Do you want to untangle difficult
relationships or negative emotions?
Do you want to change how you react to people?
Recognize Compliance and Overcome Manipulation
Many marketing programs are designed by professionals
to influence and persuade you ... to access your money, influence your
vote, gain your obedience or to implant obsessions. Representatives
of religions and political parties may want to persuade you to obey
some dogma or promote some slogan. Common ways of gaining compliance are:
Do you want to protect yourself against
manipulation and abuse?
Client Abuse by Therapists
. Abuse by Trainers
Compliance & Reciprocity
In your desire to be fair, do you:
- hide your power from other people?
- ignore other factors in your decisions?
- repay a tiny favor with a much larger favor?
- forget to decide whether you wish to feel indebted?
If a seller shows you a luxury car - you may be more motivated to
buy a cheaper model. If a designer shows you a
top of the line package - you may become more willing to
purchase a less expensive deal. Many compliance games start
with offers for you to reject, followed by a lesser offer that they
planned for you to accept.
A defense against reciprocity is to admire the bait or
accept a favor, if you want it, but be ready to redefine it
as a trick. Then you can better reject manipulation.
Malicious Compliance (Working to Rule)
Malicious compliance inflicts harm by strictly
following orders, knowing that compliance with the orders will
cause loss or damage. This form of sabotage is used to harm
leadership or is used by leadership to hurt subordinates.
A work-to-rule is malicious compliance in which rules
are carefully followed in a deliberate attempt to reduce productivity.
Compliance & Consistency
You probably want your words, attitudes and deeds to
be consistent. This reduces your need to reprocess information and offers
shortcuts through complex decisions. If you are invited to take a position
(e.g. a loyal member of an association), you may act in ways that
do not support your own values, goals or even your life.
To resist consistency, you can ask yourself, "If remember
my own values, would I still make this commitment?"
Compliance & Social Proof
Before making decisions, check what other people believe.
An organization may misinform you that many other people have purchased their
products or used their services. This may motivate you to do
something that you would otherwise avoid.
Social proof can most influence you when:
- you feel uncertain (you are more likely to accept
others' actions as correct)
- people like you do something (you are more likely
to follow people like you)
You can test the evidence of what others are doing and
recognize that other people, even people like you, need
not be a basis for your decisions.
Compliance & Likeability
You are more likely to agree with people you like. You
credit people you like with talent, kindness and intelligence.
Many organizations, politicians and other salespeople use this to
influence your decisions. Remember that most salespeople are
selected or trained to be likeable. Effective sales includes:
- being physically attractive
- giving praise and compliments
- association with things you want
- contacting you in pleasant circumstances
- building familiarity through repeated contacts
- appearing to have similar values and beliefs to you
If I notice that I like a
seller, I mentally separate the person from the product,
and decide about the quality and desirability of the product
independent of the apparent personality of the seller. I also analyze
which sales techniques were
used to influence me ... this helps
me remain cool and realistic. Martyn
Compliance & Assumed Authority
If you comply with authorities mindlessly, you probably
respond to symbols of authority rather than to real authority.
Three authority symbols are particularly effective - you may
be more compliant to people with any of these symbols - even to people who
have no other evidence of authority!
- Automobiles (does a BMW really indicate success?)
- Titles (fake university degrees can be purchased by mail order)
- Clothes (thrift or charity stores often have quality
clothes for little money)
You can defend yourself against compliance and assumed authority
by asking for details about their automobiles, titles and clothes ...
or just by asking yourself:
- Is this person competent?
- What proof of expertise is available?
Compliance & Scarcity
Do you fall for "limited amount" or
"deadline" tactics? A message may seem more powerful
if presented as exclusive or special. If a product or service is
presented as a special offer - it may seem more desirable and you are
more likely to buy it.
Check if you want the goods or services. Maybe the items are
available elsewhere ... most marketers and salespeople are trained
to manipulate you by distorting truth.
Stop Being Manipulated
Some people will try to manipulate you, and knowing their tricks
can help you prevent this. Once you observe their methods, your
attention reduces their ability to abuse you.
You can feel buyer's remorse BEFORE you
buy a product or service ... and then you can better re-evaluate their
offers independent of their sales techniques.
Just imagine that you've
already owned it for a few months. Martyn
Another simple defense is to upset their pattern. I sometimes
congratulate sellers on their skill in sales, persuasion
or manipulation. I may ask where they learned this and what they
do with it. This interrupts them ...
I can learn and I can leave.
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Plagiarism is theft. Copyright © Martyn Carruthers 2005-2018
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