While I still was deciding what I should write about I suddenly wrote the word ‘Manipulation’. The word popped up while reviewing my experiences of today. So lets have a look at a couple of them. The first one is the freshest experience I had while chatting over Skype with a potential customer. We had already a chat several times and looking back I see a clear path, two individuals fighting to protect their business and doing so trying to manipulate the other to do what we would like the other to do for us. In this specific case it was a hotel business owner that was trying to get the services for the cheapest price possible. While trying he used self pity argumentation like he was only open 6 months a year and that compared to others he could not afford to spend that much.
During the first conversation he stated he had been offered a year long free service on one of the services given by a colleague of mine a year earlier. Since the whole thing seemed to stall on this I finally agreed on 2 sub-services for free but he asked for 10 with a value that was more than a third of the total service value. Using his arguments and waiting he was manipulating me to give in. At the end I agreed but on the condition he would stop using the service of one of our competitors immediately. Doing so I was manipulating him to unconditionally choose for our business. On top of that I used the specialness feeling telling him he got an offer I will never repeat again with anybody and with the same ease I asked him not to reveal our deal to anybody while he was promoting our services to others, this last being a request that helped me to clear my conscience.
Looking back it has been an interesting experience and being aware of the different mechanisms I can take care of not being abused of manipulated and consequently manipulating in return the manipulator. To me this is a clear example of a polarity.
The second example of manipulation is expressed in a mail I received from W. who is offering help by means of money I can use to pay off my debt at the bank. If the message had just been this one, straight and unconditional it would have been just a fact. The mail started stating that it was probably not a very wise thing to do but (as if something is forcing him to do it against his will) I am going to offer you the money you need to pay off your debt. In order to deal with the first statement I had to agree on a couple of conditions in order to get the money. In these conditions I see a clear attempt to manipulate the situation using the apparent power of money I apparently need so badly I am supposed to accept the conditions unconditionally. Funny to see that people stating they care for you and love you unconditionally are using these manipulative tools to force you in doing what they think is best for you without even considering what is best for all, and therefore for me and for them.
Manipulating each other is making our lives unnecessarily complex, leads to a waste of time and leads to abusive situations. Manipulation starts by not seeing each other as equals. Only by feeling more you can manipulate the lesser and only by feeling less you allow yourself to be manipulated. Understanding this mechanism and not accepting inequality we can stop manipulation and abuse. The only way I see this can be achieved is self forgiveness.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to feel manipulated by a potential customer instead of considering myself as equal.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to feel myself less by accepting to be manipulated by another.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to see no other option than to accept to be manipulated in order to protect my business
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to respond to manipulation by manipulating the other and therefore establishing a polarity.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself for delaying a response to the mail of W. justifying this by not knowing how to respond in equality and common sense and not knowing how to get the message across.