To me, manipulation is an art – a learned skill. When manipulating, I used a wealth of negative and self-serving behaviors to influence others, trying to make them act, think, and behave as I saw fit. I believed a master manipulator was someone who had practiced this art for many years. I was a master manipulator. I used negative behaviors, always trying, however, not always getting, all of the hoped for results. Manipulation was my main survival skill. That behavior was further honed during the crazy-making years of active addiction.

After being in the Nar-Anon program for several months, regularly attending meetings and working the steps with a sponsor, I have found that manipulating others is a negative and selfish behavior. I have lost the pleasure that I once derived from practicing it. In Nar-Anon, I have learned to speak my truth, to ask for what I want and need without an expectation in return. I no longer feel the need to manipulate others to get my way. Now, when I become defensive and react with manipulation, I catch it sooner and stop it, realizing that I am reverting to my old behavior. My pleasure is derived from attaining the gifts of the program honestly and naturally. By working on myself, I am letting go of the illusion that I should and could control others.

Thought for Today: In Nar-Anon, I am learning a better way to live. I can ask for what I need. If I do not get it, I can change my attitude and turn that desire over to my Higher Power, who I believe will give me what I need when I need it.

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” ~ Maya Angelou

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