Nothing shocks and angers a manipulative person more than when the target of their abuse stops falling for the tactics. It took me way too long (20+ years!) to really accept that they did not deserve the benefit of the doubt that I always allowed them, but I finally learned. So now their sad face and their protestations of confusion, ignorance, and innocence leave me cold. I know exactly what they’re doing and why. I know it’s nothing but a ruse to lure me into engaging with them so they can employ the same tactics as always. To try to confuse me and make me doubt my own perceptions. They didn’t change, but I did. Once you’ve really seen the reality, you can’t un-see it. Life is so much more peaceful now.