How to learn how to manipulate people: a practical guide
Writer by profession, at heart a philosopher. Exploring the topic of psychology, esoterics, I am a consultant on the archetypes of personality. Almost 10 years of freelance work.
Each of us has faced situations when we wanted to influence the opinion of the interlocutor: to persuade him in his own rightness, to hear “yes” in response to the request, to achieve the desired result. There are many psychological techniques and techniques that describe how to manipulate people. In this article, let’s examine how ethical it is to others and safe for the manipulator himself.
Manipulation-Good or Bad
Ethically speaking, manipulation is a violent tactic of subjugation and control. By definition it implies foul play, lying, ulterior motives, and the fulfillment of one person’s desires at the expense of another person’s interests. One person stands to gain and the other feels cheated.
The dark side of manipulation is its characteristic of many people with mental disorders, who are constantly on the lookout for new victims for their influence. Canadian professor Robert Hare, who specializes in the psychology of criminals, calls such manipulators psychopaths.
But despite all this, human manipulation is not always negative and harmful. For example, one pulmonologist started sending his long-term smoking patients to a cancer center. As he explained to them, it was required for additional examinations. Seeing patients dying of lung cancer at the center, many patients voluntarily decided to quit smoking. Which is what the pulmonologist was really aiming for.
Was it pressure manipulation? Undoubtedly. But if the doctor had simply used persuasion, it is unlikely that the results were successful.
Psychology admits that manipulation can be neutral and harmless, but only if certain conditions are met:
- If it is not coercive and does not harm the interests of the person at whom it is directed.
- Respects the individual’s right to accept or reject the influence.
As in the case of the patients-smokers, the doctor did not force them to give up their bad habit, but gave them the right to choose.
Thus, psychological manipulation can be compared to a kitchen knife. It is possible to cut cheese with it, but it is also possible to injure a person or hurt oneself. It all depends on the purpose of use.
In order to use manipulation to your advantage in the most environmentally friendly way possible, you have to have a goal in mind. What do you need to use influence for? If you want your spouse’s obedience or your colleagues’ unquestioning respect, it’s like violence, and there are no winners.
Here are examples of appropriate and safe goals:
- Parenting. Most often used in communications between parents and children. The mother says to the baby, “If you do not put on a hat, you can catch a cold and we will not go to the park. This is an example of manipulation to stay healthy.
- Financial gain. When the head of the company threatens to fire negligent employees if they do not take care of business. In this way he acts for the good of his business, because if he turns a blind eye to negligence, the company may collapse. A financial purpose is also pursued in family life, when the wife, instead of directly asking for a new dress, begins to complain regularly about an empty closet.
- Delegation. To get the husband to take some of the chores around the house, the spouse pretends to be very tired. Or she praises him for his profound knowledge of physics in order that he helped her son with his homework instead of her. The same technique can be used in relation to colleagues in order to relieve themselves of some of the routine work.
Thus, in order not to be reputed as a manipulative despot and not to alienate people around you, it is better to set single and specific goals that serve the common good and will not contradict someone else’s interests.
How to manipulate people with words
Let’s find out what psychologists and coaches recommend in order to properly and harmlessly push a person to some beneficial action or decision for you, using speech traps.
To get something insignificant, ask for something difficult to do first. For example, if you first ask for a loan of 20 000 rubles, and after seeing the shocked face of the interlocutor, reduce the request to 2 000, it is highly likely that the smaller amount you will still give.
Another example. The boss asks his subordinate to work three hours more than usual for the next few months. And then he sort of catches up and says that at least tomorrow you should stay late. Most likely, the employee might even find the second way out, since there would be no objection.
Choice without choice
This tactic is often used in trading. For example, the question “Will you pay by card or cash?” or “Take this cream or that?” as if the purchase itself is not discussed, the sales assistant has already decided the issue for the buyer. Or another option: “It would be more convenient for you to sign the contract in our office (25 km from the client’s home), or better to invite the courier to you?
This trick can be successfully implemented in the field of education of children: “What hat will you wear – yellow or blue?”, “You will have rice porridge or semolina?”, “Will you start your lessons now or in half an hour?” etc.
Another example of mild manipulation is when the conjunction “if…, then” is used:
- if you do the dishes, you can go for a walk;
- If you finish your report today, you can leave an hour early tomorrow;
- if you do this assignment, you’ll understand the meaning of what I was saying;
- if you help me with the baby today, you can go fishing on Sunday;
- if you go shopping on Thursday, you can take the weekend off from such worries.
The rule of three “yeses.”
The human brain works by inertia. You may have noticed that saying no the second time is much easier than the first time. It works the other way as well. If you ask a person two times a question to which he is sure to answer in the affirmative, it will be easier to get a “yes” from him on the third question.
– Isn’t it true that long-term cooperation at a reasonable price is much more profitable than a one-time, but for a lot of money?
