Manipulator?...But I am a good person!
During my life, I never considered myself a manipulator. I always viewed myself as someone that was giving, understanding, and often taken advantage-of and unappreciated. What I have realized after a lot of self-honesty, is that I have always built relationships through manipulation.
I put a lot of effort into gaining acceptance from others because deep down... I wasn't okay with myself.
Everything to Everyone
Looking back, I obtained relationships during my life by never being disagreeable, buying people things, giving them whatever I thought they needed from me, and acting as if I wanted nothing in return.
The truth was, nothing was ever done without an unspoken expectation. I fully expected them to never disappoint me, leave me, or be disloyal in any way. When they didn't live up to the expectations they never agreed to...I became bitter, angry, and hurt, and ended the relationship with no explanation.
I always believed my problems were caused by other people, that I had some unfair talent for attracting horrible people to my life.
The truth was that my ongoing disappointments were a result of my unrealistic expectations.
If I meet certain critera (pretty, smart, funny), then everything should go my way, right?
That isn't how life works.
I have learned that I have no control over other people. I can be the nicest, most amazing person in the world and still be rejected, overlooked, or not appreciated the way I hoped to be. It is more valuable to seek peace within myself than to gain acceptance from other people.
I have to be okay with people not being okay with me.
Getting Rid of the Masks
It was overwhelming for me when I realized how much of a victim-mentality I had. So many things I thought were part of me, were simply part of my manipulation. I felt completely lost and had no idea who I was. At the age of 36, I am still figuring that out. I want to be authentic and stop wearing masks in an attempt to please others.
I have been doing that by building my own beliefs, opinions, and life without centering it around other people. Becoming self-aware has spared me a lot of pain that I was so accustomed to previously. I am finding out what healthy relationships are, but it doesn't come easy to me.
The key to helping myself is being aware of my behavior, and taking action to do things differently.
Even though my life can be influenced by others, ultimately I am the person that makes decisions about my life.
I am in charge of my mindset. With some awareness, a good support system, and real effort - I am re-writing my story.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
© 2019 Sara Magee