Murder Mystery Weekend – Chapter 42

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How to Shut Down the Most Common Phrases From Manipulators

Manipulative people are difficult to deal with. There is often no end to the tricks they will use to guilt trip you, twist situations, and get what they want from you. The good news is that most of them use the same statements to get their way, so you can prepare to deal with them.

Learning how to respond to the most frequently used psychologically abusive tactics can help you keep yourself safe from even the most brutally manipulative individuals.

How To Shut Down The Most Common Phrases From Manipulators

1. I trust you; I just don’t trust other people.

A manipulative person, especially a partner, might constantly try to control your life. When you ask them why they don’t trust you, they’ll insist that they do, but that it’s other people they can’t trust. They may use this as an excuse to:

  • Check your phone and email
  • Run background checks on your friends
  • Refuse to let you go anywhere on your own
  • Prevent you from spending time with certain acquaintances

This turns the onus around on you, making you seem unreasonable while they look protective and strong. The problem, of course, is that this doesn’t make any sense – if someone untrustworthy is able to convince you to cheat, then you yourself weren’t trustworthy to begin with.

What’s the best response to this situation? Well, it should go a little something like this:

“I’m the person who you are dealing with here. It makes no sense for you to have to trust other people in order to talk to me. By reacting this way, you are making the assumption that I am weak-willed or prone to doing something bad if someone else entices me. It’s very disrespectful and you should trust in my honesty and faithfulness.”

2. You’re being too sensitive/crazy!

This is a type of gaslighting and it can really make you second-guess yourself. When something goes wrong and you try to talk about it or call it out, a manipulator will belittle you for your lack of positive thinking. They might say:

  • Calm down, it was just a joke.
  • Why do you always take everything so seriously?
  • You’re being crazy right now.
  • Stop being so sensitive!
  • You’re overthinking this entire situation.
  • It’s not actually that big of a deal.
  • You’re just misunderstanding me.
  • Lighten up!
  • Nothing you’re saying makes sense.
  • You really need to learn to loosen up a bit.
  • This is so unreasonable of you.

It definitely doesn’t help that manipulators naturally prey on people who are sensitive, in a positive way – people who are empathetic, understanding, and emotionally intelligent. There’s nothing wrong with being sensitive to begin with, and it shouldn’t come up when you’re voicing a valid concern.

Gaslighting can make you feel like you’re the crazy one, or like you’re overreacting and being insane. It’s a common manipulation tactic to trick you into giving in. Don’t fall for it! Here’s what you should say instead:

“This is something that is very important to me and it would mean a lot to me if you would listen and hear me out. It’s not fair of you to call me crazy or sensitive just because we don’t see eye-to-eye on something.”

3. I already said sorry; what else do you want?

Apologies are always a good way to go. But manipulators don’t use them when they truly are sorry and seeking forgiveness. Instead, they use it as a quick way to get out of a nasty situation and stop you from being angry or calling them out.

Unfortunately, that’s not how apologies work, especially for more serious transgressions. It’s normal to need to take some time to deal with the aftermath of what the other person did to you. You can’t switch to positive feelings right away.

This is reasonable and perfectly understandable – but a manipulator doesn’t think so. They think that since they’ve dropped the magic word, everything should stop right then and there. Demand a fair amount of time to recover from what happened by saying something like this:

“I really appreciate your apology, but apologizing doesn’t automatically heal all wrongdoings and wounds. Give me some time to process this and heal.”

4. Look what you made me do!

One key sign of a manipulator is that nothing is ever their fault. They refuse to take the rightful blame for anything wrong they do and will find any way to twist it so someone else is at fault. Manipulators are unable to take ownership of their mistakes, so they often try to pass the responsibility to someone else.

These types of people might say a number of different phrases to try to pass themselves off as innocent and pin the blame on you. Of course, it’s ridiculous to be blamed for something you didn’t do at all, especially when it’s the other person who is hurting you. To shut them down, say this.

“I am only responsible for what I do, and you’re responsible for what you do. It was your decision to act how you did, and I cannot make you act in a certain way, nor can I do that to anyone else.”

5. I would never hurt you.

This sounds like a good statement with kind intentions. It sounds reassuring and gentle. But manipulators don’t use it that way – they use it so you brush less obvious forms of abuse under the rug.

For many people, the deal breaker line is drawn at physical abuse. Meanwhile, emotional abuse becomes more and more prevalent, but you’re not as aware of it. This allows many forms of toxicity classified as psychological and emotional abusive to continue.

A manipulator is very aware that your limit likely lies here too, so they’re careful to never cross that limit. Instead, they are abusive in “sneakier” ways that they hope you won’t notice, and they throw you off the scent with phrases like these. So if someone is feeding these lines to you, respond like so:

“You can hurt someone in more ways than physical. Understand that a lack of physical assault doesn’t mean that there isn’t emotional pain.”

