The truth is that some manipulate and others love. Manipulators are not loving people because love is not on their agenda. Their agenda is control.
Some observations about manipulators:
1. Manipulators can be the elephants in the middle of the room who are ignored, but after a while they are not even seen. It is sort of like living in a house for a long time and no longer seeing scratches on the wall. They become a part of the scenery.
2. Self-centered, immature people have a way of draining the life and energy from people around them. To disagree with such a person is to risk being labeled “not supportive.” Consequently, you may believe you cannot honestly express what you are seeing in that person’s life. You may feel that whenever you are candid with this person, she pulls away.
3. Manipulators do not love others. They use others for their benefit. They use others to draw attention to themselves.
• “See how overworked I am.” — Poor guy, we need to back off.
• “What would this church do without me?” — Why I don’t know what we would do without you!
• “With all of the talented people we are bringing on staff here, you will probably fire me one day.” — Oh no, we’re not going to let that happen.
Over and over manipulators do or say whatever might elicit a certain response. The focus is not on loving other people. The focus is on using others for gain.
There are, however, those people who love. They love family, friends, and people in the church. These people love you and regularly do (or attempt to do) what is in your best interest. They are looking out for you, not themselves. Using you? Not at all. Relationship is not about self-interest with these people.
Some observations about people who love:
People who love can be trusted. Even when they are mistaken or do not handle something well in the relationship. It was just that — a mistake. It did not occur because of some manipulative ploy, etc.
People who love are in some way imitating God. Isn’t this where loving people originates?
People who love are “safe” people. They do not use, manipulate or hurt people in any way.
People who love do not need a lot of attention. They are not forever turning a conversation back to themselves.
What are some characteristics of a manipulator? What are some characteristics of a loving person?