Home  >  My Life  >  Relationships

13 Proven Secrets to Manipulate People & Convince Them To Do Something

Most manipulation is pretty wrong in general, but there are some circumstances where it can be positive. Learn how to manipulate people the right way. 

how to manipulate people

Manipulative people have a stereotype of being, well, highly manipulative, narcissistic, and sociopathic. But that doesn’t mean that all manipulation is bad. Isn’t gentle persuasion a form of manipulation in some sense? We would say that there’s a scale of manipulation ranging from persuasion to, well … evil. But listen, sometimes when someone is prohibiting you from getting something that you want or need, you have to find another way to get it. In that case, you need to learn how to manipulate people the right way. 

So, if you find yourself being Mr. Nice Guy and getting shafted at every corner you turn, it’s time to play the game smartly.

We’re going to show you some techniques; however, you need to remember that manipulation only works when they don’t see themselves being manipulated. If they catch you, it’s too late. [Read: Psychological manipulation – 16 signs and tactics real manipulators use]

But we’re told that manipulation is bad!

Okay, let’s iron this out before we start. Yes, manipulation is pretty bad. But as we said before, it really depends on what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.

If the outcome is going to hurt that person or another person, then yes, it’s bad and you shouldn’t be doing it. However, if you’re using a gentle tactic that helps you get what you want and it’s not going to be to the detriment of anyone, is it really that harmful?

Let’s be honest, we’ve all done it. Maybe you didn’t realize at the time that you were being manipulative, but you did it because you wanted the outcome. So, by learning how to manipulate people, you’re doing it for small reasons that either end up for the greater good or don’t harm anyone at all.

If you’re trying to learn how to do this so that you can stomp over everyone and get what you want, well, you need a different subject – one called ‘how not to be an idiot.’

There is a difference which means manipulation isn’t always that bad. [Read: Manipulative people – How to spot them and stop playing the victim]

Is it ever a good thing to manipulate someone?

Let’s face it – no one really likes being manipulated. Regardless of whether it’s in our personal or professional lives, people usually think that manipulation is a negative thing. The reason for this is that people associate manipulation with people trying to take advantage of us or pushing us into doing something we don’t want to do.

But as strange as it may sound, sometimes manipulation can be a positive thing – or at least not completely negative.

Think about this – manipulation is everywhere in our world, whether you realize it or not. The power of manipulation is used by advertisers, marketers, and businesses everywhere to convince us to buy products, think about certain things, and persuade us to live our lives in a particular way. [Read: 21 tactics and qualities to persuade people and get inside someone’s mind]

For example, they want you to buy this brand of toothpaste, cut down on your salt intake, refrain from taking drugs, try this diet, or vote for this political candidate. So, as you can see, we are all being constantly manipulated every day.

Which of these examples are good for us and which are bad? Is it wrong to encourage people not to use drugs or to lose weight? Or can we see these forms of manipulation as a positive influence? 

Manipulation and the difference between persuasion and coercion

The first thing to understand is the difference between persuasion and coercion. The word “manipulate” means “to handle or control in a skillful manner” and “to control or influence a person or situation.” Those definitions don’t hold too many negative connotations. [Read: 18 signs of a manipulative woman that can leave you lost and confused]

However, how a person uses this control or influence is the determining factor as to whether manipulation is a good or bad thing. So, there’s a definite difference between persuasion and coercion. 

Persuasion is getting people to do things that they want to do or that are good for them. On the other hand, coercion is about getting them to do things that they don’t want to do.

It is important to keep this difference in mind. Be very aware of the distinctions between these two forms of manipulation and avoid confusing them. While encouraging or motivating people can be considered positive persuasion, coercion is a form of bullying or harassment. [Read: Manipulative behavior – why is it toxic and signs you shouldn’t ignore]

The good news is that you can use manipulation for positive change. Positive manipulation can be used to persuade someone to act in a way that can help others in need and make a positive change in the world.

Just as power can be used for good or evil, so can manipulation. Therefore, manipulation isn’t inherently bad in and of itself. It just depends on how a person uses it.

So, you should be asking yourself, how can you use human psychology to persuade people ethically? How can you promote awareness of important issues that most people need to understand so that they take action and make a change?

This is the right way to perceive and use manipulation. [Read: Emotional bullying – How to recognize a bully and stand your ground]

How to manipulate people – Proven strategies that work

It’s normal to feel bad when you are manipulating someone. But sometimes, you just have no other choice. If you feel like you’re getting walked all over and taken advantage of by someone, then it is useful to know how to manipulate people. So, here are some strategies for you.

1. Work with their emotions

The easiest way to manipulate people is with their emotions. You’ve seen it on TV and in the movies, and it works like a charm.

You want to guide them into feeling a specific way … a way that benefits you. This is emotional manipulation. We mean, if you’re cringing at it, we get it. [Read: Emotional manipulation – 14 ways people mess with your mind]

2. Own your emotions

Before you can manipulate anyone, you’re going to have to master your own emotions. If you’re not in control of yourself, you’re making yourself a target of your own game.

