This is the 13th session of Ask The Coach. The main aim of this weekly session is to ask you, the reader, to ask a question to the coach by posting a comment on this post and each week myself and Ayo Olaniyan will attempt to help you by answering your questions.
This weeks coach is Steven Aitchison, owner of this blog. Next week Ayo Olaniyan will be asnwering the Ask The Coach question.
Hello, I am a big fan and subscriber to your newsletter. I am only 19 years old but I have many questions but I will ask one that is most important to me at this time.
I tend to let people's actions get the best of my emotions, and I also let my compassionate nature take over and that often allows people to manipulate me. How can I help people, and be compassionate without letting them hurt me?
Hi Benjamin, thank you so much for having the courage to ask a question like this. This is an extremely honest question.
To Start with you are already half way to the answer, you have just not realised it yet. You've recognised that you have an issue with people manipulating you due to your compassionate nature – That's great, most people don't even recognise what their problem is, they just know there is a problem.
The second part is just as easy, if you'll allow it to be:
By asking the right questions you'll come to a solution which will be relatively easy for you to implement.
The questions I would ask are:
Am I being compassionate because I want recognition to feel empowered?
How can I feel inwardly powerful and be compassionate at the same time?
The first question might seem a little strange and hurtful, but as a coach I would ask this question because I am honest and respect you enough to give me a truly honest answer. Once you've answered the first question you can then move on to the second question, if the problem is still the same.
Allowing Others To Manipulate You
Your situation is not about others manipulating you it's about you allowing them to manipulate you. So this is a Benjamin thing, and only in your head will it change. Once you change your thinking and your anxieties about this, your perception of this will totally turn around.
Here is a 3 step plan to stop others manipulating you whilst you still remain true to yourself and be compassionate:
One Time Offer
The one time offer allows you to be true to yourself and still feel compassion for others and allows you to help them.
You simply trust them at face value until they give you a reason not to trust them. I believe this is how we should all live. If they do give you a reason not to trust them then you explain to them, very clearly, that you helped them out once and it will not happen again because they have taken advantage of you or manipulated you in some way.
The trick with this is to stick to your guns. Do not give the second chance, to those you don't really know. Pretty soon you will be known for giving people a chance but are no fool and don't like to be made a fool of and no second chances will be offered.
This might change for friends and family where you feel you have to give a second chance, but after the second time you have to say NO!, no more chances.
Feeling Powerful Inside
You'll always be manipulated if you don't feel respect for yourself. This is a horrible truth but one you have to know. You need to feel powerful inside, that is, know when to stand up for yourself, know when to be quiet, know when to stand up for others, know your own mind.
For this to work you need to do some work on yourself and get to know yourself very well. Know what you believe in, know what your values are, know why you love the music you love, know your principles. When you truly know yourself, and Benjamin, you will be years ahead of most people if you start working on yourself just now, you will feel alive with energy and have a silent power within you that nobody can manipulate.
Allow Yourself To Help The Manipulators
Manipulative people latch on to, who they perceive as vulnerable people, or people less knowledgeable, with less rank, with lower social status, lower intelligence etc As soon as you recognise that you are being manipulated in any way, turn around and offer help to these people.
But, you get the drift, offer to help people by telling them you know they are manipulating you, as soon as they realise you are onto them they will hopefully stop.
Stand Up For Yourself
If I can offer one piece of advice to one so young as you, I would say stand up for yourself: even if your voice gets shaky, your legs twitch, and you are sick at the thought of it. Believe me, the more you stand up for yourself the easier it will become and the less you will need to stand up for yourself. If you do this at the age of 19, you will be extremely, inwardly, powerful at the age of 21.
Benjamin, I hoped this helped you in some way. The readers of CYT will hopefully offer you some more fantastic advice, please let us know how you get on.