The sad truth is, every day, I manipulate and I get manipulated. We manipulate others for all kinds of reasons.

Some people in this world are kings and queens of the art of getting their own way. It’s amazing how some people are able to achieve their agenda through the use of manipulation. The true masters are the agents of chaos in groups, organizations, and families pursuing selfish hidden agendas for their own gain.

There’s a lot of tricks manipulators use – lies, the silent treatment, guilt trips, threats (like we’re going to leave your church, or we’ll never be friends again). But the one method I see used the most by manipulators that you need to be aware of is by making a personal statement and pretending it is someone else’s. This allows manipulative people to put the blame on someone else, therefore not taking responsibility for his or her own opinion.

Such as…

We were wondering if you…”

Others were disappointed”

They said you…”

She thought you…”

Everyone thinks you…”

If you hear these statements or spot them in a email or text, be very careful. It doesn’t automatically mean there’s not some truth in what they’re about to say, but it almost always guarantees there is some kind of hidden agenda. More often than not, they’re about to try to manipulate you to feel a certain way or do a certain thing.

My encouragement to you is to ask who is “we”, “they”, or “someone” and ask for the manipulator’s own point of view. Don’t allow them to add urgency or weight to their point of view by speaking for “everyone” else. They’re making a dangerous and faulty assumption that everyone else thinks exactly like they do, so you should in fact think the way they think or feel the way they feel.

Don’t fall for it.