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Post Reply How do you perceive manipulation?
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Posted 1/10/16 , edited 1/10/16
What is manipulation? Let me walk you through questions I'd inquire to answer such:

When you hear the word manipulation, do you immediately react with "bad"?

Does there exist "good" forms of manipulation? For example, consider the ethical quality of manipulation carried out with little regard of self interest. Do "good" forms of manipulation warrant a new word with different connotative quality? Consider the word contrivance. What defines manipulation as "good" versus "bad"? Is every human inevitably the perpetrator of some form of manipulation? Would you say there are different types of manipulation? How do you define them? Would you say the ability to easily manipulate be considered a skill? At what degree do you consider someone manipulative?

Do you prefer those given the label of manipulative versus those labeled honest assholes?

Here's something to scratch your head with if you want. I'm sure I'm not the only one tired with the lack of threads ripe with discussion.



As for my own opinion:

Due to my experiences, I do immediately attach manipulation with the connotation of something bad or otherwise disdainful. I do think manipulation, in its general definition, carries some "good" utilization. To get a child to do homework a parent may bribe him with reward or even threaten punishment ("No Xbox!"). However, such manipulations are made with more regard towards the child and less of that of the parent. So there exists "good" manipulation and it can be defined by the ethical evaluation of the underlying motive. This is where "good" versus "bad" should be evaluated. To exploit another in self interest or to exploit with the primary interest of another. Would it be better to define such behavior by the word contrivance as opposed to manipulation? Personally, I find it more encompassing of the motive to use such a word. Though I find the refinement more of a square-to-rectangle relationship, where contriving is a more specific type of manipulation.

Pragmatically, every human is inevitably the perpetrator of some form of manipulation. As recently depicted, there are exists different types of manipulation. Not just the 'well intended', but even effectively refined by method: guilt, indifference, intimidation, lying, seduction etc.

The ability to manipulate with ease could indeed be defined as a social skill. Not everyone is as effective as another in the art of controlling other people. One could even go so far as to say bad parenting is derived from a lack of proper skill in manipulation.

The label manipulative is connotatively perceived negatively. Thus it is not only degree of usage, but by the unethical underlying motives of manipulation used that one should receive the label.

Personally, I much prefer the honest asshole versus a manipulative individual. Easier to defend oneself against the visible.
Posted 1/10/16 , edited 1/10/16
It's the means to the end of every interaction.
Posted 1/10/16
I'm terrible with manipulating people. I can't even lie because of how upfront I am with people. Even children can tell when I lie. I guess it can be a good thing though. Since the people close to me irl think of me as someone that doesn't have the slightest bit of betray in her nature.
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Posted 1/10/16

FreshRhymesSuperflyMoney wrote:
It's the means to the end of every interaction.

I have reason to suspect that this comment contains nothing but absolute truth.
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28 / M / USA! USA! USA!
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Posted 1/10/16
Is it really manipulation if you willingly let the girl put you in chains tho.
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Posted 1/10/16

Gross1985 wrote:

I have reason to suspect that this comment contains nothing but absolute truth.


Except in such occasions when one is seduced into the bedroom as opposed to finishing work on the house one would otherwise do.



Posted 1/10/16 , edited 1/10/16
I personally think when it comes to outcomes good and bad are irrelevant terms, since overall I can't say what I choose to do will be ultimately bad or good, that has yet to be seen and will change as time goes by. So tying this in with manipulation I'll come from a perspective of whether or not the manipulation is of human nature or parasitic in nature(or monstrous/demonic/inhuman). The way I would think typical human manipulation would be is the influence towards something to achieve an outcome that is both self-serving and serving of your environment, where as a parasite would influence people with the goal of purely serving itself ultimately disregarding everything but itself. But that's not to say that parasites don't play there part as they are necessary in this world and inadvertently could aid it's environment, take for example the diverse microbiome of our large intestine it is comprised of trillions of bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and parasites. Interestingly enough if we didn't have certain parasites the whole microbiome would be compromised cause they keep other microorganism in check, overall it's a matter of balance and even that changes with time.

On the thought of connotations I'd like to point out selfishness also gets put in a bad light, when you can be self-serving and serving to the whole environment based on you own selfish actions. I think it's funny when people get the wrong idea when I say I'm extremely selfish when it's not always a "bad" thing.

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Posted 1/10/16 , edited 1/10/16
I don't associate it with something bad since I manipulate people all the time and I do it very well.

It's a tool that's useful and honestly has become second nature for me.
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Posted 1/10/16
Can be bad but when a lot of you people get married you might change your mind. Women can manipulate your partner/husband with sex and usually its a win win situation for both parties. I get how people tag the negative but there are some good styles
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34 / M / Off the map.
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Posted 1/10/16
It's apart of life.
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40 / M / USA
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Posted 1/10/16
I see nothing wrong with it. Just a way to do what you need to do.
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Posted 1/10/16 , edited 1/10/16
Manipulation is like traveling on a road in a dense fog. You must keep going and you can never be sure where the road is until it is revealed to you. For all you know, the road doesn't exist until it's revealed.

