Sunday, April 6, 2008

Braiker's Seven Keys to Resisting Manipulation

From Harriet Braiker's

"Who's Pulling Your Strings"

Seven Keys to
Resist Manipulation

(Pgs 176 - 204)

Step 1: Playing for Time
You will do this by inserting a period of time between the manipulator’s request or demand and your response. Once you learn to build in time to think about your options, your sense of control will increase immediately… Notice that you are not asking permission… Take comfort in the fact that your feelings will change as your behavior changes. But you must do the behavior first, and your mind will follow.

Step 2: The Broken Record
It is critical that you do not become engaged in a conversation with the manipulator about why you need time, what you are going to think over, or when exactly you will be ready to respond and do what the manipulator wants. If you get pulled into this morass, you will lose control.

Acknowledge that you hear and understand the manipulator by accurately labeling the emotion or feeling that is being expressed. Repeat your play-for-time phrase just like a broken record.

You will not – and should not! enter into an explanation, question-and-answer session, or discussion of any content of what the manipulator is saying.

Step 3: Desensitizing Anxiety, Fear and Guilt
To resist manipulation effectively, you must learn to tolerate some pretty uncomfortable feelings.[You’ve got to buy the book for this extensive summary!]

Step 4: Labeling the Manipulation
As long as the silent contact between you and the manipulator remains in tact, the power of the manipulation will as well. However, when you disrupt the collusion and reveal the hidden agenda by clearly and directly labeling the interactionas a manipulation, the power balance will realign in your direction.

Step 5: Disabling the Manipulation
To disable the manipulation, you need to state that you understand the manipulator’s goal, but that the manipulative tactic she is choosing to use will not work to accomplish that goal.

Step 6: Setting Your Terms
[Also explained in depth in the book!]
1.) Announce your intention.2.) Teach the manipulator how you want to be treated.
3.) Establish clear boundaries and limits.
4.) Ask the manipulator to acknowledge that you have needs, values, opinions and preferences for your own behavior, that, while they many be different from his or hers, they are not bad or wrong.5.) Tell the manipulator that you are hopeful that by setting limits and reestablishing your personal integrity, the overall quality of the relationship for both of you will improve.

Step 7: Compromising and Negotiating 
While there is no compromise or negotiation on the tactics used by the manipulator, there needs to be healthy give and take on meeting your respective needs and preferences. As you will recall, a hard-core manipulator is only interested in serving his own interests and his own ends. Left to his own devices, the manipulator will not automatically be looking out for what you need or desire.