Brainwashing isn’t just movie stuff or fiction. It is present in different forms in our society. Manipulation, forcefully trying to convince people of something, constantly being bombarded with rants – we are all subjected to brainwashing on a daily basis.
Here’s the thing. Our brain is influenced in all sort of weird ways we can’t possibly imagine. No wonder brands, salesperson “trick” us into buying stuff we don’t need.
Repeating One’s Opinion will Make People believe it!
How many times have you been exposed to mindless rants? Sadly, when you keep hearing the same thing again and again, your brain is more likely to accept it as a common belief.
Researchers call the phenomenon “memory distortion.” Interestingly, even if the person is talking bullshit, we’re still likely to believe it.
Emotional Manipulation – How They Wash and Control Your Mind!
Emotional manipulation basically is an extreme form of brainwashing. We often associate the practice with toxic exes, but these techniques are used by advertisers, politicians and popular brands.
A form of social influence, emotional or psychological manipulation is not a healthy practice. It includes applying pressure to control someone’s thoughts and behaviors through crafty, abusive or other underhanded practices. Emotional manipulation happens when someone uses deception, or similar mechanisms, to exploit another person’s vulnerabilities to achieve his own goal.
An emotional manipulator might talk down your performance at work to make you feel insecure so that you won’t compete for a promotion. An emotional manipulator may use lies or deception to alter your perception of reality. Their goal is to tip the balance of power in their favor. Manipulators control other people by exploiting their weaknesses.
The manipulator will offer you choices, but they’d all lead to the same conclusion. The problem with emotional manipulation is that it is sometimes impossible to discover whether or not you are being manipulated! Your actions as the result of manipulation might be something that’s perfectly normal and okay for you.
What are the common techniques used by manipulators?
- They try to isolate you from friends and family. This way they don’t have to worry about a third party. They’d ask you to choose between friends/family and them.
- They will attack your self-confidence and esteem. Remember, a manipulator wants to be in a superior position, and mocking, ridiculing and making the victim feel inferior is a common practice. These attacks can be intimidating as well.
- Most manipulators brainwash their victims by mentally torturing them. They often resort to blaming the victim and invading their personal space. Needless to say, they lie and makeup stories to mentally torture the victim. They also play upon gut feelings.
- Though rare, manipulators can use physical techniques to brainwash a person. These include playing loud music and depriving someone of their sleep. A schedule is maintained that causes physical and mental fatigue.
- Signs of a Manipulative Person
- They make you feel sorry for expressing your concerns. You can’t talk about your feelings or ask for the change you need.
- Lying, exaggerating and understating the truth are all means of manipulation. Manipulators will distort the facts to keep you off balance.
- They make you feel guilty. This is a classic tactic. They want you to feel sorry for them. They only highlight their own problems and force you to believe that your emotions, opinions, and problems don’t matter. Manipulators might give the silent treatment to make you feel unimportant or trying to scare you.
Don’t Let Others Think for You.
Often we are blinded by reality and get stuck on a certain idea or belief. When our brain accepts an idea (whether it is right or not), it is impossible to change it no matter what people say.
To avoid brainwashing, surround yourself with a spectrum of information. Don’t settle for the idea/message that makes you comfortable. Stay away from people who care only about their own needs, those who put their self-interest above that of others. You’ll likely come across excellent manipulators who figure out all the ways to push your ‘hot buttons’ to get exactly what they want.
Many adults grow out of this type of manipulation – but some don’t.
To stop emotional manipulation, remember your worth. You are on equal ground with the other person and have the right to be heard. Avoid blaming yourself – never let them manipulate you into believing something is solely your fault.
Your freedom to express yourself through words and actions is essential to your well-being and your mental health. You can’t alter the behaviors of others, but you can limit your exposure to situations that are unhealthy and refuse to internalize the messages a manipulator tries to feed you.
Signs of Emotional Manipulation & How It Affects Relationships – Brookhaven Retreat
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