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Don't be manipulated anymore!

  Written by Olivia

Between the so-called "usual" and acceptable influences and the manipulation that we are sometimes unknowingly victims of, there are different shades of influence that are often difficult to differentiate clearly and precisely. We are all more or less burdened with a feeling of guilt, a sense of duty, and seek to redeem ourselves. If this tendency isn't handled properly, it can become the perfect weak spot for the manipulation that is, unfortunately, all around us.

Aries: You know how to really think about what you hold dear: your ambitions and emotional needs, which you express forcefully and unambiguously. And this is often what those around you complain about. These complaints can start to grab a hold of you if you accept that you have indeed spoken too curtly. To make up for your past mistakes, agree to tone it down, yet without consistently giving in to what others try to impose on you, even gently. This way, you will be immune to any attempt at manipulation.

Gemini: How you interact with those around you often leads you to become lost in useless details. Some people might be tempted to take advantage of your practicality to unoad their own responsibilities on you. You know how to give good advice, but afterwards, you have to let others make good use of it without you butting in. Don't let yourself be convinced that you absolutely need help from someone who's more learned or experienced. You have to learn to gain independence when it comes to knowledge and know-how, so that you will no longer be manipulated. All you have to do is learn.

Leo: You refuse to believe that you can be manipulated. Alas, too often, you become painfully aware that you have been. The compliments that feed your ego and the servile attitudes that resemble submission - here are exactly where your weaknesses lie. It is a slow, gradual undermining that leads you to become a plaything for people who rely on, and take advantage of, you, while playing the victim so that you will protect them. As gratifying as this may be, it is dangerous as well since you can end up forgetting to live within your means, either financially or emotionally. Put flattery into perspective, dig deeper than mere appearances, and insulate yourself against seduction. This way, you can guard against the most common forms of manipulation.

Virgo: You feel really alive when you feel useful to others. That's a fact. Your perfectionism takes you a long way in improving yourself, but you are liable to deviate from your progress when faced with pompous people who make you feel inferior to themselves. And here is where the intimidation, sneak as it is, kicks in to stymy your development. Use your powers of analysis, and, quite often, you will discover that these people are emptier than they'd have you think. Being in the shadow of a charismatic figure is comfortable, but ask yourself, in all honesty: is this where you truly belong?

Scorpio: Despite the strength of your character, you have a few faults that certain people can latch onto and manipulate you without you knowing it. What stands out with you is your uncompromising temperament. Your friends and family might push you to compromise, yes, but find a balance and stick to with it, because, with time, you very well could end up compromising too much, to the point of forgetting what you need to stay in balance yourself. The key to holding onto your autonomy, keep harmony in your relationship - and in your finances - is the degree to which you are able to make intelligent concessions.

Capricorn: How many times has someone let on, implicitly or not, that you ought to take care of those around you and protect them? You feel like you are other's rock, capable of taking on huge responsibilities, and, sure enough, you tend to take on too much responsibility. Your strength can become a weakness if others take underhanded action to take advantage of you without you knowing it. Under their supposed appearances of fragility, you could come to believe that your support is indispensable to them, when, in reality, they just refuse to grow up and will make you carry the weight of their irresponsibilities. Simply come to terms with the fact that each person has to live their own life.

Aquarius: They say that the biggest lies are those that are the most believable. Nothing could be more true in your case. You tend to believe even the most incredible stories as your good heart pushes you towards the biggest problem cases. You easily pick up on the slightest attempt at manipulation. But, the ones that are huge, that many people believe, are the ones that stick to you. The enemy you need to strike down to protect yourself is within yourself: you excessive idealism pulls you towards people who are different from how they appear. Make yourself useful to yourself and devote yourself to others, especially those who abuse your generosity.
Taurus: You natural tendency to enjoy the good things in life is a positive base on which your values and personal needs can rest. On the other hand, you also tend to lose sight of them when under pressure from those around you since your need to share can too often be a wide-open invitation to manipulation. It's not possible to share everything. Some things are individual, autonomous. Don't be too dependent on other's approval, don't share if it's at your expense, and preserve your autonomy by allowing yourself personal pleasures, just for you.

Cancer: You know better than anyone how to take care of the well-being of those around you. You introduce a little emotion into the practical matters in life, and, by pampering your friends and family, you feel needed. And it's this precisely that is your greatest flaw. You tend to let yourself be manipulated by those who are more vulnerable than you, or so it would appear! Some people know that your need for affection can lead you to be overly and extravagantly giving and will take advantage. Don't neglect yourself: help, yes, but while still setting boundaries to match your own personal needs. Don't expect those around you to see to it as much as you'd like...

Libra: You need, and like, to feel accepted and part of your environment. Deep down, you're not the solitary type, and you're ready to make a lot of concessions to be in good company. But, some people know this, and will use your need for love and acceptance to manipulate you and pull the wool over your eyes. It's a matter of not putting certain relationships on a pedestal, but of cultivating your sense of free will. Remember that you can be loved without having to accept things that don't suit you, that aren't part of your world. You have the right to live how you please.

Sagittarius: The hold that people can have over you lies in your sense of duty. It's up to you, however, to define your values and not believe that others know better than you what your principles should be. Despite having confidence, there is a flaw: if anybody doubts your seriousness or honesty, you will put all your effort into doing more and more... In the end, you'll only get indifference. Don't let anything steal your joy for life. This system proves that you can be manipulated and you run the risk of forgetting yourself.

Pisces: You are very aware of others' suffering, which allows you to build an excellent foundation for taking effective action. Alas, this profound compassion tends to turn against you if your friends and family touch a sore spot: suffering that you've already gone through. By unconsciously seeking to repair your past, you can end up under the thumb of people who wish to take advantage of you. So, give them your wise advice, but, whatever you do, don't take action for them.

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