Manipulation is a mind game used for the purpose of controlling others and is often masterfully intentional. Be aware.
Some people in this world are kings and queens of the art of getting-their-own-way. It’s amazing how some people are able to achieve their whims through the use of persuasion or deception. The true masters are the ones who steer other people when they lack power or responsibility. These greedy folks are also agents of chaos in groups, pursing selfish hidden agendas for their own gain.
Most often, when in a personal relationship, whether it is romantic or friendship, we don’t even realize when we’re being manipulated. Manipulators are often quite skilled in the various ways to deceive, con, and otherwise lie. One of the most subtle but yet effective ways to lie is lying by omission. A very skilled manipulator might even recite a litany of very true facts but then (possibly unbeknownst to you) deliberately leave out a key detail that would shed an entirely new light on the reality of a situation. All of this is done for the purposes of impression management and outcome manipulation. You are often given factual information however in the fact giving, pieces are left out which then leaves you missing all the facts… often the manipulator becomes the victim and playing the victim role is an effective tactic in itself. Their lying is subtle and crafty, especially when the main technique is omission. A good “con” can get the better of anyone. They paint the picture they want you to see. They take no responsibility for anything that would result in the negative. This refers to both the professional relationships and the intimate relationships. It will inevitably always be the other persons fault and the manipulator will rarely apologize. If ever an apology is given, it will be in the form of a general, over-all type format, never specifically what they are sorry for and in their world, this should suffice, after-all they did apologize.
Someone who is trying to manipulate you will often make you feel guilty. Quite often, they will attack their accusers and often use “guilt-tripping” as a manipulation tactic. Manipulators will even use hard to detect aggressive tactics to emotionally browbeat you into exceeding to their demands. This is NOT “passive-aggressive” behavior, this IS very active, albeit carefully veiled or “covert” aggression. The secret to never being manipulated again is getting to know all of the subtle, hard to detect ways people can beat you into submission, making you feel lower than the dirt beneath your feet.
Another key to note is that the manipulator only remembers what they want to remember, they conveniently forget everything else. This also includes changing what they were told into what they think they were told and then insisting that what they think is what they were told. Repeating the same thing over and over is a tactic. If they keep insisting, you will eventually grow tired.
Skilled manipulators know the vulnerabilities of their opponents. Their easiest prey are neurotic individuals (i.e. people with high levels of sensitivity and conscientiousness). Tactics like “playing the victim” or “shaming” will effectively manipulate the average neurotic because conscientious individuals neither want to see someone else as suffering, nor do they want to feel badly about themselves. The manipulator is known in Psychology as the disturbed character. And if a neurotic person attempted these tactics on a disturbed character, they would learn that they have no effect.
In personal relationships, Psychological manipulation (aka: emotional manipulation) is most effective when the manipulator (disturbed character) can successfully play on another’s emotions. In most unhealthy relationships, at least one of the persons is likely to have a significant disturbance of character, thus they are a manipulator. Intimidation is a powerful means of psychological manipulation. In fact, carefully cloaked intimidation is often at the heart of several of the most effective manipulation tactics. For example, let’s say that a strong, domineering type of personality is in a relationship with a relatively insecure, retreating type of personality. Sometimes, a mere look of pure disdain from the dominant party (i.e. sending a non-verbal message that a person is crazy or stupid for holding their point of view) can be unnerving enough for the insecure personality to cave in to a demand. Intimidation is an implied threat and implied threats are some of the most effective tactics of manipulation.
It is crucial to set limits and draw boundaries straightforwardly and quickly in a relationship so the manipulator knows where they stand. However, many people make a big mistake by waiting until a situation becomes all too unbearable or many years have been vested into the relationship before finally drawing a line in the sand with such manipulators. In most cases, where the delay in drawing a line in the sand occurs, when the line is being drawn and the manipulator is being called out on such behaviors, the relationship will dissolve, as the manipulator will have no further use for you in their lives. Though, be aware, this will be translated to others with a final attempt in manipulation in aggressively attempting to hurt you by ‘mouthing-off’ to others that you are a problem and that it was your fault the relationship has failed and the manipulator will take no responsibility for their part in the dissolve of the relationship.
While I have been the neurotic person most of my life, I have since learned the importance in balancing the neurotic verses the overly, obsessively neurotic. With this resent self-discovery over the past year, I have things that have aided in my ‘deliverance’ such as books entitled “Boundaries” and “In Sheep’s Clothing”, while still other aides have been counselors, psychologist, and even the scripture; all, which has, lead to my own personal experience with setting boundaries too late in relationships. And while it is a sad end to something you had hoped to be so much more, it is the beginning to such things as freedom and liberty; it is nothing to feel shamed over, those are feelings of old; you’ve now drawn your line in the sand and you choose to now walk in truth.
“Trickery and treachery are the practices of fools that have not the wits enough to be honest.” ~ Benjamin Franklin 1706-1790
For more informative sites visit: http://www.cassiopaea.com/cassiopaea/emotional_manipulation.htm and http://www.cassiopaea.com/cassiopaea/psychopaths_in_sheeps_clothing.htm