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View Full Version : The Intention Behind Manipulation



sshenry
4th May 2011, 14:40
The world can be a strange place, and the people in it can be even stranger.

I recently had an individual accuse me of manipulating them with my words, and while at the time I laughed off the idea, it made me stop and think; Isn't all communication a form of manipulation?

Let me explain: living in this reality requires that we manipulate thought and matter every minute of the day.

Our bodies manipulate food matter in such a way as to extract the nutrients they need, and then continue manipulating the nutrients to create energy so that we can continue to grow and thrive and function.

Our brains manipulate sensory input, interpreting what we see/hear/smell/taste and touch to "concepts" that can then be interpreted according to thier usefulness to the physical body.

And, from a purely physical aspect, what is communication ANY form of communication, except a desire to manipulate our physical reality and/or circumstances?

You wish to hear how a friend is doing, so you speak to them, hoping to get an answer back. They reply to you because you are their friend, and because they do not wish to be rude. Even though your intentions are pure (seeing how your friend is doing) you have manipulated them.

You wish to be able to buy groceries, so you go out and apply for a job and sit through an interview, and answer the employers questions, giving them answers that are truthful - but worded in a way that you know they will find to their likeing. You get the job. You've manipulated the employer (through your words) into giving you the job.

But it is not just words that serve as tools of manipulation, even aspects of our physicality that we may (or may not) be aware of can be used as a means of communication manipulation.

You smile at another individual coming towards you. You've communicated - you have acknowledged them, but what happens next? They smile back (usually). So now you have achieved your goal (whether you realized it or not). You've been acknowledged.

And what about pheremones? Pheremones are a powerful form of communication between individuals, and science has proven that when a woman or man sees a person that they think would be a good mate (mind you this is the pure animal body speaking here), the body begins to produce pheremones, some tailored SPECIFICALLY to that individual - for that individual - to get them to notice and be attracted by you. (If THAT isn't a form of manipultive 'conversation', then I don't know what is :) )


The point being, without taking vows of silence and sequestering ourselves from interaction with anyone in any way, shape, or form, we are going to end up manipulating someone, somewhere, for some purpose.

Perhaps the real issue is not whether communication is a form of manipulation, but the INTENTION behind your communication.

Why do you feel the need to communicate with this individual? What are you expecting to get out of this exchange?

Some conversations feel forced. One or the other is not 'willing' or perhaps is listening or engaging out of a sense of obligation or expectation. Opinions are expressed, ideas insisted on, obligations are dredged up, and one or the other leaves feeling drained, while the other feels energized, because they got out of that conversation exactly what they were looking for, even if it was at someone else's expense.

Others, on the other hand, arise spontaneously and mutually, you can always feel those; their energy is unmistakable. No one is "taking" energy or "purpose" out of the conversation, but both are feeding into it wholeheartedly, and both end up enriched.

It's my impression that this last form of communication originates on a soul level, where there IS no expectation, no manipulation, but simply a sharing of love and acceptance and a totality of being that we all hold deep inside of ourselves, and where even intention lays down, docile, and smiles.

Lord Sidious
4th May 2011, 15:40
Intent means a lot.
In the old common law criminal law, they had a thing called mens rea - the criminal mind and the idea was that you had to know what you did was wrong when you did it, with the specific intention to break the law.
So yeah, the intent behind the action means a lot.
Killing someone because they cut you off at the traffic lights is a very different prospect from killing someone that was trying to kill your child.

sshenry
4th May 2011, 18:46
Intent means a lot.
In the old common law criminal law, they had a thing called mens rea - the criminal mind and the idea was that you had to know what you did was wrong when you did it, with the specific intention to break the law.
So yeah, the intent behind the action means a lot.
Killing someone because they cut you off at the traffic lights is a very different prospect from killing someone that was trying to kill your child.

and killing someone unintentionally of course would be even less "intended" (though killing someone killing your child would be justified).

but it goes even deeper than physical reaction/intent, when it comes to communication we tend to project our own wants/needs/expectations onto the one we are communicating with (notice me, acknowledge me, verify that I'm as intelligent as I think I am) and we tend to word what we say (write etc) in such a way as to ensure that we receive the attention/energy from that person that we are angling for.

Question being - why do we do that when we have access to all the energy that we need without draining others of theirs?

Shezbeth
4th May 2011, 19:12
Here are some reflective question I have used for years.

When you speak, do you have anything to say?

Do others?

How many times do you (or they) use the word 'I' or 'me' in a sentence?

sshenry
4th May 2011, 19:15
Here are some reflective question I have used for years.

When you speak, do you have anything to say?

Do others?

How many times do you (or they) use the word 'I' or 'me' in a sentence?

LOL, something I found useful was for one entire day to attempt to go without using the words "I", "me" or "Mine". Granted that one ends up using the third person more often than not, but it tends to put things into perspective.