This book had me at the title and first several paragraphs of the first chapter:
"Have you ever felt as though someone is pulling your strings---making you do things that you rather would not or stopping you from doing things that you would prefer to continue? Have you tried to untangle the strings only to find that you become more entrapped with each futile struggle?
Manipulation respects no relationship boundaries. It can invade your most intimate personal relationships with your spouse or lover. It can happen at work---with peers and non-peers alike. Manipulative relationships occur in families, organizations, friendships, professional relationships, and even at churches, synagogues, mosques and other places of worship.
There are no age limitations or gender preferences. Men and women of all ages and sexual orientations can be manipulative and manipulated. And whenever life transitions---positive or negative---take place with their inevitable stress, uncertainty and anxiety, the red carpet is unfurled for manipulation....
When you participate in a manipulative relationship, you unwittingly collude with the person who seeks to control you. Every time you comply, capitulate, cave-in or otherwise satisfy your manipulator's wishes and purposes, you reinforce the toxic cycle that is compromising your self-esteem, co-opting your values, and corroding your emotional wiring.
Being manipulated is a highly-stressful experience. It is unpleasant, demeaning and disturbing. And it is harmful to your physical health too---literally...
Manipulation is used because it works. As long as you allow a manipulator to exploit and control you, he or she will continue to manipulate. However, if you make manipulation ineffective by changing your behavior, the manipulator will be forced to change tactics or to seek an easier target elsewhere.
You are not likely to change a manipulator by pointing out that her tactics are unfair or that you feel unhappy with the way that the relationship is going. To put it bluntly, manipulators do not care about your feelings. They are out to serve one purpose: to advance their own interests and goals, frequently at your expense. If you benefit from a manipulative relationship, it's purely accidental.
You can, however, exercise countercontrol to change the power balance of the relationship. When you stop rewarding manipulative tactics by ceasing to cooperate, comply, please, acquiesce, apologize or respond to intimidation or threats, you will unilaterally alter the nature of the manipulative relationship. Then you can stop or at least begin to reverse the emotional havoc that the relationship has wreaked."
EXCELLENTE!!! You can cop the book here.