In order to get our needs met in relationships we need to be able to influence on others, even if this means getting them to listen to us, or take an interest in an opinion we hold. There are a limited number of ways to do that in relationships. Sometimes a client will ask me if I can teach them how to manipulate and control others in order to achieve this. This is not something I approve of and I also think that if someone is asking me this question, then they may not know that there are other options available to get their needs met in relationships.
Of course you can control, bully, scare and coerce someone into doing things. This entails leveraging power, making threats, and instilling fear of repercussions and if you have enough leverage and someone thinks that you can and will carry your threats though then they may well do what you want them to do. They will do this because they are scared of you though and believe that you will hurt them or punish them if they do not do what you want of them. This is very different to responding to you out of love, caring, loyalty or compassion though.
Alternatively, leading with charisma can be effective, involving persuasive and inspiring communication. Charismatic leadership hinges on building belief in genuine interest and concern for others’ needs. It appeals to the heart, allowing individuals to make choices driven by inspiration, loyalty, affection, or devotion.
Another option it is to share your needs with others in a vulnerable way. This means staying with your fears, loneliness, longings and more fragile feelings and sharing these with someone else in a non-demanding, open way. This appeals to compassion, kindness, and affection, setting it apart from manipulation where vulnerability might be subtly used to pressure others into meeting needs.
Eliciting curiosity is a unique way to engage people, requiring them to feel safe around you. By playfully inviting interaction, much like fluffy pets do, one can create a sense of safety and joy. Pets, with their affection and loyalty, build a secure environment, making engagement natural and enjoyable.
Lastly, a calculated, cold approach involves combining these methods to trick and manipulate. Acting skills are crucial, but it’s important to note that this illusion is fragile, and trust, goodwill, and affection may be lost when the truth surfaces.
Psychotherapist, family and marriage therapist, certified senior coach (ACC, IOBC), hypnotherapist, trauma therapist. Faculty member for various national and international conferences and the author of articles in journals and contributions to professional textbooks.