You have to laugh when necessary, shed a tear when needed – in other words, you need to put on an act. Depending on the emotion you want them to feel, you’re going to need to be able to use your emotions on demand. [Read: How to control your emotions and become the pinnacle of restraint]

3. Make sure they trust you

People who’ve been manipulated before are usually pretty receptive to the signs, so if you think that trust may be an issue, you’re going to have to make them trust you.

The best way to do this is to open up to them and talk to them about something personal. When you open up to them, they’ll see that you trust them. If you’re not good at acting, perhaps stick to a somewhat true story. [Read: How to stop being manipulated in a relationship]

4. Be likable 

Listen, none of this will work if they don’t like you. Whether you’re a good person or not is irrelevant. Your goal is to make them like you. So, if you’re a negative person, put those true feelings aside and bring out that smile of yours.

Don’t kiss their asses, because they’ll notice. But if you act kind, then you’ll slide right by. You have to be likable for this to work. [Read: 20 fail-proof ways to manipulate women into liking you]

5. Learn to read body language

If you want to know how to manipulate people well, you’ll have to be able to read people’s body language. Most self-expression comes through nonverbal communication.

People may say “yes” or “no,” but it’s your job to read them and see if that’s what they really mean. It’s all in the body.

Are they avoiding your eye or fidgeting? That could mean they’re lying or feeling uncomfortable. If they’re holding your eye contact and they seem relaxed, they’re listening and probably trust what you’re saying. [Read: 10 subtle body language moves to appear more confident]

6. Try the old guilt trip approach

This is one of the oldest yet easiest ways to manipulate someone. The good ol’ guilt-trip approach. Your mom probably did that to you 1,000 times when she wanted you to do something.

When you make someone feel guilty about something, they’ll try to make up for it. That’s when you suggest to them the way that they can compensate. This works best with people who are prone to feeling guilty.

7. Play the victim

We personally can’t stand people who play the victim, but, it works sometimes. If you’re going to play this card, you can’t use it all the time. People get tired of victim behavior after a while.

But if you’re going to use the victim card, match it with the guilt trip approach for the best results. [Read: Can you manipulate someone to fall in love with you?]

8. Use what you’ve got

If you have a pretty face or a banging body, use it to your advantage. We know it’s shitty to hear, but it’s definitely the easiest way to get someone to do something.

People are shallow, so you may as well ride that train if it gets you what you want. Plus, sooner or later, your looks will fade, and then you won’t be able to use this method. Make the most of it!

9. Bring out the bribe

You’re probably wondering if people even use bribes anymore. Well, let us tell you, they do. If you want to make someone do what you want, bribe them.

You can bribe them with material, emotional, or mental rewards. They’ll feel persuaded to do what you want because they see it as a benefit to them.

First, make sure you find out what that person needs. And remember, you’re bribing them gently; you’re not blackmailing them – that’s something else entirely and something you should not attempt! [Read: Manipulative behavior – 10 devious signs you can never ignore]

10. Be flirty

Sex sells, people. So, what you should do is bring out your charming and flirtatious side. Blending both charm and flirtation will make the person feel good.

This usually works on people who are lonely and have low self-esteem. It sounds horrible… because it is. But we have the feeling that you’re not too concerned at this point. 

11. Fear and relief technique

This technique for manipulating people involves you playing with someone’s emotions. This consists of you helping out the person when you see that they’re about to give up.

The goal is to give them an emotional boost that leaves them unguarded. In those moments, they’re more likely to do what you want. [Read: The subtle signs you’re being manipulated by your lover]

12. Foot-in-the-door technique

This is another classic, and highly effective, trick. It’s very subtle and tricky, which is what makes it so manipulative.

You basically ask them to do a small task and then follow up with the actual task you had in mind. You’re basically catching them while they’re in a good mood and then hitting them with the actual task. 

13. If you get caught, don’t act manipulative

This is a rookie mistake when learning how to manipulate people. Once they’re caught, they continue to show manipulative behavior.

What you need to do is act calm, and allow them control of the situation. You have to create doubt if you want to get away with it red-handed. [Read: How to manipulate a manipulator and escape their manipulative grasp]

But ask yourself why you want to learn how to manipulate people anyway

Think carefully about why you want to use manipulation. Why do you think this is the only way forward? You’ll be surprised how people react when they’re directly asked to do something. Maybe they’ll say yes to your request without you having to resort to manipulation in the first place.

For sure, manipulation isn’t the most honest or best way to get what you want. Sometimes there is no option, and most of the time, it’s simply because it’s easy and nobody is going to get hurt. However, know that you run the risk of being labeled a manipulator if you do it one too many times.

[Read: How to persuade people – 17 tactics to get inside someone’s mind]

If you haven’t heard of any of these manipulation techniques, well, we’re somewhat pleased to hear that. Use these tactics to manipulate people, not necessarily to do harm, but if you can’t get what you want otherwise. 

Liked what you just read? Follow us on Instagram Facebook Twitter Pinterest and we promise, we’ll be your lucky charm to a beautiful love life.

LovePanky icon
Team LovePanky
The editorial team of LovePanky comprises relationship experts and real-life experts that share their experiences and life lessons. If you want the best love ad...