You may not like the people who are rude to you on your face. But, you know whom you should be the most scared of – the people who are polite on your face & do everything in their power to make you look bad in front of others! While you think they are your well-wishers, they are your biggest enemy.
Even after being jealous and unfair to you, they will make you realize how wrong and selfish you are! Through their manipulative sweet words, they will make you feel how you have been wrong all the time. While they hide their negative intentions and deeds under the cover of their sweet words and gesture, you being naïve won’t even understand how you are being played.
I was one such victim of brutal manipulation. While in your life you will find such people in your professional or personal life – it could be your boss, colleagues or friends. But, for me, it was my in-laws, especially my mother-in-law and sister-law They were so good at hiding their true intentions under the sweet gesture that I could never understand how they were slowly ruining my marriage, life and confidence.
When I got married, I could sense how my mother-in-law and sister-in-law weren’t happy about my husband’s attention and love for me. It earlier made me uncomfortable but I thought with time, things will get better. And, things really got better. Within a week’s time, they were really sweet to me. They will ask me what I like what I don’t. They will get me gifts and made sure I was happy! Their sweet treatment left me with so much guilt that how could I even think of them as bad people. Their sweet gestures made me feel how wrong I was about them.
But, then they started revealing their true shades and I realized how stupid I was to believe their sweet gestures, which was just a cover to make me look bad and make them look good!
They started making subtle mean jokes about my dressing style & my appearance, while gifting me a dress of their choice; They would not directly complain about my career goals or my laugh, but they would make remarks about how good daughters-in-law prioritize family over work or how they are expected to laugh quietly! Without saying a word to me, they will portray this image of a good daughter-in-law, who was everything that I wasn’t.
But, then they started being more direct and started giving me “friendly feedback” on how to do things better – how to dress better; how to talk better; how to be a better wife and a daughter-in-law. My mother-in-law in the sweetest tone would say – “Like your mother, I just want you to learn things that would make your life better and happier. I just want you to be happy and be a better person!”
Their constant polite feedback made me lose my confidence. Because I believed them, I thought they might be right that I need to change myself – how I talk to people or how I smile or how I dress up.
It was quite smart of them how without saying anything rude or openly they made me feel wrong or bad on multiple occasions. And, I was so stupid that I believed them too! Sadly, my husband started believing them too!
With time, I realized how my “polite” in-laws made me feel isolated and under-confident with time. They made me look horrible on every occasion. And, sadly, I lost so much confidence that I agreed to them. But, after suffering for almost 3 years, I realized how I was stifled by their politeness; I realized how they didn’t care about my best interest; how they just wanted to control me; shatter me by their sweetness! They made sure they don’t leave a chance to make me look horrible in front of others.
I was so heartbroken. While I trusted them like my own mother and sister, they left no chance to manipulate me or control me! And, as I am starting to take a stand for myself, I am learning how to ignore their manipulation and polite abuses.
To all the women struggling with manipulative in-laws, I understand your pain; I understand how you have been made to look bad; I understand how people failed to see how your in-laws used sugar-coated words to hurt you! I understand how sugar-coated insults could make you feel so under-confident and depressed. I understand how lonely it could be to fight against such manipulative people! While I am learning how to stand for myself and how to protect myself against the sugar-coated monsters; I hope you will too!