Here’s why people become manipulative
You probably came across a manipulative person at least once in your life. It may even be someone really close to you, like your friend, relative or lover. Psychological manipulation in its broadest sense refers to a type of social influence that alters the vision or behavior of others through deceptive tactics. More often than not, manipulators exercise such influence to gain power, control, or benefits at the victim’s expense. Here are three main causes of psychological manipulation:
It is common knowledge that genetics dictate several aspects of your behavior. If you have some manipulative family members, you are likely to develop manipulative thoughts or behaviors, with or without your conscious awareness.
So, check if the manipulative person you know struggles for economic or social survival, or competes for power, control, love, status or privilege. Actually, in the presence of power struggles between family members, or against outsiders, the person is bound to grow more and more manipulative over time. Usually, the person in question uses manipulation as a survival mechanism to validate their personality or cope with a highly challenging environment.
Weaknesses and disadvantages during formative years:
In addition to family history, you should know that going through weaknesses and disadvantages during formative years can considerably affect a person’s personality traits and behaviors. As a matter of fact, exclusion in any way, whether in terms of economic, social and cultural and professional status, can become part of the accepted norm. That is why the individual in question can be highly affected and may develop psychological manipulation as a result.
Unfortunately, this strong desire to be part of the accepted norm may grow stronger, resulting in manipulative thoughts and behaviors. Besides, the person may even resort to some underhanded, deceptive or abusive methods to reach their ultimate goal.
Norms that encourage manipulation:
If you encountered a manipulative person, check if there are any social, professional, or societal norms that trigger cunning, scheming, bargaining, haggling, taking advantage of other people’s weaknesses and devising ruthlessness or another indirect influence or power. For instance, certain jobs require convincing skills more than others. While some people accept competitive bargaining in social interactions, others have a goal of convincing people to see things from their standpoint.
Repeated exposure to these influences make people internalize certain manipulative methods into behavioral norms.
Simply put, manipulation starts as a survival mechanism and develops to a pathological act of exploitation and abuse.