Why Manipulation Won't Get You Anywhere Good
I have always been seen as someone nice. Never got in much trouble nor made many “enemies” until now.
But at the same time, I have never considered myself to be nice. I have been manipulative many times throughout my life sometimes willingly and many times only realizing it after.
My most manipulative action was 10 years ago. After shamelessly preventing the girl I liked to have a one-night stand with a guy at a party, we parted ways and decided not to talk to each other but to never mention what had happened to our friends.
Yet, 2 months later, I learned she had told the story to some of our common friends. I was hurt and anger took over me. I started looking into how to get girls and probably misunderstood a lot of what I read because what I took away from it was that everything needed to be calculated.
So when she came back to me saying she missed our time as friends, I put all the blame on her.
Despite the fact that our friendship had disappeared due to my actions, I made her believe it was her not upholding the agreement we made that prevented us from being friends again.
Little by little, she became the one apologizing to me and pushing for us to meet up. Despite being jumping with happiness in my room, my messages stayed cold and showed no intention of accepting.
And finally came a Saturday, the weekend before a big test we had. I had prepared well and knew the rest of the weekend would barely be needed to pass. She, on the other end, wasn’t a serious student and rarely studied in advance. So I knew she wasn’t ready.
I knew she had become hung up on the idea she’d do anything to meet up. So I played on that and suddenly told her I’d meet her in the evening if I considered she had studied enough.
Throughout the day, she told me “I’m ready!” many times and I kept saying it wasn’t enough. But at 6 p.m, I told her it was ok and I’d meet up if she were at my place one hour later without fault. She lived 45–50 minutes away.
She got ready and came running, making it just on time… and I knew I had won.
The evening went well and quickly we started hooking up. We kept it hidden for 2 months from the rest of our friends.
But how could such a relationship stay strong in the long run? I obviously couldn’t and at the 3-month mark, we broke it off and — luckily — stayed friends for another year.
I had been manipulative to get the girl and I succeded. I was happy but only for a short span of time.
And I felt bad at the same time. To this day, this story is both my more shameful and manipulative story. Between being so self-centered I prevented two people from living their life and being so manipulative I got the girl I wanted, this story has left its mark on me.
What’s the takeaway from this story?
Yes, you can probably get anything you want from being manipulative.
But I would highly recommend staying away from such actions. It leaves a strong negative impact on your own self-esteem even though you might take time to realize it.
Manipulating people is a trait many “high-profile” people have. But it’s also a sign of someone alone deep inside.
How to obtain what you want the right way?
In the end, getting what we want comes down to one single thing: How much are you willing to do?
Many people believe the question is “How far are you willing to go?”
But that question separates the actions from the goal. What matters is what you do, not where you go.
So here’s a starting list for you to start focusing on:
- Find what you really want and have a reason for it
- Make a clear difference between the positive and negative paths you have in front of you
- Accept the difference of times needed and go for the slow option
- Take one step at a time. Not two, not three. Not even one and a half
- Be aware you might not succeed and make peace with that
Manipulation comes down to ignorance.
The ignorance that we cannot do anything on our own. We believe we get support when we manipulate someone into our side but in the end, nobody will stay by your side forever if you don’t give them their freedom.
Do I feel bad about the story above? A bit. Clearly, since I can remember every single tiny — and pointless — detail of the story, it means I am not fully over it. And I don’t want to be. Because remembering it is making me become a better man.
We’ll all have been manipulative at certain times of our life. If you have already done it, reflect on it and get the memory of it stuck in you. So you never do it again and also become a person.