Laws of Manipulation
- Law 1 - Hide Your Intentions
- Law 2 - Attention Seeking
- Law 3 - Behaving Emotionally
- Law 4 - Playing Victim
- Law 5 - Taking Credit Where It’s Not Due
- Law 6 - Depend on Me
- Law 7 - Selective Honesty
- Law 8 - Pretending to Be A “Friend”
- Law 9 - Non-Committal
- Law 10 - Playing Dumb
- Law 11 - Pointing the Finger at Others
- Law 12 - Telling You What You Want to Hear
- Law 13 - Controlling Your Decisions
Manipulation is the trick that an individual exercises to influence or control other behaviors. It is a negative psychological term that attempts to harm another mental well-being.
Manipulation uses a variety of tactics, including psychological abuse, brainwashing or bullying, and emotional blackmail, to force people to do things they don’t want to do.
Manipulators use one, two, or even three laws to achieve their objectives, but they always do it at the cost of others. Although the methods vary from manipulator to manipulator, there are 13 manipulation laws that all manipulators are likely to utilize at some point:
Law 1 – Hide Your Intentions
The art of deception is perhaps the oldest and most powerful manipulation method. This strategy is frequently used by people who wish to avoid taking responsibility or alter the truth to achieve an advantage.
Some manipulators may even lie when there is no necessity to do so, simply because they love the gratification of causing havoc or knowing that they are playing with other people’s emotions. A skillful manipulator can use this approach in such a subtle way that you don’t understand the lies they’ve crafted until it’s too late.
Deception is used by manipulators for a variety of purposes. It could be for the purpose of gaining the advantage of another. To keep their aims hidden from you, so you don’t know what they’re up to.
Perhaps even to level the playing field by staying a step behind you. Someone who is concerned about their employment can ask their manager if they are at risk of getting fired.
In order to cover what’s going on, the employer may declare that there’s nothing to worry about when, in reality, arrangements were in place to replace him once the job is accomplished. Someone else who is applying for the same job as you may withhold information in order to go ahead of you.
Law 2 – Attention Seeking
A little drama in life keeps things interesting, but drama occurs far too frequently for a manipulator. Why? Because it was done purposefully. Being the focus of attention is a source of validation and an ego boost for manipulators. A coworker may provoke animosity between colleagues A and B by telling each of them a story about one another.
As a result, when colleagues A and B are at odds with one another, they turn to the manipulator for “comfort,” making the manipulator feel important. In a relationship, one spouse may pick fights all the time to keep the other’s attention on them and to try to fix a problem that may or may not exist.
Law 3 – Behaving Emotionally
When they are in a position to have things done their way, manipulators may be extremely emotional people who are prone to excessive or even hysterical exclamations. Even when provoked, manipulators will participate in emotional behavior that is normally undesirable in a social situation. They are insane, loud, disrespectful, and over-the-top.
A couple arguing loudly in a restaurant because one partner is behaving irrationally when things are not done their way resorts to this behavior in the hopes that their partner will be embarrassed enough to give in to their demands makes this an extremely effective manipulation technique.
Law 4 – Playing Victim
They are always in the news, and everyone is sad for them. They have the worst probability of getting lucky. Whatever problem you’re having, they’ll make you feel guilty about talking about it by reminding you that their problem is “ten times more significant” than yours.
Every person has a bad encounter once in a while. The manipulator, on the other hand, was able to use their tragic streak to increase their self-esteem and “victim” status, elevating their own self-esteem above that of others.
This deceptive strategy is used by a friend who consistently plays up all the unpleasant aspects of their life while ignoring your difficulties in order to gain attention.
If you tell them you had a difficult day because you had a flat tire on your way to work this morning, they’ll tell you how lucky you are to have a car to complain about while they have to deal with the discomforts of public transportation.
This emotionally taxing strategy is employed by manipulators to generate compassion from others, which is another means of gaining attention and ensuring that everyone is focused on them.
Law 5 – Taking Credit Where It’s Not Due
Manipulators will not hesitate to have you do all of the work, then pretend that they’ve finished the majority of the work at the last minute. This is a typical practice in professional settings, especially when working in groups or on collective projects.
These cunning manipulators go about their business, appearing to be “busy,” but in reality, they aren’t. When it comes to claiming credit, though, they are not afraid to leave you out and take credit for your ideas and efforts.
Law 6 – Depend on Me
The goal of manipulators is to make you feel as if you “need” them in your life. That you can’t imagine your life without them. They’re the “popular” ones who everyone else seems to flock to in a social setting, making you want to be a part of that group.
They could be the partner that frequently asks, “What would you do without me?” or “How would you survive without me?” in a relationship. They give you favors and assist you when you are in need, making you feel beholden to them so they may come back and cash in on these favors later (with a manipulator, no favor ever comes for free).
Manipulators establish in you the false impression that you require their services because the more you rely on them, the more power they have over you, which is exactly what they want.
They prey on the weak and turn themselves into an “indispensable buddy” in your life, relishing in their elevated status. The more you rely on them for assistance, the more likely they are to prey on your emotions and use you for their own gain.
