Appearing to be attentive to these needs can be a manipulator's ticket to incredible power over others. Recognizing Aggressive Agendas Accepting how fundamental it is for people to fight for the things they want and becoming more aware of the subtle, underhanded ways people can and do fight in their daily endeavors and relationships can be very consciousness expanding. But because we can't point to clear, objective evidence they're aggressing against us, we can't readily validate our feelings. If the aggressor can convince you he's justified in whatever he's doing, then he's freer to pursue his goals without interference. The only master he serves is his own ambition.
Covert-aggressives intimidate their victims by making veiled subtle, indirect or implied threats. Although all aggressive personalities tend to use these tactics, covert-aggressives generally use them slickly, subtly and adeptly. Playing the Servant Role — Covert-aggressives use this tactic to cloak their self-serving agendas in the guise of service to a more noble cause. She didn't see any need to listen. Now, avoiding any overt display of aggression while simultaneously intimidating others into giving you what you want is a powerfully manipulative maneuver. Diversion — A moving target is hard to hit. From her point of view, she would only have lost some power and control if she submitted herself to the guidance and direction offered by those whom she views as less powerful, clever and capable as herself.
He never gave Don a straight answer to a straight question manipulators are notorious for this. Rather than trying to prevent something emotionally painful or dreadful from happening, anyone using these tactics is primarily trying to ensure that something they want to happen does indeed happen. You can view more videos on his The original selective attention task This video is the one that started our collaboration and inspired the book. Seduction — Covert-aggressive personalities are adept at charming, praising, flattering or overtly supporting others in order to get them to lower their defenses and surrender their trust and loyalty. There are many different kinds of ego defenses and the more traditional psychodynamic theories of personality have always tended to distinguish the various personality types, at least in part, by the types of ego defenses they prefer to use.
One hallmark characteristic of covert-aggressive personalities is loudly professing subservience while fighting for dominance. Periodically trying to manipulate a person or a situation doesn't make someone a covert-aggressive personality. Mary stood in the way. Convince your victim you're suffering in some way, and they'll try to relieve your distress. He does this by giving you what he knows you need most.
She manipulates you because you believe that she believes it and allow that supposed belief to serve as an excuse for her undisciplined aggression. He denied he was hurting and neglecting his family. This minister was clearly being defiant of his church's established authority. Jenny allowed Amanda to steer her off track. It's the aggressor's attempt to make a molehill out of a mountain. When we try to pin a manipulator down or try to keep a discussion focused on a single issue or behavior we don't like, he's expert at knowing how to change the subject, dodge the issue or in some way throw us a curve.
Lying — It's often hard to tell when a person is lying at the time he's doing it. Another recent scandal involving a tele-evangelist resulted in his church's governance body censuring him for one year. He always kept his awareness high about what might hinder or advance his cause. Both are special intimidation tactics. Using the vignettes presented in the previous chapters for illustration, let's take a look at the principal tactics covert-aggressive personalities use to ensure they get their way and maintain a position of power over their victims: Denial — This is when the aggressor refuses to admit that they've done something harmful or hurtful when they clearly have. More than any other, the tactic of vilifying the victim is a powerful means of putting someone unconsciously on the defensive while simultaneously masking the aggressive intent and behavior of the person using the tactic.
Dan's includes most of these videos as well as favorites from around the web that are related to or mentioned in our book. Rationalization — A rationalization is the excuse an aggressor tries to offer for engaging in an inappropriate or harmful behavior. In the story of James the minister and Sean, James appeared to many to be the tireless servant. But underneath it all, James knew he was being dishonest: This fact is borne out in his reaction to the threat of not getting a seat on the Elders' Council if his marital problems worsened. He managed to convince several people and maybe even himself of the nobility and purity of his intentions.
The Monkey Business Illusion This was Dan's submission to the 2010 Best Illusion of the Year contest. So, he chose at least temporarily to alter course. Even more doubtful of her worth as a person and a parent, Mary deferred to Joe, thus enabling him to rein a position of dominance over her. At first, I was tempted to fault them. By pretending to be working hard on someone else's behalf, covert-aggressives conceal their own ambition, desire for power, and quest for a position of dominance over others.
It's how they eventually freed themselves from their manipulator's dominance and control and gained a much needed boost to their own sense of self esteem. Not recognizing and accurately labeling their subtly aggressive moves causes most people to misinterpret the behavior of manipulators and, therefore, fail to respond to them in an appropriate fashion. But there are also times when you don't know you've been deceived until it's too late. One thing that covert-aggressive personalities count on is the fact that less calloused and less hostile personalities usually can't stand to see anyone suffering. She never got a straight answer to the question. One way to minimize the chances that someone will put one over on you is to remember that because aggressive personalities of all types will generally stop at nothing to get what they want, you can expect them to lie and cheat. I've presented the principal tactics that covert-aggressives use to manipulate and control others.
This denial is not the same kind of denial that a person who has just lost a loved one and can't quite bear to accept the pain and reality of the loss engages in. Covert-aggressive personalities indeed all aggressive personalities use a variety of mental behaviors and interpersonal maneuvers to help ensure they get what they want. A movie perception test This video illustrates how movie perception works and was from a study by Dan and his colleague Daniel Levin. It's an effective way to foster a continued sense of personal inadequacy in the weaker party, thereby allowing an aggressor to maintain a position of dominance. We want to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they don't really harbor the malevolent intentions we suspect. You don't find out how unimportant you really are to him until you turn out to be in his way.