Psychology club with Lena: Manipulation

Автор: Alina
Fool on me once, shame on you. Fool on me twice, shame on me.
Chinese Proverb

Manipulation is everywhere in the mass media, the advertisement and relationships. Can you say that you personally have never manipulated, consciously or unconsciously? It is not a secret that people want to manipulate but our discussion set up the question: ‘How many want to be manipulated?’ I browsed the internet in order to find some sociological surveys, but without success. Maybe it is just because people can not answer truly, they even can not realise that they are not ready for being free and actually want opposite. Question of freedom is rather controversial and probably we should make a separate meeting on this topic…

What is manipulation? We used to think that manipulation has always negative connotation? But it was not so originally. In the first two definitions of the Webster dictionary show the word ‘manipulate’ sounds positive and very useful: ‘to treat or operate manually or mechanically esp. with skill’, ‘to manage or use skillfully’.

What is manipulation now? It is acting against somebody’s will in order to have some profit. It can take many forms, but 3 basic strategies are threading, flattering and playing on somebody’s weaknesses. One of the ways to recognize that you are manipulated is listening to your feelings and emotions; one of the most common is guilt.

To know how to resist manipulation one should know his enemy by sight. So here are some common techniques that you personally probably faced at least once in your life:
1) ‘3 yes’: ask a person 3 simple question for which you are sure he will answer ‘yes’, the 4-th question is the one you want to get yes reply. If a person answer ‘yes’ to all your questions he will easier answer yes to another one.
2) ‘unreasonable + reasonable’ we can see on this example: “Would you mind leading the new project? You’ll just have to come in to work two hours early for the next few months.” When your employee shakes his head, just say, “Oh, all right. But would you mind coming in early tomorrow to help me wrap up this report?” He’ll be much more receptive after the first request.
3) NLP Mirroring: if you copy gestures, tone of the voice, words the person uses, he will be more sensible to your manipulation. In this way you will create an image that you both are on the same wavelength, have a lot in common so he can trust you.

During discussion of statement ‘It is hard to manipulate with stupid people – use logic and you can manipulate clever people’ we found out that stupid people are easier manipulated by emotions, and clever are easier manipulated by logic. Also analyzed if manipulation can be positive and agreed that it depends of goals.


Are you an easy target for manipulators? Check this description. Can you see yourself?

1. You feel useful and loved only when you can take care of the needs of other people.
2. You need to have the approval and acceptance of other people.
3. You fear expressing negative emotions.
4. You are unable to say no.
5. You lack a firm sense of your own self (what your values are, who you are, what you stand for, and where you begin and the other person ends.)

Here are some tips for you how to defend from manipulation:

Be aware of your emotions, know that you deserve the best, improve your critical thinking, practise saying ‘no’, read between the lines, joke, and trust your intuition :)


If you want more information, follow the links:

1) Steve Job’s manipulation techniques
2) Most common techniques with examples:
3) Manipulation in relationship (+ test)
4) How to spot manipulative behavior with examples
5) NLP
6) С. Кара-Мурза

Интенсивный курс
ул. Льва Толстого 9-а, 3 эт.
Пн.-Пт.: 12:00-20:00
Нд.: 10:00-15:00
Стандартный курс
ул. Рогнединская, 4а
Пн.-Пт.: 08:00/09:00-11:00, 13:00-21:30
Сб.: 10:00-15:00
ул. Гришка, 6а.
Пн., Ср.: 08:00-20:30
Вт., Чт., Пт.: 09:00-20:30
Сб.: 09:00-15:00
ул. Митрополита Андрея Шептицкого, 4, оф. 32 (8 этаж), ТОЦ «Комод». (Вход через бизнес-центр)
Пн.-Пт..: 09:00-19:00
ул. Пирогова, 4/26
Пн., Ср., Пт.: 10:00-18:00
Вт., Чт.: 12:00-20:00
ул. Хорива, 1-а
Пн.-Пт.: 12:00-20:00
Сб.: 10:00-15:00