Sunday, December 29, 2013

Beware the Sheep that Howls

Have you noticed how life seems to have quite a number of wolves in it, cheerfully running around the world masquerading as sheep?  They come in all shapes, sizes and guises.  

With an election year on the horizon, I no doubt that there will be all kinds of new Canui Lupis pretending to be Ovis Aries, all wrapped up in shiny new suits ready to pull the wool over the eyes of the unsuspecting public.   

The modern world is a complex place and there are a number of wolves we have to contend with.  These include the workplace wolf, the online wolf, and the family/friend wolf - this wolf in particular, is one of the worst in my opinion, on account of how unethical they are.  They take advantage of the people who care about them with no remorse and appear to have no moral fortitude.  The hope would be that you never have to encounter one of these wolves.  

Finally, lets not forget the general nuisance to the public wolf, these are the shonky salespeople, the scam artists, the email fraudsters and the new breed of annoying malevolent digital thief who calls someones house telling them their computers are at risk, and then they rip them off.   Once again, no remorse, no moral compass. 

At the heart of it, each of these wolves are manipulators.  They use their woolly disguise as a part of their manipulative machinations.

Whichever wolf you happen to encounter, look for any of the following manipulative traits.

The Power Wolf - imagine the sheep that starts to act like a predator.  A predator that stalks their victim and controls them, using intimidation, threats, blackmail and all other kinds of bully behaviour in order to get what they want.  

The Rescue Helper Wolf -these fleece lovers are always offering to do something, to help out and be there - even when they are not needed. As a result you will always feel you owe them one.  They make their victims feel obligated to do their bidding, and will remind you of when they did something for you.  There is always a hidden agenda with them.  

The Guilt and Shame Wolf - these impostors use tactics to make you feel guilty or ashamed and as a result you are always filling their emotional cup.  They are quite emotionally unstable and liable to lose the plot with you, twisting and turning everything you say and do, and getting others to see you in a bad light.  

The Puppeteer Wolf - perhaps one of the wolves to be more wary of, these are particularly manipulative.  They use other people to do their bidding for them, and have the ability to manipulate events, people and situations where others side with them.  The danger is in that they drive wedges between friends, family and colleagues, and create major havoc.  

The Emotionally Weak Wolf - these are the wolves who imply that if you don't look after them and something bad happens, it will be all your fault.   They hide behind their pretend weaknesses.  

The Charismatic Wolves - they like to flirt and be in the limelight.  They will only use their victim in so much as it results in them looking good or getting some reward from it.  They will never be interested in your needs or your feelings, merely in being the centre of attention.  They prey on your weakness of wanting to be loved, liked, feel pretty/handsome - they sense your own misgivings and play to that.  They use your hurt as their stepping stones to greatness.

Your protection against these Wolves?

First and foremost, look for the signs that indicate there is a wolf masquerading as a sheep.  Look for the types of manipulative behaviour outlined above.
When something seems out of place, ask yourself, 'what does my gut say - what is my intuition telling me?'  Sometimes, if something doesn't smell, feel or look right, then it isn't. Trust yourself, and learn how to hone these skills. 

If you seem to attract the wolves dressed in the latest woollen creation, ask yourself, 'in what way am I being deceived?'   If people use your good nature against you by guilt tripping you - learn to say no.  If you are by nature a rescuer - people will take advantage of that.   Work out which need of your own is being unfulfilled. 
The wolf gets in through the door when our own defences are low, and our trust detector batteries are waning.  The need to be liked, feel pretty/handsome, have attention, be listened to, respected or feel some kind of value, resides in us all. We are, after all, human. Unfortunately, these human traits can be vulnerabilities that a manipulator will use to further their own ends.

Teach yourself the art of saying 'I have every confidence in your ability to solve this issue for yourself'. Hand the monkey back.  The wolves who like to guilt trip you don't like this.  

Don't be afraid of saying no - there won't be any consequences if the person you say no to is genuine and not manipulating you for their own means.   Remember, you have a choice.  If there are consequences then this is a good thing - you have just revealed the true colours of your wolf. 
If you're dealing with an emotional manipulator wolf, write down what they say, and hold them accountable. 

With all wolves, because manipulation is the master plan for them all, ask yourself the following questions, and find out where you will draw the line.  

What is the line you won't cross? 
At which point will you no longer tolerate it? 

Life is full of wolves - determining which ones are masquerading and getting them to reveal their true colours, is the ultimate challenge.   Beware the sheep that howls, for that sheep is likely to be a wolf in disguise.  

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