“Evasion and Diversion as Manipulation Tactics” Comments, Page 1

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9 Comments (2 Discussion Threads) on “Evasion and Diversion as Manipulation Tactics”

  1. Dr Simon,

    The more I read here, especially how you’ve broken down very specific behaviors, the more I learn. It seems to me why I often haven’t understood all these behaviors is because, in real life, many different tactics, manipulations and behaviors are all mixed, used in conjunction with one another. Often flipping back and forth, deliberately meant to confuse. It was difficult for me to untangle what I was seeing. I appreciate you straightening things out by very specific definition and example.

    1. A great point to make, Barbara. In fact, disordered characters, most especially the aggressive personalities, are so skilled in the use of the tactics that they generally launch a barrage of tactics simultaneously and the person on the receiving end of these tactics often has the experience of someone who has whiplash – they don’t even know all that’s happened until the damage is already done. Sometimes, when a few tactics don’t seem to be working, they’ll quickly move on to others. So, knowing all the tactics by heart is really important. That way, you can be inoculated against future manipulative encounters.

    2. I agree with Barbara. It is SO confusing and the way you are breaking them down here is incredibly helpful. Each time I read an article, I think, “ah…he/she was using this one when I brought that subject up…”, etc.

    3. I find that many men carry the character to control and manipulate. Evade and deflect.
      It’s just in my experience that they are all on different levels of how extreme they carry this behavior out.

      I find it exhausting running into the same man with a different face.

      Thank you for your article, it’s nice to know someone understands how crazy people can think and actually function in Society.

  2. My step-son is causing serious issues in our family by claiming suicidal thoughts and behavior. He has a therapist, is medicated, and in his 20’s. However, he does the evasion and diversion, I mean literally.This article described him to a tee. For instance, everytime he’s been “suicidal” its usually around a time when he needs money,or just simply wants attention. For example, he didn’t pay a bill, his friends have a better lifestyle than him, things are not up to his standards, etc. Its pretty obvious now that he wants to keep his money and spend everyone else’s at this point. Essentially, I’m dealing with a 13 year old in a 20 year old body.
    My question is, how can we positively address/handle this behavior without pushing buttons while in therapy? I don’t think he is suicidal, but I’m definitely not willing to take that risk. I’m very concerned for my wife as this is taking a toll on her health and emotional state.

    1. It’s important to keep the communication open but not so fluid it provides a path of least resistance.
      Think of the dialog as a large tank or cistern of water.
      The water levels can be measured by temperature with the coolest topics at the bottom. Compliments, flattery, praise, the types of things that appeal, feel good stuff. Then as the levels rise the temperature increases and eventually become hot, uncomfortable and offensive. With the pop off vent at the top to release the stream.

      Now the art and magic is never allow the water to escape from the bottom or the top. Being to complicit and easygoing (path of least resistence) escape is too easy. Being to confrontational and intolerant, they vent from the top. Either way they escape and that’s what they want and will attempt to manipulate you either way.

      The objective is to make it more difficult for them to escape from the top or bottom then it is to get (out) by owning up and acting respectfully and responsibly.

      Go in confidently with set goals.
      Lead with flattering admirable suggestive attributes they’ll want applied to themselves.
      Establish the rights/responsibility rule. Privilege, trust, respect is earned.
      Be compassionate but not weak.
      Never yell, criticize or apply negative characterizations (they will attempt to provoke this). Speak and behave toward them exactly how you want them to speak and behave toward you.
      When the water gets hot, draw from the bottom and cold draw from the top but always keep a moderate temperature. Eventually they will succumb if they have to work to hard for escape.

      That’s my opinion. Practice, discipline, courage and perseverance.

  3. Morning Dr. Simon;
    I have read through some of your articles about manipulation tactics – it was a divergent link off of a bullying article that as a coach I wanted to examine so that I could recognize it and understand its’ effects better.

    I was also a victim of an abusive alcoholic who used a ton of manipulation on my mother to effectively keep her in an unhealthy relationship with someone who was highly damaging to both of us.

    I do, however, have some problems with the abstract of your articles when you remove anecdotal scenarios. The first being – what if the individual being confronted about their alleged misdeeds was actually innocent. Some of those scenarios outline valid means of self-defense of false statements – especially in an emotional setting.

    Stripping down the accusation – when one asks if their partner is cheating, what they are really asking is are you dishonoring your relationship and are you being dishonest about our commitment. Those question are striking and if asked to a person who is completely faithful – can be damaging. I can see how the possible responses outlined in your article could be responses used by those who are innocent.

    There are more suitable responses that I am sure could be used or should I say more preferred clinically, but it is like asking the square root of Pi to a stranger walking down the street. The first defensive response may not be the right answer, but could still be an honest one.

    I would like more clarity about why you feel the particular responses are 100% an act of manipulation.

    As a person currently in therapy for my past and I am also a chronic pain patient whose wife sometimes views my obtuse behavior as enigmatic and has asked those types of questions.

    I would love the debate.

  4. Whenever I ask my husband for help with anything around our home, his response is “well I’ll quit work then I can help” I am disabled and feel like I do contribute to the relationship bit its never good enough. One time he asked me to make a list of responsibilities for each of us. My list was far bigger than his but that didn’t matter since he works for money and I don’t do 8 hours of housework. It’s so frustrating.

    Worse is when he turns it to make me think he’s been wrong because I don’t appreciate him

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