"I believe in love at first sight,
but it pays to take a second look."
Manipulation and the Self-Destruct Button
by Dr. Terry Martin (aka Monday Lisa) and Bob Cayne 07/12/2021
Who uses manipulation? Cults? Teams? Let’s begin with corporations that use manipulation to hold onto valued employees by offering bonuses, luxury cars, exotic vacations and high-style living. Closer to home there are charming partners who do the same thing with kindness, food, sex and companionship. And it all goes away if you leave them. Unless of course you do as they say, and that may mean pushing your self-destruct button.
Yes, a cult can just be two people. Don’t get me wrong, loving someone; giving them support and romance, and building them up is far different from the dark psychological manipulation we covered in previous columns.
Overwhelming someone with attention and special behaviors can destabilize them to the point where you own them emotionally. The typical thinking is, “After all I have done for you.”
Giving and receiving attention is a necessary human need. And when the need isn’t met, we suffer both physically and mentally.
In many cases the controller demeans or critiques everybody-–your family, friends and coworkers so your needs can only be met within the controller’s arena. If you don’t follow a demand…no matter how bizarre the request may be––and depending on how vulnerable you are––you will obey.
Attention and feeling safe, having someone to discuss or bounce things off causes calmness. At one time living away from the tribe was dangerous, even extreme. But those times are behind us. Our needs for attention and balance rest within our own hands. Needing, wanting and being present in someone else's life should never be an obligation, let alone under threat of self-destruction.
Threats of self-harm or financial ruin should be considered button pushing, and seen as huge, red flags. Run, don’t walk from them. I would also suggest that immediate self-reflection is in order.
Loneliness and fear of being wrong can invite manipulators from the dark side into your life.
When you overwork or overthink things it leaves little time for pleasure or self-care. Be a dreamer and you won’t be vulnerable to unmet needs.
• • •
by Dr. Terry Martin (aka Monday Lisa) and Bob Cayne 07/05/2021
Spotting deception is surprisingly difficult. But deception does have apparent signs––if you know what to look for beyond shoulder shrugs and body language.
For example, people who are vague about details and resist providing specific particulars may be concealing a lie. The same is true if they become repetitive and talk in circles. In some cases, they may even be trying to convince themselves of what they’re saying.
If a person doesn’t speak in full sentences, and answers with short, terse statements, be suspicious.
When you want them to be specific and provide details about something, ask them directly. Challenge them if you don’t get a clear-cut answer and you think they are lying.
Nervous behavior is a sign of deception. If someone seems uncharacteristically nervous, they may be lying, especially if the situation isn’t one that warrants nervousness. You may want to analyze their honesty if they are talking about a familiar subject, but appear nervous when discussing it.
Knowing the signs isn’t always enough. If you are skeptical and think the other party is lying, how much are you are willing to trust them? Have a checklist; go through it in your mind.
There are four ways to spot deceptiveness.
Listen to their voice. Are they nervous, do they sound like they’re avoiding the truth? Pay attention to the words they use. Some may help you identify deceptive signs.
Do they have deceptive body language? Look for unusual nonverbal communication, curious gestures or uncomfortable body movement.
Ask them to tell their story in reverse. Sounds silly I know, but if they take you through a long, drawn-out tale that raises your eyebrows, decide if it’s true by asking them to tell you what happened by asking questions out of order. If they have to think too hard about their answers, they could be making things up.
Finally, trust your instincts as you figure out if someone is deceptive. Our unconscious minds pick up on cues that we miss as we interact. We have instincts for a reason, so trust yours.
When people lie or act deceptively, they probably have a reason. Some do it to be polite, saying they like something they really don’t care for. But it’s still deception. Saying, “I don’t really care for that, it’s not my favorite thing,” is being honest.
Honesty is a true reflection of who you are. And you have fewer things to worry about.
• • •
by Dr. Terry Martin (aka Monday Lisa) and Bob Cayne 06/28/2021
Last week we discussed Dark Psychology, and how manipulators use mind control to get something out of another person––something that benefits the manipulator.
Today we begin a series of Monday Lisa Columns that cover six different types of deception. Deception is another Dark Psychology tactic.
Deceivers get people to believe things that aren’t true. If you know the techniques they use you will safeguard yourself from being deceived, and from fooling yourself.
Knowing and understanding that deception has various aspects is important, because deception amounts to more than simply lying about what’s being said. In fact, it’s possible to deceive someone without saying a word.
Deception undermines another person’s trust. Know what to look for and protect yourself…but don’t fall into the trap of using these deceptive forms, yourself. It’s easier than you think.
We begin with Concealing. Almost everyone has something to hide and concealing a pertinent fact is an effective way to omit information that’s fundamental to making a proper judgment. If you gain the missing information at a later date, chances your reaction will likely be, “If only I knew then, what I know now.”