– Our specialists provide comprehensive support at all stages of cooperation. Do you agree, this is better than getting recommendations at the start and proceeding to the result yourself?
– Let’s conclude a contract for long-term cooperation and find individual terms for you.
Most likely, the potential client will agree. But if the consultant would offer to conclude a contract right away, the probability of refusal has increased.
By the way, this technique works not only with sequential questions. You can ask any question, even if it’s not about the future request, and then say it yourself.
Clear, understandable, obvious.
If you use such words in the dialogue more often, even controversial things begin to look more logical and convincing in the eyes of the interlocutor.
For example: “Obviously, this article needs to be read to the end.” It gives the impression that if you do not finish reading it, you can miss something important.
The phrase, “It’s clear that successful people work on their communication skills the most,” will automatically cause most to agree internally.
Remember how your curiosity grew when an episode of your favorite show ended in the most interesting place? A person’s attention is drawn to an incomplete phrase or unfinished action.
An example of such a “clue”: “I think it is too early to discuss our special conditions, because we only disclose them to existing clients.
Operating with the “not” particle
Psychology and socionics claim that our brain does not perceive the “not” particle, while the subconscious mind treats it aggressively. Remember how much advice like “don’t worry”, “don’t take it personally”, “don’t take it personally” helped you. Children who constantly hear that they should not run in puddles, in 99% of cases they will run in them.
Applied to manipulation, this can be used as follows: “If I ask too late, don’t do it.” The person is likely to do it. Another example: “If it’s too hard for you, you don’t have to help me,” etc.
The modal operator “may.”
If you replace an order with a request using the possibility operator, the percentage of consents can be significantly increased.
For example, instead of “Go to the next department,” it is more appropriate to ask, “Can you go to the next department?” The colleague is likely to agree.
Instead of asking an uncomfortable question directly, tentatively say, “Can I ask you a question?” The interlocutor’s loyalty will increase.
If during conflicts, say something nice to your opponent or partially agree with his arguments, the dispute will move to a softer channel.
For example, in a moment of attacking the boss, say that you respect his desire to take the business to the next level and generally agree with the comments. You can then correctly state your corrections.
Mirror back and agree.
In order to accommodate the interlocutor and thereby create a favorable basis for a further request, repeat the turns of phrase he uses. So you show your similarity and increase unconscious trust.
To enhance the effect, nod more often, as if in agreement with what your opponent says.
How to learn manipulation in communication
To use the techniques of manipulation and achieve the desired goals in professional and everyday life, you need to be able to subtly discern feelings and emotions of others, to detect lies, ulterior motives, as well as be able to stand up to manipulation. This is exactly what is taught on the course Profiling: Understanding the Psychology of People on the 4brain platform.
This is a 5-week online program consisting of 20 lessons of 30 to 40 minutes each. The course will be useful not only to those whose professions involve psychology of people, but also to everyone who wants to better understand their relatives, friends, bosses, new acquaintances, as well as to make them comfortable and achieve their goals.
Now the course is at a 34% discount and costs only 1,990 rubles.
In addition, I want to offer you some interesting books:
As you can see, it is quite easy to learn how to manipulate other people, thereby promoting their loyal attitude to themselves and pushing to favorable for themselves actions or decisions. But you should also be prepared for the consequences of such influence.
First, subconsciously a person will understand that he was deceived and forced to do what he initially did not want. What can follow? Distrust, disengagement, disappointment. Do you really want these consequences when it comes to loved ones and friends?
In addition, if the first time you were able to achieve satisfaction of his interests, the next attempt could fail. Imagine you convinced the boss to let you go on vacation outside of the schedule. He had to rush to find a replacement, to deal with the additional red tape. He will regret that he was at your behest, draw conclusions and will not allow this in the future, whatever manipulation you used.
Manipulate consciously and think about how your actions are safe for others. And here about how not to get caught in the net of manipulators, I wrote in a separate article.
How to manage people – developing a skill for all occasions
Greetings, dear readers! I remember when I was a child, when I was about 11 years old, I really wanted my parents to give me a game console Dandy. I couldn’t think of any other way to get the desired gift, except to beg and grovel every day. My parents were angry, but finally after six months they gave me the coveted set-top box.
Then, when I grew up, I again faced the problem of how to get what I wanted from my husband, children, and colleagues at work. It was no use begging them or asking them 1000 times to do what I wanted. Then I decided to learn the art of manipulation. Imagine, it can be taught! Do you want to know how to manipulate people? Then keep reading! I have collected for you the most interesting techniques and techniques of manipulation.
What is “manipulation” and where is it taught?
Let’s begin by understanding what it means to manipulate people. In psychology, manipulation is understood as a process of social and psychological influence on a person in order to influence his or her behavior or change his or her perception of the world.
