Where We Lack Control

Gréta Tóth

The thing most people believe they have power over is thought, especially other people’s opinions. Trying to change the way other people think is very common and can be good or bad, but still it is called manipulation. I know, it sounds very straightforward, but it is true. This means that whenever someone tried to convince you to do something you did not want to do at first, they manipulated you; even if you say that “they persuaded me,” there was still a little bit of controlling.

Some people can resist manipulation, but usually this is very hard, because the other person does it without our noticing. In some cases, they do not even realize what they are doing, because they are natural manipulators. Let us take some common examples: most children are influenced by their parents, before they reach the age to form their own opinions. The parents try to form their child to have the same ideas as they have about everything. For another example, politicians manipulate people to vote for them. They promise things that are not realistic and of course, people believe them and vote for them, and when the time comes for them to fulfill these promises, they end up forgetting them or come up with a silly excuse. Last but not least, people manipulate each other to buy something, make the other do something for them, or just win an argument. Some people are influenced by their own friends. For instance, someone might like a certain book and tell someone else about it, who ends up hating it. In most cases, they just try to convince the other one why they should like the book, but sometimes people get extremely rude in these situations and just say that they cannot be friends anymore if the other person does not share their opinion. Beyond all of this, we even get manipulated by ourselves. It is very complex and strange, but it is true.

So for all those who say that they have never ever been manipulated and who think they have control over manipulators, it is impossible. Many people study it, do research, and test their skills on others, but we are simply not able to resist all the time, not to mention that we sometimes turn into manipulators too when we want to. As I see it, it is very complex and hard to take in, and we will never be able to understand it, since we do not know how the human mind works. So, as long as we do not know how the brain functions, we will not manage to acknowledge the full scope of manipulation.