Daily Writing Prompt: Do you think that manipulation is at the core of our social interactions? Explain.

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I’ve always been deeply engaged in the existence of psychology within our lives. Human interaction occurs in a vast amount of ways, from the way that we maintain eye contact, to the way that we physically interact, with hand holding, handshakes, subtle touches, and other physical gestures. What comes with interaction is the ability to use actions to manipulate the actions or responses of another person, or several other people. Although the existence of manipulative behavior may seem as if it has a negative connotation, it can also have a positive influence amongst people. Yes, some individuals use manipulation for self gain at the expense of another’s feelings or goals, or out of the pleasure of feeling like they can “outsmart” or “dominate” their peers. However, manipulation can be utilized to positively impact the lives of others. For example, I had recently had a discussion with a close friend that was painfully worried about meeting her boyfriend’s parents because she was afraid that they would immediately judge her based upon her cover, long before they could explore the many pages of her wonderful personality. Knowing that she takes my opinions very seriously and cares significantly about our relationship, I assured her of her greatest qualities and comforted her in the thought that they will love her, because I truly believe they will. I used my influence on her to manipulate her thoughts about the situation at hand, and to bring it down to a rational level. Having the confidence of a friend standing behind you and lingering in your mind in moments of insecurity can give you a sense of not being alone in the moment, and I think that my reassurance gave her the confidence to give it a shot, despite her doubt. It turns out when she did meet his parents, they loved her from the very beginning. They couldn’t wait to meet her, and she felt like she was family right when entered their home. She had no reason to worry about what they would think, because on her own, she is an extraordinary person, with or without my confidence, but knowing that her good friend believed in her minimized the issue. That was an instance in which positive manipulation occurred because of influence.

Let me get down to the point here. Yes, I believe that manipulation is a significant part of our core interactions, but the power that is brought upon an individual with the persuasiveness to manipulate can be used in both positive and negative ways. It’s important to value yourself, but to also value the feelings and journeys of those around you in order to avoid destructive behavior that could potentially create a lose-lose situation for both parties.

This has been written from my own personal experiences within my life, and the situations I’ve observed.

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