I talked on the phone with Sylvia, who described how annoying it was that her two-year-old son manipulated her every night not to go to bed, or to get her to allow him to sleep with her, after getting out of bed in the middle of the night. As she talked, it became apparent that her husband manipulated her with intimidation to do whatever he wanted, and she manipulated him not to be angry. During our call, she also tried to manipulate me to extend the call after I had clearly stated that I had to go.
This is very common behavior in families, and most people don’t realize it’s happening. So what is the harm?
The obvious downside is that we become prisoners to the people who manipulate us, and we become prisoners to our own manipulations. All this behavior turns into a lifelong game we play with people, which turns them into game pieces, like in chess. And then the game becomes how we live, an enormous lie that perpetuates itself without end.
Life is not a game. We get to make our own choices, but manipulating other people’s choices is a dangerous game indeed.
Live without manipulation; just peace and happiness.
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