Guard Against Toxic Relationships-Manipulators are often friendly
Being the less powerful party in a domineering relationship is quite demeaning. Domineering people think that they are always right. As far as they are concerned, it is their way or no way; other people’s ideas do not count. People who dominate their friends are intimidated by the success of others and tend to envy them. If you have friends who are very controlling, do not respect or value your opinions, or always want to make decisions for you, you need to end those friendships.
Another trait of domineering people is that they always want to be the center of attention. Conversations always center on them, what they have achieved, how they are better than others, etc. They tend to brag shamelessly. Such people never give you space to breathe. They want you to gain their approval for any decisions you make in your personal life. If you let them, they will run your life.
Some people like to manipulate their friends. Quite interestingly, manipulators are often friendly, giving, and outwardly quite compassionate; however, all these good qualities come with a price. Instead of giving freely, manipulators act sweetly to bribe you into doing them a very big favor. They take you on a guilt trip, recounting to you the many times they have helped you. They even play the victim, exaggerating their situation and shedding crocodile tears just to manipulate you into giving them what they want. They want to make you feel obligated to help. Such a relationship is very unhealthy; a manipulator only stays close to take advantage of you. The Bible says in Leviticus 25:17, Do not take advantage of each other, but fear your God.
If you feel insecure, fearful, and tense in a relationship, your feelings could be signs of an oppressive relationship that can easily turn abusive. Unfortunately, some people feel caged in abusive relationships. Many times, the victims in such circumstances are under the care of the abusers. They feel helpless and enslaved because they are dependent against their wishes. What even hurts more is that those who abuse them are people close to them who should be providing the love and tender care that they need.
Both verbal and physical abuse damage people emotionally. Abusers often threaten victims who talk to another person about the abuse. However, what victims need to know is that there is a way to freedom, and that way is through talking to someone. The threats also indicate that the abusers recognize that what they are doing is wrong, see the potential escape of the victims, and fear being caught. These reasons should give victims the courage to talk to someone, because the consequences of not telling anyone far outweigh the risks.
When the children of God faced insurmountable challenges, God reassured them. Deuteronomy 1:29-30 says, “Then I said to you, ‘Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them. The LORD your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt.” Take heart! The LORD knows your pain, and He will give you grace and boldness when you speak to the right people about the abuse you are suffering.
To be continued next week….
By Boniface G. [email protected]
To order this book click on this link http://shop.vesselofhonor.org/