“Would this world be any different if I had not existed” is a question that has gone through the minds of everyone. The world as we know it today has been shaped into being by the manipulations of each and every one of us (conscious or otherwise). Manipulation seems like a harsh word but it is not, every idea we put forth or every action we take is in one way or another an attempt at change. Getting your friends to open up with you or throwing a positive light at a bad outcome are acts of manipulation as well. To effectively use this is a gift that very few possess and one that is immensely useful.
There are two ways of manipulation- short term and long term.
All of the negative and dangerous manipulations come are considered short-term. These are comparatively easier as you prey on people’s fears and base emotions to convince them that your way is better leading them believe it for a short while. There are two ways of going about it, a bit of truth with a lot of exaggerations or one central lie accompanied by insignificant truths.
The other kind is the better long-lasting one where you irrevocably change someone’s perspective. One of the most potent weapons of influence/manipulation around us is the Rule of Reciprocation. The rule says that people try to repay, in kind, what another person has provided them. An unsolicited gift of confidence is much more effective than conditional gift. When you share something in confidence without expecting one in return, others are obliged to confide as well. People bond closer by knowing private things about each other and the reason most people don’t make close friends is because they are too embarrassed to share anything really important about themselves.
There are a lot of techniques for manipulating that meander to how a normal human mind reacts but most of them do not work effectively because every human mind is different. The current “you” that exists is a mix of influences from a lot of different people. You, as a person, have evolved by listening to different perspectives and developing one that is unique just like the rest of the people. Every person’s outlook is unique, a culmination of all their experiences and understandings. So to impress your opinion on others and effect change, you must first understand their thought process.
For a person to be an effective manipulator, one first needs to be a good observer. Richard Feynman in one of his books states that the only rule in science is that the final arbiter is observation – that you just have to look at the world and report what you see. The ability to effectively invoke change is a science in and of itself and so it too requires the fine art of observation.
But more than anything, one must have patience, for change cannot be brought overnight. It is all in the timing. Even good deeds done at the wrong time have the nastiest of consequences.
So a Master Manipulator must know What to say, How to say and When to say something to bring about the desired change. After all, to quote Tyrion Lannister “True history of the world is the history of great conversations in elegant rooms.”
— An Article by Rigved Manoj.