Stoic News

By Dave Kelly

Monday, August 23, 2004

A Stoic approach to dealing with manipulators

"I'm currently studying the problem of dealing with manipulative people. Harriet Braiker, in her book Who's_Pulling_Your_Strings?, takes a very Stoic approach to this problem, which everyone faces at times in their personal relations."


Blogger Michael said...

By manipulator you mean someone who's offering you a deal you don't like. If you liked it you wouldn't consider the person a manipulator even though the basic structure of the relationship is the same: I do something to get you to do what I want. Is there something wrong with that? It doesn't necessarily entail disrespect for your needs.

2:06 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

Braiker (pp. 4-5) offers a differentiation between influence and manipulation:

"Healthy, appropriate influence generally is shaped by a process of reward. It is guided by open, honest, and direct communication. Strategies of threats and coercion are not used. The agenda or purpose of the influence is defined and made public to the participants.

"In contrast, manipulation thrives in an atmosphere of indirect, devious, and even deceptive communication. Agendas frequently are hidden and purposes disguised. Threat, intimidation, and coercion are preferred tactics. Manipulators see the opportunity to ensnare and entrap their victims. They often proceed in subtle, devious, or covert ways so that the manipulative character of the relationship is well established before its true nature becomes apparent to the victim."

5:50 PM  

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