Last week’s post: Together You Stand, Divided You Fall is the first part of this “mini series.” If you missed it, click here.
When I was a teenager I watched daytime soap operas. In each of them there was always a manipulative character that consistently pressed invisible buttons, somehow always getting what they wanted.
I remember wondering if anyone could actually be that conniving.
This weekend a news article and a video that covered different stories, were shared on social media.
Both were shared to stir hate and both effectively stirred up some of their intended audience.
- The article made me angry
- The video shocked me
And as I pondered both I started to wonder about the part of the story that wasn’t being told.
- Who and how many people were involved in the behavior in the article? Was it one very hateful person, a whole group or a reporter making up a news story?
- What happened before the video started? …After it ended? The message trail and audio in the video clearly emphasized hate, but the video itself didn’t.
Both caused me to think about the importance of unity.
And both reminded me that there are master manipulators in real life just like in soap operas. …And each one of them knows that they are in control if they successfully divide people.
Fortunately I’ve only met two people in real life that I would call “master manipulators” -sadly, both of them destroyed trust, teams and lives.
- Both were very intelligent.
- Both could be very charming and funny.
- Both were experts at giving the right impression to the people they wanted something from but not afraid to let some of their innards hang out in front of others.
- Both were bullies that constantly planted seeds of doubt, and then nurtured those seeds with gossip and lies until they developed into full-grown fear.
- And both lived in constant fear of being discovered for who they really were.
Below are some hard-learned lessons for dealing with master manipulators:
- If they can divide people they are in control.
- The only power they have comes from planting doubt, fear and lies.
- Refuse to let them plant those seeds of doubt in your mind about others.
- Check the facts, think critically and question: who, what, when, where, why, how?
- Use your brain, your eyes, your ears, and your gut to discern the truth.
- Truth is light. Shine it! Speak up with confidence and use data.
- Follow up all face-to -face conversations with an email to recap what was said.
- Stay calm – You can’t think clearly if you let your emotions rule you. And if your emotions are ruling they are winning.
- Look deeper to see the hurting human underneath the behavior.
- Remind others that together you stand and divided you fall and teach them to do all of the above.
- Hold each other accountable. We are all capable of creating division. Each choice we make determines if we stand together or fall apart.
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