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  /  Abuse   /  Everything you need to know about manipulation
Everything you need to know about manipulation

Many of us have had to deal with manipulation throughout our lives. This process can also be called a psychological victory of a strong person over a weaker one. Manipulation is a method of psychological influence, the purpose of which is to skillfully change the activity of other people who do not even know about it. 

Manipulation can occur in three main spheres of human life:

  • Ideological – propaganda of any programs or ideas;
  • Economic – advertising of a product;
  • Social – upbringing, education, work, or leisure activities. 


Model of the world

There is a concept in psychology as a model of the world. It is through its transformation that manipulation is carried out. The model of the world can also be called a model of the personal reality of each person. Which depends on their character, personal or individual experience, mistakes, and lessons of the past.

Signs of manipulation are:

  • Psychological impact on another person to achieve their goals;
  • The manipulator’s attitude to other people as to a tool aimed at obtaining a certain result;
  • Striving for benefits exclusively for oneself;
  • The presence of a hidden nature and secret direction of influence;
  • Using the game on the weaknesses of another person;
  • Motivational impulse using one’s own psychological strength and coercion;
  • A special skill in manipulation. Manipulation is the “grabbing the hands” of another person, complete submission of his will to himself, done so skillfully that he himself does not realize that he is acting contrary to his desires and previously set goals, obediently fulfilling the will of others.

Another important aspect of effective manipulation will be a special arrangement of information. With the correct presentation, it will allow the performer to draw the conclusions necessary for the manipulator. Prompting him to take active action necessary to achieve other people’s goals.


Types of manipulations

We can divide the effective manipulation of consciousness into two types:

  • Conscious
  • Unconscious. 

Conscious manipulation is when a person is aware of what they’re doing. With unconscious manipulation, none of this is possible. The actions of the performer are unconscious to the commands of the manipulator. They are often not aware of their actions.

Let’s see an example of a young married couple. When the newly-made wife impulsively exclaims: “If you no longer love me, I’ll move in with my parents.” The word “love” in this situation has a twofold interpretation. Indeed, it can be understood as intimacy, and special attention, and material support, and help in household chores. That is, in this example, the ultimate goal is fuzzy because people put a different concept into this word, which radically changes its meaning. The person, to whom this phrase refers, cannot fully understand what exactly he is doing wrong; or what needs to be done in order for the goal to be achieved. This is a very cunning manipulative technique, most often used unconsciously. 


Skillful manipulation

Other types of skillful manipulation are:

  • Communication influence or speech manipulation. With this, the motivation of another person to the necessary actions occurs during a dialogue. For this, a number of linguistic techniques can be used that are actively used in modern advertising;
  • Behavioral Impact. In this case, in contrast to speech manipulation, the urge to action occurs without words. Some actions act as tools for this, and the dialogue already performs an additional function, consolidating and supporting the manipulative effect. 


Let’s see an example of a business meeting. To communicate important news to the employees, the manager rises from his chair and stands behind him, resting both hands on the back. With this pose, he emphasizes the importance of his words and makes employees pay attention to themselves. After all, while standing, he will be much higher than those sitting, which will make them raise their heads and look at him from bottom to top. While he will look at his subordinates from top to bottom.

This is a fairly common psychological trick that effectively complements the forward-facing seat. It symbolizes the line that ordinary employees cannot cross. This further enhances the superiority of the leader over them and emphasizes that they are not equal to him. But if the leader sits not in the center of the table, but among the subordinates, then by this he demonstrates that he considers himself one of them. This technique is good for confidential conversations, allowing you to find out the true opinions of employees on an issue of interest.

Manipulation is common 

Manipulating people for a specific purpose is quite common in our society.

 Let’s consider its main types: 

Manipulation of love.

