Psychological Self-Help

Navigation bar
  Home Print document View PDF document Start Previous page
 86 of 115 
Next page End Contents 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91  

is ideal but it will not always be possible. Consider using a win-win
negotiation (method #10 in chapter 13), or the "fair fighting" (method
#5 in chapter 13) if you are intimates in a long-term relationship.
The only gracious way to accept an insult is to ignore it; if you can't ignore it, top it; if you
can't top it, laugh at it; if you can't laugh at it, it's probably deserved.
-Russell Lynes
Control of and by others 
Many of us experience strong needs to control others. We want
others to see things and do things our way. We want to sell them
something. Shostrom (1968) described several types of
The dictator: wants to control others by orders, i.e. by virtue
of his/her authority, position, status, or rank. Such a person
believes he/she knows what is right and what you should do. 
The weakling: controls or defies authority by using his/her
weakness, sometimes in powerful ways, such as "Oh, I forgot,"
"I didn't understand," "I just can't do it," or "I'm so nervous."
This is passive-aggressiveness. 
The calculator: sees the world as a contest of wits. He/she is
constantly plotting, conning, pressuring, persuading, selling,
seducing, or trying to outwit others. 
The clinging vine: wants to be cared for, dependent,
submissive, and faithful. As a helpless, grateful, cuddly child,
he/she gets others to do a lot for him/her. See chapters 5 and
The bully: uses his/her anger, toughness, viciousness, and
threats to intimidate others and get his/her way. The "tough
guy" and "the bitch" are common characters. See chapter 7. 
What can you do about being manipulated? First, recognize what is
happening. Second, stand up for your rights. Think and decide for
yourself; assert yourself (see chapter 13). Build your self-esteem
(chapter 14) so that you are not overly dependent on others. 
What if you are the manipulator? Controllers or manipulators use
five basic methods of persuading or influencing others (Kipnis &
Schmidt, 1985): (1) Carefully stating the reasons and logic for
changing, (2) assertively reminding and urging someone to change,
(3) soliciting others to support your proposals, (4) going over
someone's head to get support from "higher ups," and (5) working out
a deal so you get part of what you want. Naturally, different leaders
use different methods: (1) the "steam rollers" go for broke and
Previous page Top Next page

« Back