Due to the over use of the so-called “golden rule,” the topic of manipulation is considered a wicked practice. The common person thinks, “I wouldn’t like to be manipulated, so why would I do the same to others?” While I fully understand this thinking, I’d like to propose an alternative view: Equally so, no one wants to be the victim of violence, yet many chose to study self defense. Likewise, one should fully understand manipulation in order to combat negative influences.
Taking command of one’s circumstances, through manipulation
When we allow someone to command or control us, we lose a bit of our personal sovereignty. This, to me, is a terrible state. After all, one’s personal liberty and freedom is our true Individual Nature.
Standing firm, for one’s own beliefs, is a good idea, but in certain circumstances (such as work), there are limits to one’s personal sovereignty. An employer may talk down to us, or be dismissive. Being too direct to one’s the boss will lead only to one’s firing.
There is another approach, an approach considered dark by the sheep of society – the Art of Manipulation. Instead of confronting an employer, the manager, boss or co-worker can be manipulated into one’s personal alignment.
Stand Your Ground
Expressing rage, leaves one in the control of another. One becomes the slave of the person who upset them. A friend, family member, boss, they may lash out, but in doing so, they give up their personal sovereignty to you (as long as you remain in control).
Remaining detached from an emotional reaction is paramount. Loosing control, looses one’s self. Being in the present moment is key. The present moment is often misunderstood. Most people think they are in the present moment, when in fact they are caught up in their mental past or future worries.
Observing the one lashing out, as they are in this moment, they become likened to a tiger in a cage. Unable to physically harm, they growl, scream and yell. They are in a cage of their own emotions, become the warden of their imprisonment by detaching from reaction.
Taking the Offensive
The Subtle Warrior
Enemies surround us. From the egotistical boss, the jealous co-worker, the bigoted family member or the chastising religious zealot. You can be defensive and stand your ground, or you can create your own plan of attack.
Our attack is not physical, but mental. Everyone has a mental weakness, a flaw that once exposed can lead to their downfall. An angry manager can be tricked into submission by simply running a campaign of psychological manipulation.
Being aware of Manipulators
If you chose to route of the pacifist, not seeking to engage in defense against the wicked, that’s your choice. However, if you chose to remain an Individual, focused on personal liberty and your own sovereignty, then one must understand manipulation.
Even if you don’t wish to engage in psychological Offensive or Defensive campaigns, to know how manipulation works is a great talent. One is less prone to social manipulation when they know how to perceive the threat.
News, social media, advertising… it’s all attempting to manipulate us. In Ryan Holiday’s work “Trust me, I’m lying,” he outlines media manipulation all too well.
A read of “48 Laws of Power,” may seem dark for some, yet it holds the keys to spotting the manipulator. Their hidden premises are laid bare and a person can make better decisions knowing what’s at stake.
In short, manipulation, like self defense, is not an evil act. The act itself is a skill that can be used for mental self defense, mental offensive or social awareness.