This influence is usually hidden. The person usually does not realize that he or she performs some actions not of his or her own free will, but the will of the manipulator. For example, we are influenced daily by societal standards, advertising, political propaganda and agitation, and criticism. Under their influence, most people make the appropriate decisions and behave as the manipulators want them to.
The victim of manipulation is unaware that he or she is being influenced. They do things against their own will and desire. The goal of the manipulator is always to get the desired result.
However, these goals are not always bad or self-serving. For example, psychologists use hypnosis to help people cope with severe psychological conditions. Parents influence a child for educational purposes; a teacher uses manipulation on students to get them to learn lessons.
The art of managing people will not only help you achieve your goals, but also avoid conflicts, recognize the tricks of manipulators and protect yourself from them. So where to learn this skill? There are 2 ways:
On the Internet you can find a huge number of trainings that promise to teach the art of controlling people and ways to protect against manipulation. These trainings, of course, are not free. But they will give you unique knowledge and techniques that other trainers do not possess. And hurry up! After all, the last place left (or tape closes in 2 days, or 40% discount is valid until tomorrow)!
Most often this kind of manipulation is used in advertising for training, which is designed to teach you to defend yourself against manipulation. How it works – the unique value of the knowledge that he will receive on the course is prescribed to the user, and then he is limited in time to think and make a decision. You’re already interested, and of course you don’t want to miss out on the last spot or the day or the discount.
As a result, you make the purchase. The manipulator has succeeded. But whether you get the cherished and promised result – not a fact!
Information on managing people is also contained in special books. Some books can be read for free online. Others you will have to look for on the shelves in a store or library. Here are examples of such books:
- Sigmund Freud’s The Analysis of the Human Self and the Psychology of the Masses;
- В. V. Schlachter, S. Y. Holnov, “The Art of Dominance;
- В. P. “The Art of Controlling People”;
- Henrik Fexeus “How to read other people’s minds and manage them”;
- Р. V. Levin “Mechanisms of Manipulation. Protection against another’s influence.
But is only theoretical knowledge enough to successfully apply it in practice and psychologically influence others? Or does the manipulator himself must possess a certain set of qualities?
Characteristics of a manipulator
Among public figures, politicians, public figures, famous bloggers, “stars” of the stage are manipulators to varying degrees. Each of them has their own goals (to win an election, to get a full house, etc.).
Many achieve success precisely by influencing those around them. All manipulators have the following qualities.
- Can be persuasive. Manipulator firmly convinced of his position and can easily convince other people. Or, deliberately deceiving the “victim”, he will apply all his acting skills and again convince him of his rightness. If you want to become a leader – develop a gift of persuasion.
- Charismatic . This ability to create a positive atmosphere around you, make people like you, the right to have the conversation and eventually get what you want. It is great if you are born charismatic person. If not, do not worry. We have already prepared for you an article on how to develop charisma.
- Eloquent . Most famous speakers are manipulators. Watch their speeches and pay attention to how they address the audience, how they behave on stage, how the performance itself is constructed. One way or another, every speaker seeks to “sell himself,” his product or service, using various psychological techniques.
- He is well versed in the psychology of people. Manipulator, first of all, assesses the potential victim from the psychological side. Examines its strengths and weaknesses, evaluates the emotional state. Finding a weakness, he will hit exactly there to achieve the desired result. In this case, the manipulator will not risk to contact a strong, self-sufficient, harmonious and psychologically stable person.
As you see, before you start studying the methods of managing people, you should first study yourself, your strengths and weaknesses, work on your charisma, eloquence and tighten your knowledge in the field of human psychology.
Methods of psychological influence
There are a large number of methods for influencing a person’s consciousness. They can all be grouped into 3 groups.
- Influence on emotions and points of influence.
- Techniques of intellectual influence.
Hypnosis is the most effective method that has a direct impact on the human psyche. A specialist puts a person into a constricted state of consciousness, when you can easily control his behavior, to inspire a thought or attitude.
This method helps to cope with a person’s psycho-emotional disorders. Only professionals with great experience should apply this technique, solely to help a person, to inspire him with the right attitudes and to bring him out of hypnosis without harm to the psyche.
Another interesting method of influencing the mind is neurolinguistic programming (NLP). It allows you to manipulate people with words, gestures and facial expressions. NLP is based on knowledge from psychotherapy, linguistics, and programming.
Despite the fact that the scientific community criticizes this method of influence, such techniques are successfully used and can achieve the desired result. In particular, to make a sale, successfully negotiate, to get classified information from a recalcitrant person, to get a promotion at work, to dispose of other people, etc.
Influence on emotions and points of influence.
Psychology of management in general is based on managing emotions of a person, his physiological needs. In this case, just cause a person a certain emotion, which will prompt him to take the action you need. I will describe the basic emotions that are usually influenced by the manipulator.
