Mini Online Training 4

How does it apply to me?

1/ What is my main vulnerability?

2/ What are my side vulnerabilities?

3/ How can they be used against me?

4/ How can I make myself less susceptible for manipulation?

5/ My takeaway from this chapter.


Welcome to: “From Strings To Wings” Zita Fekete’s mini online training 4th part.  I’m happy to have you here.

In this chapter I would like to talk about our vulnerabilities that make us susceptible for manipulation, and what we can do about them.

We have 2 types of vulnerabilities:

Our certain personality traits and our unfulfilled needs, that are coming from our past, or in our present situation.

Personality traits

Our best, social personality traits make us susceptible for manipulation.

The goal is not losing our best traits, only not going to extremes, and using some balance and assertiveness.

The first personality trait that often causes us trouble is the

People Pleasing Habit

Being “Nice”, putting other’s needs before our needs.

There is a False belief behind it: “If I’m nice, they’ll love me.”

This includes a trap: it invites conditional love; loving you for what you do, not for who you are, when what we all really need is the unconditional love. Love we get for who we are.

How to fix it:

The most important person you have to be nice to is yourself.

Create healthy boundaries.

You still can do as much good as you want to, but you have to decide what, when, and how.

No good deed can come before or against your own interest.

Approval seeking

We all seek approval – it’s a natural need.

Problems arise when it goes to an extreme.

False belief: “I have to earn everybody’s approval.”

It’s a mistake. We need small group of friend’s approval.

Trap: we put other’s interest first in order to get approval.

Select a few friends whose opinion matters.

Learn to withstand disapproval – especially from people whose behavior you disapprove of too.

Realize that cooperation does not need approval or love.

Fear of Negative Emotions

Fear of aggression is instinctive.

No one likes conflict, but sometimes they are inevitable.

False belief: “I cannot stand the tension.”

 – Conflicts cannot be solved without facing them.

Certain amount of tension is endurable with self-discipline.

Use desensitization if necessary.

Conflict is preferable to violation of your rights.

You are responsible for your rights.

Lack of Assertiveness

Feeling guilty when you say No!, or don’t comply.

Not knowing how to stand up for yourself.

False belief: “People won’t like me if I don’t do what they want.”

Trap: your rights and interests will be violated.

Learn assertiveness!

Do not confuse it with aggression.

Your rights and others’ rights both matter.

Say what you want.

Use “I” or “me” messages.

Be aware of your rights!

Blurry Self

means not being sure about ourselves, what are our needs and what are others’, what are our values and what are the values of people around us.

There is a false belief behind it: good connection needs fusion.

Trap: You live according someone else’s priorities.

Gather self-knowledge.

Develop self-confidence.

Listen to your feelings.

Low Self-Reliance

Not being sure about our judgment, fear of making wrong decisions, asking for too much advice.

False belief:

“I’m not good (smart, informed …) enough.”

“It’s terrible to make mistakes.”

Trap: You make other people’s mistakes. It sets you up for manipulation.

Outside Locus of Control

General belief that life is mostly influenced by outside factors like luck, environment, other people instead of your own decisions.

False belief: no matter what I do, everything is predetermined by destiny or other people.

Trap: Control is out of your hands.

Be aware of your choices.

Start to think and act like you were the main source of control in your life; results will follow.

Unfulfilled Needs

When our needs are fulfilled, we are happy.

When our needs are not fulfilled, we are willing to run extra miles to get them fulfilled.

At the beginning of the relationship the manipulators make a “need inventory”:

What you miss most.

Later they might promise to fulfill it with conditions.

Most Common Unfulfilled Needs

Derived from neglectful or abusive childhood are:







unconditional love.

Most Common Unfulfilled Needs

Derived from present:

Long term unfulfilled need: for instance, loneliness.

Sudden loss: partner, parent, work, health.

Transition from one life stage to another, like teenager to young adult,

worker to retiree.

Transition between cultures.

What To Do With Unfulfilled Needs?

Raise awareness, acknowledge.You are responsible to get them fulfilled, but without jeopardizing some other important needs like: being respected or supported, or giving up some of your rights.

All in all

Our extremely social, friendly personality traits make us susceptible for manipulation.

Our unfulfilled needs serve as strong motivation to do more than is reasonable to fulfill them.

Coming Next: Buying Time