Posts tagged ‘Confidence’

Bullying Management and Psychological Manipulation

Psychological manipulation is a type of social influence that aims to change the perception or behaviour of others through underhanded, deceptive, or even abusive tactics. This is done by advancing the interests of the manipulator, often at another’s expense, such methods could be considered exploitative, abusive, devious, deceptive and bullying. Yep psychological manipulation is often the modus operandi of the workplace bully. Knowing their mindset allows you to nip at source their power and rendering them weakened and ineffectual.

However, before we begin I should point out that not all Social influence is necessarily negative. For example, doctors can try to persuade patients to change unhealthy habits. Social influence is generally perceived to be harmless when it respects the right of the influenced to accept or reject and is not unduly coercive. But depending on the context and motivations, social influence may constitute underhanded manipulation and bullying. In the case of our manager/employer you can decide for yourself whether they are socially influencing you for the right reasons or manipulating you into a destructive mindset for their own agenda.

If you are resistant to the social influence and the manipulator applies undue pressure and assault then you are probably being bullied and you need to take charge and learn the skills necessary to turn the tables before you become ill.

What the Bully requires for successful manipulation

According to psychology author George K. Simon, successful psychological manipulation primarily involves the manipulator:

  1. concealing aggressive intentions and behaviours.
  2. knowing the psychological vulnerabilities of the victim to determine what tactics are likely to be the most effective.
  3. having a sufficient level of ruthlessness to have no qualms about causing harm to the victim if necessary.

Consequently the manipulation is likely to be accomplished through covert aggressive means.

Motivations of bullying manipulators

Manipulators can have various possible motivations, including:

  • the need to advance their own purposes and personal gain at virtually any cost to others
  • a strong need to attain feelings of power and superiority in relationships with others
  • a want and need to feel in control (aka. control freak)
  • a desire to gain a feeling of power over others in order to raise their perception of self-esteem

How bullying manipulators control their victims

The following basic ways that manipulators control their victims:

  • Positive reinforcement: includes praise, superficial charm, superficial sympathy (crocodile tears), excessive apologising, money, approval, gifts, attention, facial expressions such as a forced laugh or smile, and public recognition.
    • Negative reinforcement: involves removing one from a negative situation as a reward, e.g. “You won’t have to do your homework if you allow me to do this to you.”
    • Intermittent or partial reinforcement: Partial or intermittent negative reinforcement can create an effective climate of fear and doubt. Partial or intermittent positive reinforcement can encourage the victim to persist – for example in most forms of gambling, the gambler is likely to win now and again but still lose money overall.
    • Punishment: includes nagging, yelling, the silent treatment, intimidation, threats, swearing, emotional blackmail, the guilt trip, sulking, crying, and playing the victim.
    • Traumatic one-trial learning: using verbal abuse, explosive anger, or other intimidating behaviour to establish dominance or superiority; even one incident of such behaviour can condition or train victims to avoid upsetting, confronting or contradicting the manipulator.
    • Lying: It is hard to tell if somebody is lying at the time they do it, although often the truth may be apparent later when it is too late. One way to minimise the chances of being lied to is to understand that some personality types (particularly psychopaths) are experts at the art of lying and cheating, doing it frequently, and often in subtle ways.
    • Lying by omission: This is a very subtle form of lying by withholding a significant amount of the truth. This technique is also used in propaganda.
    • Denial: Manipulator refuses to admit that he or she has done something wrong.
    • Rationalisation: An excuse made by the manipulator for inappropriate behaviour. Rationalisation is closely related to spin.
    • Minimisation: This is a type of denial coupled with rationalisation. The manipulator asserts that his or her behaviour is not as harmful or irresponsible as someone else was suggesting, for example saying that a taunt or insult was only a joke.
    • Selective inattention or selective attention: Manipulator refuses to pay attention to anything that may distract from his or her agenda, saying things like “I don’t want to hear it”.
    • Diversion: Manipulator not giving a straight answer to a straight question and instead being diversionary, steering the conversation onto another topic.
    • Evasion: Similar to diversion but giving irrelevant, rambling, vague responses, weasel words.
    • Covert intimidation: Manipulator throwing the victim onto the defensive by using veiled (subtle, indirect or implied) threats.
    • Guilt trip: A special kind of intimidation tactic. A manipulator suggests to the conscientious victim that he or she does not care enough, is too selfish or has it easy. This usually results in the victim feeling bad, keeping them in a self-doubting, anxious and submissive position.
    • Shaming: Manipulator uses sarcasm and put-downs to increase fear and self-doubt in the victim. Manipulators use this tactic to make others feel unworthy and therefore defer to them. Shaming tactics can be very subtle such as a fierce look or glance, unpleasant tone of voice, rhetorical comments, subtle sarcasm. Manipulators can make one feel ashamed for even daring to challenge them. It is an effective way to foster a sense of inadequacy in the victim.
    • Playing the victim role: Manipulator portrays him- or herself as a victim of circumstance or of someone else’s behaviour in order to gain pity, sympathy or evoke compassion and thereby get something from another. Caring and conscientious people cannot stand to see anyone suffering and the manipulator often finds it easy to play on sympathy to get cooperation.
    • Vilifying the victim: More than any other, this tactic is a powerful means of putting the victim on the defensive while simultaneously masking the aggressive intent of the manipulator.
    • Playing the servant role: Cloaking a self-serving agenda in guise of a service to a more noble cause, for example saying he is acting in a certain way for “obedience” and “service” to God or a similar authority figure.
    • Seduction: Manipulator uses charm, praise, flattery or overtly supporting others in order to get them to lower their defences and give their trust and loyalty to him or her.
    • Projecting the blame (blaming others): Manipulator scapegoats in often subtle, hard-to-detect ways.
    • Feigning innocence: Manipulator tries to suggest that any harm done was unintentional or that they did not do something that they were accused of. Manipulator may put on a look of surprise or indignation. This tactic makes the victim question his or her own judgment and possibly his own sanity.
    • Feigning confusion: Manipulator tries to play dumb by pretending he or she does not know what the victim is talking about or is confused about an important issue brought to his attention.
    • Brandishing anger: Manipulator uses anger to brandish sufficient emotional intensity and rage to shock the victim into submission. The manipulator is not actually angry, he or she just puts on an act. He just wants what he wants and gets “angry” when denied.

