Manipulate: (a) control or influence (a person or situation) cleverly, unfairly, or unscrupulously, or (b) handle or control (a tool, mechanism, etc.), typically in a skillful manner
“Ira stifled a laugh, considering Olivia appeared to view the reading of the will as her marionette show despite knowing he maneuvered the strings for the rest of the afternoon.”
*Quote from ‘Watching Glass Shatter’ covering 365 Daily Challenge word ‘manipulate’
A wise friend made a statement last week, which I’m probably paraphrasing: “Manipulation is not a bad thing; it doesn’t always have a negative connotation.” The words resonated with me that afternoon, ultimately leading me to agree with her. When I looked up the definition in our
trusty online dictionary, it apparently did not agree: While ‘cleverly’ may not imply something bad, ‘unfairly’ and ‘unscrupulously’ certainly do. Perhaps I need to find a new dictionary as in the end, I disagree… as did my wise friend from the very beginning.
Manipulation is often the tool used to force someone or something, but there are times when a palpable push or solid shove is necessary to achieve a goal. The purpose may not be to hurt someone, especially when you may only be trying to help the other person see more clearly. If the intention behind the manipulation is good, does that still make it a negative tool in the kit we use to achieve the end results we desire?
I have manipulated situations before. I admit it. But I didn’t do it for purely selfish reasons or to harm someone else. I did it to help get to the finish line more quickly. If you have an indecisive friend who when presented with multiple options will take hours to choose, is it really wrong to drive the conversation or direction down a path where only 1 or 2 lunch places may appear? If you know two people are fighting over something stupid, but you place them together in a situation where they have to resolve their differences, have you done something bad? Manipulation in any form, where the intent is to harm someone, or to force a result that benefits you without them knowing, clearly fits the above definition. But I feel this word has been ‘bastardized’ in a negative way rather than an artful or skillful way of achieving positive results.
How does everyone else feel about the word? If you love it, the idea of doing this post was all mine and I’m wonderful. If you don’t love it, then today’s 365 Daily Challenge word is brought to you by the wonderful Waking up on the Wrong Side of 50 who suggested many great words to choose from. I chose this one based on our conversation over coffee the other day, as well as her recent post about success. Click the blog name to see the fantastic article & the responses on what success is really all about. I daresay she manipulated me to write this post, but that would be wrong. Wouldn’t it?
P.S. I hope you laughed at my manipulation in that paragraph about who owns the idea.
P.P.S. I hope you laughed at the line from Watching Glass Shatter; that was the intention.
About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”
I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.
The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.
Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.