Characteristic methods of the Manipulator

Walking Christian on Manipulation  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  56:07
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Taking a look at aggressive and passive-aggresive manipulation.

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A. The Seven S’s of Aggressive Manipulation

#1 The should” syndrome

• “You should show me respect.”
You owe me.…
• “You should meet my needs.”
You ought to.…
• “You should make me happy.”
I expect you to.…
• “You should give me security.”
You are supposed to.…
The manipulator implies: “If you don’t meet my expectations, you are guilty of neglect.”

#2 The scream

• Manipulation by pressure
• Manipulation by breaking communication
• Manipulation by intimidation
The manipulator implies: “If you don’t do what I want, I’ll make you wish you had.”

#3 The sarcastic sword

• Cutting humor
• Jabbing words
• Put-downs
• Mocking
Matthew 27:29 ESV
29 and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”
The manipulator implies: “If you aren’t what I want you to be, I can use laughter at your expense.”

#4 The sexy seduction

• Suggestive clothing
• Sexy body movements
• Sensual ads
The manipulator implies: “If you don’t buy what I’m selling, you are not ‘macho.’”

#5 The showering of sentiments

• Excessive praise
to appeal to the ego
• Excessive affection
to gain a sexual advantage
• Excessive money
to buy control
• Excessive gifts
to make others feel obligated
The manipulator implies: “If you don’t respond to my generosity, you are ungrateful.”

#6 The subtle suggestion

• Guilt Game #1
“You are supposed to provide my security.”
• Guilt Game #2
“I expect you to make me happy.”
• Guilt Game #3
“You ought to meet my needs.”
The manipulator implies: “You ought to meet my needs, and since you don’t, you should feel guilty.”

#7 The sympathy seeker

• Being intentionally needy
• Having pity parties
• Acting hopeless unless a rescuer arrives
The manipulator implies: “You should care about my heart, and if you don’t, you are callous and cruel.”

B. The Seven S’s of Passive-Aggressive Manipulation

#1 The silent treatment

• Pouting, brooding and ignoring
• Rolling over in bed
• Locking the door
The manipulator implies: “If you don’t play my way, you don’t get my approval, my communication—or me.”

#2 The grand slam

• The slammed drawer
• The slammed door
• The slammed phone
The manipulator implies: “If you don’t meet my expectations, you don’t deserve any dialogue with me.”

#3 The sneer

• The curl of the lip
• The roll of the eyes
• The scowl of the eyebrows
The manipulator implies: “If you don’t do what I want you to do, you don’t deserve my respect.”

#4 The sigh

• The audible sigh
• The grunt or groan
• The smacked lips
The manipulator implies: “If you don’t meet my expectations, you will know how perturbed I am with you.”

#5 The suppressed support

• Withholding praise
• Withholding affection
• Withdrawing presence
The manipulator implies: “If you don’t meet my standards, I won’t give you a bit of attention.”

#6 The stall

• Intentionally slow
• Intentionally late
• Intentionally forgetful
The manipulator implies: “If you don’t let me control my life, I’ll get control in other ways.”

#7 The sniveling sober

• Timed tears
• Subtle sniffles
• Extended crying
The manipulator implies: “If you don’t meet my emotional needs, I’ll fall apart.”[1]

What the Bible Says...

Leviticus 25:17 ESV
17 You shall not wrong one another, but you shall fear your God, for I am the Lord your God.
1 Thessalonians 4:6 ESV
6 that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you.

Watch out for Manipulators

2 Corinthians 11:14 ESV
14 And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
Galatians 1:8–9 ESV
8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.
Matthew 7:15 ESV
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
Romans 16:18 ESV
18 For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.
2 Peter 2:1 ESV
1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.
Luke 16:15 ESV
15 And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.

Help we Need

Ephesians 6:16–17 ESV
16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,
2 Timothy 3:16 ESV
16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
Hebrews 5:14 ESV
14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.
John 16:13 ESV
13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.


Galatians 1:10 ESV
10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
Revelation 22:18–19 ESV
18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.
Galatians 6:7 ESV
7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.


Matthew 10:16 ESV
16 “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.
[1] Hunt, J. (2008). Biblical Counseling Keys on Manipulation: Cutting the Strings of Control (pp. 3–5). Dallas, TX: Hope For The Heart.
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