Manipulative behavior – indirect aggression

nicolatramp3.jpgI hope you like the new theme – I’ve spent most of the weekend “tweaking” rather than getting down to 1001 other things I had planned!

Indirect aggression – I find this the most interesting of behavior types as I know its a style I have been guilty of drifting into from time to time. I’ve never been directly aggressive and since my teens I have gradually moved away from being passive. But being slightly devious or manipulative?!

Manipulative behavior is perhaps a better label than indirect aggression as its hard to perceive this as aggression – this isn’t hurting is it? Well, you are manipulating other people’s emotions to get what you want. You make them feel guilty, so that the only way of relieving that guilt is to give in to your request.

Sarcasm, deception, insinuating, ambiguity are all tools of indirect aggression. Using the example from saying no, a request for someone to work a shift would have follow up lines like:-

“You would do it if you cared about me” or “Don’t worry, I didn’t really want to go to the concert anyway”

Like direct aggression, indirect will meet needs in the short term by getting what we want. But long term it creates anger, resentment and frustration in others.

Priscilla July 31, 2007 at 6:37 pm

Your site looks great! Good job. As for passive aggression, I would say that we are hurting not only other but, ourselves. By not being direct people may or may not know what is really bothering us. If they do they may resent trying to be manipulated.

I believe we have all been guilty at some point of trying to manipulate. Yet, I hope we all can learn from our past that it may not be the best answer.

I would suggest learning to influence people in a positive way. Like Dale Carnegie said in How to Win Friends & Influence People “The only way we get others to do anything, is to get them to want to do it.”

David July 31, 2007 at 8:04 pm

Thanks for the feedback. I agree with what you’re saying – a problem with manipulative behavior is we’re not always we’re aware that we’re doing it. There are often examples within families, adult children being made to feel guilty by parents (for example)

Kevin G August 31, 2007 at 4:57 pm

Like, the site & use of photos. Must admit, not thought of this as “aggression”.

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