The Pros and Cons of Manipulation

By

The Pros and Cons of Manipulation
Everyone manipulates. It's one of the first things we learn to do. But does it have a downside?

Sometimes we manipulate before we think.  Before we even know exactly what we want, or evaluate the possibility of asking for it directly, we go right to the habit of manipulation.  This can lead to assumptions about one another that corrode the relationship.  Complaining, abusive criticism, guilt tripping, and other indirect versions of manipulation can become habitual in a relationship.  Another layer of the power struggle develops even though we did not intend it.  All because we were too casual about our use of manipulation, emotional blackmail, or intimidation.
It doesn’t always satisfy.  If I got you to say that you love me by manipulation, and I know that's how I did it, even if you don’t, do I really trust that you love me?  If you bought the car because of my sneaky sales pitch, will you ever buy another car from me?  If I got what I wanted, but the price was a sense of mistrust and secrecy, is that really what I wanted?

Testing a partner’s love through manipulation is probably very tempting, especially in the early stages of a relationship, when it may feel very risky to admit what I am feeling and what I want.  But it sets up an indirect and often unconscious power struggle that can have negative repercussions for the future of the relationship.

Assertive Communication, asking clearly and honestly for what I want, has several advantages over manipulation.  First of all, it requires me to be clear and honest with myself about what I want.  More on assertiveness in future articles or on my website at www.Change-for-Good.org.

Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Brock Hansen

YourTango Expert Partner

Brock Hansen, LICSW

www.change-for-good.org

BrockHansenLCSW@aol.com

Location: Washington, DC
Credentials: LICSW, MSW
Specialties: Anxiety Issues, Depression, Eating & Food Issues
Other Articles/News by Brock Hansen:

Habits of Loneliness

By

Loneliness is usually considered to be the emotional effect of a life situation, the situation of being isolated, rejected, or abandoned. But most of us have experienced feeling lonely in a crowd, or being entirely content when we're all by ourselves. So the emotion we experience as loneliness in adulthood is actually independent of whether we're ... Read more

Bullying In The Workplace: Tips & Coping Advice

By

Over a third of workers have experienced bullying or harassment at their jobs, according to studies by Gary and Ruth Namie of the Workplace Bullying Institute. If you include another 12 percent of workers who have witnessed bullying, almost half of workers are affected by emotional abuse at work. In their book, The Bully at Work, the Namies describe a ... Read more

Coping with Bullying in the Workplace [EXPERT]

By

Over a third of workers have experienced bullying or harassment at their jobs, according to studies by Gary and Ruth Namie of the Workplace Bullying Institute. If you include another 12 percent of workers who have witnessed bullying, almost half of workers are affected by emotional abuse at work. In their book, The Bully at Work, the Namies describe a hard ... Read more

See More

PARTNER POSTS
Latest Expert Videos
Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.

Most Popular