This type is often used in intra-family relationships. During such manipulation, a child has the confidence that he is loved not just like that, but for something. This can cause self-doubt in adulthood and the appearance of hypertrophied demands on oneself. The same applies to relationships in a pair between partners when love is offered for a certain condition that must be fulfilled. In other words, love acts as an exchange coin for which you can buy certain services.


Manipulation of Fear.

People’s fears and self-doubt are the results of not being informed enough. If a person thinks that he or his loved ones are in danger, he will do everything in order to avoid it, thereby falling on the hook of a clever manipulator. 


Manipulation of self-doubt. 

Manipulation, one might say, is identical with power over people. It is often used by bosses in relation to their direct reports, if they feel that they do not have enough authority to completely rule their thoughts, actions and actions. They will, as it were, look for their solvency in other people’s shortcomings. Fortunately, self-confident people who are calm about their imperfection are not susceptible to such manipulation.


Guilt manipulation. 

Family members practice this very often. It so happens that the spouses begin to scrupulously note any faults in order to lay them out at the right moment for this and play them perfectly.


Manipulation of feelings of pity. 

Among our acquaintances there are the so-called “victims” – people who constantly complain about life, expecting help and approval from you. In fact, these energy vampires are subtle manipulators who play on the feelings and emotions of strangers. 


In order not to fall on the hook of the manipulator, you need to be a whole and self-sufficient person. 


How to resist manipulation?

Preserving yourself is the first and main rule to avoid manipulation. Not allowing others to dominate your own will. You cannot lose your Self. You can do it quite simply if you trust your consciousness and intuition; which will allow you to easily recognize the signs of hidden manipulation in order to effectively resist them.

Pay attention to the following:


Experienced manipulators often use incomprehensible words in their monologue or dialogue, thereby trying to win false authority from their opponent. 



Manipulators love to put pressure on other people’s feelings, trying to get hold of their emotions. Having felt the falsity, it is important not to succumb to the provocation, which can be squeezed out tears and sincere conversation.


Urgency and sensationalism

Noise, running around, haste, and excessive nervousness can seriously undermine a person’s psychological defense. All this distracts attention and dulls alertness. In such a situation, it is very easy to get on the hook of the manipulator, which will use you to achieve its own goals.



The presence of repetition, as a rule, already heralds unfair advertising. It actively affects our subconscious mind, using suggestions instead of reasonable arguments.


Splitting up

This is another favorite trick of experienced manipulators. Its essence is to give information piece by piece. This way the other person cannot understand the true essence of their intentions.


Taking things out of context 

This method is very similar to the one above. The potential victim is served only bare facts, removing them from the general context; which does not allow them to understand the general meaning of what is happening.  Forcing them to act according to the scenario developed by the manipulator.


The only source of information

The success of the manipulation depends on the elimination of all other opinions on the solution to the problem. Except for the one that will lead to the result desired for the manipulator. If there’s an absence of real dialogue, it’s very likely that they are manipulating you. In the case of group manipulation, there’s going to be a duck deccoy. They will falsely argue with the opponent, dulling the vigilance of other participants in the dialogue.


Only decision

If someone presents only one option as correct, without any options and listening to opinions on this matter, we can say with full confidence that this is a real manipulation. There should always be a choice of options for solving the same problem.


Confusion of opinions and information 

This is a gross method of manipulation. Aimed at dulling a person’s vigilance due to the huge flow of information. The facts of which contradict each other.


Attracting authority

Manipulators use some kind of authority as the last argument. They only try to use it in order to impose their opinions, using the respect that they have for them in certain circles. All these are signs of gross and primitive manipulation, the true intentions of the manipulator, in this case, are quite easy to guess.


Using stereotypes

Attempts to stereotype human behavior, that is, to do everything so that he receives the information received and, accordingly, reacts to it in accordance with the norms of behavior accepted in our society – this is another method of manipulating our actions. In this case, you need not be afraid to confront public opinion if it goes against your interests.


