Have you ever felt manipulated by someone... and then later come to realize that their hold over you is not as strong as it used to be?
I have a friend who's been punishing me for a long time for something that they had been hurt by. In the beginning, that punishment stung-- as it was meant to. "If you hurt me, I'll stab you." But, it's been going on for a long time now. And every time it happens, I've put on another layer of armor so that the punishment hurts less.
Enough time has passed now that I'm wearing a lot of armor.
It's not even so much that it's armor, but I've grown a thicker skin there. I'm noticing something else, as well. The constant punishment has done the job of destroying any affection. I just don't care anymore. It no longer stings. The only person they're punishing now is themselves.
And maybe that's the effect when we try to manipulate people.. when we try to punish them for their transgressions instead of finding it in our hearts to forgive them. In the end, we just end up hurting ourselves, growing hate in our hearts, and destroying the love that people have for us.