Protect yourself from manipulation

Comment: Interesting read to protect self from manipulation. More comments below

How to Manipulate People

  • Emotion vs. Logic: The easiest way to manipulate people—especially Americans—is by playing on their emotions. If you let people think too much they're more likely to make a logical choice. If you can guide them to feel a certain way—a way that benefits you—you'll have a much easier time getting what you want. This is what emotional manipulation is all about.
  • Master Your Own Emotions: Ideally your target won't have an exceptional amount of control over their emotions, but that doesn't mean you get to be lazy. A master manipulator needs to be able to act. Shedding a tear when it suits your needs or losing yourself in a fit of rage are both important skills you'll want to master. Whether you want to incite fear, sympathy, or anything else will depend on the situation, so it's important to master your own emotions so you'll have the proper tools for the task at hand.
  • Be Charming and Flirt Often: But you can't just cry and throw tantrums whenever you want something—people have to like you. Charm is an important part of manipulating people. If you're ridiculously likable most of the time, when you react with extreme emotion it'll have a greater impact. Having control over your emotions also involves keeping them in check most of the time and not just being able to act.

    Charm is great, but when you can flirt you should. Because manipulation generally makes the target feel poorly, whether they understand that they're being manipulated or not, the more they like you the better. Disregard the boundaries of your own sexuality and throw in some suggestive touches when you think they'll be effective. This tactic is especially effective with people who are lonely and have low self-esteem.
  • Overcome Trust Issues and Heal Doubt: People who've been manipulated a number of times before are generally on the lookout for this kind of behavior and don't trust people easily, so you need to watch for signs. If you believe trust is an issue, the quickest way around that problem is to share something very personal and very private with the target. It's always best if it's relevant to them, or if they feel you trust them enough to confide something so personal. It's not important that your story is true, but that they believe it. Again, acting is key.
  • Conceal Evil in Altruism: You have to seem like a good person, even if you're not. If you ever need to take a negative action like criticizing behavior, blaming another person (whether it's their fault or yours), or even yelling at the target, you should always find a way to wrap it in altruism. It can be very hard to hate an altruist and so it's very effective to paint yourself as one. For example, if you yell at your target for not doing something you wanted, it's better to frame the outburst as a means of helping them. You can apologize for the outburst and tell them you felt they weren't acting in their best interest. You're sorry you got so emotional, but you care about them and want the best for them and it scares you to think that they don't have their best interests at heart. On the other side of the coin, when criticizing someone else's behavior, remind the target that you're there for them no matter what horrible thing someone else does. Always ask how you can help rather than simply criticize what others do.

  • Sounds like the author has been scammed before and has learned a few things
  • My own "on guard" techniques:
    • As a Christian the Bible is the inspired, inerrant Word of God. I'm not a scholar but I am a student. I've learned to test all things!
    • I do not make spur of the moment financial decisions.
    • I do not welcome door to door or phone solicitations (see My no soliciting sign.) Comments:
      • If it is the little girl or boy from up the street raising money for the Scouts ... I'm good with that (and help them out)
      • A certain Bible college that I give to annually calls me annually. I'm good with that too!
    • I am leery of preachers who use emotional appeals. I've never seen this at my current church!
    • Before I give money I check the organization out. If they haven't filed a 990 with the IRS and are not found on guidestar.org I won't give to that organization. (My church is exempt from this rule!) For an organization that meets that requirement and that we've given to this year consider Baptists for Haiti or Metro Womens Center. Both may be found on guidestar.org and both have filed 990's (you need to register for Guidestar (which is free) to view this data)
    • Before I buy (major purchases) I research, research, research. And price shop.
    • Investing. I check out the stock on finance.yahoo.com. I track in a watch list there (many other sites have the same functionality). Right now I am tracking about 100 dividend paying stocks (that are potential targets). I will never buy all of them but am tracking them all. Right now I have 6 stocks that are on my to-buy list. Top of that list right now is DuPont. I'm saving up to buy 100 shares. But that stock has been on my watch list for all of 2010.
    • I've learned to say "no" and be emphatic about it.
  • Three stories
    • Helping a widow buy a car. This goes way back to when I was in college. A widow woman needed a new car and enlisted my help. She wanted a 1971 Pontiac Ventura. I was living in Cincinnati at the time. I called every Pontiac dealership and basically negotiated the best price I could over the phone. I went with her to a dealership in Northern Kentucky and sealed the deal between them. I saved her well over a thousand dollars. This is much easier today with the Internet. I bought my last car from a dealership in Rice Lake Wisconsin. I had researched and price searched for several months. When I reached the deal, I put $ 100 down on my Visa, drove over on a Saturday and picked it up.
    • The vacuum cleaner salesman: (never let these guys in the door! (Do they even still do this?)). My wife had a vacuum cleaner salesman come to the house. I really wasn't that interested but we did need a new vacuum cleaner. I let the guy go through his whole song and dance. Kathee wanted it. I just flat out said "no" and he left. I called around using the Yellow Pages and found the same thing (same brand and model) at 50% of what the door to door guy wanted. Kathee was happy and I saved some money!
    • We were in Branson, Missouri for a week. Kathee was at the grocery store and bought some cheap show tickets (I think to Andy Williams). The hitch was that we had to sit through a 45 min time share presentation. I wasn't pleased by this but went along to what she had agreed to. I told the salesman right up front that there was no way I would buy a time share. I kept that up for the whole 45 minutes. He was red faced and angry at me but no means no. (I told Kathee ... never again will we go to a time share presentation ... I don't care what they are giving us!)

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