If you've been manipulated, then odds are you are having a hard time figuring out who has the problem, what is normal compared to what is problematic, and if your wants, needs, and feelings are valid. This confusion is often caused by what is known as the "FOG." The disastrous effects of being lost in the FOG are confusion, crazymaking, people pleasing, an erosion of boundaries, and the ultimate loss of self. The FOG is an acronym that stands for "Fear, Obligation, and Guilt." These three emotions are often at the core of manipulation and are often how narcissists, sociopaths, and other types of emotional manipulators go about controlling their targets. However, this type of destructive manipulation isn't just limited to narcissists and sociopaths. What makes this well-intended bad advice so damaging is that, on the surface, it seems like good advice--especially if it's coming from people who seem to have our best interests in mind, such as friends, family, church members, support group members, spiritual advisors, or therapists.
Some of the concepts covered are:
Who are You to Judge vs. Being Discerning
No One is Perfect vs. Tolerating Abuse
Commitment vs. Codependency
Self-love vs. Selfishness
A Person Acting the Part vs. A Person Actually Changing
A Friend vs. Someone Being Friendly
Being in Love With Them vs. Being in Love With Who They Pretended to Be
Workable Behavior vs. Deal Breakers
Acceptance vs. Allowance
Going Through So Much Together vs. Being Put Through So Much By Them
Sincerity vs. Intensity
Healthy Bonding vs. Trauma Bonding
Insincere Remorse vs. Sincere Remorse
...and many more.