The Manipulators

About Manipulator Criminal Archetypes

There are different types of social influence in which one of these is the psychological influence or manipulation. This aims to alter or change the behaviour or perception of other people through abusive, deceptive or underhanded tactics. Through advancing the manipulators’ interests, usually on another expense like methods can be considered abusive, exploitative, deceptive and devious. When we talk about social influence, it does not mean that it is always negative, like for example, specialist can try to persuade their patients to change their unhealthy habits. This is a way of manipulating however it is not a negative thing. Social influence can be perceived harmless if it is respecting the right of the influence to reject or accept and not unduly coercive.

So how do manipulators control their victims? Braiker identified several ways on how every manipulator controls their victims. Some of these are as follows: 

  • Punishment: This way of manipulation would include the silent treatment, nagging, threats, yelling, emotional blackmail, swearing, guilt trip, crying, sulking, and playing the victim and other ways related to giving punishment.
  • Positive reinforcement: Manipulators would use superficial charm, praise, excessive apologizing, superficial sympathy, gifts, approval, money, facial expressions like forced smile or laugh as well as public recognition.
  • Partial or intermittent reinforcement: Intermittent or partial negative reinforcement could create some sort of effective climate of doubt and fear On the other hand, intermittent or partial positive reinforcement could encourage every victim to stick or persist on what they want.
  • Negative reinforcement: In this method, manipulators would involve eliminating one from the negative situation as a form of a reward. Like for example, if you don’t want your dad to lessen your allowance, you better improve your grades.
  • Traumatic one-trial learning: Manipulators would tend to use explosive anger, verbal abuse as well as other intimidating behaviour in order to establish superiority or dominance. Even a single incident of such behaviour could lead into training or conditioning victims to evade confronting, contradicting or upsetting the manipulator.

Methods Of Manipulation

On the other hand, Simon has also identified some manipulative techniques used by most manipulators. This would include lying, denial, evasion, diversion, lying thru omission, diversion, minimization, rationalization, shaming, covert intimidation, playing the victim’s role, seduction, feigning confusion and innocence, brandishing anger, bandwagon effect and many more.

Moreover, manipulators also have reasons why they manipulate. Some of their motivations would include:

  • their needs and wants to feel in control
  • the urge to advance their own purposes as well as personal gain at virtually in any cost
  • their desire to obtain a feeling of power over others to raise their perception of self-esteem
  • the strong need to achieve feelings of superiority and power when in relationship with others
  • hidden agenda, criminal or otherwise would include financial manipulation
  • growing tired of his or her surroundings, he or she is bore and perceives it as a game more than hurting others

Manipulators have their own reasons why they do such things. There are instances that their move would result into either positive or negative one depending on the way they manipulate certain individual.

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