Honesty sometimes feels like manipulation
Sometimes it’s hard to be honest without feeling manipulative.
Sometimes I know what the outcome of honesty is going to be, so it feels like I am manoeuvring that outcome by *being* honest. That can be a hard mindset to let go of.
I suspect that more submissives have experienced this dilemma than dominants.
Submissive [honest statement]: “I really like it when you just tell me what to do without asking me.”
*cue your dominant doing that more*
*you feel vaguely guilty, like maybe they don’t really want to do that, and are just doing it for you*
I get it from the dominant side also.
Me [honest statement]: “I was sad when you didn’t text me on your way home today.”
Now I *know* what the outcome of that statement is going to be: he is going to strive to do it faithfully from now on. Which is really lovely. He *should* be trying to do things to please me. But it feels kind of manipulative because of the way I’ve expressed it, even though the expression is honest and is exactly what I wanted to convey.
Earlier in our communication, bambi missed sending me a morning email, which had become a sweet habit, and which I enjoy. He didn’t *owe* me that email, and it was too early in our relationship to demand that he do it, but I was still disappointed when it wasn’t in my inbox, so I shared that with him.
I struggled not to feel manipulative when I told him that I was disappointed by it, but the other option (to swallow it and say nothing) felt dishonest and destructive.
If I wanted to make it an order, I could have. That would have made it EASIER for both of us (and I know he really *wanted* me to do that). It would have removed doubt, disappointment, and ambiguity, but for where we were in the relationship, it was overstepping the boundary to demand things of him.
I didn’t want to make it an order, I just wanted to tell him how I was feeling. Still, it made me feel a bit like a passive aggressive arsehole because I knew very well how he would react. And he did, of course, work to make sure that that email was in my inbox every day after we talked about it.
Yesterday he forgot again. We are further along now. This time I made it an order going forward, so if it happens again, he will have failed to do what I told him to do, and there will be consequences. No ambiguity. That felt better, felt right, felt more solid, had a satisfying clarity and sweetness to it. And all of those are reasons why D/s works for me.
Note to self: Must do more of that.
The difference between ‘honestly communicating my feelings’ and ‘honestly communicating my feelings and doing something about it’ is big for me. The first can make me feel manipulative and a little impotent while the second makes me feel as if I am taking control of the situation and taking steps to manage it going forward.
For submissives who struggle with feeling as if honest communication is manipulative, there is no real ‘doing something about it’, so I understand why it can be difficult for some to share things (especially negative things). Saying ‘I didn’t like that, but it’s okay really! I don’t expect you to fix it. I really don’t mind!’ doesn’t quite get rid of the feeling of being manipulative. I think the level of trust in their dominant has to be such that they know she will take that information on board and decide for herself what to do with it.