HomeArticleThe Two Vows You Can Make To Free Yourself From A Manipulator

The Two Vows You Can Make To Free Yourself From A Manipulator

I usually write about the mass-scale manipulations employed by the controllers of the political/media class, but I just wanted to tap out a brief essay sharing a tip I’ve found helpful for anyone who might be suffering as a result of a manipulative individual in their own life.

Manipulators basically only have one trick: getting you to believe stories which benefit them. This is true of propagandists, it is true of advertisers, it is true of cult leaders, it is true of con artists, and it is true of every amateur manipulator you know in person, whether it’s an abusive partner, an ex, a family member, a co-worker, or an acquaintance. The only tool in their toolbox is narrative, and the tool only works if they can convince you to believe it. The only variations are in the specifics of the given story they’re pushing, and the techniques they use to persuade you to believe it.

For manipulative individuals, the stories they’ll try to get you to believe may change from day to day, and may be quite complex, involving any number of subjects and other people. But the techniques they use to get you to believe those stories are consistent and few: they tell you things about themselves, and they tell you things about you. If they can hook you into believing those basic foundational narratives, they can get you to believe other, more complex narratives, which benefit them to the detriment of you and others.

If you have become aware that someone in your life is manipulating you in a damaging way, you will likely find it too complicated and difficult to sort through the specifics of all the spin and distortions in the things they’ve been saying to you to influence your thoughts, feelings and behavior. This is because they’ve been spending their whole lives honing their craft, while you’re only just becoming aware that you are being manipulated. You can’t out-manipulation a lifelong manipulator anymore than you can out-box someone who’s been training boxing since they were a child. So don’t try.

Instead, make these two simple vows, and keep them:

1. “I promise that I will never believe anything you tell me about yourself.”

2. “I promise that I will never believe anything you tell me about myself.”

(Now it should be said that the best way to deal with a manipulative narcissist is not to deal with a manipulative narcissist at all. If this isn’t someone you have to interact with regularly, definitely don’t go out of your way to make these two promises to them, because nothing good will come of it. It’s enough to speak them to yourself and keep them. But if they are always in your face with manipulative narratives and you can’t get rid of them for whatever reason, you may find that they’ll quickly lose interest in you if you make these two promises to them out loud and then repeat them anytime they try to tell you things about themselves or about you. They will not like it, though.)

If you make and keep these two fundamental vows, then none of the tricks they’ve been spending their lives mastering will find any purchase within you.

Watch them. Consciously pay attention to any time they are telling you about themselves or about you. You will notice that they do it very often, especially when you’re doing something they don’t like (in fact this is one revealing feature of a manipulator and can be a useful means of spotting them). They pull at your sympathy by telling you they’re hurting, they pull at your loyalty by telling you how much they’ve done for you, they pull at your love by telling you how much they care about you. They pull at your guilt by telling you you’re hurting them and you’re being cruel, they pull at your need for approval by praising you, they pull at your fear and insecurities by telling you’re defective and you need them.

If they can get you to believe stories about them, then they can begin persuading you that they’re trustworthy storytellers and can get you subscribing to the rest of their narratives. If they can get you believing stories about yourself, then they can persuade you that you can’t trust yourself to know what’s true and what’s right. Once they get you hooked with either of these, they have power over you. If you keep refusing to believe anything they tell you about themselves or about you, they are powerless.

Apply these tools retroactively, too. Go back in your mind and think about all the things the manipulator has ever told you about themselves and about yourself, and assure yourself on a very deep level that what they said is not to be believed. Actively disentangle your mind from belief in those narratives.

You are the author of your own narratives about the manipulator, not them. You are the author of your own narratives about yourself, not anybody else. You are in control. You are the author of your own narratives. Not them. Not anyone else. Just you.

