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Pulling Your Own Strings: Dynamic Techniques for Dealing with Other People and Living Your Life as You Choose

Pulling Your Own Strings: Dynamic Techniques for Dealing with Other People and Living Your Life as You Choose

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by Wayne W. Dyer

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This directed and practical book shows how to stop being manipulated by others and start taking charge of your own life.


This directed and practical book shows how to stop being manipulated by others and start taking charge of your own life.

Editorial Reviews

Hartford Courant
It is impossible to leave Dr. Dyer feeling depressed or low. The man's simple yet profound wisdom and total love of life are contagious.

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HarperCollins Publishers
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4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.80(d)

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Declaring Yourself As A Non-Victim

There is no such thing as a well-adjusted slave.

You need never be a victim again. Ever! But in order to function as a non-victim, you must take a hard look at yourself, and learn to recognize the numerous situations in which your strings are being pulled by others.

Your antivictimization stance will involve a great deal more than simply memorizing some assertive techniques and then taking a few risks when other people conspire to manipulate or control your behavior. You probably have already noticed that Earth seems to be a planet on which virtually all the human residents make regular attempts to control each other. And they have evolved unique institutions which are highly accomplished at this regulation. But if you are one of those being governed against your will or better judgment, you are a victim.

It is quite possible to avoid life's victim traps without having to resort to victimizing behavior yourself. To do this, you can begin to redefine what you expect for yourself during your brief visit on this planet. You can start, I recommend, by expecting to be a non-victim, and by looking more carefully at how you behave as a victim.

What Is A Victim?

You are being victimized whenever you find yourself out of control of your life. The key word is CONTROL. If you are not pulling the strings, then you are being manipulated by someone or something else. You can be victimized in an endless number of ways.

A victim as described here is not "first of all" someone who is taken advantage of through criminal activity. You can be robbed or swindled in much more damagingways when you give up your emotional and behavioral controls in the course of everyday life, through forces of habit.

Victims are first of all people who run their lives according to the dictates of others. They find themselves doing things they really would rather not do, or being manipulated into activities loaded with unnecessary personal sacrifice that breeds hidden resentment. To be victimized, as I use the word here, means to be governed and checked by forces outside yourself; and while these forces are unquestionably ubiquitous in our culture, YOU CAN RARELY BE VICTIMIZED UNLESS YOU ALLOW IT TO HAPPEN. Yes, people victimize themselves in numerous ways, throughout the everyday business of running their lives.

Victims almost always operate from weakness. They let themselves be dominated, pushed around, because they often feel they are not smart enough or strong enough to be in charge of their lives. So they hand their own strings over to someone "smarter" or "stronger," rather than take the risks involved in being self-assertive.

You are a victim when your life is not working for you. If you are behaving in self-defeating ways, if you are miserable, out of sorts, hurt, anxious, afraid to be yourself, or in other similar states which immobilize you, if you aren't functioning in a self-enhancing manner, or if you feel as if you are being manipulated by forces outside of yourself, then you are a victim-and it is my contention that your own victimization is never worth defending. If you agree, then you will be asking: What about relief from victimization? What about freedom?

What Is Freedom?

No one is handed freedom on a platter. You must make your own freedom. If someone hands it to you, it is not freedom at all, but the alms of a benefactor who will invariably ask a price of you in return.

Freedom means you are unobstructed in ruling your own life as you choose. Anything less is a form of slavery. If you cannot be unrestrained in making choices, in living as you dictate, in doing as you please with your body (provided your pleasure does not interfere with anyone else's freedom), then you are without the command I am talking about, and in essence you are being victimized.

To be free does not mean denying your responsibilities to your loved ones and your fellow man. Indeed, it includes the freedom to make choices to be responsible. But nowhere is it dictated that you must be what others want you to be when their wishes conflict with what you want for yourself. You can be responsible and free. Most of the people who wilt try to tell you that you cannot, who will label your push for freedom "selfish," will turn out to have measures of authority over your life, and will really be protesting your threat to the holds you have allowed themto have on you. If they can help you feel selfish, they've contributed to your feeling guilty, and immobilized you again.

The ancient philosopher Epictetus wrote of freedom in this line from his Discourses: "No man is free who is not master of himself."

Reread that quote carefully. If you are not the master of yourself, then by this definition you are not free. You do not have to be overtly powerful and exert influence over others to be free, nor is it necessary to intimidate others, nor to try to bully people into submission in order to prove your own mastery.

The freest people in the world are those who have senses of inner peace about themselves: They simply refuse to be swayed by the whims of others, and are quietly effective at running their own lives. These people enjoy freedom from role definitions in which they must behave in certain ways because they are parents, employees, Americans, or even adults; they enjoy freedom to breathe whatever air they choose, in whatever location, without worrying about how everyone else feels about their choices. They are responsible people, but they are not enslaved by other people's selfish interpretations of what responsibility is.

Freedom is something you must insist upon. As you read through this book, you will become aware of what at first may appear to be meaningless trifles of victimization imposed by others, but which are really efforts to seize your strings and to pull you in some direction that will end your freedom, however briefly or however subtly.

Meet the Author

Dr. Wayne W. Dyer was the bestselling author of 20 books and had a doctorate in counseling psychology. He lectured across the country to groups numbering in the thousands and appeared regularly on radio and television. He passed away in August of 2015.

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Pulling Your Own Strings 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book shaped who I am today. Wayne Dyer is a gift from God. His approach to life and outlook is postive, stimulating, straight forward and easy to apply. You will want to buy all his books and listen to his cds. Wayne Dyer is uplifting and inspirational. A must read for those of you who want to become more confident and lead a purposeful, full life.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought this book to help me to learn to say no to people without feeling guilty about it. Not only has it helped me to be straightforward with others, it has helped me to have the courage to ask for things (i.e., raise at work, etc.) & question things that don't seem right instead of just accepting things the way they are. I highly recommend it to anyone who feels that they are taken advantage of & want to be a stronger, more assertive person.
inklineDC More than 1 year ago
This is a great book on assertiveness. And for developing social/people skills. But more than that, this is the best book ever written on how to overcome shyness and stand up for yourself. Shy and quiet people, this is the book for you! I advise shy and quiet people to read this book over and over again in order to master its contents. No problem, because this book is so personally, enjoyfully, and masterfully written. And every time that you read it, you will feel yourself becoming more powerful and capable. You'll need this book for dealing with people in your career/job, neighborhood, family, and with friends. How else are you going to defend yourself against the aggressive people in your life: dominators, manipulators,egotists, and people on power- trips, etc. ? Some say that Dr.Dyer is a softer version of Dr.Phil. (And yes, Dyer is writing spiritual books now). But this book is very much of an exception. As it says in an ad in the original paperback version: "The ultimate in assertiveness training, a kind of psychological karate course that will stop even the proverbial 500 pound gorilla in his tracks." This book can turn you into a tiger, if you apply yourself. It kicks ass!
Guest More than 1 year ago
A sequel to Your Erroneous Zones, offering advice on how to live peacefully with ourselves and our fellow men and avoid thinking of ourselves as victims. For those of us who need a boost to self-esteem, this is a powerful one. Trish New, author of The Thrill of Hope, South State Street Journal, and Memory Flatlined.
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