace, so you won’t have to become coins.”
“Why should I stay at the bottom of a well when a strong rope is in my hand?”
“Become the sky. Take an axe to the prison wall. Escape.”
“Do you know what you are? You are a manuscript oƒ a divine letter. You are a mirror reflecting a noble face. This universe is not outside of you. Look inside yourself; everything that you want, you are already that.”
2. Your job is to live your life in a way that makes sense to you, not to “them”.
“Start a huge, foolish project, like Noah…it makes absolutely no difference what people think of you.”
3. Never give up on yourself.
“When you go through a hard period, When everything seems to oppose you, … When you feel you cannot even bear one more minute, NEVER GIVE UP! Because it is the time and place that the course will divert!”
“Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.”
“Dance, when you’re broken open. Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you’re perfectly free.”
4. Ignorance is God’s prison.
“Ignorance is God’s prison. Knowing is God’s palace.”
5. The treasures that can be found outside of you can’t even compare with the treasures that can be found inside of you.
“You wander from room to room Hunting for the diamond necklace That is already around your neck!”
“If you knew yourself for even one moment, if you could just glimpse your most beautiful face, maybe you wouldn’t slumber so deeply in that house of clay. Why not move into your house of joy and shine into every crevice! For you are the secret Treasure-bearer, and always have been. Didn’t you know?”
“Everything in the universe is within you. Ask all from yourself.”
“Why are you so enchanted by this world, when a mine of gold lies within you?”
“You go from village to village on your horse asking everyone, “Has anyone seen my horse?”
“Don’t knock on any random door like a beggar. Reach your long hand out to another door, beyond where you go on the street, the street where everyone says, “How are you?” and no one says How aren’t you?”
“There is a fountain inside you. Don’t walk around with an empty bucket.”
6. When you let go of who you are, you become who you might be.
“Knock, And He’ll open the door Vanish, And He’ll make you shine like the sun Fall, And He’ll raise you to the heavens Become nothing, And He’ll turn you into everything.”
“Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious.”
“Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.”
“Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames.”
“Be melting snow. Wash yourself of yourself.”
7. There is something you can do better than anyone else.
“Everyone has been made for some particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in every heart.”
“Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder. Help someone’s soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd.”
8. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.
“As you start to walk out on the way, the way appears.”
9. When you commit to something, do it with all your heart.
“Half-heartedness doesn’t reach into majesty. You set out to find God, but then you keep stopping for long periods at mean-spirited roadhouses.”
“When you do things from your soul you feel a river moving in you, a joy. When action come from another section, the feeling disappears.”
“Wherever you are, and whatever you do, be in love.”
10. Good things come to an end so that better things can fall together.
“Do not grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.”
11. The wound is the place where the Light enters you.
“What hurts you, blesses you. Darkness is your candle.”
“Where there is ruin, there is hope for a treasure.”
“Don’t turn away. Keep your gaze on the bandaged place. That’s where the light enters you.”
“Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life’s search for love and wisdom.”
“You have to keep breaking your heart until it opens.”
12. Do what you love and do it with love.
“Let the beauty we love be what we do.”
“Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love.”
“Be occupied, then, with what you really value and let the thief take something else.”
13. Think less. Feel more.
“Reason is powerless in the expression of Love.”
“Put your thoughts to sleep, do not let them cast a shadow over the moon of your heart. Let go of thinking.”
“Only from the heart can you touch the sky.”
“There is a candle in your heart, ready to be kindled. There is a void in your soul, ready to be filled. You feel it, don’t you?”
“Be empty of worrying. Think of who created thought! Why do you stay in prison When the door is so wide open?”
14. Love is worth it all.
“Gamble everything for love, if you’re a true human being. If not, leave this gathering.”
“Let the lover be disgraceful, crazy, absentminded. Someone sober will worry about events going badly. Let the lover be.”
15. Appreciate both the good and the bad in your life.
“Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.”
“If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?”
“When someone beats a rug, the blows are not against the rug, but against the dust in it.”
16. You change your world by changing yourself.
“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”
17. We are made of Love and made to Love.
“We are born of love; Love is our mother. “
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
“Through Love all that is bitter will be sweet, Through Love all that is copper will be gold, Through Love all dregs will become wine, through Love all pain will turn to medicine.”
“I have no companion but Love, no beginning, no end, no dawn. The Soul calls from within me: ‘You, ignorant of the way of Love, set Me free.’ “
“That which is false troubles the heart, but truth brings joyous tranquillity.”
18. Your Soul is not of this world, your body is.
“All day I think about it, then at night I say it. Where did I come from, and what am I supposed to be doing? I have no idea. My soul is from elsewhere, I’m sure of that, and I intend to end up there.”
“When I die, I shall soar with angels, and when I die to the angels, what I shall become you cannot imagine.”
19. At the Soul level, we are all ONE.
“All religions, all this singing, one song. The differences are just illusion and vanity. The sun’s light looks a little different on this wall than it does on that wall, and a lot different on this other one, but it’s still one light.”
“What shall I say, O Muslims, I know not myself, I am neither a Christian, nor a Jew, nor a Zoroastrian, nor a Muslim.”
“I am neither of the East nor of the West, no boundaries exist within my breast.”
20. Your Soul is more precious than anything.
“You know the value of every article of merchandise, but if you don’t know the value of your own soul, it’s all foolishness.”
21. Choose your life partner wisely.
“Take someone who doesn’t keep score, who’s not looking to be richer, or afraid of losing, who has not the slightest interest even in his own personality: he’s free.”
22. Real love transcends the material plane and no matter if your bodies are apart, your souls will forever be connected.
“Goodbyes are only for those who love with their eyes. Because for those who love with heart and soul there is no such thing as separation.”
23. Raise your words, not your voice.
“Raise your words, not voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.”
24. Silence is the language of God.
“Silence is the language of God, all else is poor translation.”
“Words are a pretext. It is the inner bond that draws one person to another, not words.”
“In Silence there is eloquence. Stop weaving and see how the pattern improves.”
25. Just to be alive is not enough.
“You think you are alive because you breathe air? Shame on you, that you are alive in such a limited way. Don’t be without Love, so you won’t feel dead. Die in Love and stay alive forever.”
What is your favorite quote from Rumi? What is the one lesson you have learned from this beautiful and amazing Soul? You can share your insights by joining the conversation in the comment section below
With all my love,