Remember, people who make a lifestyle out of manipulation aren’t like normal people with healthy empathy centers. They simply do not use language in the same way. While healthy people use language to form connections and figure out what’s true, manipulators only use it to get what they want, whether it’s control, money, sex, service, or whatever. You can’t think of their words as normal human relating; you have to think of them more like octopus tentacles trying to reach into your mind and move stuff around. All you can really do is slam the door on those tentacles and refuse to let a single one into your mind. These two vows are how you slam that door.


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Latest comments

  • No need for vows and promises ; belief of anything, including the laws of physics, is unnecessary.
    More than unnecessary, belief is harmful in its very essence.
    Least harmful is believing something because it’s true, but even this is treacherous because belief has a partner in crime, laziness. Put these two together and we become the perfect victim for what Caitlin sanitises as “manipulators”.
    Trump’s true believers give us a profile of the dangers of belief, the something-for-nothing bargains that turn into a trap for our attention and our obedience. How did they get so dumb ? And how do they stay so dumb, despite truthful warnings from more perceptive witnesses ?
    Dumb because belief is a cognitive artifact that affects how we interpret the world ; awareness is so fluid that it conforms with our beliefs, and thereby deceives those who mistake this perceptual agreement for evidence of truth/reality. Why look for different explanations ? when we already have a belief . . . is the dynamic of a closed mind, and we see it in action every time a believer denies observable reality.
    What we need . . . is to see things for what they are, and professional liars are easy to spot because they persistently work at getting us to agree with them. A true conversationalist wants the opposite, they want you to think things through for yourSelf, and to speak your original perspective accurately, like Caitlin does with her thinking.

  • Yeah Caitlin’s right. I remember at school in maths I kept saying that 2+2 = 5 but the teacher kept saying I was wrong and that it equaled 4. Well being shamed into it I accepted his judgement. Now I realise that I was manipulated and that I was right all along.

  • Yeah Caitlin’s right. I remember at school in the maths class when I was saying 2 +2 = 5 the teacher told me I was wrong and kept repeating that 2 + 2 = 4. Well from then I just accepted I was wrong and he was right but now I’ve realised I was manipulated and I was right all along.

    • Yes the first reply just disappeared so repeated it and now it’s there! Happens all the time I suppose. Pity there’s no delete.

  • Well said Caitlin – you are 100% correct. This whole plandemic has been manipulated by the NWO or if you wish Deep State. Isn’t amazing how all the western nations agreed at the exactly the same time. NOWAY does this normally happen. If we followed Sweden and other sensible countries we would not have millions our of works, millions who are just a paycheck from devastation. Trumps desire to get the nation back to work I agree with 100%
    I’m not a trump supporter but on this I agree with him 100% – We must get the people back to work so they can earn money to buy food and pay rent. This whole fiasco is nothing but the implementation of crowd control, mandatory vaccines, more fodder the arms forces, digital currency, and of course, a genocide, a program that will go into effect even more so come this Fall. The sheep have allowed this horror to continue. They say there is nearly 60K deaths due to the Coronavirus, which is a load of bull, as many had other morbidities that were the course. Hospital administrators were pressured to paint all death in hospital due to Covid-19, so, the figure of 60k can be reduced quite considerably. Then when you have over 80k dying in the flu season it makes this plandemic into a farce of unbelievable proportions. Millions may have lost their jobs with little or no saving to keep the wolves from the door. The responsible parties to this plandemic MUST be held accountable and punished accordingly. Never again must this happen so I am relying on you all to help make sure it doesn’t.

    • Sadly, none of the psychopaths who devised and perpetrated this global disaster will be taken to justice. Nothing new and nothing good happens as we watch, rant and complain with loud sighs while the world drowns in lies, fabrications, political theater and ever widening scope of poverty. Caitlin does well to bring more knowledge of injustice to our homes. But sadly, Caitlin doesn’t tell us what we should be doing, not only saying, about this, besides watching, ranting and complaining. We tried telling our friends and family that this is all political theater but they don’t believe us even a little bit! What do you suggest we do, Caitlin?

