About the Author
George K. Simon, Jr. received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Texas Tech University. He has studied manipulators and their victims for over 10 years and given numerous workshops and seminars on covert- aggressive personalities. Dr. Simon consults to various agencies and institutions and maintains a private practice.
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From the Introduction: Perhaps the following scenarios will sound familiar. A wife tries to sort out her feelings. She's mad at her husband for insisting their daughter make all "A"s. But she doubts she has the right to be mad. When she told him she thought he was being too demanding, his comeback "Shouldn't any good parent want their child to do well and succeed in life?" made her feel like the insensitive one. In fact, whenever she confronts him, she somehow ends up feeling like the bad guy herself. When she suggested there might be more to her daughter's problems than there appeared at first glance, and that the family should seek counseling, his retort "Are you saying I'm psychiatrically disturbed?" made her feel ashamed for asking. She often tries to assert her point of view, but always ends up giving in to his. Sometimes, she thinks the problem really is him, believing him to be selfish, ruthless and controlling. But this is a loyal husband, good provider and a respected member of the community. By all rights she shouldn't resent him. Yet, she does. So she constantly wonders if there isn't something wrong with her. A mother tries desperately to understand her daughter's behavior. No young girl, she thought, would threaten to leave home, say things like "Everybody hates me" and "I wish I were never born," unless she were very insecure, afraid, and probably depressed. Part of her thinks her daughter is still the same child who used to hold her breath until she turned blue or threw tantrums whenever she didn't get her way. After all, it seems she only says and does those things when she's facing discipline or is trying to get her way. But a part of her is afraid to believe that. "What if she really believes what she's saying?," she wonders. "What if I've really done something to hurt her and I just don't realize it?," she worries. She hates to be "bullied" by all the threats and emotional displays her daughter exhibits whenever she doesn't get what she wants. But she can't take the chance her daughter might really be hurting, can she? Besides, children don't bully unless underneath it all they really feel insecure or threatened in some way, do they? When you're being manipulated, chances are that someone is fighting with you for something but in a way that's difficult to see. Covert-aggression is the heart of manipulation.