People with a low self-esteem can be easily manipulated because of their need for affirmation.
A girl gets pregnant and user the pregnancy to arm twist a man into marrying her. A man is caught cheating and from that day on, he has no voice in his marriage. In the Bible, one woman went as far as getting herself pregnant by her father-in-law to force him to let her marry his young son. Manipulation is our topic discussion today.
It is defined as the skilful handling, controlling, or using of something or someone to achieve a desired goal. The root idea in the definition is a neutral one, like manipulating a piece of clay to produce what you want. You can manipulate it into any shape, smash it if you are not happy with the product, and make it into something totally different to suit your needs. People who are manipulators behave much same way – they seek to control and use others for their own benefit. The antithesis of manipulation is persuasion, the art of selling an idea or a view and seeking to influence people to follow you. So, where do we draw the line between the two? Two important things distinguish between them.
- The first is intention, the motivation behind an action. The aim of manipulating is to control and use others to reach a personal end, usually at their expense. Persuasion, however, seeks to draw others to a given point of view and thus influence them to change their attitudes, behavior, or values.
- Second, from intention comes method, the means by which the said goal is achieved. Manipulators will use the weakness of others, distort facts, and/or create fear to achieve their ends. Persuasion will employ tactics such as reasoned arguments using facts, open discussions, and even impassioned pleas where necessary.
Why people are easily manipulated and how you can avoid being manipulated
Be wary of people:
As Aristotle taught, we are convinced more easily to think or believe that the person speaking to us is credible, sometimes paying little attention to the content. So, in case we have wrong information or if we do not have enough information about the person, we may end up in the deep end, with pain and regrets. In relationships, my advice is for you to be wary of potential partners – not afraid but careful. Take time with people because, although love at first has been known to produce great relationships, the risks are very high. Allow the thee to fall before diving in.