Incorrect statements and inconsistencies with their general dialogue

This manipulation method can be calculated purely intuitively. Manipulative information in the general flow is presented so veiled that it can be determined only with the help of the “sixth sense”. Only then, analyzing everything that has been said, can you discover discrepancies. 


Rules of conduct

Rules of conduct that will prevent even the most experienced and cunning manipulators from catching you. Try to think that we don’t live in a civilized society, but in a wild forest, where the danger lies in wait for us from all sides. This will allow you to become more careful, attentive, and accurate, and also always behave in the way that the reality around you requires.

The general rules for this will be as follows:

Minimum contacts. 

In order not to fall for the tricks of the manipulator, you need to try to be in their society as little as possible and avoid the temptation to become a participant in the “theater of scandals” that are often played out in front of potential victims. Work on your own stability and avoid getting involved in artificially kindled conflicts.


Competent avoidance of capture

It is possible to escape from the capture only if it has not yet occurred. Timely unraveling of the manipulator’s intentions will allow time to move away from him and observe all his actions from the outside. It is enough just one phrase: “You go on, and I will be absent for a while” and all the efforts of the manipulator will be in vain. You will remain not attached to the general group, which means that they will not be charmed by them. Alternatively, you can abruptly interrupt the flow of information pouring from the mouth of the manipulator with a question that sharply violates his script. For example: “Tell me directly what you want from me”, will force him to go straight to the heart of the question even before he has time to “connect” you.


Change of pace 

The success of manipulation depends on its anticipation of the psychological defense of potential victims. Therefore, you should have time to think about everything.


Elimination of unnecessary information

The manipulation that occurs in conditions of noise, haste, a huge amount of unnecessary information, and a stream of affairs will be successful. In such conditions, it is very difficult for a person to concentrate, so he will grab onto the first available interpretation of actions. And this is what the manipulator needs. Before making a final decision, it is necessary to filter the flow of information and try to get out of the general noise. 


Unpredictable actions

Those people, who indeed consciousness meet a strict algorithm, lend themselves well to skillful manipulation. Their reaction is always easy to predict. For example, if the logic of people defies any explanation and order, it is quite difficult to manipulate them. 



All arguments and stereotypes of manipulators, as a rule, have a pronounced emotional connotation. Therefore, they, first of all, try to evoke emotions in their victims and for this they put pressure on their feelings, trying to find a point of “vulnerability”. Knowing this, you need to try to dull your feelings at least for a while, perceiving any messages absolutely impartially and ponder them already in peace and quiet.


Lack of open dialogue

Manipulators rarely use dialogue to achieve their goals, since it dispels obsession and allows the opponent to ask an uncomfortable question.

Creation of a false context 

It is necessary in order to squeeze a problem into it and veil everything in the form of a request, which the potential victim will not be able to refuse to fulfill.


Lack of alternative solution

To manipulate the interlocutor, the manipulator chooses a form of dialogue that allows him to present the proposed solution as the only correct one, therefore, having no options and alternatives.

Resist manipulation

Now, let’s figure out how to resist manipulation. Psychologists recommend using your common sense, memory, attention, and constructive dialogue accordingly. Let’s consider all this in more detail:

  • Common sense. Any educated person has it. Turn on your common sense at the moment when you hear ornate spatial phrases in which it is difficult to grasp their main essence.


  • Memory and foresight of the future. They are the main factors of psychological protection against competent manipulation since they can smash it to smithereens. Experienced manipulators try in every way to dull the memory of their potential victims, therefore, before agreeing to any action to which your opponent calls you, you need to restore your experience in your memory or contact people who will help you make inquiries and check the veracity of the information received.

Change of language of presenting the information. As mentioned above, manipulators often use little-known terms and concepts in order to show their false erudition and awareness of a particular issue. In order to destroy their built plan, in no case should you adopt their manner of expressing thoughts, use their terminology, and the scheme for constructing phrases. Say the same thing in your own way. 

And most importantly, before doing anything, you need to think!


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