- Fear . Many manipulators use this convenient emotion. They simply intimidate the person. They convince him that he will either be punished or lose something dear to him if he doesn’t do what is demanded of him. For example, many parents often threaten a child that they will put him in a corner or take away his favorite toy if he will not listen to them. Or another example: a supervisor threatens employees that he will not give them a bonus if they do not fulfill the plan. This is a rather primitive way of influencing, which will result in the victim hating the manipulator.
- Greed . No special talent of influence is needed in this case. The manipulator simply convinces the victim that they will get something very desirable that they have long dreamed of if they do a certain thing. Many managers take advantage of this at work. In particular, they promise employees a double bonus for exceeding the sales plan.
- Vanity . Self-confident and conceited people are almost helpless before flattery, praise, approval of others. It is enough to praise them, and they are ready to make an ill-considered purchase or an illogical act.
- Envy . Many people are affected by this vice. It is quite easy to activate this emotion. The manipulator several times points out to the victim something good that the other person has, but the victim does not have. And so she already compares herself to that other person and begins to think along the lines the manipulator wants.
In addition to these basic emotions, each of us has certain points of influence.
- Needs . We all seek to satisfy our basic needs of physiology, safety, and we also have ambitions, which are expressed in the desire for career advancement, monetary income. This is skillfully taken advantage of by marketers creating advertisements. It is their tricks and proper presentation of information that encourage most people to buy the advertised goods and services.
- Weaknesses . It is rare to find a person without flaws, biases, and weaknesses. Therefore, manipulators are very fond of playing on human weaknesses. For example, gambling, excessive curiosity, insecurity, superstition, and others.
- Guilt . A person who cannot get rid of guilt is a favorite victim of many manipulators. Feeling guilty, the victim agrees to whatever the “puppeteer” offers. For example, some elderly people accuse their adult children of having forgotten all about them. Although children call every day, inquiring about their parents’ health, and on weekends they visit them. Unjustified guilt may prompt the victim (in this case, the children) to move in with their parents. But as a rule, this does not make the manipulator feel better. He starts to search for other excuses to accuse the victim.
Psychological techniques of influence
I have chosen several techniques and methods of controlling people that are quite easy to master. Many manipulators use them unconsciously. So, by studying these techniques, you will not only learn how to influence those around you, but also be able to protect yourself from provocation and manipulation by other people.
Restriction of the choice
Want to force a person to make a choice in his favor? Then offer him a limited number of options (such as 2 or 3), each of which will be beneficial to you. Man by nature is built so that he does not like to complicate his life. Therefore, he will not invent anything himself, and chooses one of the proposed options.
The manifestation of gratitude
To encourage people to do you a favor or share valuable information you need a strong motivation.
In this role perfectly cope with a gift or compliment. Many of us are familiar with this control technique from our childhood, when we heard our parents say, “Come on, you put away the toys and I’ll give you a candy. And since in my childhood candy was rare and given out only on holidays, I rushed with the speed of a cheetah to clean up, just to get the promised sweet gift. In adults, such “candy” is bonuses, getting a desired position, and so on.
To apply this technique, first ask the person for much more than you really need. Or, for example, ask him to do something very unusual, from which he will definitely turn out.
After a little time, ask him again. But this time ask for what you really need. This time the “victim” will agree, because it would be awkward for the person to refuse you 2 times in a row, and the second your request will seem much easier than the first.
A state of stress or distracted attention
It is very easy to manage a person who is stressed. In such an unstable emotional state (depression, fear, depression, dejection, prostration) it is easy to indoctrinate a person into anything. For him it does not matter what to believe, he needs hope. Unfortunately, many fraudsters take advantage of this. Roma in particular are very fond of manipulating people who are not in the best of spirits.
If you want to get a positive answer from a person, but you understand that in a quiet environment he is unlikely to agree with you, then create special conditions. In noisy places, in crowded places or when a person is in a hurry, he makes decisions very quickly, without having time to weigh them and think carefully. In such conditions, you are more likely to succeed.
Want to like another person? Then carefully copy his gestures, facial expressions, manner of speech. Psychologists have proved that this method has an effect on a subconscious level and is effective in most cases. People subconsciously gravitate to those who resemble them.
To continue your study of people management techniques, I recommend that you watch the following video.
You now know about how to manage people. This knowledge is useful in any area of life, even if you are not going to directly manage a team. I have only told you a small number of tricks and techniques for manipulation.
I hope very much that you will not use them to subjugate another person. After all, manipulation is a kind of deception. So use the knowledge for good, beat back the attacks of the manipulators who would try to influence your consciousness. And to get what you want, learn how to set goals and achieve them. Then you won’t have to resort to all these tricks. Be strong, self-sufficient, harmonious personality – and manipulators just do not risk messing with you.
Have you ever managed people? Share your stories in the comments!