Monday, March 30, 2015

Influence, Manipulation and Toxic People

If somebody was to ask you what the difference between influence and manipulation is, could you point it out? Yesterday I decided to dedicate the day to myself and just grab a book, read and relax and not worry about work or anything at all. The book I chose to read was Toxic People and Manipulative People box set by Sarah Goldberg. Yes, I know! Light reading.... well, I can say I finished the box set in a couple of hours and it left me thinking. Some people may choose books that are recreational for a self-care day but I do enjoy books that challenge my brain to think outside the box, question and analyze different topics.

The first topic I was to analyze yesterday was the difference between influence and manipulation. The author was mentioning that intention was what set the two apart. Influence was positive and manipulation was negative. A little bit like white and black magick although I don´t believe there is white or black but several shades of grey and when it comes to magick, it is the intention of the witch that makes the difference. Like Thomas Ashley-Farrand said in his Mantra - Sacred Words of Power, you can use fire to light a fire and cook a meal or you can burn down the whole city. The quality of fire is the same. What´s the difference between cooking a meal or burning down the house? When it comes to influence and manipulation, I can see that it definitely depends on the person performing the action. I have experienced both first hand so I can say they feel different but they both motivate you to do certain actions or be a certain way. In my case, influence pushed me to get better, to aim higher, try to grow and take the higher road. One of the biggest influences I can think of is Ava Park and her Queen Teachings, she really showed me an archetype that I can bring to life and make my life better, be responsible for my realm and really direct my life in a different direction, away from toxic people. Another big influence in my life was moving to the USA in 2003 and being introduced to the American Dream, that dream where you can have it all, house, car, family, husband, all... I can say I have lived my American dream and I prefer Carolina´s dream. My dream is not the same as the American dream but it has definitely influence my life.

When it comes to manipulation, I was exposed to it from very early in my life. My mother, as much as I loved her, was a great manipulator. She was bipolar and she knew how to make me do things. I remember the days she would get sick just before I had to go out with my friends so I had to stay home and take care of her. With time, I learned to read the signs and I would not let her manipulate me but it took time and effort not to fall into the traps of guilt or co-dependance. Unfortunately, for the outside world, I looked like a cold hearted woman because I could see through the manipulation and not act.

Manipulation and Influence could be seen as similar in vibration but different in intent like the two sides of a coin. Would you agree? I still feel that at times it´s hard to know where influence stops or turns into manipulation because sometimes manipulators can be very subtle. This leads me to the next topic that I analyzed yesterday - toxic people. Why is it so hard for us to break away from toxic people? Are we addicted to drama? Can we break away from people that drain our energy? Toxic people are usually needy, they take more than they give, at times may be egocentric or self centered, they can also be narcissistic, among other things. When you are in a relationship with a toxic person, you will notice that you are unhappy, you are anxious, you feel guilty and somehow you find it very hard to leave that person. Some signs that you are in a toxic relationship is when you feel you can´t do anything right, you feel you can´t be yourself with that person. You can´t enjoy the good moments together and it is always about them and not you. Some suggestions to deal with toxic people are to speak up and stop pretending their behavior is ok. To have compassion but put your foot down and if that does not work, then walk away and move on. Looking at my relationships in the past few years, I can see I have had my fair share of toxic relationships whether they were based on co-dependance or other issues and lessons in my life. As I grow and learn more about myself, I become more confident and love myself enough to say no to toxic people in my life. During the past two years, I have gone through a massive cleansing in my life not only of spaces but also people and relationships. I have let go of many toxic relationships and said goodbye to several people. The people that have remained in my life are the ones that have shown me our relationships are healthy and are based on mutual and reciprocal interactions. Nobody gives 100% while others don´t give anything. I can be myself and I don´t feel like I can´t grow if I am part of that relationship.

How are your relationships? Can you see who has influenced you? Who has manipulate you? Are there any toxic people around you? How are you dealing with those people or situation?

Influence, manipulation and toxic people - awareness is key.

Many blessings,

Carolina A. Amor

Presiding Priestess of Circulo de Isis
Member of the Archdruid Union
Founder of Tienda Roja

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