7 Ways The Powerful Manipulate You
1. Half-Hearted Gifts
Many essential workers received thank you notes for risking their lives during COVID while business owners sat back raking in free government money. A gift like this is an obvious sign of disconnect and fake sentiment.
Other gifts might seem mutually beneficial like coffee or performance incentives. However these are merely tricks to encourage you to work harder so they can suck more of your blood and life force. Do not be fooled.
2. Clever Reframing
The rich and powerful are excellent at deflecting criticism by reframing their selfish ambitions as goodwill. If you don’t pay attention you’ll find yourself lulled into submission with their tricky language.
“I’m not here to network. I’m here to make friends.”
“We’re not going to war. We’re spreading democracy.”
“We’re not a team. We’re a family.”
“Other comapanies sell cars. We put people into happiness”
3. Fake Victimhood
Evoking sympathy or pretending to have shared experiences with the poor are two ways that rich people try to use victimhood for their own gain. This is quite an effective method that can be sold well by tapping into tropes we can all relate to.
“I was picked on in high school.”
Everyone was picked on in high school, and they were probably picked on for having a chauffeur drop them off at school.
“My parents didn’t get along.”
Nobody’s parents get along, but their parents did pay 200K for their education in between arguments.
“I’m eating through my savings.”
The savings they’ve been eating through is probably about 10K out of the 100K they’ve got in the bank.
4. Padded Language With Fake Intent
Powerful people have a special way of talking that makes punches feel like hugs and bullets taste like ice cream. They do this mainly with padding their language with fake intent and goodwill.
When declining an offer, most might lean more towards the truth of, “No thanks. I’m not interested.”
But powerful people will say things like, “I’m unable to make it happen at this time, but would be happy to keep in touch and discuss things in the future.”
This is dangerous because when dealing with people like this you may be tricked into wasting time and resources pursuing a dead-end. You need to see through the padded language and look for non-verbal cues that expose the truth.
5. Fake or Controlled Opposition
Real dissent from rich people is usually killed or silenced, but to have no opposition gives them nobody to flex their superiority on. This is why rich people need fake dissent and weak opposition.
Look no further than the US Democratic party for a prime example. The real proponents of worker rights and societal progress were all crushed in the 50’s under Mccarthyism. Since then the political left in America has become increasingly weak and vulnerable to corporate influence.
Most people experience fake opposition first with their parents. It’s the classic good cop, bad cop game. At work you may experience this with a low-level manager who pretends to be on the side of the general staff, and then reports back to their boss accordingly.
6. War By Proxy
The last thing a powerful person wants to do is engage directly in conflict or be caught with blood on their hands. This is why they put as many layers and protections as possible between themselves and the bloodshed.
As Sun Tzu says, “The greatest victory is that which requires no battle.”
The many layers between the heads of companies and the dirty work being done on the ground is what allows them to seem genuinely dumbfounded when confronted by reporters or congress. They are purposely and willfully blind (but also steering the ship).
7. Catchy Slogans and Mission Statements
The truth is that most powerful people and companies are engaged in exactly the opposite of what their catchphrases say. A few examples:
Slogan: “To give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.” -Facebook
Reality: Facebook is a monopolistic cesspool of divisive politics, misinformation, and corporate censorship that has fractured society in ways that threaten the very stability of our planet.
Slogan: “To refresh the world in mind, body, and spirit, to inspire moments of optimism and happiness through our brands and actions, and to create value and make a difference.” — Coca Cola
Reality: Coca Cola sells a beverage that contains no nutrients and increases risk of heart disease, diabetes, dementia, cancer, and gout. It has also been crowned ‘biggest polluter in the world.’ multiple years in a row. Quite a far cry from refreshing the world in mind, body, and spirit.
Slogan: Fair and balanced. -Fox News
I hope this helps you to spot liars and manipulators and call them out for what they are! If you like my work then drop me a line at andrewhaimerl.com!