In the “Iron Fist” manipulation game the manipulator threatens you physically or mentally if you don’t do what he wants
In our second meeting, all of a sudden the otherwise charming Larry leaned forward, lifted his finger before his face and began yelling. The problem seemed to me insignificant, but his reaction was way overboard. I was scared. My heart pounded in my throat and I struggled to make any sense of the scene: A wider neckline or slightly tight fitting outfit cannot cause that intense outcry! Then what it is all about?
I listened to my feelings, and the suspicion came up that he might try to intimidate me! He might show me if I don’t act as he expects me to then I’m in huge trouble. He showed me: don’t even try to oppose me or else… It might be anger management problem but it might be manipulation too!
He is not the one who tries to press his will with a threat of aggression. Some may throw fists, hit walls, and kick wheels or animals, while others might work out an elaborate plot to blackmail you to comply.
This is the most common type of manipulation in a physically abusive relationship. The formula is simple: if you don’t do what I tell you, I will harm you.
Even when they are calm there is a sense of irritability in the air, just to put you on your toes. This places you in the vigilant state of mind to figure out what the manipulator wants, and complete it in order to make this irritability quickly dissipate.
Don’t mix it with an impulse control issue: this is finely calculated tension generation that the manipulator uses on purpose to control the behavior of his friends, family members or coworkers. It almost never happens with superiors and almost always serves the manipulator’s needs – unlike real impulse control difficulties.
Missing the sense of responsibility about their behavior let alone their feelings is quite remarkable. “You made me angry!” “You made me hit you when you didn’t do what I said.” Sometimes it seems that they really think that everybody else “has to” do what they want as if the others don’t have their own will or it was not important at all.
They might think they are entitled to having their needs fulfilled without giving anything in return. They are either not able to imagine themselves in the other party’s shoes, or they know exactly how they feel, just don’t bother.
Trying to convince them that this is not nice behavior is useless. They are absolutely uninterested in being nice.
This kind of behavior stays in practice until it eventually works. Namely; the manipulator forces his will by threat and you do what he demands in order to avoid that threat. The only way to stop it is to resist the wish expressed by unrelenting pressure – of course until it is not physically dangerous.
Since I told one of my relatives that I don’t accomplish requests that are told by yelling, I haven’t heard a raised voice since.