Psychological manipulation, as a type of social influence, aims to change the behavioural attitude or perception of another person through mental distortion, emotional exploitation, with the intention to seize power, control benefits and privileges at the expense of the victim.
People who manipulate others are mostly self-centred. They serve their interests and often at the expense of an innocent victim. Methods employed by manipulators can be characterized as abusive, devious, deceptive and exploitative.
Though their actions are undoubtedly malicious, these set of people are often very crafty and smart, the act of manipulation involves deliberate and high thought processes, and this can only be successfully gotten by a person that utilizes human psychology to their advantage.
They have the power to twist your thoughts, actions, wants and desires into something that better suits their needs and how they see the world, and they mould you into someone that serves their purposes.
It is worthy of note that differences exist between healthy social influence and psychological manipulation as the former occurs between most people and is a part of the give and take in constructive relationships while in the latter, one person is used for the benefit of another. The manipulator deliberately creates a situation of power imbalance and uses that as an advantage to exploit the victim to serve their agenda.
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