How to Stop People from Manipulating You

As this is part of the Equations Of Life Series, as ever I include an equation, so this is the equation of manipulation:

Implant a question + make a person believe you have the answer = control of that person

No one wants to be manipulated, and yet in truth all of us are constantly manipulated throughout our lives in one way or another by outside parties, and all of us in some way or another are ourselves constantly manipulating others.

Ever persuaded a friend to do something you know that they in truth did not really want to do – and I’m not talking something sinister here, I’m talking persuading them to come with you to the shops or something like that when you know that they don’t really want to go. That’s manipulation. Ever told a truth that was not the whole truth for whatever reason. That’s manipulation. Ever bought something after seeing an advert. That’s manipulation. Ever heard of clickbait and ever clicked on clickbait, guess what, that’s manipulation.

Manipulation in itself is not per se a bad thing, it is not a good thing, it’s just something that we are all on some level guilty of, it only becomes a problem when people use it for nefarious purposes.

Think bankers manipulating the markets, politicians trying to manipulate the populace, the press trying to manipulate readers et cetera et cetera. So perhaps a better way of phrasing my opening line would be, no one wants to be maliciously manipulated. So no one wants another person to be able to trick them into doing things that are bad for us.

The question is how do you stop people from maliciously manipulating you?

How to stop people maliciously manipulating you

The only way to stop yourself from being maliciously manipulated is by learning to identify when someone is trying to manipulate you in such a manner. That’s what I’m going to try to show you in this post, how to identify when someone is trying to do so. I’m going to do it by trying to manipulate you – not maliciously, but I am going to try to manipulate you.

So basically I’m going to try to teach you the art of manipulation, and I’m going to try to do so by attempting to manipulate you.

That may seem tough considering I’ve just told you that I’m going to do it, but it is not actually as tough as you think, and you may not believe it but I’m already manipulating you.

Do you believe me? Whether you do or don’t is irrelevant, the reality is I am but I’m not doing so in the way I want. At least not yet. But I am about to try to do so.

Disclaimer: if you read on from this point you will be manipulated

I want you to remember this equation:

A + b = c

Have you got that clearly in your head? Awesome. Now here are a few realities that will aid me in my manipulation of you.

Firstly, brains are like computers, and your senses – sound, sight, smell, taste and feel – are what code those computers.

The most powerful of those for the manipulator is sight and sound – or rather actions and words. Every action you see a person make and every word you hear a person speak, enters your head and draws a response.

That’s why manipulators are basically brain hackers, and why all of us are basically brain hackers – because any time we speak to a person we are by default entering that person’s head and by default in turn are influencing their thoughts.

What a manipulator with malicious intent does though, that others do not, is use words and actions to input malicious coding into an unsuspecting person’s brain, the aim being to manipulate a desired response.

So they want to make a person think that what they want them to do will benefit them – when in fact it will hurt them. That is the goal of a malicious manipulator, tricking us into thinking that what they want us to give them or do for them will benefit us.

For example, take a manipulator in an abusive relationship, they want to trick their partner into staying with them – even though doing so will cause their partner continued pain. They do this by making their partner believe that leaving them will cause them more pain than staying.

It’s a lie. But because the manipulator is in a certain position – i.e. they are in their partner’s head – they are able to continue selling the lie. So they use words and actions to make their partner believe something that isn’t true.

With that said, I’m going to use only words to manipulate you because they are all I have, and you are reading them so I can use them.

And I promise you no matter what you do, unless you know what it is I’m going to show you, you will not be able to stop me from manipulating you. There is only one way you can stop me from doing so, and it is the same way that a partner who is being abused stops their partner from abusing them.

I don’t think you’re going to use that method. Believe me? Again, it is irrelevant whether you do or don’t. So here we go. Now I’m going to manipulate you.

You are about to be manipulated

Remember that equation I told you to remember, a + b = c. The answer to that equation is four.

Have you got that? Just in case you haven’t, I will say it again: the answer is four. And because the answer is four, I want you to think of the number four, and I mean really think of it, say four in your head.

You just did so, even if you don’t think that you have, you have. But it means nothing to you, so I’m not inside your head. How do I get inside your head?

By using the answer to that equation, that’s how. In fact, no, I’m going to use the answer to the question, not the equation, the answer to the question is FOUR. Do you believe me?

No, why would you, you don’t even know the question, if there even is a question. Heck, we were talking about an equation, how did we get a question? Even I’m confused so clearly I’m not inside your head.

In fact, I’m probably now further from being inside your head than when I started, because now you know I’m trying to manipulate you, and you probably think that I’m not doing a good job at it – or I’m just trying to confuse you, so your defences are up.

In fact, you’ll likely right now be on a subliminal level searching for a way to show me that I’m wrong, and that I can’t get inside your head, or manipulate you. If you weren’t, you probably are now.

