Over time you will learn the difference between an opinion and what someone wants you to believe about yourself. You will learn the difference between who you really are and what others are trying to project on you. You will learn the difference between someone who sincerely wants what’s best for you and someone who sugarcoats their bitter words to belittle you. You will learn the difference between those who truly love you and those who only want to use you. You will learn the difference between those who are honest with you and those who are manipulating you.
Because manipulation is not always overt, it’s not always from your enemies or sneaky people. It doesn’t always emanate from those who hate you or are jealous of your success. Many times manipulation comes from your inner circle, your family or friends; the ones you trust wholeheartedly, the ones who know your insecurities very well, the ones who know your buttons and how to push them. That’s the kind of manipulation I’m talking about. That’s the one you’re most susceptible to because at first it sounds like great advice coming from someone who cares and wants to see you happy until you figure out that there’s a hidden agenda behind their words.
I hope you don’t allow others to manipulate you under the name of love or protection or care or experience. I hope you don’t allow words like “you’re too sensitive or too difficult or too intense or too honest” stop you from speaking your truth and standing up to those who disrespect you. I hope you don’t let these labels stop you from calling people out on their lies or the things they do that hurt you and I hope you don’t let these labels make you believe that it’s always your fault or your problem. Sometimes it is and sometimes it’s not and only you can tell the difference. Only you can point that out.
I hope you don’t let words like “you’re too stubborn, you’re such a fool or you’re being too dramatic” stop you from feeling your grief and releasing it. I hope you don’t let anyone suffocate your emotions or make you feel guilty for feeling them. I hope you don’t let those who don’t understand your heart make you apologize for it and I hope you don’t let those who don’t love you make you feel like your feelings are not important or they’re exaggerated. I hope you never let anyone manipulate you into believing you’re not good enough.
You’re allowed to feel your feelings, you’re allowed to defend yourself and vocalize your boundaries out loud. You’re allowed to stop people from crossing the line. You’re allowed to set healthy boundaries with people because if you don’t, you’ll easily be swayed and manipulated. People will make you feel guilty for being who you are or for not conforming. They won’t always root for you when it’s not in their favor. I hope you learn how to root for yourself because when people can’t manipulate you, they won’t help you improve or advance.
When you’re not easily manipulated, you won’t settle for bad relationships where you’re always feeling unloved and disrespected and you won’t be an easy target for those who want to denigrate you to praise themselves.
I hope you don’t allow others to manipulate you into changing who you are so you can meet their needs. I hope you understand that people will label you just because they can’t manipulate you and I hope you dismiss those labels and continue protecting yourself first.