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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Mothers And the Art of Manipulation

And the Word of the Day for today is:

Manipulative (adj)

Comes from the word manipulate, or the noun manipulation, which, wikipedia explains:

In a psychological context, manipulation means to influence a person or a group of people in such a way that the manipulator tries to get what he or she wants or makes a person believe something in a calculating, indirect and somewhat dishonest way. Like indoctrination, it is a form of psychological abuse.

For example, a manipulator will use arguments that the manipulator does not believe in himself use of false reasoning as with fallacies and paralogisms withhold or distort relevant information, provide false information (disinformation) "play" on the emotions (fear, hope, love...) of the person.

Mothers are masters of manipulation, although in these cases, it isn’t viewed as dishonest, only coercion. Especially Asian mothers. Especially Chinese mothers. Especially Malaysian Chinese mothers. Other mothers (Malays, Indians, Caucasians) are probably expert at it too, but I seldom observe them in action.

Example of a manipulation in action:
  • “Go ahead with your trip, no need to worry about your old and frail mother, I’ll just stay at home by myself.”

  • “It’s okay, at my old age, I don’t really expect much, after all it won’t be long until I pass on…”

  • “What can I do, nobody wants to listen to me, people think an old lady like me is useless…”

A related idiom:
lay a guilt trip on

To make or try to make (someone) feel guilty.


"I carried you for 9 months and spend 35 hoursin labour for you and this is how you repay me...?!"

(Sidenote: Not talking about anyone in particular, just some observations.)


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