“I have never been able to conceive how any rational being could propose happiness to himself from the exercise of power over others.”
Thomas Jefferson (American Founding Father)
“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”
Abraham Lincoln (16th President Of The United States)
“Power tends to corrupt. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
Lord Acton (19th-Century British Historian)
I was at a large sales meeting a few years ago and one of the division managers walked up to me and said…
“I’m going to need you to tone it down for the rest of the night.”
He said it to me like I was running around the room naked, doing cartwheels.
(I wasn’t, by the way.)
That’s what I felt.
Even though I hadn’t done anything wrong.
What really annoyed me was that he said it to me like I was 8 years old.
He said it to me like I was some kind of grotesque, unprofessional monster.
In reality, I was just laughing and having a good time.
But it was my first week at the company and I was still getting to know everyone, including this manager, so I nodded, excused myself, and went to bed.
I knew I wasn’t doing anything wrong, but I second-guessed myself.
Maybe I was doing something wrong?
I let him make me feel stupid and uncertain.
A few months later, I found out that this guy just didn’t like me and wanted me to feel uncomfortable so I would leave.
I got played.
And it was all my fault.
Why You Need To Stop Letting People Manipulate You
If you want to accomplish big things in life, you have to start saying no to the power plays manipulative people will use against you.
First and foremost, you must realize that not everyone who comes into your circle of influence is meant to stay there.
You must realize that some people close to you don’t have your best interests at heart.
In fact, some of these people might be actively trying to manipulate you.
Manipulation is a matter of control.
And control is a matter of power.
The problem is that power can create corruption.
In an article published by The Atlantic, research stated that everyone has a need for some level of control over their life.
This need for control is based on your need for autonomy in your own life.
Unfortunately, this need can quickly become misguided.
In particular, people who feel like they don’t have control over themselves are more likely to try to control others.
Power can corrupt, but power in itself is not a bad thing.
Social Psychology reports that people aim to acquire power with good intentions.
They want to have a positive influence on others or make a positive change in the world.
In other words, most people are interested in using power FOR other people.
Manipulators, on the other hand, are only interested in using power AGAINST other people.
How Manipulators Play You And How To Avoid It
Master manipulators are those who use power plays to control you.
These power plays come in the form of passive-aggressiveness and sly, insidious action.
Very often, these power plays are ploys to make you dependent through feelings of guilt and obligation.
Playing you is how manipulators exert their power.
In order to reach your full potential in life, you must start being aware of these power plays.
You must start being aware of how manipulative people are playing you.
In particular, there are three power plays you must avoid.
1. You only have one choice… (and I am it).
Manipulators will sell you limited options.
They will tell you to look no further, because there are no other choices.
They are your only option.
Only they can save you.
Of course, this is a complete lie.
It’s a power play.
In reality, you never have only one choice.
When someone gives you an ultimatum and tries to make you choose between only two things, take a step back.
Ultimatums are a desperate move and an overt method of control by framing a false reality.
Ultimatums are designed to limit your choices and coerce you into a single decision.
It’s a way for someone to force you to do what they want.
An ultimatum is a classic bully move from manipulative people.
You might think that this kind of power play is new, but it’s been around for hundreds of years.
Offering someone a single choice when they actually have many choices is known as Hobson’s choice.
Thomas Hobson was a stable owner in Cambridge in the 1500s who told his customers that they had the choice of either taking the horse in the stall nearest the door, or taking none at all.
Of course, his customers also had the option of going somewhere else to get a horse, taking more than one horse, stealing a horse, and on and on.
The “or” was an illusion.
Realize that “or” is a power play.
You always have more than two options.
The next time someone gives you an “or,” tell them no thanks, you’ll take both.
Turn “or” into “and.”
Or refuse them flat and take your business elsewhere.
2. You can’t be successful on your own… (because you need me).
You don’t need someone else to be successful.
Networking and surrounding yourself with positive people is a force multiplier in any venture, but the idea that you need other people to be successful is unhealthy.
It opens the door to people using you for their own private gain.
Need quickly turns into neediness, which quickly turns into full-blown dependency.
Dependency creates unhealthy attachment and toxic codependency.
If you allow this, you might as well have just tied yourself to an anchor and jumped off your ship.
There is no faster way to be dragged down and held down than to be dependent on anyone else for happiness or for success of any kind.
Many people will try to make you believe that you need them to get ahead.
This is just a power play.
They will try to convince you that you need them when in reality, THEY need YOU.
But they don’t need you for anything special.
They just need you to be their gopher and to do their grunt work.
They need you to be their punching bag so they can feel better about themselves.
Don’t fall into this trap.
Be very wary of manipulative people who try to make you feel like you can’t do something on your own.
Your success, and certainly your survival, never depends on any one person.
If someone starts withholding their support from you unless you do what they want, cut the cord.
Find someone else who you can work with, not work for.
3. You are obligated… (to make me happy).
It’s not your job to take care of anyone else.
And it’s impossible for you to make someone else happy all the time.
You are not meant to be someone else’s personal happiness project.
No one else is meant to be your personal happiness project either.
When grown men and grown women try to make you feel guilty for not spending time with them or not doing what they want, it’s simply a power play.
They want to control you.
If you act as a crutch for people like this long enough, your mind will become conditioned to sacrificial thinking.
You’ll start to believe that you have to sacrifice your happiness for others to be happy, that you have to sacrifice your success for others to be successful.
And you’ll even believe that this is a good thing.
Look how giving you are… look how caring you are…
You’ll feel so good about yourself for giving up your happiness to make someone else happy.
You’ll feel like you made the honorable choice in life.
But this so-called honorable choice is merely Hobson’s choice all over again.
Remember, you can have both.
You can have it all.
You and other people (and everyone) can be happy and successful at the same time.
The problem is that some manipulators don’t want to be happy and some people are too lazy to be successful.
You’re not responsible for these people.
Stop being their crutch and let them go.
Manipulative people try to sell you lies that you don’t have any other options and that your success and happiness depends on them and them alone. These manipulators leverage power plays that are designed to hold you back from achieving your goals while allowing them to achieve their goals. When you experience a power play from a manipulator, don’t ignore it. Instead, take notice and cut the manipulator out of your life forever. Remember that healthy connections and supportive networks are essential for success, but allowing yourself to be dependent on anyone for your success, or allowing others to be dependent on you, is unhealthy and should not be tolerated.
To learn more about manipulative people and their power plays, and to get instant access to exclusive training videos, case studies, insider documents, and my private online network, get on the Escape Plan wait list.