First of all, I would like to make a general comment about manipulation. As such the term may carry a negative connotation and to some extent, it should because we probably have all been in the situation where we enter a shop and minutes later, depart with a product we originally had no intention in buying. It’s as if someone else outside of us has been pulling the strings and controlled our behaviour. The clever, friendly and savvy sales clerk sold us something, which we knew fine well that she would try, but we sometimes wind up feeling tricked. Yet, we accept that these manipulative skills are simply part of life. We apply them ourselves more or less subtly when we need something from someone or wish to achieve a goal. These skills though don’t carry the kind of malice and danger that are employed by malignant manipulators who exert their control over long periods of time, without people realizing it and when they finally do, it is often too late. They have lived in worry and self-doubt for too long. The damage has been done and despite an increased awareness on bullying and abuse, still too many victims either end up as headlines in a newspaper or remain hidden, unable to ever seek help.
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