A convincing argument is NOT the same as manipulation. Manipulation
a) an shrewd action or statement for your own advantage.
b) a devious action or statement for your own advantage.
Manipulation can come after careful thought OR as a fearful reaction,
Unplanned manipulation, which occurs when we feel threatened, is
usually the kind that we feel bad about later.
When a manipulative action has been planned, usually we feel quite
righteous and justified about it.
You can see when some children argue, that they say things like "I
won't be your friend anymore if...", this is manipulation, by way of what
many adults call emotional blackmail.
Convincing someone with true facts and information, is not
manipulation. Unless you are consciously targeting their emotional and
When you feel someone else is being manipulated.
When you feel that someone else is being manipulated by another, there
is usually little you can do about it other than try to talk to one or the
other party involved.
Everyone is entitled to make up their own mind, to make their own
actions and to live with the consequences of it.
There is nothing wrong in stating your concerns, if appropriate.
When you feel someone is manipulating you.
When you feel that someone is manipulating you, it can make you feel
quite resentful and angry. Like your hands are tied and that you can't
really do anything other than go along with it. The repercussions of
standing up for what you believe in can be worrying, can make you feel
afraid or concerned. So much so that often we feel it is better just to
let things run their course.
Unfortunately as your resentment, anger and sense of unsettlement
increase, the more likely there will be a more truthful reaction from you
later. (which in turn will mean you will have to face those repercussions
anyway.) It's a little like pressure building up in a tube.
So it is better to think about the reasons why this other person does
have this kind of hold on you, and ask yourself is it emotionally healthy
that you don't feel you have any choice?
Rather than get angry at the manipulator, it may be helpful to
understand that they are really afraid of something. The most passive way
to ease the situation is to start asking them questions. Questions such as
"Why is this so important to you", "Why do you think that THIS will work",
"What will you feel if I do things your way" and if the
relationship/friendship is a good one, don't be afraid to come right out
and say "Is this for your benefit, or for mine?"
A manipulator will be very convincing and will try to make out that
they are thinking of you. "But you want this", "But you like it", "It'll
be good for you".
The important thing is to go with what YOU truly feel is best for you.
Don't be afraid to stand your ground, you may NOT get what you want
either, but to make a move solely to please another will not be fulfilling
in the long term.
When the manipulator gets what they want, they feel a sense of victory.
They have found out your triggers, and will continue to use those
triggers to their advantage for as long as they need to.
When the manipulator doesn't get what they want, they will resort to
more shrewd or devious bouts of behaviour.
A manipulator doesn't want to loose their control. So they will take
whatever actions, and say whatever they feel they need to say in order to
retain some hold on the situation.
Often this stems from an insecurity within themselves.
The other thing is, often the manipulator won't actually be aware that
what they are doing or saying is wrong. They definitely won't admit to any
acts of manipulation at the time they are doing it.