Today’s article is about manipulation. I got the idea to write about that when I watched a young couple looking for a car a few days ago.
I don’t want to bore you with all the details but what I’d witnessed was this: apparently, they could not decide what type of car they wanted and finally, they asked a sales person for help who showed them about 9 cars, from sports cars to family vans.
For about 20 more minutes, the couple had been debating again about what kind of car they wanted, all in public. Then the sales person said “I have something special for you today” and showed them a black sports car. Instantly, the guy left his girlfriend alone and had eyes for that car only. She just watched him, apparently knowing that he’d already made up a decision.
Then they started arguing about the price which seemed to be much too high for their budget. The sales person, still in the background, let them argue for a while. Then, he dropped a single sentence: “If I were you I would not look for anything else, that’s your car!”
It was that one little sentence that caught my attention and how the sales person had spoken those words. To me, that sounded very much like manipulation.
What is manipulation?
According to dictionary.com the noun manipulation means
- the act of manipulating
- the state or fact of being manipulated
- skillful or artful management
manipulated, manipulating, manipulate means
- to move, arrange, operate, or control by the hands or by mechanical means,
especially in a skillful manner:
She manipulated the lights to get just the effect she wanted.
- to influence or manage shrewdly or deviously:
He manipulated public opinion in his favor.
- to tamper with or falsify for personal gain:
He tried to manipulate stock prices.
Somewhere (I believe it was on eHow.com) I’ve read this:
“Manipulation is about getting people to do what you want through subversive manners that lack truth. So where someone may persuade someone else by giving them facts, a manipulator may make up or imply facts. Manipulators don’t care how they get their result as long as they get it, which means they are less concerned with the facts and integrity of their process.”
Simply put, that’s what manipulation means to me too, but I would include that the manners can lack truth.
There are a lot of them. I don’t want to start talking about mental, psychological or spiritual manipulation techniques, not yet. Let’s just talk about manipulation that happens around us in our families, at the workplace, with our friends, etc.
Have you ever noticed that if you want to make some changes in your life there is always someone very close to you who tries to hold you back from doing it?
No, our loved ones or real friends don’t want to harm us – but, they try to keep everything
as it is because they feel comfortable about how it is.
Perhaps they are afraid of changes themselves and don’t want to admit that, perhaps they fear that what you want to do will not benefit you, perhaps they even do it because they feel aka jealousy knowing that you could attain something they could not.
In my oppinion, this kind of “soft” manipulation is the most common one and at the same time, the hardest one to deal with. Why? Because there are personal feelings and real emotions involved. That makes it difficult to attain what you want for yourself without hurting the feelings of any of your loved ones or your friends.
Don’t become a victim of manipulation, don’t allow anyone to manipulate you in what ever you try to do for yourself. Do not allow anyone to hold you back from doing what your true desire is.
Read more? Here are some interesting insights and sources:
About the fine line between manipulation and persuasion
About psychological manipulation techniques
Learn about persuasive writing and more
Who’s Pulling Your Strings?: How to Break the Cycle of Manipulation and Regain Control of Your Life