Monday, March 31, 2008

Braiker on Manipulators and Projection

From Harriet B. Braiker's

Who's Pulling Your Strings?

Most excellent subtitle:

(How to break the cycle of manipulation
and regain control of your life.)

How Manipulators Create the World They Perceive
(pg. 64-65)

The fifth element of the manipulator’s worldview merits special consideration here because of the unique way in which this perception transforms into a self-fulfilling prophecy. The manipulator uses the defense mechanism of projection in his dealings with the world of others.

She believes that given a choice, everyone else believes the same way she does. In other words, other people see the world in the same stark win-lose terms. She feels that others also believe that they can play or they will get played – and that given a choice, others will always opt for being the controlling/manipulating party. She feels that others only feel their own needs – which the manipulator can barely imagine as being different fundamentally from her own. And finally, she feels that others share in her self-centered sense of entitlement.

Given this tendency toward projection – toward seeing in the motives and beliefs of others the same drives that propel her interpersonal dealings – the manipulator cannot act in a trusting manner. She instinctively will approach any situation that requires a choice between trusting another person and behaving cooperatively versus not trusting another person and behaving competitively by opting for the latter strategy.

The manipulator always will put the distrusting foot forward; because she expects others to act only out of competitive self-interest, she will make the preemptive competitive strike first.