by Madeline Laughs
I was a bit annoyed to figure out recently that I had been manipulated again. How in the world had this happened to me? I’m supposed to be one of the most self aware people around, and yet one more person had an agenda to fulfill and I seemed to be the best outlet to Git ‘Er Dunn! Agendas are like assholes. Everybody has one but some people that can fulfill the malicious ones the easiest are usually assholes.
This most recent episode was well played. He claimed he was a “former” man of God, a “former” publisher and he was dying. This said three things to me right up front without him ever singing a word of his own sincerity. He would never lie to me, he had the right contacts and I shouldn’t doubt his intentions because a dying man doesn’t waste his time on frivolity. He liked my writing. He wanted to work with me to get some things published, however…and this is where the agenda comes into play…the stuff he was most interested in had to be kept under wraps until he could edit it for publishing. After a lengthy phone call with him I decided to follow his instructions to the letter and hid some of my best writing away from the public just like he suggested. He sounded legit to me.
I bought his agenda hook, line and stinker! Hell, I might as well have sent him a blank check and told him to spend all of my money! He was that good at selling his agenda to me.
I followed his instructions and then I waited.
And I waited.
And I waited.
I told some of my friends about his offer, but I was not so taken in, even then, that I believed his offer was 100% genuine. I remember always adding the caveat “But nothing has happened yet, so we’ll see. Even if nothing comes of this, at least I have memories of the compliments and that’s good enough for me.”
After a few months had passed I sent him an email asking how it was going and he sent a two word reply that it was Going Great! So I waited some more. After six months I sent another email and this time he replied that he had already sent the edited manuscript to me weeks before “Didn’t you get it? If you didn’t get it I can always send it to you again.” He even sent me the address he had mailed it to just to make sure he had it correct. It was the right address.
Well, no I didn’t get it and of course I wanted him to send it again! I felt like a big jerk for ever doubting him!
Then two months passed quickly and still no edited manuscript arrived on my doorstep. By then I started to wonder just how genuine this man was being with me about anything he had ever said. I played back our conversations in my head for some clue that I had missed and couldn’t think of a thing. This guy was good! He had even made me feel shame for doubting him, even though my suspicion that he was full of shit was probably the most accurate conclusion I had about the whole damn mess.
I finally reached the conclusion that he had an agenda to accomplish. I will not even pretend to know what his agenda was because I really have no idea. Once he had what he wanted, he could just string me along with compliments or empty promises of assistance because obviously, to him I appeared to be so immodest about my work that as long as he stroked my ego with a few nice words here and there, I would continue with the status quo.
I give him credit for stringing me along for seven months. I hope this is an all-time new record for him. What he never counted on is that I am not immodest about my work. In fact, I don’t even see this as work. I enjoy writing and to have someone attempt to manipulate me over something I love to do is just plain mean.
Why do some people feel the need to list you on their agenda? What do some people get out of maliciously manipulating others and making them bend to their will and wishes?
The answer to these questions is Control. When someone enters a new relationship and the only thing they’re interested in is meeting their own selfish needs then that person is fulfilling their agenda. They truly have no interest in how this might affect you. You are merely a means to an end, a vessel. Once their agenda is checked off as Done, they simply move on and only perform minor due diligence to keep things the way they want them to be.
Often they’re acting out of fear, anxiety or some other insecurity but there are the rare times you run into someone that is used to being in charge and revered so they just expect to control your actions just for the sake of being in control. Once you give them your permission to take control then they have gotten exactly what they were seeking.
When I first figured out what was happening I kicked myself a few times for allowing someone to manipulate me in such a blatant way. I try not to be gullible, but I was dealing with a Master Manipulator so in reality I really didn’t stand a chance against this guy. He has years of experience over me.
Then I started wondering if this guy was so interested in my writing, perhaps there were others out there that might have the same interest. That’s when I had to shake my head and really laugh at myself because I was still buying into his agenda and he wasn’t even present anymore. That’s just how good he was.
In the end I decided to just move on and do what I have always done and that is to make my own decisions and to follow my own agenda. That’s what everyone needs to do. Everyone needs to live their own lives and do what makes them happy. When you start living your life based on another person’s agenda you have given up control of your own life.
When someone comes along and offers you snake oil, try to take a step back before you reach for the bottle. If it sounds too good to be true, it is always a good idea to keep walking on your own path and just smile and wave to the salesman. His agenda is never about you at all, so how in the world will it help you reach your own goals?
I am still writing and I hope you’re still reading. I work things out in here and always keep my agenda transparent to anyone that stops by to have a look. I hope my own experiences in life might help you work out some of your own troubles. If that happens, then my agenda has been fulfilled.
- “I live by morals, I do… (igzebedze.com)
- Trust means you’re not an asshole (dileeshus.wordpress.com)
- Worm holes, black holes, and assholes (kovidrathee.wordpress.com)
- Write Life 4 (crescentmoonmemoirs.wordpress.com)
- So, I’m The Asshole. (whitetrash78.wordpress.com)
- Ode to an Asshole. (pileofbabies.com)
- And It Ended (chuckwsd.wordpress.com)