1. Buttering You Up: To get their way, manipulators will often make you feel good so that they can then ask you to do something that they want. The person may first compliment you or tell you what a wonderful job you did on something. Making you feel good will, in their mind, make it difficult for you to say no…after all, you wouldn’t want to disappoint them or give them reason to think you didn’t deserve the compliment in the first place. What you can do: Return the compliments and the niceties before saying no. Jim Kastanis' recent letter highlights such platitudes.
2. Guilt: This doesn’t only pertain to Catholics and Jewish Mothers; guilt trips have been a successful manipulation tactic for centuries. The saddest part of this strategy is that the victims of this tactic succumb to the manipulators’ demands because they feel they HAVE to, not because they WANT to. In personal relationships, this sets up a co-dependency that is extremely unhealthy. What you can do: Ask the individual if they want you to do something because you have to or because you want to. If they say they want you to want to do it, tell them that you don’t and that they are trying to force you into something you don’t feel comfortable with. The recent melt down in addition to other "sermons" berating the lack of financial support (among other things) rings a bell.
3. Broken Record: Probably the most obvious of formats is the broken record tactic. If a person asks you enough or pushes their agenda enough…constantly repeating the question or request over and over again…in slightly different ways, the victim will inevitably give in and give them what they want. Oye! What you can do: Ask the individual what they don’t understand about the word “no.” Tell them that asking you over and over again isn’t going to change anything and that they are inappropriately over-stepping boundaries. Confidentiality the proistameno of Prophet Elias only requires in all aspects of the function of our community, a theme he continually repeats, or laying blame everywhere except at his own feet bears this out.