Monday, May 9, 2016

3 Control Tactics that Abusive People Use to Hook You

People who are out to abuse you, use you, exploit you and complicate your life have certain tactics that they use to HOOK you into their game. If you have any weakness at all, abusers will find them and use those weaknesses to reel you in, control you, manipulate you and make you doubt your own intuition. Abusers include anyone, narcissists, borderlines, control freaks, users, players, takers... Anyone who has their own interests ahead of your interests and who wants to use your resources for their own. An abuser is someone who wants to take advantage of you.

One way to stop being abused is to become aware of the hooks. Hooks for the purpose of this article refer to ways an abusive person gets under your skin and causes you to follow their agenda. Below are 3 Control Tactics that Abusive People Use to Hook You.

1. They use a promise of something you want to hook you. 

This could be anything, money, sex, love, attention, quality time, affection. An abusive person will dangle a carrot in front of your face and make promises to give you what you want--some time in the future. Pretty soon, they have you jumping through hoops and fantasizing about this "promise of future gain" that they've set up for you.

The problem is, that there is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. These people have nothing to give. sometimes this promise of gain is theirs to give, but they are too selfish to give it. Other times, they don't have it to give, but they're habitual liars who know how to paint a rosy picture that you believe. Other abusers will dangle the promise and continually move-the-goal-line for your obtaining of whatever it is they're offering to you if you give them what they want first.

Healthy Thought: When someone is promising to give you something in the future, don't go immediately into over drive trying to please this person and meet their needs. Don't allow yourself to fantasize about the ideal love they will presumably give you, or the big paycheck you will get if you work your butt off to please them.

Back-off. Ask questions. Look for proof that the promised gain actually exists. If you have a weakness or deep need inside for money, affection, love, positive regard, approval, affirmation, then you may be prone to fall for the tricks of the abuser.  It's important that you work to give yourself the things you need so that when this type of abuser shows up, you can easily say "No Thanks."

When deciding who to trust in this world, you have to look for clues as to who they really are under the surface. Just because someone is promising to do things for you, doesn't mean you have to fall for it. Ask them specific questions and get definite data about what you're going to get if you go along with their agenda. If someone is out to use and abuse you, they won't like boundaries... they won't like questions and they won't give specifics. They will back off if you start requiring proof.

Example: I had a client promise me the sun, moon and the stars if I would do a bunch of work helping them find their $1 Million dream home. This client had taken a lot of my time. Every time we spoke on the phone in a previous transaction, the phone call would last for an hour and things were twisted and unclear. I ended up respectfully bowing out of a transaction, even though I stood to lose a lot of money in the process. Later, this client called me up wanting me to find another house she gave me a list of things she wanted me to do. I asked the client to send me a pre-approval letter before I would begin my work. Low-and-behold, within an hour, she said she had already found another home. Imagine that!?!?! I got out of that trap with my time and energy intact to spend on endeavors that will benefit ME without exploitation.

2. They use your weaknesses and insecurities to hook you.

Some people have a need to control, manipulate and have power over others. Not everyone is nice, caring, compassionate and empathetic. There are people in the world who will use your weaknesses and your insecurities against you. How does one do this? Usually by making subtle digs at you about whatever it is that you feel insecure about... your weight, your financial status, your social status, education, career, your inability to stand up for yourself.

These subtle digs speak directly to your insecurities. Let's say you're feeling bad about yourself for some reason, maybe because you were abused as a little girl and made to feel as though you're less-than other people. Then, an abuser can easily come in and "push-your-buttons" by making covert, subtle little digs about how someone else is so great, while you are sorely lacking in those ways. This can cause you to doubt yourself because it triggers your negative core beliefs.

Healthy Thoughts: Know yourself well. Know your insecurities. Know your weaknesses. If anyone mentions or alludes to anything that bothers you about yourself, dig deeper and see if you're not dealing with an exploitative abuser who wants to build their own self esteem by dragging you down. Stay away from these kinds of people. Find people who support you and build you up instead.

Example: I once had a friend who was always there for me when things were going bad. It felt really good to have someone who was there for me, but eventually, thankfully, I started waking up to the fact that this friend was actually "rubbing it in" whenever painful situations would arise. She would bring up past mistakes and issues when it would have been much more helpful for her to support me for future success. I had to dump this friend for healthier ones.

3. They use extreme kindness and attention to hook you.

A savvy manipulator who wants to get under your skin and hook you and later control you will be your best friend and supporter at first. This phase usually lasts about 3 months. They shower you with attention and treat you as though you are the most amazing person on the planet. The reason this can hook you is that you may need love, affection and attention so badly, that this person feels like a godsend, like a breath of fresh air. You're finally getting the recognition and approval that you deserve--but it's external when it should be internal.

When someone uses extreme kindness and attention to hook you, a person without good boundaries may have a difficult time saying no. He or she may feel obligated to give this person every ounce of their life because he or she is being so sweet, kind and attentive towards them. A person who is overwhelmed by all the attention may have a difficult time discerning his own intuition because of the flood of attention received from the abusive person. In narcissistic abuse, this is a phase called "IDEALIZATION" where the narc will treat you extremely well for about 3 months, then start to devalue you and eventually discard you. This can also be part of the Sweet/Mean Cycle.

Healthy Thoughts: Watch out for people who come on too strong. I know you need love, affection, time and attention that you never received as a child, but be careful not to give yourself away for those things from an insincere person. Warning: This can be an incredibly beguiling situation. Having someone idealize you and treat you like a queen is a wonderful feeling, especially if you really need it because you don't know how to do it for yourself. Still, you must have the maturity to set boundaries and maintain your own strong sense of self, even when it feels so good to be taken over by someone who seems to think you are God's gift to the world. Trust me, it won't last. You're great, but be leery of people who are fawning over you and flattering you.

Example: I once had a boyfriend who seemed to adore me in every way. He gave me lots of attention, he showered me with gifts, quality time, fancy dates and he listened to my every word. Then one day, the sweetness wore off and he decided, out-of-the-blue that he didn't want to be in a relationship as he preferred to date several other women at a time. I should have seen the warning signs, but I was in fantasy la la land. I know better now.


What happens once you're hooked? Once you are taken away in fantasy by a promise of love, attention, money or other things you want. What happens once you are hooked by someone who reminds you of your weaknesses and insecurities? What happens when you are hooked by someone who put you on a pedestal? YOU BECOME THEIR SLAVE.

When you allow people to HOOK YOU and get into your head like this, you lose parts of yourself, your self-esteem goes down the tubes and your life can become a shambles. This is why it's so important to protect yourself from abusive, exploitative people. You need to stay aware of your center, of your core self and make sure that you listen to your intuition when it comes to other people. You must look for clues as to their true intentions beyond their facade of kindness. You must know the difference between a genuine person and someone who is out to eventually take from you. The only way to take care of yourself against abusive people is to SET BOUNDARIES and to look out for yourself. Take care of yourself and release obligation to others. That's the only way.


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