Seemingly unpopular opinion: having different experiences of situations, or forgetting details of those situations, or changing your mind about something and then providing an update on that later, are all behaviours that are not “lying” or “manipulation”, and these are overly harsh words to apply to common human behaviours and genuine mistakes.
This is something I have encountered quite a LOT in the last 4+ years, and I’ve been meaning to write about it for a while. There’s a common trend these days to label so many (relatively innocent) behaviours within relationships with the buzzwords of trauma and abuse-centric vernacular. “Manipulation” is a common one, “gaslighting” is another. While it’s good we have these tools and words to recognise, label, and better understand our experiences and trauma, I fear sometimes their overuse ends up doing more harm than good. Let me do my best to try and explain what I mean.
Back in November/December 2018, I was that person that felt I was being repeatedly lied to/about and manipulated in a malicious way. I was MAD about it, I was HURT, and I didn’t spare a minute in labelling them as a liar or manipulator and telling them as much. They were pretty hurt about it. They lashed out about it in hurtful ways. It all escalated to a point that it probably shouldn’t have.