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The Subtle Music of Manipulative People

Posted in continued learning, enjoyable living, relationships, staying alive, trust, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 7, 2010 by dredslack

 Each of us has a particular style of speaking. Not just our language, accent and word choice but our tones, tone emphasis, cadence and dynamic (volume & intensity) range. If we listen for all these factors when trying to understand another’s statements the communication becomes more than simple text, it becomes a music with rhythms, melodies and time signatures (cadence and speed). 

 People who would manipulate us have a particular type of music in their language that if we discern, we can see as a warning flag and possibly avoid a painful consequence. Most manipulators first work to gain their victims trust so they can exert influence over their decisions and choices. To get their potential victim to feel ‘in sync’ with them (and thus liable to trust) they will not only mimic tastes, values and perspectives but also facets of speech such as cadence or dynamic range, etc. If the manipulator sounds like the person they’re working on, they’re more likely to be trusted by the person unaware. 

 For those of us who are aware, we have the opportunity not only to just observe but to throw out ‘false positives’ and see if they reveal a snaky ‘tell’ by being followed. For example if we exhibit a strong interest in animal welfare and our possibly manipulative person also ‘reveals’ a similar interest, a ‘building trust by matching’ dynamic may be afoot. Similarly, if we use hesitations (pausing for a second or two in the middle of a sentence) or make our main points with a staccato (sharp, almost jarring) style and we notice a bit of those unusual traits cropping up in a possible manipulator’s language, a subtle yet potentially destructive person may be showing themselves. Particularly if the effect is predominate. Snakes like to work quickly and will sometimes ‘ham it up’ in an attempt to speed the trust process. Thankfully that just makes them easier to see. 

 I worked ‘in house’ helping drug addicts overcome their addictions for years, and that afforded me the opportunity to see this effect over and over again. During the early part of their stay many patients would desperately argue that they needed this or that medication for a plethora of rationale (drug seeking behavior). Their perspectives and vocal music would shift to match mine (and the other councilors) at an almost unbelievable pace while they were trying to get what they wanted. The psychopathy temporarily caused by their withdrawal / addiction provided a resplendent example of why it’s important to listen to the music. Whether it’s subtle or screaming, it has a lot to say.

Risk Takers and Manipulators

Posted in relationships, trust, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on May 24, 2010 by dredslack

Risk Takers and Manipulators 

 Do you enjoy life? Do you try to live each day to its fullest? Would you rather take a few risks and get the most out of life or play it safe and not hurt? If you’re a ‘live life to the fullest’ sort of person I applaud you and hope your happiness is great and your troubles few, but be observant, manipulative people keep their eyes open for those who aren’t afraid to take a chance. 

Those of us who live ‘large’ will move pretty quickly in our professions, our relationships and our recreational activities. This tendency to go fast gives Two Legged Snakes (my term for manipulative people) a big advantage because that’s how they like to work; move quickly so their snaky deeds are done before they get discovered. Many a financial deal has become a disaster because too much was risked in a decision that was made too quickly for the snaky scheme to be revealed. 

 Besides finance, romance is the next life area where fast movers get hit hard. Even if your feelings say ‘full steam ahead, nothing bad could happen because this feeling is too good’, don’t move quickly with decisions that can have lasting consequences (like marriage or signing something). Take your time and savor the love you’re lucky to enjoy, if it’s the real, long lasting type it feels like, it’ll still be there next year. It’s a particularly bad sign if you’re getting a lot of encouragement from you lover to move fast or up the pace. Don’t do it, it’s your choice, the more pressure you get the more likely your dealing with a manipulator. 

 Lord knows I certainly don’t want to slow anyone down and I’m not one to encourage a fear based perspective, this is just a word to the wise that at times, fast movement can attract some unwanted and dangerous snaky attention. This is one of the reasons the music and entertainment industries have a lot of snaky people in them. Manipulators populate these industries because they are a prime target population to exploit; fast moving risk takers! Thankfully, if we are aware of this dynamic we can avoid snaky games and pay attention to the risks, and fun, at hand. At times we may slow down a bit, but that’s a lot better than a rag doll, lawn dart, Two Legged Snake disaster!

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