  • Caitlin writes: “The best way to deal with a manipulative narcissist is not to deal with a manipulative narcissist at all.” Yes and the best way to deal with narcissist politicians and bankers and pharmaceutical corporations and the crimes they perpetrate on society is not to deal with them at all.” Dissidents should dis-invest from banks, disengage from politics and corrupt institutions and social systems, disapprove of unnecessary drugs and vaccinations and disappear from population surveillance. We need a genuine revolution with wise, effective, insightful, visionary leaders, generals, captains and lieutenants to inspire, guide and organize dissidents. Caitlin, who do you recommend as revolutionary leaders who are outside the political arena and corrupt institutions?

    • I agree, but how are we going to not be subjected to mandatory vaccines and mandatory many other criminally forced lockdowns? Plus how the hell do we get to these leaders if FB and other social media censors our comments. I write about this stuff daily and get about two replies, even if my comment is provocative. Yes, I am tired of fighting these political and media criminals, but I will not give up – it’s in my nature. I suppose with my Celt background it’s par for the course.

      • with my Celtic background I have been a revolutionary for about 18 years and no longer counting. People complain but do nothing.

        • So, how do we rally the sheep??? How do we communicate if social media is censoring our posts.??? A mass demonstration would be great but how do we get the word out. Social distancing was perfect for these psychopaths…

        • What can they do if we are not allowed in groups of more than 10 etc. WE need to demonstrate against these psychopathic maniacs. We need a national demonstration….

  • Here’s another vow to keep:

    1. “I promise that I will never believe anything I TELL MYSELF about anything.”

    When you don’t believe what someone else says about something, you discover truth on your own without someone filtering it before it gets to you.

    When you don’t believe YOURSELF about what you tell you about you, or about anything else, you remain open to all possibilities and you are never wedded to any certain narrative or limiting belief about anything. You will have figured out that you are Open Consciousness and not simply a repository for a bunch of stories and beliefs that mostly weight you down and keep you from growing into something more.

    Don’t “believe” anything. Just work off of some temporary assumptions that will always be replaced and upgraded over time.

    • I like it! very Buddha….

  • I love Ms. Johnstone’s suggestion about the promises. My mother is a narcissistic manipulator and I believed her narratives about herself and myself (for the most part) until I was almost 50, although the narratives started to crack when I had children of my own and saw how a loving mother simply could not do or say the things she had done and said to me.
    The work I have done to begin to recognize and untangle these false narratives certainly helps me recognize false narratives in media and politics, but I don’t think you can simply label a person you don’t personally know (like Donald Trump) as a chronic manipulator or malignant narcissist, as some others have commented here. At least in my experience, the manipulation is incredibly personal, insidious and destructive.

  • Over more than two centuries, the United States has stirred a very wide range of feelings in the rest of the world: love and hatred, fear and hope, envy and contempt, awe and anger. But there is one emotion that has never been directed towards the US until now: pity. Please read this interesting article here:
    The world has loved, hated and envied the US, Now, for the first time, we pity it By Fintan O’Toole!

  • Combine these two vows with observe the behaviour of the suspected manipulator and you have a handy tool kit. It is proving most useful in my own life. This reads like a tip that you would get in a certain type of magazine such as ‘How to use leaves, to save on toilet paper, make your very own mask, with old tee shirts and elastic bands. (this is a jibe at my own post not Caitlin’s, just in case you were thinking otherwise). Joking aside Caitlin’s articles about manipulative personality types in our own individual social circles are excellent. I must say with hindsight and a good few years under my belt it becomes a little easier to spot these personality types. Mother dear has a lot to explain.

    • Actually, though, a skilled manipulator knows how to mix truth with lies, obfuscations, obscurantism, framing, distraction, and so forth, to be effective. The best propaganda, for example the New York Times, liberally salts its narratives (their word) with truth in order to make them seem realistic and believable. Watch them work out as they try to neutralize Tara Reade’s charges against Biden. Or handle any other controversial issue in which their owners’ class advantages and interests are involved.