6. I already did something nice for you; why are you still angry at me?

Just like with the apologies, manipulators may do a nice thing for you so that you’ll drop some issue. They might buy you something expensive or do you a favor in hopes that your gratefulness will cause you to forget their problematic behavior.

It’s easy to fall victim to this kind of ploy. When someone is kind to you, you might feel bad demanding further apologies or may feel guilty when you are still mad at them. But keep in mind that there is nothing that can “buy” forgiveness. It has to be earned graciously with patience and changed behavior.

If a manipulator is trying to make you feel bad because they bought you a gift, say this:

“It was very kind that you bought this for me, but there’s no price tag on my forgiveness. If you’re attempting to use this present as a bribe for my forgiveness, you can take it back.”

Or, if they didn’t buy you presents:

“It was very kind that you did this for me, but you cannot buy my forgiveness with chores and errands. If you have an ulterior motive for helping me and doing these nice things, then I’d prefer you didn’t do them.”

7. I will hurt myself if you leave me.

This is one of the most dangerous forms of emotional manipulation. Someone who stops you from leaving them, or stops you from doing anything they don’t want you to by threatening to harm themselves, is incredibly toxic and a danger to themselves and to you.

Why is this so problematic? Well, this is the clearest type of manipulation. They don’t want you to do something, so they make it so you will feel guilty and suffer immediate consequences if you do it. That way, they can make themselves look like the victim and paint you in a bad light.

Many people feel pressured into staying with abusive partners because of tactics like this. They force themselves into positive thinking to “save” their manipulative significant other. Don’t fall prey to it. Stand your ground and let it be known that you will not be swayed with a statement like this:

“If you are experiencing these thoughts, please call a suicide hotline or an emergency number. I can help provide numbers for you if you like. I have told you why I have chosen to leave, and my decision is made, so please respect it.”

8. I understand your feelings, but trust me – I know what’s best!

No one should be allowed to make your decisions for you. A manipulator will pretend to be looking out for you but is instead pulling your strings to convince you to do what they want. They’ll use any types of words and phrases to convince you that they understand you when they either don’t at all or really don’t care.

Yes, everyone could use an outside opinion sometimes, but at the end of the day, you still know yourself best. A manipulator isn’t actually seeking what’s best for you – they are selfish and want specific things for themselves, so they’re just trying to rope you along.

In any partnership, you deserve to be respected and heard. Your opinion matters just as much as the other person’s; a lack of willingness to compromise or talk it out, instead resorting to cheap tricks like this, is a huge red flag. Don’t fall for it. Instead, say this:

“To presume that you know what’s best for me, even when I tell you my opinion, is very controlling. I would like for what I have to say to be listened to and respected. I believe that the best thing for us is to make these big decisions together, as what is best for you may not actually turn out to be what is best for me.”

Final Thoughts On How To Shut Down The Most Common Phrases From Manipulators

Dealing with manipulators is exhausting. Although we referenced romantic relationships for many of these instances, they work for all types of people, regardless of your connection to them.

Manipulators come in many forms. They can be your partner, a family member, a friend, a colleague, or even a mere acquaintance who you barely know. Regardless of who someone is to you, manipulation is wrong, and it’s important that you know how to protect yourself. Shutting down their most common phrases will show them that you’re not someone they can play their mind games with.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Bailey – Chapter 3 – Second Date – Part 1

Eating a flight of gelato at Gran cafe L’Aquila is like listening to a Beatles album. Every song makes you feel different.

I have been texting Bailey and things seem to be going well. Her birthday is the day after Christmas so we decide to meet up for drinks at 8:30pm Wednesday night. The day after her birthday. Based on our first date I wanted to step up my game and wow her with something unique. I tell her to meet me at Gran Cafe L’Aquila. I figured at 8:30 at night we’d have some wine, maybe a little snack and of course… a flight of their amazing gelato! World class. The best I’ve ever tasted. If you want to impress a lady, take her there.

I close up the salon and head over. The city is beautiful during the holidays. I get there and the place is swinging because it’s the week between Christmas and New Years.

There are only two seats at the bar and it’s tight. I love this place though. They have a lively staff that are all very Italian and everything about the restaurant looks authentic.

Bailey texts me that she’s 5 minutes away. I order a chardonnay. My go-to beverage when I go out. The holidays have been great this year. Between work and events, I’ve had something going on every night this week!

Bailey rolls in and we hug. It’s nice to see her again. I help her off with her coat and we clamber into our seats. She orders something bubbly.

The bartender asks if we’re having food, and I think maybe calamari. Just a snack and then later I’ll blow her mind with the gelato flight.

They give us a menu and she’s perusing it. The first page is always what they’re featuring from a region in Italy. The other two pages is everything else they serve on a daily basis. The other 10 pages is all wine, cocktails and dessert. It’s like a book!

