I recently finished reading (and would highly recommend) Donald Miller’s latest book titled Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Finding True Intimacy.
My favorite chapter aimed to identify the five forms of manipulation within a relationship.
- The Scorekeeper. This is when someone “makes life feel like a contest, only there’s no way to win. [They] are in control of the scoreboard and frame it any way they want, but always in such a way they’re winning” (103).
- The Judge. These individuals “strongly believe in right and wrong, which is great, but they also believe they are the ones who decide right and wrong and lord it over others to maintain authority and power” (105).
- The False Hero. This particular person “lead[s] people to believe they have something better to offer than they do” (106).
- The Fearmonger. An example of this characteristic would be when someone “make[s] people believe they are strong. They are never vulnerable and fear being perceived as weak” (108).
- The Flopper. This would be anyone who “assume[s] the role of victim whenever they can… In order to be a victim, a person needs an oppressor… sooner or later that oppressor will be you” (109).
Miller concludes his thoughts by loosely quoting Henry Cloud and John Townsend when he suggests, “…the only hope a manipulator… [has] to become a safe person [is] to surround [himself or herself] with safe people” who speak the truth in grace (112).