  • I have posted this before, but it is important and relevant to our lives if we want to neutralize the psychopaths among us. If you want some insight into psychopathy and its influence in our lives, look at the website theauthoritarians.com. There is a free book there which is worth reading for learning about the science of psychopathy.

    Robert Anthony “Bob” Altemeyer (born 6 June 1940) is a retired Professor of Psychology at the University of Manitoba. He produced the test and scale for “RWA” or right-wing authoritarianism.. He did extensive research on authoritarianism, identifying the psychological makeup of authoritarian followers and authoritarian leaders. His research is depressing, but should be better known. Maybe we can protect ourselves as a society from right wing psychopathic authoritarians, and maybe we can’t, but we should know what science tells us about them.

    • What science tells us is simple, out with the Guillotine’s…

  • These are wise words from Ms. Johnstone. There is a very good new movie recently out ‘Bad Education’, about a sociopath manipulator; not a great movie, but well worth watching. (It’s available free on the pirate movie site Fmovies, but I always hesitate to send people there; people have to use caution in using such sites. Never NEVER download anything, and popup blockers and ad blockers will help avoid the malware that abounds on such sites)

    A problem I see here, however, is that people who are not self-aware, who are not aware of their own faults/foibles which are making other people’s lives more difficult and/or painful, could easily use this ‘advice’ to protect themselves from self-awareness when other people who care about them try to make them aware of how they could change/grow.

    We all manipulate’ each other after all, don’t we? Don’t parents manipulate their children, for example, to enculturate them, to teach them right from wrong, etc? Surely Ms. Johnstone would not want her children to say to her “I promise that I will never believe anything you tell me about myself, or yourself”, when she is trying to get them to see that some behavior of theirs is counterproductive to their own interests and lives?

    Ms. Johnstone writes: “If you have become aware that someone in your life is manipulating you in a damaging way…….” . That is a very big ‘if’, and as with many things in this often confusing ‘mystery’ of being alive, the lines that differentiate between a sincere person trying to teach us something about ourselves we would benefit from knowing, and a person trying to manipulate us for her or his own personal gain, can be very hard for us to establish, especially if we are ‘trapped’, by lack of self-awareness, within our own subjective perspective. (Self-awareness gives us the ‘vision’ to “see ourselves as others see us” (–R Burns). In other words, it gives us the capacity to inhabit other points of view besides our own).

    If a person is irritating their co-workers, for example, with some behavior or trait that is making her or him ever more intensely disliked, and a friend tries to get her or him to be more self-aware, in order to ‘see’ what is happening, so that the person won’t be disliked, wouldn’t that friend be trying to help that person? But couldn’t the person in question use Ms. Johnstone’s advice to protect themselves from the painful process of self-awareness?

    Doesn’t that often happen? Isn’t it every bit as ‘dangerous’ to our own interests to protect ourselves from all criticism as it is to allow ourselves to be vulnerable to sociopathic manipulators?

    Self-awareness is the ONLY path to wisdom, and I am certain that the wisdom that Ms. Johnstone has obviously gathered, and so generously shares with us, (a ‘sharing’ process that itself can often be excruciatingly painful), has come from much painful introspection that has made her more aware of her own human faults and foibles.

    I learned much from William Blake, and 18th century ‘mystic’ poet, who tried to make us aware that human reality is a balance between diametrically opposing forces. I used the imagery of a soap bubble to try to teach this to my children. Within the bubble, air pressure pushes outward. Outside the bubble, air pressure pushes inward. It is the balance between these opposing forces that creates/defines the bubble.

    Self confidence is a very good thing for any person to possess, for example. But so is self-doubt. If a person is so self-confident that they reject all self-doubt, isn’t that in itself a characteristic of a manipulative sociopath? We must strive for a healthy balance between the confidence that empowers us, and the self-doubt that makes us self-aware.

    Yesterday, in discussing Ms. Johnstone’s essay ‘Mother’, some of us delved into a comparison of modern culture to a previous culture that existed when the older among us were children. That older culture was far superior in some ways to the ‘sick’ culture that surrounds us now. In other ways, it presented its own severe problems.

