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Yesterday I posed the question, What do each of these things have in common?, thirst-trapping, guilt tripping & catfishing..." Although I received several great answers, the one that I wanted to address today was manipulation.

Manipulation requires a person to not just desire something, but to do anything to get it. Take thirst trapping for instance. For those of you unfamiliar with the term: thirst-trapping, is the act of posting on social media, for the intent of causing others to publicly profess their attraction. This is done to feed the posters ego or need for attention, at the expense of those who view the image.

We've all seen this before...Heck, we've all done this before. Thirst-trapping, comforts a person's insecurities or can temporarily boost a person's low self-esteem. Some people have become so addicted to the high of its attention, that they have lost sight of the pain that it covers up. Be honest, how many times have you been angry with someone and decided to post an amazing picture, in hopes of showing them how dope you are?? Its ok to be honest, but attention seeking is generally a symptom of a pre-existing condition. This need for attention causes people to manipulate themselves and others. The truth is that manipulating doesn't get rid of the problem, it only feeds it.

Guilt tripping has similar effects but it uses the exact opposite strategy. People who use guilt trips want to make you feel so bad for them that you give them what they want. Guilt trips usually start with a person telling you what you did wrong, and then leaving you hints about why you should feel bad. Oddly enough, those hints will lead you in a direction that ultimately gives them attention.

Finally, let's not forget about Catfishing. When I first saw the show, I thought that anyone who would go through such extreme measures, was completely crazy! We've all seen how these episodes go.

Guy meets gorgeous girl on internet.

Gorgeous girl, turns out to be not so gorgeous guy.

Not so gorgeous guy, confesses and shares his reason for manipulating.

The reasons why a person uses manipulation varies, some have noble characteristics, others are more self serving, but they all end the same, in destruction. This destruction only makes it harder to deal with the real issue.

This month I decided to pay closer attention to the "why" behind my actions. If my actions were done to provoke a reaction, then I would try not to do it. Needless to say I've been convicted a lot, and my posting has dramatically I found that I posted from my insecurities, and used scripture to mask the scent. Oddly enough manipulation is often used from the pulpit. Sometimes we even fool ourselves into believing our own rationale because its easier to accept a lie, than live with the truth. Truth is, that we all are capable of manipulation. Mainly because we all have pre-existing conditions that we want to hide.

The only way to counter these instincts is through truth & vulnerability. Truth reveals the condition that was trying to hide, and vulnerability allows for it to stand in isolation. Only then can you confront your true issues. It wont always be pretty, and you'll probably feel like you're standing naked in a room full of strangers. But being uncomfortable is necessary to experience growth.

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