Manipulation and Decision Making
By Motivational Keynote Speaker Maja Kazazic
Manipulation is all around us, and we all manipulate in some ways with pretense notion of “we know better”. Many times, these tiny bits of healthy manipulation are ok, but there are times, when manipulation crosses a boundary and creates major problems and often health issues.
Have you ever found yourself in the situation where you are agreeing or disagreeing to go along with something but your gut feeling is telling you otherwise? Your gut, or “second brain” as it’s often called, is giving you a signal that something is not right. Usually this is a very good sign that you have been manipulated into thinking, feeling, doing, not doing something.
As we face manipulation in our daily lives we have to be able to differentiate between “good” and bad manipulation. Good manipulation is when your boss, husband or wife “manipulate” you into doing something you otherwise may have not done without their support because you were doubting yourself. For example, you want that promotion, you know you deserve it, you know you can do it but you are afraid to let go of the old and familiar. So your husband or wife step in and “make you realize” why you should do this and sometimes make you an offer you can’t refuse — like, if you take this job I will fly you to Europe! (Although this falls more into realm of bribery, which is a whole other article!) But you get the gist……even thought they may have manipulated you into taking this job, it was really a good thing. We often do this with children because we know better and will manipulate them into trying new and different things to help them explore, learn and experience the world, so they are able to reach their full potential.
But bad manipulation is when you are getting similar advice but the person giving it to you has ulterior motive. Usually you are not aware of this ulterior motive until it’s too late. Some people are chronic and habitual manipulators not even aware of their own behavior. It happens constantly and so naturally that even those best at spotting manipulators are going to get burnt.
How do you know the difference between the good and bad manipulation?
It’s easy…..your gut!!! Your second brain will tell you when you are bing manipulated for the wrong reasons. To protect yourself always listen to your gut feeling. Like 6th sense, it’s telling you something about the situation that you need to be aware, and instead of suppressing it and powering through.
How to deal with manipulators?
The best way to deal with manipulators is to remove them from your life. This is because manipulators (especially chronic and habitual manipulators) are doing this constantly and so naturally that it would take you years to figure out “their angle”. And even if you could figure it out in timely fashion, it will likely be too late. But let’s assume that by some miracle you can figure this out, you would end up wasting your precious life into figuring if someone is trying to manipulate you or not. Figuring this out takes enormous amount of energy and time. You would have to rewire your brain to think completely differently — it’s right down exhausting. Who wants to live like that? So the best thing is to get these people out of your life and surround yourself with a great support and replacement for them.
But there are times where you don’t have a choice exact to deal with manipulators. Maybe you work with them, maybe you are married to them and divorce is not an option, or perhaps it’s your ex and you two have a lot of co-parenting to do.
In these cases you HAVE to rely on your gut feeling and the moment something seems off, stop and reevaluate the situation. (By the way, don’t confuse natural butterflies in your stomach for “bad gut feeling”.) You know that saying, “if something is too good to be true, it probably is”? Well, I have another saying, “if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t”. No-one can force you to do anything, including make quick and rash decisions. Take your time to think about why and what your gut is telling you. Once you figure it out, get creative and think of ways to accomplish your goal in a nice manner. There are always ways to accomplish goals without hurting any party involved — that includes YOU too! Be rational, non-emotional, factual and fair, and most of all, stand your ground. Like a bully, after a while, manipulators learn and move on.
You want to see something really cool?
Manipulation is a part of our daily lives. We have never been more manipulated into thinking a certain way like we have today. And to prove this, check out Darren Brown’s video about Subliminal Advertising. It will blow your mind…..video is about 6min, but well worth it. And after you watch it SHOPPING WILL NEVER BE THE SAME!
If you have questions or comments please don’t hesitate to reach out. I’d love to know your thoughts.
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