    Part of our discussion centered around the sexual mores of the old culture that were destroyed by the mainstreaming of pornography, starting with the publication of ‘Playboy’ in 1955. In many ways, that old culture, which revered motherhood, for example, was very much more beneficial to women that our ‘sick’ pornified “hook-up” culture.

    But it was NOT a ‘healthy’ culture because it tried to suppress/deny human sexuality itself as an ‘evil’ thing. One of my favorite movies from that era was ‘Splendor in the Grass’, which showed how the intense tension between a young girl’s healthily blossoming sexuality, and what her parents were trying to teach her, that her sexual feelings were ‘evil’, drove that girl into such intense spiritual confusion that she became mentally ill.

    If we overindulge our animal appetites, the consequences are very bad for us, both as individuals, and as a society. But if we over-suppress our human sexuality, (say by forcing women to wear burkas, to go to the extreme), the consequences, for both individuals, and for the collective, for society, are equally bad.

    There has to be a balance. ‘Blake’s Bubble’, I called it, when I tried my best to teach my children, (three daughters), about it.

    Self confidence is a very good thing. And it is certainly true that to maintain our self-confidence we must protect ourselves from those who would destroy it solely for their own selfish gain.

    But over-confidence, to the point of eradication of all self-doubt, can every bit as bad as lack of confidence. When we see someone who is sincerely trying to help us as a ‘manipulator’, and thus reject their ‘input’, the consequences for us can be very bad.

    How do we tell the difference? It’s not often that easy. Sometimes it is, but very often people reject being ‘manipulated’ when they’d be much better off being ‘manipulated’ by people who love them and/or care about them.

    • When women got so called equal fights all it did was unleash twice as many sociopaths and psychpaths upon the world trying to tell us what to do. Like everything some good and some bad resulted. Many ills and unjustices were corrected and replaced by new problems. Society goes in cycles and our cycle is clearly winding down.

    • It’s called the “Middle Way” “…Don’t believe anything I say…” (Buddha)

  • Dang, that is pretty good advice.
    Thank You, Caitlin.

  • this is good shit…

  • Everybody want’s two things first to be right (even if their not) fact’s are to heavy and to MATTER here…. That’s it, and once you understand stupid you just leave it alone , until it gain’s knowledge or it remain’s it it’s trap. I don’t teach pig’s to fly anymore because it’s irritates the pigs , but more importantly IT waste my time…… Blessings Be Wise

    • I only want to be right if I am right! Take care and be free…

  • “(Now it should be said that the best way to deal with a manipulative narcissist is not to deal with a manipulative narcissist at all….”
    There is but another way I believe, though not at an individual level, but at a group level. This video clip and the content discussion, the coming together in a major size group, can in fact work.
    Here is a woman with a Saloon in Texas, who has defide the lock-down order, and decided to take a stand for her rights as a Human Being, and as the owner of the business. This brave women did not ask for the support she received, but found her country men on the spot, to support her!
    Note needs to be taken of the different response from the police, (being forcefull and brutal to any dissadent) who were ordered to close her down!
    This proves what we the people can at times achieve, by coming together in support for another being, being BULLIED & pushed around by police, in total disregard for our Human Right! This lady is brave, the people who supported her are even more brave, as you will see!

    • Yes, always take a stand, not just for yourself but for others too, this is how we fight the establishment. I will never forget a march by factory workers in India and when they arrive at the factory gates they were immediately attacked by police with truncheons – they never fort back and fell, and as they fell the next line stepped forward, until they too fell, and then the next line and the next line and the next line. It has effected my life tremendously… NEVER give up! the good will always rise to the top…

  • Ah, the Buddha Ms Caitlin speaks the truth!
    There are human beings that honestly care about certain things and they make honest attempts to change or correct these things. Unfortunately these nice people draw ” the manipulators, sellers, con artists, etc. etc. ” like bees to honey. Good people always have to be on the lookout for these ” snakes in the grass ” because they are everywhere just looking for prey.

