I was reading Seth Godin’s post titled “Who is easily manipulated?” from his blog the other day and it struck me in a powerful way. The post discusses manipulation in a way that I believe everyone can learn something about themselves whether they feel manipulated or not. Seth states “I define manipulation as working to spread an idea or generate an action that is not in a person’s long-term best interest.”
I know there have been many situations in my life where my best interest was not in the other person’s mind. I know there have been situations in my life where I didn’t have the other person’s best interest in mind. What would it look like if our desire was to spread an idea or generate an action with a person’s long-term best interest in mind?
As I read about manipulation, I was prompted to think about people who are in desperate situations in life. I have always said that “desperate people do desperate things”, and most of the time the desperate things result in not having someone’s best interest in mind. It is difficult to be on that end of a person’s desperate situation. Although, with some awareness through past experiences, it is possible to see the manipulation coming down the line.
He also states:
The easiest people to manipulate are those that don’t demand a lot of information, are open to messages from authority figures and are willing to make decisions on a hunch, particularly if there’s a promise of short-term gains.
In our media driven world it is easy to get hung up in this kind of manipulation! A good number of teens that I see in my practice are buying into the promise of short-term gains. Many individuals in marriage are buying into the promise of short-term gains. A lot of the hurts that we experience have been because in some way we have bought into the lie that we don’t need a lot of information to make our choices. We can make them on a whim and everything will work out. No matter if it is financial, emotional, spiritual or physical gain we need to be aware of what we are being sold so we don’t get knocked off track!