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Home » Featured, Headline, News, Problem Solving

Manipulative Culture

Submitted by on September 22, 2011 – 12:10 amNo Comment

Author: Carmen Lupan

For some people, it is perfectly acceptable to manipulate others. It is almost a life style. How do we protect ourselves against people like that? Dr. George Simon Jr. has written a book with the name “In Sheep’s Clothing. Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People” and is interviewed on Fox News, CNN Live and Channel 5, making this story, an 80% transcript of those interviews.

The reason Simon wrote the book, he tells Channel 5 is that he is concerned about the effects on society because the manipulative behavior has increased over the latest years. Another reason is that he, in his practice as a psychologist learned to deal with manipulative people in a different way.

We all use manipulative behaviors to a certain degree, but some of us, make manipulative behavior a life style. They use different tactics in order to control others, and that can become a serious problem.

The problem with manipulative people is that they are difficult to spot from the beginning of the relationship. As times goes by, the person involved in a relationship with a manipulator, will understand how the manipulative person is, but by that time, it can be difficult to walk away. A lot has been invested in the relationship.

How do we know that we are dealing with manipulative people? The problem with our culture today, is that, when we see others behave badly, we think that we are dealing with insecure people that are hung up about something. The psychological research body comes mainly from a time in which the culture was repressive, when people were dealing with all kinds of inhibitions. In these times, we need a psychology that aren’t inhibited enough, who are not careful enough about what they do, and certain people do attempt to dominate, control and abuse other people in order to meet their own ends. One has to learn how to deal with these people that will try to gain control and learn how to respond to them.

Whether manipulative people manipulate others consciously or not, it’s irrelevant, Simon says. If a person with manipulative traits wonders at a certain point if they really mean or not, that is, what they’re doing, they have already half way manipulated the other. The best manipulator would do his or her manipulation and the other might not even know it. A good manipulator will also use whatever tactics they think will work.

We often encourage that kind of behavior in society today. Culturally, we tend to encourage a lot of irresponsible behavior in interpersonal relationships. Therefore we need a whole different psychology to understand it. There is a difference between being very assertive and aggressive, and the manipulative personality is the aggressive one. The assertive personality is the healthiest personality that we know. When you know what you want and you are careful and respectful about how you do that, when you respect the needs of others, there is nothing wrong with that, and meeting one’s goals is great. It means you deserve it. But when you are determined to get what you want, and on the way to success leave dead bodies in your way, that’s neither appropriate nor good.

The difference between passive-aggressive personalities and manipulators is that people that suffer from a passive aggressive disorder often control others through their behavior, or passivity. Manipulators on the other hand are very active and calculating. There is nothing passive there. Manipulators are covert aggressive personality. They want to hurt us in some way, but they do not want to be seen as aggressive, and therefore they hide that from us.

According to George Simon we know that we deal with manipulative persons by the tactics that they use. Manipulators prefer to use certain tactics, to get the better of us. Once we know what they’re really like in character, once we know the tactics that they prefer to use, we know that we are dealing with a manipulative person.

For example, Simon says, if you ask a manipulative person a direct question, you are not going to get a direct answer. They’ll take you anywhere else but to the direct answer, the truth. Manipulators like to put you on the defensive, and make you feel guilty for the questions that you ask them. They want to make you feel like you are the bad guy. We all have a responsibility to look for certain things in our own personality that a manipulator would use in order to manipulate us. A common trait is too much concern for others: If you care about something or someone very much and they know it, manipulators might push the guilt button.

There seems to be a rise of manipulative behavior in the US, especially among children these days. The problem is that manipulative behavior is accepted. If you look back in history, people were more inhibited in their behavior, but that’s not the case today, anymore. People lack many of the boundaries in social interaction.

Do manipulative people know that they are manipulative? Simon says that both kids and adults tend to fight for three things: 1. Survival, 2. Social position; 3. The things that they want. This is natural, and everyone is the same. How they go about that is what constitutes manipulative behavior.

One could well think that manipulative people are cowards, because they are afraid to get what they want the right way. They are afraid of doing the right thing. Simon says that they are very calculating. They know that if they can get around one’s resistance, they are half way home. Therefore, they do not want you to see that they are on the aggressive; they want to keep that hidden. But it’s not because they are afraid. They just want to get there.

The manipulative person is a covertly aggressive personality. They want to get the better of you, but they don’t want to be seen as that. They want to be seen as good guys that never did anything wrong.

It’s not worth getting angry with those persons and yell at them. We must understand what makes them tick, what kind of tactics they use, and how to defend ourselves, so that we don’t have to suffer the psychological consequences that a manipulator might create.


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About the Author

I am an article writer and a webmaster. I enjoy reading and writing about contemporary society. I studied social psychology and sociology. I am interested in human rights, relationships, health and ethnic relationships, as the future of mankind.

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