Accused of being narcissistic and manipulative


Manipulation is neutral.

What someone CHOOSES to do with intentionally shaping someone else’s thoughts/feelings/actions is what defines the morality of the situation.

Charm & Harm
Teach & Reach
Direct & Protect
That’s a different perspective than what I think is the more colloquial meaning of manipulation. I see your point though. I think I once brought this up with my T and she admitted that T’s are master manipulators, which is part of what makes them liable for their actions.

Same for teachers, and I hadn’t thought about how manipulative teachers are ‘til you mentioned it. Funny, at my school we don’t use grades or formal tests, so we have to use manipulation tactics based on social order and acceptance (i.e. shame and privileges) to shape (motivate) the behavior of students. There are pros and cons of course. I think social manipulation is used along with grades anyway, grades just add another layer of manipulation for those who respond to it.

Retail companies manipulate. Lawyers manipulate. Food service companies manipulate.

Maybe part of the reason some survivors are so wary of therapy is that they are hyper vigilant of manipulation and for survival developed an avoidance of it (including most relationships) against their own best interests. They want to be the only person doing the manipulation.

Appreciate the musings. I still think the colloquial usage of the word manipulation is different from how you’re presenting it @Friday. Sort of like the culinary vs botanical use of the word vegetable. Still helpful to understand both.