Law 7 – Selective Honesty
Have you ever been surprised when a kind person you know turns around and punches you in the back? You might have felt entirely off-balance when you learned you only knew a portion of what was going on.
The reason you feel like you’ve been stabbed in the back or slammed in the wrong way is that the person who fed you information was a manipulator who only gave you the things they wanted to share with you while omitting the rest. Selective honesty is a highly effective deception technique used to dissuade an unknowing “victim.”
This is a strategy that is particularly common in professional contexts. People who manipulate their jobs do so on a daily basis in order to obtain an advantage.
When five other individuals are competing for the same job at work, the manipulator may try to get an advantage by omitting important information they’ve obtained and assuring everyone else that “this is exactly what’s happening.”
They make you believe they’re doing everything they can to get you in on the action, but they’re actually making sure you’re two steps ahead of them at all times.
Law 8 – Pretending to Be A “Friend”
Don’t be fooled by the overly nice person you meet on your first day at the office. They could be pretending to be your buddies while gathering information about you that they will later use to their advantage.
While some people are genuinely pleasant, you should be wary of anyone who is unintentionally friendly and asks very intimate or invasive questions, especially if you’ve just met them. This is a frequent professional strategy, and if your intuition tells you that something isn’t right, you’re probably right.
It’s possible that the individual who is manipulating you is someone you know. They may make it appear as if they are your “friend” by claiming to be the person in command of the conversation.
The conversation will always be what they believe it should be, and it will only take place when they deem it acceptable. The “friend” may also pressurize you to make a decision in a short amount of time. “If I’m truly your buddy, you’ll take care of me,” the manipulator says with ease and always to their benefit.
Law 9 – Non-Committal
Do you know someone who has trouble committing to a relationship? Even after you’ve informed them that it’s critical and that you urgently require their assistance? Noncommittal people aren’t your friends; they’re manipulators.
They like withholding their support or approval if it allows them to have the upper hand and exert control over the situation. They only care about themselves, and they won’t make a decision if it means they’ll be held accountable.
The act of not committing is a deceptive strategy that is widely utilized in love relationships. When one partner isn’t really devoted to the other, it keeps the other on their toes and keeps them coming back for more, giving the manipulator the upper hand.
The longer they refuse to commit, the more you’ll be eager to bend over backward to get their permission.
Law 10 – Playing Dumb
Do you have a coworker that is completely unaware of the situation? Are they attempting to appear innocent in order to avoid taking on further responsibilities? It’s a deceptive tactic that’s typically overlooked, but if you pay attention, you’ll notice it in a variety of professional scenarios.
Would you offer greater responsibilities to a team member who “wasn’t sure of certain aspects” if you were the leader of a team project at work? or delegate the additional responsibilities to someone else?
The person who was “dumb” can accomplish a lot less and still get as much appreciation as the rest of the team. Is the one who “doesn’t comprehend what’s going on” lying to the group if there’s a disagreement among them? Perhaps they’re hiding their genuine identity because they know they’re the ones that started the fight in the first place?
Is it possible that your partner who “doesn’t know the subject you’re talking about” is lying when you dispute them on something in a relationship? Perhaps they’re “acting foolishly” to avoid being called a liar? The “innocent side” may not always be that innocent in the end.
Law 11 – Pointing the Finger at Others
A manipulator is continuously attempting to keep their hands free by first refusing to accept responsibility for their acts and then pointing at another person to get away with it when difficulties arise.
Especially when the problem could jeopardize their reputation and reveal who they really are. It’s possible that you’re dealing with a manipulator if someone in your circle of relatives or acquaintances, or even your coworkers, is always blaming the problem on something or someone else. Keep an eye out for somebody who has a habit of blaming someone else.
Law 12 – Telling You What You Want to Hear
When you’re being pampered, it’s tough not to smile, and you’re more inclined to appreciate the individual who makes the most flattering words than other people. Wouldn’t you be more motivated to follow or be more connected with someone who is always providing you with the information you’re seeking for?
It’s difficult not to feel better when you’re around individuals like this, but telling you everything you want to hear isn’t always a sign of a good friend. They could be buttering you up so they can cash in on a large favor later, which you’ll be “guilted” into doing “since they’ve been so good to you.”
Law 13 – Controlling Your Decisions
A true relationship is a traditional environment for manipulation in the form of controlling another’s decision. While it is totally natural for you to base or adjust your decisions on your partner, is it because you have a genuine desire to make them happy? Or are you doing it to avoid causing them to become enraged?
In a relationship, there’s a small line between what’s considered manipulation and what’s not. It’s manipulation in action if you find yourself canceling plans with mates far too often because your partner shows their dislike or makes you feel guilty.
It’s a subtle type of manipulation if you are not free to wear clothes that your partner dislikes (even if you love them), or if you are not allowed to have a haircut because your partner said: “they don’t like short hair.” They’re in charge of your decisions without making them evident to you.
It could start innocently enough with a remark or two, something as simple as expressing how the clothes you’re wearing don’t look good on you or that the type of dress you’re wearing should be different, and before you know it, your life has become nothing but decisions that don’t make you happy because they’re being dictated by someone who claims to love you.