by Madeline Laughs
Manipulation is shrewd or devious management, especially for one’s own advantage.
There are some folks that are masters at the art of manipulation. I was surprised to find out how many of them I rubbed elbows with on a daily basis. It was almost frightening. Especially when I realized they had also manipulated me at one time, or another.
I knew a girl who was only in her twenties at the time. When I realized how deceitful she was I was shocked. How could someone so young and untouched by the world have a firm death-grip on such an awful personality trait? She was so good at manipulation! So good, in fact, that you had no idea what was happening until you were securely lodged under the bus and mutilated beyond recognition.
She was working at the same small company with her boyfriend. She was in administration and her boyfriend was one of two art designers.
One day, through the office grapevine, she found out that one of the designers in his department would have to be eliminated due to a lack of funds. There was no way her boyfriend was going to be the person drawing unemployment, so she made a plan and saw it through.
It was diabolical and conniving and executed with precision. I was impressed and disgusted, all at the same time. I’m not even sure I can tell the story with enough detail to allow you to imagine the thought and care she put into her plan. I never could have pulled it off!
I think the first thing she had to do was consider her players. Whom would she have to include in this in order to reach her goal? Whom would she need to befriend in order to plant seeds of doubt? What person could help her attain her objective without ever knowing what she was up to?
Obviously eliminating the other designer was her plan. If this were accomplished then her boyfriend would be home free! It helped that the other designer was female too. There was a plethora of ingenious methods she could deploy to rock this girl’s world.
She went to one of the managers and told him that “people” were complaining about how the female designer dressed at work. It was too provocative and sent the wrong message. “Someone should have a talk with her.” she told him. Now keep in mind that no one had complained about the way this girl dressed. The Manipulator had conjured this up as a jumping off point. And she added “Please don’t tell anyone I told you. If anyone finds out I told you they won’t tell me anything like this again.”
The manager, being efficient at his job and relishing the possibility of endless office gossip, had a talk with the female designer about her fashion sense at work. The designer was horrified! Who said this? He wouldn’t tell her.
Success! The designer is visibly shaken and embarrassed. She goes back to her work station looking over her shoulder at her colleagues with suspicion.
The Manipulator then launches the next phase into action. It was like taking candy from a baby now that the female designer was feeling vulnerable. All she had to do was offer her shoulder to cry on. And that’s exactly what she did. “Are you okay?” she asked the girl. “You look upset. Please. Tell me all about it.”
The new “friendship” now gave her permission to confide in the female designer. So in the interest of Us Against Them she whispers into the designer’s ear “I know who has been saying these awful things about you. I don’t think it’s right either.” And the Manipulator points her tiny, polished fingernail at the company owner. “He did it.”
The female designer was incensed. She won’t stand for this. So what does she do? She verbally attacks the company owner and makes such a scene that the entire company gets involved and it all results in her being fired for insubordination.
It played out like a television drama!
However the Manipulator forgot some key ingredients. She forgot integrity, honesty, goodness, virtue and about a million other terms of decency.
She also didn’t consider that the female designer would contact the Department of Labor and fight for her unemployment. That’s when the truth started coming out. Personal emails were obtained, computer activity was monitored and employees were interrogated. No one knew about the dress code complaint. No one, except the Manipulator.
The entire plan blew up in her face! In the end her boyfriend was fired too. But the Manipulator got to keep her job. You see, the owner of the company was her Daddy. Can you believe it?!
The Manipulator is now the Office Pariah.
The moral to this story is to recognize when you’re being manipulated. You need to act responsibly and with sincerity in the face of the ruse and above all else to avoid people that practice malicious manipulation at all costs. In general, people that manipulate do so out of some narcissistic need for attention and most of all for control. It’s selfish, self centered behavior.
The next time you find yourself in a vulnerable state resulting from something you know to be outlandish, take a moment to process before you lose your temper. Look into the eyes of the one being newly solicitous and helpful. What do you see there? Do you see a friend? Or do you see someone with something to gain from your pain? Chances are they’re the ones engineering your demise.
The best plan of action for this female designer would have been to ask for a company meeting to discuss the dress code. She should have been open about her distress about possibly offending someone so much that they had complained. If she had done this, rather than whispering with the Manipulator in private and then acting out of anger, she would still have her job.
Because the true facts were something the Manipulator didn’t even know…
The designer they were going to get rid of all along, was the boyfriend, not her.
- Psychological Manipulation (repentantsar.wordpress.com)
- Folks Are Ho-Hum About Your (Third) Wedding? Boo Fucking Hoo (seattleweekly.com)
- The Hard Life with Manipulator (socyberty.com)
- Real power (beticolson.wordpress.com)
- The Generic Villain on Puppetmasters and Priorities from Exchange of Realities (exchangeofrealities.com)
- Dealing with Manipulation: Who’s Pulling Your Strings? (niconica.wordpress.com)
- Ode to the Nice Guys (mafasworld.wordpress.com)
- Naughty or Nice? (lovesexcelebrities.com)
- Modern Female Archetypes: The Succubus (writingiscake.com)
- Sound Familiar (fashiondujourdaily.wordpress.com)