In this manipulation game the manipulator purposefully mis-interprets the meaning of words, sentences, whole scenes or the motivation and intention
Ken got to the end of his wits with his stepdaughter. He tried everything he could to influence her in a good way, though he felt he failed: bad grades, lies, big troubles in every area in the child’s life. All through this, he suffered constant critique from his wife. In one of his worst moments he said: “I’m done with Jessica.”
His wife stepped back in terror and began to cry. In her mind, if Ken is done with Jessica, then she felt he’s done with her as the girl biological mom. This means she has to move out from their house with her children and she has no place to go.
Certainly Ken could have expressed his frustration in a different way, but from the scene the meaning was not questionable: he needs help and encouragement with his parenting, and there was no way this was his intention to initiate divorce.
What Thalia gained from this interaction was that she might have felt she was hurt and others needed to support her. Meanwhile the original problem that hasn’t been solved for a while involves which way Ken might get Jessica to cooperate. In the midst of turmoil, the direction to take gets blurry and is ultimately lost.
There are way more serious misinterpretations than this. People who use these manipulative tactics arbitrarily change the meaning of words and sentences. They might also intentionally misinterpret scenes. In case of confrontation or reproach, they might misinterpret their intention. For example: “I only criticize you for helping to become a better person!” – Because otherwise you are not good enough.
They can ruin other’s reputation to enhance their position with friends or coworkers. They tell half truths about people to each other but slant information. They are good at appearing trustworthy, friendly and fun in order to get personal information.
They have a strong need to be an absolute favorite that they might create justification in their mind by thinking it is it OK to change the story. They love to feel rescuers who come and inform. When they get caught, they might use tears to prevent any confrontation. Among them, there are lots of hard working people who make themselves invaluable.
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