Toxic relationships as human chess….

by Rod Smith


Take up your life

Think of manipulative relationships (those relationships where manipulation, domination, and intimidation are evident) as a game of (human) chess played, not with a board and pieces, but with people….

Manipulation: “Playing chess” with others; maneuvering, as if life were an attempt to checkmate others into “love” or into doing what the manipulator wants. Moves are designed to confuse, trap, surprise, pull the rug from under the feet, and to leverage and increase power for the manipulator.

Domination: “Playing chess” with others; removing important pieces (withholding information, telling lies, maintaining a “double” life) from the “opponent” without his or her knowledge or permission. This is playing from an “upper hand.”

Intimidation: “Playing chess” with others; removing important pieces without the opponent’s knowledge or permission, and threatening the opponent with punishment (threats to leave, threats to hurt, intentionally harmful attitudes) if he or she wins or loses.

Healthy Relationships:
There is no element of either winning or losing; there is no tussle over power; there is no “game,” no tactics, and no secret or hidden agendas.

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