The goal of the manipulator is to get you to do something for them. It is a control tactic and demands obedience. Hardly the freedom of will we want in a healthy relationship. Here are some manipulation techniques of which you may not be aware:
Foot in the Door - The manipulator's technique is to get you to agree to a small request to increase the likelihood of your agreeing to a second, larger request. For example, an abusive narcissist meets a woman whom he evaluates to be a new supplier. She's sexually attractive and has financial resources available. Perhaps she's on the bus during his morning commute. He stands and offers her his seat. In a bar, he might ask to buy her a drink. In a parking lot, he may ask her to help him with his packages. This was a favorite tactic of Ted Bundy.
Face in the Door - The manipulator tries an outlandish request, increasing the likelihood that you will agree to a second, smaller request. Imagine a man spotting a target, approaching her and saying "Let me sweep you off your feet." When she refuses, he returns with "May I at least buy you dinner?" Saying "no" to the large request makes the target feel they owe the manipulator a favor.
Commitment - Once the manipulator has you committed to him in some fashion, he'll pull out a low-ball technique that states once a person has agreed to an initial request, commitment has been given. When the stiuation becomes unreasonable - red flags start popping up all over the place - the victim will continue to agree despite the red flags because they find it difficult to speak up and say "no way!" based on their original commitment.
Reciprocity - This is a big one. Manipulators count on you adhering to this social norm that "we should treat others the way we want to be treated." We think we are on a level playing field with the manipulator, but we aren't. In this scenario, we are destined to be the abuser's victim because he is counting on your generosity.
Pay attention and stay in control. You ultimately make the decisions and choices of your life. Stay strong.
Need to talk?
Click here to book a consultation with Jill