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Understanding Psychological Manipulation

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Psychological Manipulation

The human race has experienced lofty heights of mental and emotional (in all walks of life) manipulations in past decades through various authorities, and till present jet age, humans are still being controlled mentally.

Before we go on, we need to understand the terminologies in this thesis, which are:

  1. Psychology & Psychological
  2. Manipulate & Manipulation

Psychology: In this context, it is the mental attitude or characteristics of an individual. While Psychological, is the mental and emotional state of an individual.

Manipulate: It is to control or influence (a person or situation) cleverly, unfairly, or unscrupulously. While manipulation is the act of exercising unscrupulous control/influence over an individual, or the act of altering (a person or situation) will to suit one’s intention.

What is a Psychological Manipulation?

It is the psychological action that has to do with making an individual do something you want against their will or despite their will. An important factor is to make a person want to do it themselves.

All of us know how to manipulate and we do it. However, we use different ways of manipulation depending on our moral views, abilities, potentials and goals.

Goals (Targeted aim) can be different because a psychological manipulation is a so-called instrument of influence. It all depends on the person or individual who uses it. Just like a knife, it can be used as a murder weapon but also as a special tool that is needed for surgeries or as a tool to slice or prepare delicacy in the kitchen. Psychological manipulation could be said to be an immoral way of getting desired results.

To have a real picture of what a psychological manipulation is, let’s have a look at some examples of manipulative influence. Just imagine you are a man who takes his girlfriend to an open-air eatery. At a time a nice elderly lady shows up carrying jewelries. She stops by you and offers you to buy some for your lady. Could this be a kind of manipulation or just an obsessive offer? Of course, it is a manipulation. The elderly lady already knows you are going to feel uncomfortable in front of your girlfriend if you refuse to buy that piece of jewelry for her. She knows you don’t want to look like a miser and feel awkward while your girlfriend is around. So, she has a bet you will mostly co-operate and be a “Nice gentleman”.

Often, people hire the services of healers, fortune tellers, psychics, etc. Most of these practitioners are known for usage of different kinds of manipulation. But the most common way of their manipulation is creating a sense of fear in their subjects. Fear is one of the strongest human emotions that can be skillfully inspired by those pseudo-healers and it is successfully used by them from time to time.

We can understand what a manipulation is by paying attention to relationships between men and women. All those whims, resentments and hysterics like; “Do you love me? Oh, you do! Then why don’t you buy any presents for me?” Women are professionals at manipulating. They play with men’s feelings at different levels.

Psychological manipulation can also be found in relationships between superiors and their subordinates in an organization.

During our lifetime, we all experience some levels of manipulation from others and we also manipulate other people whether it is done consciously or not. Our society is ruled by manipulative authorities. We see it in personal or family relationships and business conversations.

Religious beliefs have their own levels of influence on us. As for state (government) manipulation it literally knows no boundaries. It has always been that way, it is like that now and it’s not going to change. That’s why you have to learn how to manipulate. The better you are at it, the more protected you will be from all those manipulators and manipulations around. There’s nothing destructive, disgraceful and shameful in manipulating others as long as it does not harm to building effective relationships between people you care for and with child parenting.

Psychological Manipulation

There are numerous ways of psychological manipulation. In order to embrace some of them, you need a long-time practice. Some of those ways are used by many people freely; sometimes we don’t even realize it. Some ways of manipulation only have to be known, so people can easily protect themselves from their influence. But there are also other ways you have to learn to be able to counteract them. It is important to know how psychological manipulation really works in order to protect yourself from an interference with your psyche and to be able to counteract different methods and ways of manipulation. Also, it is required to know and to study different ways of manipulation with an eye to learn how to understand and use them skillfully for your own sake. If you don’t have any knowledge in this field it is going to be difficult to achieve success in life. Using one or the other way of manipulation you should keep in mind the fact that a human life is rather multifaceted depending on the level of education, life experience, and many other different factors. That’s why in some cases preparation for the usage of different manipulations plays an important role in the way of making those manipulations more effective. First of all, it is necessary to decide on a way of manipulation which can be used in this very case. And to do this you are to choose an influence target. Such targets can be:

  • Human interests, needs, and inclinations;
  • Human views (political, religious, moral); outlook;
  • Habits, behavior, ways of thinking, personality and professional skills;
  • Mental and emotional state (in ordinary and at this very moment)

To make a method of manipulation actually work you have to get to know an addressee of this impact better, to get as much information about them as you possibly can.

Also during a preparatory phase, experienced manipulators think through places and conditions of their influence. It is important for them to increase the likelihood of getting desired reactions, feelings and emotions from objects of their influence. That’s why creating required conditions for increasing of influence experienced manipulators choose isolated places (even though sometimes it’s not really like that and the situation requires the opposite) and only afterward they use a way of manipulation they have prepared without any problems. A successful outcome of any manipulation depends on a set contact between people.

In literature and business communication, a process of getting in touch with a person is quite important. It is not a way of manipulation or making a contact it is a basis of communication. Skilled manipulators know what they are dealing with. They make contacts and do everything they can in order to improve it (building trust) so they can use it in future. For them, it is a preparatory phase. During this time they use different ways of adjusting to their interlocutor, using a connection technique. The essence of this technique is to find common interests and views and to create an atmosphere of openness, to create a favorable impression of them. Sometimes manipulators even start to repeat the same gestures and facial expressions of their communication partner, take same poses and do everything to win their interlocutor over.

When all the preparatory stages are completed, and all the required information is collected, weak sides are found and the required conditions are worked out, it is time to start using methods and ways of manipulation.

In the next article, Methods of Psychological Manipulation will be disclose and interpreted so as to have knowledge of these manipulative channels.

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Uzezi Jacob
Uzezi Jacob

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