I have been recommended a book about such issues and will read it when I have time. For now, I want to say a few words about my own experiences with subtle manipulation and mindgames. I would suggest that people should be vigilant when dealing with people who say some of the following:
"Well, somebody has to tell you the truth about yourself"
"I am your friend, the only one who will tell you what you really need to know about yourself"
"You are just like I was before I realized that I am creating my own reality and don't need to be depressed"
"I can see through your stories because you remind me exactly of X"
"In the end you will see that I am the only friend who will stick by you"
"It's okay to be nasty if it helps someone see the light"
"I can see through your victim stories but I still honor you"
"You're a great person and doing a great job, but I can see that you still haven't gotten it"
"I know that you will do X because I can see who you are"
"This is your best work"
"You're not looking for friends, you're looking for woundbuddies"
"You just want someone to feel sorry for you, but I won't do that because I am honest with you"
"I am just being honest. I have a right to be!"
"I feel compelled to tell you this (and it doesn't matter what you think about it)"
"If you don't give any you won't get any either"
"You get what you pay for"
"I can see that you are X but it's ok since you'll eventually get out of it - with my help"
"You obviously need to study a little more, but you'll get it, eventually"
"It's always about your feelings and no one else's"
"You need X so that you can be prepared for the future"
"I create my own reality and I will it to be happy, thus I allow no one to stand in my way"
"You are creating your own negative experience"
"Have you ever considered why you attract people who treat you badly?"
"If you write things online you can expect to attract all sorts of comments"
"Your condition is a good excuse to stay in a victim mode"
"If you don't accept my gift of love something is wrong with you"
"I know you will respond to this because you can't help it, I know what you're like"
...and on and on it goes, some of it being very subtle and hard to detect (and makes more sense in a context rather than outside of one as presented here.) Does any of this resonate with your experiences? Do you sometimes feel that as soon as you're being open and honest, the vultures come and pick on you so that you close off like a clam? Now if this continues, how are we ever going to heal this planet and its inhabitants? Right now, honesty is hardly ever being rewarded. The only feedback available is often very harsh and negative, aimed to turn your beliefs against you so that you start doubting yourself. The idea is usually to make the 'victim' in this drama dependent on the redeemer or rescuer, or simply to enhance the rescuers ego and give him/her the last word. I will write more some time later. I honestly think this is an important topic to contemplate in these times of upheaval.
Artwork: "The Refuge", collage on paper, copyright V-M C 2008