Psychology says manipulation is directly influencing someone’s beliefs, desires, or emotions, such that a person falls short of ideals for belief, desire, or emotion in ways typically not in his/her self-interest or likely not as per the situation in the current context.”
Manipulation is an art or perhaps even a pseudo-science, may be a dark science to an extent. History is replete with examples of manipulation.
Is it good or bad?
Thanks to the digital connectivity sharing information is a cakewalk in today’s fast-paced life. But this same connectivity also helps in manipulating the public perception of reality through ‘fake news’. But manipulation can be positive or negative depending upon whether it takes the form of persuasion or coercion.
Persuasion is about getting people to do things they want to do whereas Coercion is about getting people to do things they don’t want to do. Inspiring or encouraging a person to do something that can be beneficial for him if he is afraid of doing is called good manipulation.
While using somebody for your own self motives with primary means to hurt that individual whom one is using is bad manipulation.
Positive manipulation motivates employees to achieve their goals thereby improving organizational performance.
Using negative manipulation, manipulator twist words, play on emotions and manage a situation in a sneaky fashion to get what he wants. This kills the confidence of the person being manipulated.
What goes on in the mind of a manipulator? Psychological reasons behind the manipulation.
Delhi’s Top Psychologist, Marriage Counsellor and Founder of Saarthi Counselling Services, Shivani Misri Sadhoo tells us the reasons behind the manipulation. They are as follows:
Narcissistic Mentality: Manipulators usually suffer from a narcissistic personality disorder which is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance and the deep need for admiration. They consider that they are better than others. They are not concerned about how others feel. Individuals with narcissistic personality (NPD) may find it difficult to form close relationships. So, they may resort to manipulation to maintain a good relationship with their partners.
It’s In Their Family: Sometimes manipulators have a difficult childhood wherein they are deprived of love and affection, status and privilege from their family members. Sometimes they struggle for economic and social survival. This is what turns them into manipulators.
It’s In Their Genes: Manipulative behavior can be hereditary too.
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD): BPD might help manipulators to satisfy their emotional needs or for obtaining validation. This happens because such manipulators feel insecure or abandoned.
Give Me Power: Manipulators love the feeling of being powerful. They love to control people and situations. They want to be the king and be in charge of everything.
Lack Of Consciousness: This is another reason for being manipulative. They believe that the only way to achieve their goal in this ‘unsafe world’ is by manipulation.)
Last but not least, whatever the psychology behind manipulation is, manipulators can change for the better. They just need the right guidance for that to overcome that negative trait which becomes a part of their life.