Manipulation is often seen as a negative action meant to fool, trick, or otherwise convince someone into doing something they might never do on their own. But the unfortunate part about manipulation is that everyone does it to some extent. HOW we do it though is what separates the more negative connotations from those that are deemed as acceptable. In fact to differentiate between the two people will often use the term ‘persuasion’ to describe a more favorable method of getting someone to do something or see a certain point of view so as to give a more positive outlook on what they’re trying to do.
The saddening part about this is that both can be negative or positive, it depends solely on the actions and the intent of the individual that is running the manipulation.
Parents do this to kids all the time, and as kids get older, they learn how to do it to their parents.
The dynamic between a child and their parent has a lot to do with what the child learns as they grow. If they are taught to be manipulative then they will learn how to make it work to their advantage and discover new ways to manipulate their parents into getting what they want for good or ill. The goal for many is to teach their kids that while manipulation and persuasion are not always intended for personal gain or convenience they are useful in opening a person’s mind to see a new perspective. How one goes about it however, and their ultimate goal, is what makes it good or bad.
For instance, if an adolescent that’s been taught how to use reverse psychology to get what they want uses such a skill for personal gain it can often lead to results that are not entirely negative but are rather selfish and even a bit duplicitous. On the other hand, if they use such a technique to aid another in some way then it can be an overwhelmingly positive act.
We manipulate others without even realizing it at times.
Whether it’s a conscious effort or not a lot of people will go through their day enacting several smaller manipulations that will hardly ever be noticed as they tend to be mundane and quite common. It could be the way we work with others, the interactions we have during our normal day, or just the manner in which we speak to people that allows us to manipulate how they’ll react and possibly what they will think. Such manipulations/persuasions are often taken for granted unless they’re deliberately made to insure that someone else will take your perspective into account or possibly do something you need.
Manipulation is everywhere around us, as it’s a part of our daily life. But whether it’s positive or negative has more to do with the person committing the act than the act itself.