Next, Equivocations: When you use equivocations, you make statements that are either indirect or ambiguous in an attempt to skirt the truth. What you say might not be untrue, but you avoid answering a question that’s at the heart of the matter. Question: “Who ate the cookies on the counter?” Answer: “Somebody.”
Exaggerations: When someone exaggerates, they try to make something seem worse or bigger than it is. It’s an overstatement that takes the truth and stretches it out. “I never saw a fish as big as the one I caught, yesterday.” Your answer should be, “Just how big was that fish?”
Lies: Making up information that’s inaccurate or unrelated to the truth. For example, saying something that has no grounds in the truth, or saying something that is the opposite of what’s true. Adlai Stevenson said, “The cruelest lies are often told in silence.”
Understatements: The opposite of exaggerations. When someone makes an understatement, they downplay the truth to some degree. They feel like telling the truth will be far worse than understating it, so they make it seem like less of a big deal than it was initially assumed to be. This is dangerous because it makes a potentially serious issue miss whatever attention it may have needed. A person with a hacking cough might say, “I’m fine, it’s no big deal, I’m not really sick.” Red flag.
Finally, the Untruth: Saying things that misinterpret the truth into something different. It distracts from the truth and should be treated with extreme caution. The hyper-sensitive husband who tells his wife, “Nope. That dress does not make your butt look big.” The truth is, the dress has nothing to do with it…and she knows it.
Next Monday we’ll discuss: How to Recognize Deception. Don’t miss it.
• • •
Using Other People
by Dr. Terry Martin (aka Monday Lisa) and Bob Cayne 06/21/2021
Have you wondered why people do what they do…or what they do that makes you think or act the way you do? Consider this:
The Moment You Feel
Like You Need To
Prove Yourself Is
The Moment You
Absolutely and Utterly Walk Away
We like to pride ourselves as being unique. We assume we are autonomous––easily able to make decisions about what we want and need. We assume there is no way someone else can control our actions or feelings…because we are superior, rational beings…right?
Not necessarily. Manipulation, which has no regard for being ethical, is one of three markers of mind control. The process is called Dark Psychology. Dark Psychology is the use of other people.
When you are manipulated you suffer; it may feel like a low-grade infection. You develop signs of emotional abuse and manipulation.
You may not be able to articulate the feeling. Perhaps this may help you open your eyes:
Victims of manipulation have poor clarity, few friends and poor judgement.
Being around the manipulator makes you feel depressed. Particularly, if the manipulator is a partner of yours.
it’s common to feel depressed or unhappy––your self esteem and confidence are worsening. Your demeanor evolves into timidity and resignation.
And you feel an immense obligation to the manipulator.
If you’ve been in any kind of relationship with the manipulator, be it platonic, romantic, familial, or otherwise, you may be surprised when you realize that you actually feel obligated to your abuser.
Obligation stems from manipulation. You become compelled, even obligated, to grant the manipulator further control over you.
If you had to change to fit in with your partner, consider it a huge Red Flag. In fact, if others say you seem like you’ve changed, it’s entirely possible that, in fact, you have changed. That’s problematic…for everyone involved.
Relationships involve both parties bettering each other, but never feel like you have to change to make the relationship work.
The manipulator, in your mind, is unpredictable. You realize that it’s impossible to predict how the manipulator will respond to a given situation. They may not care about what just happened, or they may be frustrated about it, but you have no idea which it will be.
It may seem like the other person is invariably volatile and changing, even over minor things. There may be long periods of calm; followed by an outburst that makes you feel worthless, so you react by avoiding certain behaviors, tasks or activities. That’s a Red Flag!
In happy relationships the parties are full of each other, they value each other.
Manipulators will completely devalue you. They want you to think you are dumb; not worth listening to, so you will be complacent and easier to control. If you are busy worrying or feeling like you don’t have the self-esteem to protect or encourage your own personal growth, you might conclude that you need to get out of the relationship altogether.
It’s possible for a manipulator to devalue anything and everything you do. If you do something, they’ll say it doesn’t matter. Or they won’t acknowledge it, even if it was a big deal to you and merited praise. Another Red Flag, one that’s easy to spot.
You can never be smarter, better or more successful than a manipulator. The way they use tactics of motivation, persuasion, manipulation and coercion to get what they want from other people is Dark Psychology.
Finally, an anonymous quote I ran across recently.
“Love comes from when manipulation stops;
When you think more about the other person than his or her reaction to you;
When you dare to reveal yourself fully;
When you dare to be vulnerable.”
Next Monday, we will discuss ‘Deception.’ Don’t miss it.
CONTACT DR. TERRY MARTIN