so how can I - how can all of us with chronic pain NOT allow manipulation to be a characteristic of ours? Well, I think with me one of the big areas that I need to watch out for is wanting so badly for someone to understand how I feel that it can turn into manipulation really quick. So understanding that everyone has some kind of pain, and that no one can totally understand another person's pain is very helpful to me. Thinking of the other person not just my own needs and desires also helps. Another thing that leads easily to manipulation is making others feel guilty. I know that many of the people close to me have struggled with feeling guilty for the fact that I am in pain, and often they are not. It would be so wrong to play off of this natural responce when someone we love is hurting to feel guilty. What I try to do is to not rub in the fact that I am in pain all the time - and to give that person permission to not feel guilt. My illness and pain isn't their fault at all, and I try to encourage them to go on with life and enjoy what God has given them. But I think another key to helping those we love not feel guilt and be manipulated by it is to show them that we are choosing a joy-filled life as well. If I allow myself to sit around and feel sorry for myself, it could lead those that I love to feel guilty over the happiness in their life - but if I turn that around and enjoy the life that God has given me, and work hard at living a meaningful life it directly combats manipulation based on guilt.
Now, my husband would testify that I am nowhere near perfect on this, it is a battle. But I am trying and am determined to not give up!