Some people are just really, really, good at subtle manipulation. Sometimes I think that they have perfected this so well, that they may not even realize that they are doing it. And I, for one, am helpless when facing this.
I stumble, apologize, feel badly, beat myself up, etc., until I sit with the conversation and reflect on it. It is only then that I can say, ‘Hey, hold on a second…what just happened here?’
It is especially difficult when the source is someone that is close, someone you love, a family member or a friend. It happened to me yesterday.
Jesus was so acutely aware of this behavior. He always had a way of turning things around, in a loving and direct way. He held a mirror that reflected the behavior back at the person involved. And in response, the person either saw their false selves or the reflected light was too bright and they had to walk away.
Today I pray for the courage to love this person enough to continue a difficult conversation. I pray that in all humility, I can express my feelings. I can only do this if I love both the other and myself.
Today I pray for Christ’s wisdom, courage and strength!
Andie, this is a great challenge. My former spouse is extremely clever at manipulation and although I am aware of this and say very little, I am always amazed at how conversations are directed. My only solution is to limit our contact as there are too many consequences of long conversations. Since I made that decision (with some help) the stress has diminished greatly. All circumstances are different and you may not be able to limit the frequency & length of visits but please know that setting boundaries to protect yourself is often necessary.
May God give you the wisdom, courage and strength to do what is necessary.
Great and honest post.
It is Jesus who has this gift – I will pray for him to lead the way. Be gentle with yourself and them.+x
Ohhh it just makes you feel so uncomfortable doesn’t it? Especially from a family member! I know this very well, and I will be praying for the situation. Lori