"Manipulative" is supposed to have a bit of a bad connotation. "Guidance" doesn't sound so bad. "Convincing" and "charming" sound good. Replace the first word in this post with any of these words and it still pretty much makes sense.

The manipulator personality type tends to be charming and charismatic. What makes it have the bad connotation is that the person's influence is perceived to be used in a way that benefits himself with little regard to the consequences for other people. Or that people are being played like puppets against one another for entertainment.

What is bad is simply what produces negative consequences that far outweigh the positive consequences. Once it's more or less evenly negative and positive, you start encountering problems with "good" and "bad." But when the scale is tipped firmly in favor of the negative consequences, I consider that surely "bad."
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Posted 1/10/16
Objectively speaking there is no good or bad, merely beneficial or detrimental; and seeing that manipulation is just skillful control or handling of something or someone, it is more often beneficial. It only becomes detrimental when people start to object to it.
Posted 1/10/16 , edited 1/10/16

Manipulation is often referred to as a form or brainwashing.
You're basically using some kind of 'trickery' (for lack of a better word there) to change their mind about something.
You try to get them to believe that what you say is right by thinking how the other person thinks, and convincing them to think otherwise in a sly, tricky manner.

Believe me, I have been manipulated by many members of my family and it can definitely mess with how you think about things for the rest of your life.
bean. · 7 years ago

https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090706112052AALlB9m



"Reverse psychology is often used on children due to their high tendency to respond with reactance, a desire to restore threatened freedom of action. Some parents feel that the best strategy is sometimes "reverse psychology": telling children to stay in the house when you really want them to choose to go outside and play.[1] Another example is saying "I bet you can't catch me" which results in being pursued by the cunning child; a game many have played as a child.

Questions have however been raised about such an approach when it is more than merely instrumental, in the sense that 'reverse psychology implies a clever manipulation of the misbehaving child'[2] and nothing more. With respect to '"emotional intelligence"...[&] successful fathering', the advice has been given: 'don't try to use reverse psychology....such strategies are confusing, manipulative, dishonest, and they rarely work'.[3] In addition, consistently allowing a child to do the opposite of what he/she is being advised, undermines the authority of the parent."

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reverse_psychology


It's misused by the media and by trolls as an underhanded way to antagonize their audience. Fox News and the war on terror, for example. it's sly , dishonest, and unethical because there are more honest and straightforward ways to voice disapproval and concerns than lying and needing to brainwash. I'd approve of it in matters of national security or to solve a serious crime, but only as needed.
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Posted 1/10/16
This thread got me thinking of Liar Game, which has lots of manipulation and is rather entertaining. Also covered the morality of manipulation to some extent.


PrinceJudar What is manipulation?[


One definition: Manipulation is the skillful handling, controlling or using of something or someone. Whether it's the sculpture you made in art class or how you convinced your friend to do your homework — both are considered manipulation.

That's a positive way of describing manipulation.

However, I'm assuming the type of manipulation we're specifically talking about here is "psychological manipulation": Psychological manipulation is a type of social influence that aims to change the perception or behavior of others through underhanded, deceptive, or abusive tactics.

The use in that definition of the words "underhanded", "deceptive" and "abusive" is important, as they generally have negative connotations.


PrinceJudar When you hear the word manipulation, do you immediately react with "bad"?

My immediate reaction to the word is negative, but I'd have to know the context before reaching a firm decision.


PrinceJudar Does there exist "good" forms of manipulation? For example, consider the ethical quality of manipulation carried out with little regard of self interest.
What defines manipulation as "good" versus "bad"?


When deciding whether manipulation is good or bad, the issue is that there are conflicting sets of morals. On one hand, it is generally considered wrong to lie, to trick people, to coerce people, etc. On the other hand, there's the idea that the ends justify the means, so one can do something bad to achieve something good.

One example of manipulation is law itself. It is a set of rules created to guide people toward a certain behavior.
One can argue that what decides if the manipulation is good or bad is whether that targeted behavior is good or bad.
Then again, one can argue that this manipulation attempts to subvert the free will of individuals and therefore is inherently bad.


PrinceJudar Do "good" forms of manipulation warrant a new word with different connotative quality?

Probably not, as there are words already that can be used. Persuasion, convince, etc.


PrinceJudar Is every human inevitably the perpetrator of some form of manipulation?

It depends on the definition of manipulation used, I suppose, but I imagine that most, if not all, humans manipulate someone at some point to some degree.


PrinceJudar Would you say there are different types of manipulation? How do you define them?

I feel all manipulation derives from the desire to control the behavior of others, so it's all basically the same thing at its core.


PrinceJudar Would you say the ability to easily manipulate be considered a skill?

It's definitely a skill.


PrinceJudar At what degree do you consider someone manipulative?

When I perceive that they have a tendency to try to manipulate others.


PrinceJudar Do you prefer those given the label of manipulative versus those labeled honest assholes?

I don't like the idea of being manipulated, as it implies being deceived, coerced or having my interests changed for someone else's purpose. I suppose I'd have to go with the honest assholes. I might not like what they say, but at least I don't have to be paranoid about it.
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