The mechanism of manipulation, writes Twinkle Khanna

Tuesday, 15 April 2014 - 7:15am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

Manipulation is a delicate art. It is successfully accomplished only by those who have both intimate knowledge of their prey and of their own nature.

I am not capable of practicing this skillful game simply because I have no ability to read other people and my value system functions on very different principles. The man of the house has recently declared on a widely viewed talk show that I have with no filter between my brain and my mouth and I cherish that as a fine compliment because I would rather be a rude human being than a devious one.
Unfortunately I have not reached this ripe old age without dealing with so many people who like to weave this little bit of trickery so I am not a stranger to the basic steps required to achieve this goal.
When you learn (sometimes the hard way) how this razzle-dazzle works, you will also be aware of what and whom to be wary of.

1. The nice snake: The nice snake is always sweet on the face, will compliment people on their beautiful shoes and even on their ugly dress. Even in dire circumstances you can never be unpleasant. You must always coo in front of the other person and hiss behind their back.

2.The dog ate my homework: It is never your fault that things didn't go right; it is the neighbour’s fault, or your boss is a psycho, your mother-in-law messed up, your dog ate up your box file and even god is never on your side. You are always the poor victim of circumstances.

3.Sweet talk: Flattery will take you a long way. Use your honeyed words to make the other person feel the way you want them to behave. Tell them how kind they are, how responsible they are and they will bend backwards to prove the same.

4.Take people down a gradual slope: Don’t let someone down all at once. Let them down slowly, piece by piece, so slowly that they will never realize they are being taken for a ride. Let them down one step at a time, till they eventually hit rock bottom and even then think that you didn't mean to lead then there.

5. Be a parrot: Repeat exactly what the opposite person is saying so that they think you understand them. If a person feels understood then they are putty in your hands. Tell them what they want to hear and they will always want to hear more.

6. Liar liar: Being a great liar is your biggest asset. It is even more important than the master’s degree in economics that you have framed and put up on your wall. A great liar has the ability to weave a story and place the other person exactly where they need them to be.

7.Caught out but don't cop out: If caught in the midst of your dubious game, you must immediately declare: how you are such a horrible person, how you don't deserve to live, how you are feeling so guilty, till the opposite person (whom you have actually stabbed) is now comforting you and is helpless to react in any other way.

8.All fairy tales come to an end: Eventually everyone will see through this web of manipulation and in a very firm manner dislodge you from their environment. And with time, as you go on playing your little tricks and people start keeping a distance from you, you will be left standing all alone. Your fairy tale has reached its natural, unhappy, final end.

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