“I’m hungry!”

I don’t like the sound of that. Nine o’clock at night is snack, wine and gelato. That’s it. But now we have an issue. But its date number two and her birthday yesterday, and it’s the fucking holidays, so I’m going to take one for the team.

My girlfriend is black, but this is classic black girl behavior. Bailey is a light-skinned black so she must be some kind of mix, but this is a lot of what they do. You all know I’m not racist. I love all women. I have all their albums. Huge fan. I’ve had three black girlfriends. I love every flavor that God can make of girls. I truly do. But black chicks will eat as much as they possibly can if it’s free. I’ll tell you where this comes from. Black people have been oppressed by everyone for hundreds of years. They never got anything and were treated like shit for centuries. But unfortunately once they’ve been somewhat accepted into white society and the workplace they get all they can. They don’t even know they’re doing it. It’s just a need, because they never know if it’s going to happen again. Maybe this could be the last time it ever happens.

Every time I’ve been at an event or a meeting and there’s black women there, they all sit together and devour as much food as they can. I know I’m not the first white person to notice this.  But in this day and age everybody is so scared to say anything. But, again… my girlfriend is black and I love her dearly. She’s the sweetest loyal lady. I’m the piece of shit going out on dates with other women because Cherie is never around. But black girls do this thing when it comes to food. It’s a shame really. I’ve seen this for decades. If there’s free food around they will consume it all because they don’t know when it will happen again.

They get knocked up by some loser, have a kid, guy leaves, and she ends up living at her parents and they help raise the kid. This happens over and over. Even my girlfriend’s sister had two kids that are being raised by the grandparents. This is a cycle in the black community. That bitch met a new guy and has gotten pregnant again. Is she going to raise this new one? She’s not even married. Oh, you can’t raise the two rugrats you have and you got knocked up again? What are you insane? These are human beings! How can you be so reckless with your family?

Black women are amazing and have to put up with a mountain of shit in their lives. Just being born black in this country is a setback. I’m blessed to have been born into the family I was and they were somewhat normal. We all have our crosses to bear. But I know what this little encounter is going to turn into.

I remember Bailey telling me about issues with her mother. I haven’t heard too much about dad. But come on… both nostrils pierced, the septum, and the Medusa. Oh, and the tattoos. You’re screaming for someone to look at you and please pay attention to you. I’ve met dozens of you. In all races, shapes and sizes, dear.

Bailey suggests we get a table. Fuck. I can already feel the wetness from my debit card leaking tears into my back pocket. I talk to the bartender and he sets it up.

We head upstairs and get a table. They check our coats and give me tickets. Bailey isn’t accustomed to this level of service and hospitality. This is a first rate joint.

She takes forever with the menu. That’s okay. When I brought Kita here she did the same things. I forget girls in their twenties are overwhelmed by monster menus at fine eateries.

I already know what I want. I get the same thing every time I come here. Grilled half chicken, rosemary potato wedges and asparagus. Done. I’m just sipping and waiting at this point.

There’s two families across from us with cranky babies. I want to toss those little fuckers over the balcony. But I’m a parent and I have restraint. I hate my friend Marigold’s kids and my friend Rob and Laura’s kid but I don’t have to raise them. I only have to see them once a year and that’s enough! I did a good job with my daughter Lorelei and she’s turned out lovely. You have one shot. Be a fucking parent. Put yourself aside and do a better job than your parents. Take the best of what they did and do better and be firm and gentle. It’s not that hard. Be patient and love them. They’re children! They’re like puppies, train them and break them in!

Baliey finally settles on a dish and we’re good. Conversation is good and she looks great. She’s all in black and looking cute.

The server, Karina comes back and takes our order. But before she does that, she asks if we want an appetizer. (As a sales guy I love the upsell, but don’t pull that fucking shit on me with this hungry girl) Of course Bailey wants a fucking appetizer now. (Goddammit!)

“Oh… yea.. lets get the mozzerella plate shrimp thing.”

I’m not going to touch that shit. It’s 9:30 at night. I just wanted a light snack and now I’m fucked for a full blown dinner here.

Appetizer comes out and Baliey rips into it. I never touch it. She devours most of it and when the dinners come out Karina asks to take it away and Bailey keeps it. She’s going to kill any food that comes to this table. That’s her personal goal. Just like at Dan Dan Christmas eve. She devoured everything.

I get it now.

Dinner was nice. I actually cut a piece of my amazing chicken off and give her the first taste from my fork. (I haven’t had a bite yet, but I want her to taste first because I’m a gentleman.) Bailey assures me she’s okay with germs but I wanted her to try it first off a clean fork. She loves it of course. Yea, it’s great grilled chicken under a hot stone. I knew she’d love it.

To be Continued Tomorrow…

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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