I do not condemn women who are manipulative and indirect in their communications. I believe that it has been and continues to be an evolutionary imperative. Women (with very few exceptions) have always been dominated and often by those who are careless of their wants and desires. In this environment, it has always been far safer for a woman to keep her peace and find her own means of gaining what she needs and wants.
Our history tells us that if a woman disagreed with the men around her, she could be beat, tortured and in some cases, even killed. I was taught to make my own way, to not depend on a man for my own sustenance. My mother role modeled independence and the direct way to get there. She did not appreciate indirect communication, if you wanted something, please say it. If your desire was not a popular idea, it doesn’t mean your desire should be abandoned, it means you can re-evaluate, including others input, but you do not change your mind because ‘another’ has told you to change your mind. I was taught to be direct, which leaves very little room for the fine art of manipulation.
Many women I know did not have the benefit of a strong and direct mother. It seems that the alternative to being direct, indirectness, teaches us to be manipulative. Often, there is a very good reason for manipulation. Often, being manipulative turns into a default zone that a person operates in. Over a period of time, this personality can become unable to be direct and even honest. For some relationships this can be a satisfactory state, but for business relationships, it can be disastrous. What happens when you have been taught to rethink commitments, and change agreements to suit yourself? In most business environments this kind of thinking will damage relationships, particularly relationships with a boss or supervisor.
The other part to this indirect and manipulative personality style is a feature of secretiveness. Sometimes, even often, the secrets are unnecessary, yet there is a piece to secrecy that can make one feel powerful. Practicing secrecy is the hallmark of this personality style. Secrecy, when recognized, can make those around you feel very uncomfortable.
The alternative, direct communication, can cause disruption and create confrontation. “Can”, but not always, often the direct personality style is assertive and possibly aggressive. It’s important to delineate between direct communication that can be confrontative; and aggressiveness, as aggressiveness only causes the indirect person to become more manipulative and secretive. Aggressive people just want their will to be done. Direct communicators are not necessarily focused on their own will.
So it is that my entire lifetime, I thought that the manipulative woman was somehow “less than”. I do not respect this woman and I cannot communicate with her as she is completely unreliable. How do you have a relationship with a woman such as she? Yet, on the other hand, it is the evolutionary imperative, necessary for survival in a world where everyone is larger and harsher than you. Where is the balance? And how do you navigate when dealing with those who may be damaged?
I don’t know.