I almost didn’t write this article. And, its purpose is not to cause trouble or be “slick.” However, all language is manipulation (Is your kitchen small or cozy? Is that guy wordy or thorough?).
In addition, anything geared towards persuasion (such as selling) by its very nature involves knowing how to manipulate people. So, if you don’t know how to manipulate people, you’re not going too far in the world.
Why do you want to know how to manipulate people? I’m only concerned with legal, ethical, and moral uses. However, you can use these tips in a variety of ways including: selling stuff, getting dates, moving up the ladder at work, and even getting discounts or free stuff. Any situation that involves convincing others of something will require some manipulation. So, here we offer our tips on how to manipulate people. I’ll say it again: don’t abuse these powerful tips!
Set the Frame
A frame is the way we view a situation. If you want to manipulate or influence others, then you need to set the frame. For example, pretend you and your neighbor are both selling cars. His is old and cheap and yours is new and expensive. If a person approaches you, it’s important to set the frame towards quality, not price. However, your neighbor will want to set the frame based on price.
This is important when trying to get your own way in life. Wherever you are, try to frame a situation to your advantage. You screw up? Frame it as a chance for you to learn from your mistakes. You tick off your girlfriend, set the frame so you’re a victim and get her feeling sorry for you.
Typically you set the frame by being in charge, or at least acting like it. Project confidence and be confident about your position. Also, with frames, it helps to act proactively. So, if you have made a mistake, don’t wait for it to be discovered. Own up, but frame the admission in a way that makes you look good. Always steer the situation in a way that benefits you.
Notice how a good salesman doesn’t just come up and ask you to buy a car? The best of the bunch try to get to know you first and get you to like them. They want to have a sense of rapport, or connection, to you. Sometimes it is hard to say “no” to my insurance guy because I like him so much as a person.
If you want to manipulate others, then you’ll need to get to know them in some fashion. Ask open ended questions and truly listen. Don’t view this as a chance to simply get others to do your bidding. Instead, actually get to know and like the person you’re talking to. It’s much better to come out of the conversation with a friend you can network with for years to come than a one off success anyway.
Use Language to Your Advantage
That statement gets you thinking a little. I could say “like us on Facebook” but that would be a pretty hard sell. But, notice how I softened the language a little bit. But, the effect is the same. It’s still a request to like our Facebook page. This is an example of an embedded command.
These are not magic. They don’t work like a charm. But, if employed correctly, they can help win over and manipulate other people. They are often successful because the person doesn’t feel used or manipulated. Here is a list of common embedded commands.
I know it sounds odd, but if you want something, then ask for it. In many cases, the best path to getting what you want (the ultimate point of manipulation) is to be direct. Ask in a way that utilizes the previous tips, but just go out and do it!
Most people don’t get their way because they simply don’t ask for it. Sure, the answer could be no, but that doesn’t matter. Be detached, relaxed, and calm — and go for it. Whether it’s a date, a coffee refill, or anything else, approach and ask for it.
While there are many other methods that I could write about how to manipulate people, these will be enough for a short article. Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) offers some great tips to manipulate others, as do other experts like David Lieberman. For more information, I recommend the following books:
Persuasion Engineering – Bandler and LaValle (Note: this book is written in the same way the techniques are used; in other words, it can be a difficult read if you don’t realize this. However, understand you won’t be getting list of tips, but many examples of the tips)
Patterns of the Hypnotic Techniques of Milton Erickson (Vol. 1) – Bandler and Grinder
Get Anyone To Do Anything – Lieberman