What is manipulation and how do I recognize it?

Deepak Chopra
Alternative & Complementary Medicine
Manipulation is getting what you want by ignoring or harming the desires of others. Manipulators use charm, persuasion, coaxing, trickery, and misdirection. The underlying idea is "I have to fool people to make them give me what I want." When they are really caught up in their ploys, manipulators even imagine that they are doing their victims a favor -- after all, who wouldn't feel good helping out a guy who's so entertaining?

You can catch yourself falling into this behavior when you aren't listening to other people, when you ignore what they want and when you pretend that your desires cost nobody else a price. There are also external signs. The presence of a manipulator brings tension, strain, complaints and conflict to a situation. Some people use passive manipulations -- they come up with "poor me" scenarios to coax sympathy and pity out of others. Or they lay subtle guilt trips with the aim of making others think that what they want is wrong.

Manipulation comes to an end when you stop assuming that your desires are all-important. Then you can reconnect with others and begin to trust that their desires might be aligned with yours. When there is no manipulation, people feel that what they want counts.They trust that you are on their side; you aren't seen as a performer or salesperson. No one feels that he or she is being fooled.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.