Vulnerabilities exploited by bullying manipulators

Manipulators exploit the following vulnerabilities (buttons) that may exist in victims:

  • the “disease to please”
  • addiction to earning the approval and acceptance of others
  • Emotophobia (fear of negative emotion; i.e. a fear of expressing anger, frustration or disapproval)
  • lack of assertiveness and ability to say no
  • blurry sense of identity (with soft personal boundaries)
  • low self-reliance
  • external locus of control
  • naïveté – victim finds it too hard to accept the idea that some people are cunning, devious and ruthless or is “in denial” if he or she is being victimised.
  • over-conscientiousness – victim is too willing to give manipulator the benefit of the doubt and see their side of things in which they blame the victim.
  • low self-confidence – victim is self-doubting, lacking in confidence and assertiveness, likely to go on the defensive too easily.
  • over-intellectualisation – victim tries too hard to understand and believes the manipulator has some understandable reason to be hurtful.
  • emotional dependency – victim has a submissive or dependent personality. The more emotionally dependent the victim is, the more vulnerable he or she is to being exploited and manipulated.

Bullying Manipulators generally take the time to scope out the characteristics and vulnerabilities of their victim.

Here is a list of those who are vulnerable to psychopathic manipulators:

  • too dependent – dependent people need to be loved and are therefore gullible and liable to say yes to something to which they should say no.
  • too immature – has impaired judgment and believes the exaggerated advertising claims.
  • too naïve – cannot believe there are dishonest people in the world, taking for granted that if there were they would not be allowed to operate.
  • too impressionable – overly seduced by charmers. For example, they might vote for the seemingly charming politician who kisses babies.
  • too trusting – people who are honest often assume that everyone else is honest. They are more likely to commit themselves to people they hardly know without checking credentials, etc., and less likely to question so-called experts.
  • too lonely – lonely people may accept any offer of human contact. A psychopathic stranger may offer human companionship for a price.
  • too narcissistic – narcissists are prone to falling for unmerited flattery.
  • too impulsive – make snap decisions about, for example, what to buy or whom to marry without consulting others.
  • too altruistic – the opposite of psychopathic: too honest, too fair, too empathetic.
  • too frugal – cannot say no to a bargain even if they know the reason it is so cheap.
  • too materialistic – easy prey for loan sharks or get-rich-quick schemes.
  • too greedy – the greedy and dishonest may fall prey to a psychopath who can easily entice them to act in an immoral way.
  • too masochistic – lack self-respect and so unconsciously let psychopaths take advantage of them. They think they deserve it out of a sense of guilt.
  • the elderly – the elderly can become fatigued and less capable of multi-tasking. When hearing a sales pitch they are less likely to consider that it could be a con. They are prone to giving money to someone with a hard-luck story. See elder abuse.

