Definition, what is manipulation: controlling someone or something to your own advantage, often unfairly or dishonestly.
Well there you have it, manipulation can often be dishonest and unfair. Teachers of transactional analysis will tell you that manipulation is unassertive behaviour. To me it is used to communicate one way, when it is in fact not communication at all. Having said that in an established relationship where people have communicated openly and honestly, then it can work in my opinion. Sometimes an issue or a method or a movement or a belief works if it stays within its natural limits. For example the church is fine for teaching its beliefs, singing worship songs and praying, but getting involved in issues it is not familiar with is dangerous. Manipulation seems fine when operating on a very minor level.
In some parts of the world manipulation can play a part in sex and relationships, but if there is no foundation, tradition or these things have started to fragment, manipulation can often lead to misunderstanding. The whole process is based on assumption, people who tell a lot of lies expect others to do likewise so they don’t listen. Or if they do, blaming the other party behind their back with a lack of accuracy can be dangerous.
What happens if a system is based on manipulation? Then manipulative liars are the ones that take control. They can play everyone else as much as they like, convincing people with their fake honesty. Incapable of taking responsibility for their actions.
Why do they do it? Jealousy, hatred, misunderstanding all based on assumption. It used to be said that assumption was the mother of all f**k ups. But I expect that phrase has been manipulated out of use. It can be tragic when sociopathic people find out the truth. But they would not know what that is. To show kindness to such as these is sometimes futile.
When dealing with personal issues, even Psycho-Dynamic counsellors say the most important phase is forgiveness. Lack of forgiveness leads to irrational emotions that can lead to revenge in all different directions. Forgiveness is hard, especially if people have suffered so much that it is impossible even to explain. But lashing out to those around you, those who may have no connection with a person’s suffering, to me is a sign of un-forgiveness. Christians are fortunate as they have access to personal forgiveness, but this page is not about pushing Christianity despite many references to it. I feel that forgiveness and hate are two different things. In letting go and forgiving, people may find hatred has cooled so that things have calmed down in their mind. There may be the desire for revenge, but it could well be thought out, appropriate, progressive, well timed and legal, if it is focussed at the root of the pain.
There is only one thing I can manipulate and that is plasticine, so I am left out of this world. But the basis of any relationship should be open honest communication, and it could be manipulation or anything just as long as both parties understand it. But as the definition at the top states it can unfair or dishonest, I would suspect that manipulation is a technique for gaining and keeping control.
I believe in personal freedom to be who I want to be and not be controlled by another person unless I choose to be. That could only happen if I trusted them to handle me and we could communicate in a language we both understand.
So my advice to the manipulative. Stick to the plasticine!