In an ideal world we should work through the rough spots in our relationships. However, this is not an ideal world.
Most of the time we recognize that trouble in a relationship can be reconciled in a meaningful and beneficial way with hard work and patience and two willing partners, but sometimes it is not possible at all. Examples of when to run away quickly are when abuse and violence threaten our safety and well-being.
Abuse can be obvious and take common forms — physical, sexual, verbal, emotional. But there are subtle forms of abuse that can blindside us into “falling” for the best in another, when in fact that very drama can be consciously or unconsciously staged to fool us into being someone another needs and wants rather than being loved and accepted for who we really are.
Dr. James Fogarty, Ed. D., a licensed clinical psychologist, national lecturer, and author, has developed a professional workshop around the topic of Emotional Manipulation. His ideas intrigue me… I think he is on to something very real and more common than we would like to admit.
Fogarty says that “… people who use emotional manipulation hide behind the mask of love, concern, dedication, and friendship, while using guilt, button-pushing, subtle anger, and many types of covert ploys to keep their victims in place, getting their victims to do whatever they want.” He goes on to say that “… the words of Emotional Manipulators have multiple meanings hiding their true scheming motives. They carefully maneuver between that fine balance of skimpily giving to others but getting so much more. They are masters of getting others to believe they are doing everything for them while hiding their ‘what’s in it for me’ motives. They carefully craft every sentence with their own selfish needs hidden between each word.”
Think long and hard… Know anyone from your past or present who fits this description?