By David J. Lieberman, Ph. D.
From the bedroom to the boardroom learn how to see clearly and easily evaluate information without being swayed by those with selfish interests and unkind intentions. The manipulator's bag of tricks is stocked with seven deadly tactics that can leave you jumping through hoops. The good news is that by knowing what they are, you can watch out for them, and...never be manipulated again.
These powerful manipulators are: guilt, intimidation, appeal to ego, fear, curiosity, our desire to be liked, and love.
Anyone who uses any of these tactics is attempting to move you from logic to emotion-to a playing field that's not so level. She or he knows that she or he can't win on the facts so they will try to manipulate your emotions with any one or a combination of the tactics below.
1. Guilt: "How can you even say that?
I'm hurt that you wouldn't trust me.
I just don't know who you are anymore."
2. Intimidation: "What's the matter can't you make a decision?
Don't you have enough confidence in yourself to do this?
3. Appeal to Ego: "I can see that you're a smart person.
I wouldn't try to put anything past you.
How could I? You'd be on me in a second."
4. Fear: "You know, you might [not get "it" if you go take a pee/act un-coach able] just lose the whole thing.
I sure hope you know what you're doing.
I'm telling you that you won't get a better deal anywhere else.
This is your last shot at making things work out.
Why do you want to risk losing out on being happy?"
5. Curiosity: "Look, you only live once.
Try it? You can always go back to how things were.
It might be fun, exciting - a real adventure.
"You never know unless you try and you regret never seeing what happens."
6. Our Desire to be Liked: "I thought you were a real player. And so did everyone else.
Come on, nobody likes it when a person backs out...this can be your chance to prove what you're made of."
7. Love: "If you loved me you wouldn't question me.
Of course I have only your best interests at heart.
I wouldn't lie to you. You know that deep down inside, don't you?
We can have a wonderful relationship if you'd only let yourself go and experience the wonders that the future will deliver to us."
Look and listen objectively--not only to the words but also to the message.The abusive maneuvers interfere with your ability to digest facts. When these emotions creep into your thinking, temporarily suspend your feelings and look at the messenger as well as the message.
If you hear anything that sounds like these manipulators, stop and reevaluate the situation. Don't ever act quickly and emotionally. Wait and objectively gather the facts so you don't become a hand puppet.