Help for Those Feeing Bullied.

If you feel you are being bullied, harassed, harangued or stressed by a bullying manipulator then you need to learn how you can regain the controls of your life. Learn to Stop the Bullies Now! It is time to put an end to your suffering.

Get in touch and together we can build your strategy.

wilf@mindskills.co.uk

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October 23, 2013 at 3:48 pm Leave a comment

7 Public Speaking Survival Tips

7 Public Speaking Survival Tips

I used to be terrified of public speaking – now it’s natural and fun.

Dry mouth, fast heart, sweaty palms, blank mind – yeah I’ve been there! It’s easy to fear public speaking. But I was never just content with overcoming fear. I wanted to be a great speaker. What I needed was a way of calming down and applying simple techniques and strategies to talk like a pro.

When I’d learned to relax (more of that later) I learned and applied the following four steps.

  1. Reassure your audience – they need to know you know your stuff and you are human!
  2. Hook them by being interesting and relevant. Tell them why what you are saying is relevant to them.
  3. Inspire them by giving them information and ways of seeing that are new and applicable.
  4. Leave them on a high by telling a story them encapsulates your central message.

How do you become confident enough to apply the four steps?

Here’s some tips some of which are practical some of which are to do with the way you think about your public presentations and also how you can start to change the way you feel about them.

Tip One

Breath your way to calm. When you breath out you relax that’s why people sigh when they’re stressed.

Breathing in without breathing out causes hyperventilation and worsens anxiety. Just before your speech take five minutes breathing in to the count of seven and out to the count of eleven (quick count-not seconds!). On the out breath hold it a second before breathing in again. This will produce quick and lasting calm. Remember extending the out breath calms you down.

Tip Two

You have a responsibility as the presenter but relax you don’t carry all the responsibility. Presenting is a team effort. Audiences are responsible for politeness, extending their attention and attempting to learn. It’s not all you-it’s a meeting of two halves. Never mind how they judge you. How do you judge them?

Tip Three

Use metaphor and stories. We all experience life metaphorically. The most technical logical person spends at least two hours a night dreaming! Talk detail if necessary but present patterns with metaphors. Folk from 4 to 104 love stories. Use em.

Tip four

Captivate attention by using words that evoke all the senses. Describe how things look, sound, feel, smell and taste. Paint pictures and sensations in their minds with your words.

Tip Five

Vary your voice tonality and speed of delivery. Keep them alert and engaged. Convey energy when need be and slow down when you need to ‘draw them in close.’ You are the conductor to their orchestra. And pepper your talk with humour. Your willingness to be funny shows personal confidence and confidence is contagious.

Tip Six

Tell them what they are going to get. What they are currently getting and then what they have got from you. Sell your sizzle!

Tip Seven

Watch and learn from other great speakers until compelling, relaxed speaking is a part of you.

Rehearse positively. You need to rehearse how your going to feel as well as what you are going to present. Don’t think about your forthcoming presentation whilst feeling nervous as this creates an instinctive association between fear and presenting. This natural negative self-hypnosis is very common with nervous speakers.

Hypnotically rehearse your speech whilst feeling relaxed. This produces the right ‘blueprint’ in your mind. In fact when you do this enough times it actually becomes hard to be nervous!

All great speakers know how to use great self-hypnotic rehearsal. Hypnosis changes attitudes and can bring emotion under control. I used hypnosis, to change my instincts around public speaking. Now I just can’t get nervous whether it’s 50 or 500 people. The world needs great communicators. Go for it!

Cure your fear of public speaking at HypnosisDownloads.com

Article by Mark Tyrrell of Hypnosis Downloads.com.

January 25, 2013 at 3:02 pm Leave a comment


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