  • 1. Isolate yourself. It is for your own good.
    2. Wear a mask and gloves it is for your protection.
    3. Stay away from other people. It is for your good health.
    4. Take my flu vaccine. It is so you will not die.
    5. Let me tell you how to live your life. You will be much happier.

    Why can people not see when they are being manipulated.

    • Indeed, it’s glaring how this piece and every previous thought Caitlin has expressed on propaganda and manipulation evidently do not apply to what’s by far the worst mass psychological terror campaign in history.

      Well, at least she’s not been serving as a propaganda rent-a-cop herself, the way most “leftists” and “anti-authoritarians” have. But abstention still makes the heroic anti-propaganda stance ring rather hollow.

  • Wise mantras, Caitlin.

  • Goethe said a long time ago “As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.” We’ve been living in structures of organised lovelessness for a long time. To learn to trust our own knowing will require us to practise listening to our body’s wisdom. “Inhabiting your body – reuniting with its intelligence – is one of the most potent political statements you can make.” – Philip Shepherd https://philipshepherd.com/manifesto/

    The photo reminded me of Puppetji https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tF-r–lJe0 — Enjoy —

  • It doesn´t appear that you even had the Donald in mind but I think you just nailed him.

    • I think psychopaths more generally. They have no conscience, cannot love anyone and putting them in positions of power is like putting a fox in charge of a hen house. They can’t care about others even if they wanted to due to their mental defects
      There was an Oxford University study done in 2016 which concluded that both Trump and Hilary (and Margaret Thatcher etc) were psychopaths.

      • Most top politicians are psychopaths

        • The manipulator seek to control. This is because s/he is terrified of losing control. It seems like death to them.

          Good advice from Catlin here, and remember, you are dealing with a very frightened child who will do anything to avoid death/loss of control.

          Manipulators often have large, expanded upper bodies, and small bums and legs – their vulnerabilities show in their body shape, body language and posture. They often try to hide their ‘weak’ parts and accentuate the upper, seemingly strong part – but it is mostly hot air…shoulder pads, puffed out chests, jutting chins, etc.

  • You need take only one action .
    I will be conscious as only an unconscious person can be manipulated.

    Vowels are unimportant unless you are talking about the One in Om:)

  • I’m sending this to a friend. It’s useful.
    He may need to call “bullshit” on his “longest ever and worst ever employee” more often, or something.

  • We want Ghislaine Maxwell and the Mossad,Sicilian Mafia head of the snake Leslie Herbert Wexner behind bars for their satanic human trafficking and pedophilia crimes.

    • Watched this couple days ago, must say this is one of the best videos I have EVER watched, about the whole picture, that has been unfolding before my eyes, for my entire life! I am now at pensioner age. I can now honestly say that my sub-consious, has been trying to alert me to the evil, now brought to a cousious level. I have awakened!
      Thank you for sharing this! Bless you!

  • So we’re all agreed: just don’t believe anything a manipulator tells you about anything or anyone. Then the trick becomes to identify the manipulator quickly enough to avoid most of or all the damage they can do.

    • Indeed! This rumination is incredibly timely for me, having finally realized just how manipulated I’ve been by the boss for the last 10 years. To rueful consequences.

  • What about the things a manipulator tells us about the world and the events in it? It’s just a damaging to believe those remarks, as well.

      • You mean like trotting out the head of WHO and CDC to spout nonsense to make everything appear trustworthy. Both organizations are political organizations deep in tbe pockets of the pharmaceutical companies and the Gates foundation as well as the bloomberg foundation. All with the MSM nothing but high level manipulators and propagandists.

        • I wonder if they manipulate (or try to) each other? Could be if this is the only way they know how to be in the world.

          Of course, the manipulator mainly manipulates him/her self without realizing it. Sad.

    • No doubt, just look at those bums Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha and all so many more. We really need to shut all these people up.

  • A vital third vow:
    “I promise that I will never believe anything you tell me about anyone else or anything else.”

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