Rebecca West: Words & Music

"Friends" in Sheep's Clothing

Do you have a friend who has told you to do something, and after you did it you felt used?

Or perhaps you felt you should not do it and your friend reacted in anger and decided to "punish" you by withdrawing their communication?

Or does your friend just assume you will accommodate their demands on your own time and resources?

Yes? Then you have been a victim of manipulation!

I have been a victim of manipulation and intimidation by so-called friends, but with God's help I have come to realize that I do not have to allow anyone to manipulate me in any way. My trust, my hope, my dependency is on God alone.

If you recognize yourself in any of the following situations, you may want to begin to make some changes in your life in order to live in the freedom and liberty that God has for you.

Manipulation is control, typically in a skillful manner. It is control or influence of a person or situation, cleverly, unfairly, so as to mislead.

There are several ways to recognize manipulation. I will name a few a little later in this article. First, I want to emphasize the fact that the Holy Spirit is your personal protector. He does not want you to waste your time or energy with wrong places or dangerous people. Your peace of mind is important to Him.

Remember, your enemies do exist. Sometimes they come in sheep's clothing. Do not allow them to break your focus and distract you from the perfect will of God. Your enemy is deceptive, clever, and cunning. Proverbs 3:6, Amplified Bible, says, "In all your ways, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths." God is our Wall of Protection against our enemies.

Trust your senses when dealing with an emotional manipulator. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you make right decisions. Once a manipulator finds a successful maneuver, they will continue to feed you a steady diet of this. Do you expect honesty from this person?

Emotional manipulators present themselves as willing helpers. Then, as time passes, you will find that they really didn't want to help you, but had a motive in mind. If you mention this fact to them, they will become angry and tell you how unreasonable you are. Have you felt guilty and taken the blame? Don't buy into this.

Crazy-making! Saying one thing and later assuring you they did not say it! An emotional manipulator is an expert in turning things around, rationalizing, justifying, and explaining things away. They can lie so smoothly, you could begin to doubt yourself. You should be seriously thinking about removing yourself from this type of person. This is a wolf in sheep's clothing, this is only one tactic used by them, and they are experts. This situation will make you doubt your own feelings!

Anything is fair game and open to guilt with an emotional manipulator. Guilt is only one form they use to get their way. Sympathy is another tactic highly used by the manipulator. Have you made excuses for them and rationalized their actions?

Emotional manipulators fight dirty. They don't deal with things directly, often using other people to do their dirty work. If you call them on their behavior, they act deeply wounded, accusing you of being cruel and selfish.

Emotional manipulators effect the climate of those around them. If they are sad or angry, that feeling permeates the room. I have experienced this many times. Do you really want to be around this type of person?

They have no sense of accountability, and take no responsibility for themselves or their behavior. It is always about what everyone else has "done to them." Sympathy plays a big part in this game. At first you may perceive this type of person as sensitive, emotionally open, and maybe a little vulnerable. Beware! Their game has only begun. Refuse to be a game player with a manipulator.

Do you have a desire to be free of manipulation? If so, you have taken the first step toward freedom. With God's help you can be an overcomer and live in total victory. Invite the Holy Spirit to direct your path. "And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free." (John 8:32, Amplified Bible)

~ Rebecca

Next: "Exposing the Wolf" >