Updated: Sep 15
Not all relationships are perfect, but they can be perfectly handled.
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A manipulator is hard to have a relationship with because of their controlling selfish nature. They're self-motivated with zero consideration to how they make you feel. And people who are like this operate on a high level of pride.
Behaviors you'll notice from them are: temper tantrums, guilt trip, offensiveness, attack, complaining, easily angered or offended, always boasting, insecure, self-centered, impatient, and have low or no self-awareness.
Also, they'll go to great lengths with flattery and other methods so they can use you. Basically, they'll make extreme efforts with trying to find ways to make you do something they want—even if it includes lying.
You may not always have an opportunity to keep away from individuals like these because of their purpose for being in your life. And they may have something valuable that you need. But you can learn to deal with them.
First you must be humble. Without humility it'll be useless when dealing with a personality like this because of the aggressiveness that'll soon surface when confronting this person. They see every confrontation, you saying no, or your refusal as an attack against them. It's deeply rooted within them and it's not always plain to see.
If you've ever been a victim of manipulation, you know that it's something you don’t always see coming.
So, what does one do? We go to the one who can see the manipulation and can stop it from happening. We go to the "all knowing," all wise God who can open our eyes to see what's happening (Proverbs 2:6, James 3:17, Psalm 111:10).
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord."
— Isaiah 55:8 (KJV)
If stories of people who were manipulated were to be put in writing, it would probably be the largest book ever written.
I worked with someone who would give me advice, but it always seemed to come from a place of jealousy because whatever they suggested would demean this particular person. They would try every tactic to cause me to act. They manipulated, flattered, and persuaded, all done for their own agenda. The problem with being jealous is, somebody is always going to be better than you at something.
The less you say to a person like this, is better. It won't always be a preventative method because choosing to ignore or stay away from them can make them angry. It's because they want things and people to respond to them their way.
What does the Bible say?
"Such people are not serving Christ our Lord; they are serving their own personal interests. By smooth talk and glowing words they deceive innocent people."
— Romans 16:18 (NLT)
Manipulate has several definitions. It means control, exploit, mislead, just to name a few. It's controlling or manipulating a person or situation cleverly, unfairly, or unscrupulously. None of this sound or look good. But this is how you are when you manipulate.
Throughout Scripture you'll see manipulation at work with Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:13, 2 Corinthians 11:3), Jacob (Genesis 27:11-24), Samson (Judges 16:15-17), Peter (1 Peter 5:8) and other individuals in the Bible.
However, there is an answer to dealing with people who have this personality, and the answer is humility. Don't underestimate humility it has power. Because when you function with humility, you work in wisdom (Proverbs 11:2).
In science when forces work against each other two things can happen. They can balance each other out or one force can overpower the other force.
In this case humility will overpower—because God is unmatched. Anytime you do the will of God, you win—every time.
Humility will help you handle people and situations well.
Choosing to be humble is not a solution for them, it's a solution for you. It's important to not allow another person's behavior to control your behavior. And if you don't protect yourself, being around them can make you feel oppressed. But we are encouraged to live in peace and joy.
Hopefully, your actions of humility will "rub off on them" by showing them when you're humble you can be spoken to, be open-minded, and not get easily offended.
Regardless of who we associate with, we're given qualities that'll help us when we meet people who are manipulative or have difficult personality traits.
The Bible refers to these qualities as the fruits of the spirit. The fruits of the spirit are characteristic traits that can help you respond to difficult people.
Galatians 5:22 TLB puts it plainly, "But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control..."
The attribute to highlight is self-control. Having a safe sustainable relationship with a manipulator requires self-control.
Having your emotions get the best of you is quite common. We see it everywhere, in sports, politics, clubs, at home, work, when we don't get our way or when we feel unfairly treated, we lose control.
People have regrets because they allowed their emotions to "get the best of them," causing them to do something that they did not intend to do. But when you're guided by the Spirit then you'll not give into what your feelings want; Instead, you'll have self-control (Galatians 5:16, 23).
When you're able to have self-control, and manage situations well, you'll experience peace and know how to live in peace.
Long suffering is having strength. When you are confronted with scenarios that tempt you to act out in an unfavorable way but instead you stay in control—that’s strength. An excerpt from Long-suffering: How to patiently endure people & tough times
Love covers a multiple of sin
"Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins."
— 1 Peter 4:8 (ESV)
Paul received this revelation about love, "Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things" — 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (ESV).
As Christians, since we have been chosen by God who has given us this new and better way to life, and because of His deep love and concern for us, we should practice mercy and kindness to others. And be gentle and ready to forgive, never holding grudges. The Lord forgives us, so you must forgive others (Colossians 3:12-13).
God is our strong tower and someone we can go to for protection and answers concerning everything in life (Proverbs 18:10). And He helps us deal with people in wisest way. This in one of the advantages of having a relationship with God.
Advantages of having a relationship with God.
You will always have a guide for your life
You will always know what to do
You will always make the right choices
You have a support system
You will always have protection
Your outcome ( the way things turn out ) will always be favorable.
You will take care of, protected, and supported.
You don't have to settle with dealing with trauma; you can get completely healed where you're no longer affected by the experience. It'll be like it never happened. Whatever damage that occurred will be repaired. You will be transformed and made new.
Bad things are temporary. In the end it ends up being good—favor.
God is always with you. You are never alone to face the world.
The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. Psalm 34:10
There are life lessons you can learn from God to help you make better life choices and to understand your life better, help your life, and allow you to live a life of success.
He takes away the struggle
In life if you are not able to adapt to change, deal with setbacks or adversity then you will have a tough time in life. God will allow you to deal with adversity, change, and help you through setback.
A manipulator will be one of the most challenging individuals you will face. At times it seems like they're impossible to deal with. But until or unless they change be extremely cautious with what you say or reveal to these individuals.
Try the strategies of God and stop trying to change them. Rather, love them with understanding. They need love, help, prayer, and lifestyle examples not judgement, criticism, or rejection.
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A call for salvation
When you accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, His spirit will come to live inside you. This is one of the greatest blessings of salvation. You don't have to go through someone else to get to God, and He will live in your heart where you and Him become one and have a relationship.
All you have to do is make the choice of salvation by repenting of your sins and accepting Jesus into your life by confessing that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that He came from Heaven to die for your sins (Romans 10:9). Once you have done this, please pray and ask God to guide you to a church where you can grow, mature, and start living the abundant life Jesus promised.