You’re probably also thinking of the number four – mainly because you’ve again just read it. But you’ll also be thinking I told you to think of it. I did, I wrote it and you just read it in your head and so again thought it. You’ll also likely be questioning why I told you to think it, and how you thinking it could possibly lead to me being inside your head.

You’ll also be thinking all this while intently reading the words which I have written all of which will be entering your head because you are choosing to read them. Therefore, by reading these words which I have written you are wilfully implanting my words into your head.

But my words don’t mean anything right now, and neither does the number four. They are irrelevant. It is irrelevant. My words may be inside your head, but I’m clearly not inside your head – though I am influencing your thoughts because these are my words, and you are thinking about them otherwise you would not still be reading them.

Even still, I am not manipulating you, or am I? I don’t think so, not yet. Believe me? Time will tell, but let’s imagine that you don’t. How do I start manipulating you? I’ll tell you what, I’m going to tell you what I’m going to manipulate you into doing.

I’m going to make you think of the number four and have the number four mean something to you.

Do you believe that’s what I’m actually going to do? Why wouldn’t you? But the question is if that is my plan, how do I actually manipulate you into thinking the number four, and have that number mean something to you? And how do I do it without making you think that I’m trying to manipulate you into doing this – something I’m not going to lie will be very difficult to do considering I’ve told you I’m going to do it. So what do I do?

Here is what I do. I’m going to make you come to the conclusion that the answer is four on your own accord. So rather than telling you what to think, I’m going to guide you, like a teacher. Hence, the equation: a + b = c.

So let’s have a go. What is 2 + 2? Take a second to think of the answer. Write it down even. Whether you wrote it down or not, whether you tried to answer it or not, you’re now thinking of the answer, which is four, and you came to it on your own accord.

Except you likely didn’t, you in fact most likely did not think of the number four until you again read it. Funny how every time you read it you think of it. You’re also likely by now thinking in-depth about everything I’ve just told you, looking for the catch, the part where I spring something on you. The anticipation is most likely building.

You’re also probably still thinking that this is just some clever riddle, maybe you even already believe you know the answer. In fact, I bet a lot of you think that you do.

Whatever the case, the fact that you are still here, the fact that you are still thinking about what I’m saying, do you know what that means? It means you’re thinking what I wanted you to think, and you came to it on your own accord, which means I’ve just dictated your thoughts and am now inside your head. And well and truly inside your head.

Confused? Of course, that’s the point, because let me ask you this, who has the answers to the questions which could bring an end to your confused state. One person, and one person only. Me. I’ve manipulated you into thinking that I’m going to manipulate you, and as a result have manipulated you.

Manipulation is about implanting an idea: that you have the answers to their questions. I made you believe that I do, that’s why you’re still here – the fact you are still here, is the proof that I have manipulated you.

It’s time to answer the question: how do you stop people from manipulating you

Here is the thing, yes, I have manipulated you, but I do not have the power to maliciously manipulate you because there is an element missing, and a big element at that. The belief that I control the key to your happiness. If you believed that I did, right now – if I had malicious intents – you would be in big trouble.

But you don’t and I don’t so you’re not.

For example, let’s think about that abusive relationship, what does the abusive partner manipulate their partner into thinking: that only they have the answers in regard to their happiness. That means that the abusive partner manipulates their partner into believing that they have all the answers to all of the questions in regard to both of their happiness.

You don’t believe that I have those answers, which is why I can’t maliciously manipulate you. You believe I have answers, but not to the most important question, your happiness.

So the way to identify whether you’re being manipulated is by identifying if a person is attempting to say that they hold the answers to your happiness.

Literally, any person who claims to have those answers is attempting to manipulate you. Salespeople attempt to do it because they want to sell you something. Politicians do it because they want your vote. The press do it because they want you to buy newspapers. Bad people do it because they want to control you.

This means that the best way to avoid being maliciously manipulated, is by understanding this one fact and one fact alone: that the only person who has the answers in regard to your own happiness, is you.

Any person who tries to tell you otherwise is lying and so you best be on your guard with them, because there is a good chance that they are trying to manipulate you in some way, perhaps even control you in some way.

So just to emphasise, the way to stop yourself from being manipulated by others, is by understanding that only you know the key to your happiness, no one else.

If you always keep that in mind it will be very difficult for any person to ever tell you otherwise. And if no one can tell you otherwise, it will be very difficult for any person to ever maliciously manipulate you.

Final words

If you are still confused by the majority of what you have read in this post, that’s the point. I hold the answers to end the confusion. Which means you have to come to me to get them.

If you believed that your happiness was dependent upon those answers, imagine the power I would now hold over you.

That’s the art of manipulation. Understand that and your defences against being manipulated will be as high as they can possibly be.

That’s all from me for today, thanks for reading!

Published by David Graham

Sci-fi and fantasy writer, blogger and photographer emanating from the north-east of England.

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