Subconscious Manipulation


Manipulators are usually known for being consciously aggressive – being obvious about what they want and their efforts to dominate, argue, shout and lie.

The most dangerous (and prevalent) kind of manipulation however is subconscious manipulation – a level of aggression taking place on a deeper level where the manipulator appeals to a person’s emotional tendencies. Without conscious interference, the subconscious intruder can be covertly manipulative and therefore very successful.

They are able to achieve high positions within companies, and to expertly control social situations in their favour – always knowing which weaknesses and dynamics to exploit to fulfill their agendas. “White collar psychopaths” are experts at subconscious manipulation. According to research, one in a hundred people are sociopathic – devoid of conscience – and have become expert manipulators after years of learning to get what they want.

Why Subconscious Manipulation Often Goes Undetected

The tactics are subtle and implicit

The victim will have a gut reaction, or unpleasant feeling about the manipulator, but its very difficult to consciously recognise and explain the dynamics of what is going on. Instead, the victim may go on the subconscious defensive, putting up guards and barriers. If the victim has no clear agenda, the manipulator will simply use the victims defenses against them – accusing them for example of being uncooperative, or aloof.

The tactics can be disguised as positive traits

A subconscious manipulator can distort their fighting behaviour into appearing caring, defending, crusading or being cruel to be kind. For example, your negative reactions to implicit insults or subconscious attacks could be described as over-sensitive, or not being a team player – which can be difficult to defend against without reinforcing the implication.

For this reason, victims are led to doubt their own fears and awareness of the subconscious intrusions – which leads to an increased sense of emotional confusion, which renders the victim even more open to subconscious intrusion.

Your weaknesses and insecurities are exploited

When your weaknesses and insecurities are used against you, it can be easy to rationalise that you deserve it. Worse, you may become consciously blind to your insecurities, and deny that you are being taken advantage of. A person who is an easy mark for sales tactics for example, upon buying something they don’t need, is more likely to rationalise the purchase rather than analyse their subconscious vulnerability. Your lack of self-knowledge reduces your subconscious security.

We’re led to believe that manipulators must be weak, vulnerable, wounded

Basic psychological awareness tells us that people who are aggressive tend to be weak, hurt, angry, lacking self-approval, in need of self-esteem. We then try to doubt our own negative opinions about a person, perhaps instead trying to understand them. Its therefore possible that a victim of subconscious aggression will instead doubt themselves rather than the manipulator.

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