The biggest unmet need of this wound is to trust others.
With this wound, you have a deep seated fear of being controlled, used or betrayed by others – and of being vulnerable or helpless.
Individuals with this Wound Type seek to be in control. They tend to be competitive and believe that “being on top” will satisfy their needs. Due to childhood wound experiences, trusting and depending on others becomes associated with being used and betrayed.
They will compensate for feelings of powerlessness and lack of control by attempting to control or manipulate others to enhance their own power. They like to dominate and to this end, they can be evasive, slippery, lying, or deceitful. They will do whatever is needed to maintain a sense of control and regain a feeling of domination.
To avoid experiences of vulnerability and helplessness, this Wound Type will use anger, drugs, alcohol, and, in worst cases, violence to reinforce their control. For this wound type, anger tends to be the default emotion; it is easily accessible and used to intimidate others.
Their underlying fear is of losing power or influence, of losing the approval of others, of losing face, and of being betrayed. They can only love those who love them back, and only for as long as they do.
The underlying belief is that one must be special in order to be loved. A person of this Wound Type is quite unable to admit mistakes, or to be vulnerable, because this would mean that they were not completely perfect in every way.
There are two versions of this wound type:
The Tough/Generous wound pattern is heavily invested in their image, giving off an impression that they are stronger, more intelligent and more important and in charge than they really are. This is to compensate for their uncertainty of whether they are really respected or in control. They desire power and authority and want to be the leader or the best. All this is done in order to boost an underlying lack of self‐esteem.
Due to their history of being used by others, they need to use others, they accomplish this through deception and manipulation. They are clever and often elusive. This strategy forms as a way to protect their vulnerability and to feel they are in control; making it as if they cannot be hurt.
The Charming/Manipulative wound pattern uses charm, seduction, trickery, and manipulation in their interpersonal interactions. They hide their real motives, appearing caring, but are actually just trying to get what they want. They expect that others will use their vulnerabilities against them, so even though they seem confident on the outside, they are insecure on the inside.
Because seduction and making themselves attractive is part of their strategy, they tend to be more sexual in their behavior than other types. They have a longing for intimacy, but lack commitment, making their relationships somewhat superficial. If they get close to someone, they feel that their strategies of manipulation may appear to the other, and they will be discovered as a phony.
Both the Tough/Generous and the Charming/Manipulative have a drive for power and domination. The Tough Generous is more of a bully; assuming a power stance, using strength or force to avoid ever being used. The Charming Manipulating is a “smooth operator”; using seduction and charm rather than force.
They feel superior to others and may act with contempt towards others; however, inside are feelings of inferiority. It is important for this Wound Type to not be viewed as vulnerable.
The energy of these types is out there; they exhale fully and come across as expanded. These types have more energy in the upper half of their bodies and it appears as if they are holding themselves up to prevent defeat. There is less energy in the lower body because these types function primarily through mental energy and will.
A person caught in this wound structure demands to be seen as special and unique ‐ and insists on receiving lots of recognition and approval. This in turn generates a need to exert power and influence over as many people as possible in order to maintain this recognition. The person needs to be seen as a “star” ‐ loving, adorable, talented, capable.
These types usually will not seek out self-improvement or therapy, due to their core fear of vulnerability and betrayal. They have a lot of ego and it‘s hard to get past their initial layer, but once they become available and get to a place of vulnerability, they will actually do the work.
As children, people with this wound had an experience of being manipulated or betrayed, as they were beginning to develop their autonomy and still needed help. This left the child stuck at the stage of child development of not being supported for who they really are, and having to project a false image of itself in order to gain love and approval. Being yourself was not enough. They become shrewd at determining what their parents (and other people) want of them and giving it to them.
The game you’re instinctively playing is this: if you can control, dominate, or charm people enough, you will feel safe. But this is a never ending hamster wheel that never fills the insatiable need of the wound.
The only resolution is to heal the wound and restore an inner sense that it’s safe to depend on and trust other people.
Until the wound is healed, your wound will continue to be triggered by people and situations around you, and you’ll feel the “ouch” of your wound over and over.