Coping with Control and Manipulation: Making the Difference between Being a Target and Becoming a Victim

Coping with Control and Manipulation: Making the Difference between Being a Target and Becoming a Victim

Coping with Control and Manipulation: Making the Difference between Being a Target and Becoming a Victim

Coping with Control and Manipulation: Making the Difference between Being a Target and Becoming a Victim

Synopsis

Manipulation comes in many forms. Parents routinely manipulate children with the best of intentions. Romantic partners manipulate each other, as do friends. Bosses manipulate workers - and vice versa - while the advertising industry manipulates us all. Resistance begins with awareness of manipulators' motives and techniques, and of strategies for self-preservation.

Excerpt

The idea for this book came from conducting personal growth workshops for the general public with the title “Taking Control of Your Life”—a topic that has attracted people for a long time. Male and female participants came from a variety of backgrounds, with one characteristic in common: they all viewed themselves as victims of others’ pursuits of control. In their own minds, they were casualties, caught in the net of the great control struggles of those around them. Only a few of them recognized that at times they themselves had exerted control over others, but compared with the control pursuits directed at them, their own attempts seemed minimal. And, of course, many of the participants knew about control “freaks” they had encountered, but very few admitted to possessing such characteristics themselves.

During the group experiences, participants—by observing others—realized that their own attempts to influence people in their environment had been more numerous than they ever admitted to themselves or others. However, rather than point the finger at participants engaged in controlling behaviors, the group members came to recognize it as a positive sign, reflecting that they had not been as helpless as they believed they were.

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