Are you a Trusting Teresa?
In any relationship, there is sometimes emotional manipulation that comes out. I mean, we are all humans just trying to get our needs met. When we are acting healthy, we are honest and direct. When we aren’t, we emotionally manipulate.
There are a lot of women out there who are trusting, caring, and giving individuals. Therein lies the problem!
(I am laughing while I write this “problem” statement because those character qualities are wonderful. And I don’t want anyone to change that about themselves!) However, those positive qualities can make problems for you.
Qualities that make you easier to manipulate:
These qualities are easily used as tactics when someone else has a need.
I had a client named Pleasing Patty. She married into a family that was very manipulative. Her mother-in-law started telling her during the wedding planning how much it would mean to her if Kathy would just do such and such … The mother-in-law cried and cajoled, and she said things like “this is my only son, I don’t think it is too much to ask to (insert wishes here).” When Patty wanted a few things done her way, her mother-in-law would underhandedly hint that Patty had poor taste. Nothing changed after the wedding and Patty had to do some real-life learning about manipulation.
Active addicts are great at manipulation too. They match up nicely with Trusting Teresas. They have lots of needs, can really pour on the victim thing, and they tend to want forgiveness.
Kids are good at it too. What mother wants her child in pain? Kids can prey on all that caring and wanting to please to get their way. Kids aren’t evil, they just move towards what works. For caring women who are moms, this is a huge challenge.
Takeaway: Be Careful. Those qualities that make you a wonderful person are also qualities that put you at risk with others. Don’t let that happen. Be aware.
Have you ever been manipulated? What got you to wise up?P lease write in any comments or questions you might have on this topic. I would love to hear from you!
Cherilynn Veland is a therapist living in Chicago.
She also blogs about home, work, life and love
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Last reviewed: 12 Mar 2014