Sometimes we are charmed by a politician, a sales representative or our partner to do things that are not in our best interest. But how did they manage to do it? We are mature, rational people after all.
More often than not, people are caught off guard by simple manipulative techniques that are not so easy to spot. They are logical errors that trick us to think we are facing a sound argument, when in fact is just tricky logic.
Here are the most common ones:
1. Reducing your choices to only two alternatives (either/or, all or nothing, right or wrong), forces you to face a false dilemma.
For example, when a politician is telling you that you have to support his policy or you do no love your country, he implies there’s no other option. You know very well that you can object to your government decisions and still love your country, so don’t fall for that.
2. Suggesting that two events that occur simultaneously or one after another are cause and effect.
The fact that after you had moved out of your parents’ house, your mother got sick does not mean that you are the one to blame for her sickness. If she implies that you are, say no to the guilt trip.
3. Creating an intentional distraction from an important issue (the red herring technique).
Did your boss suddenly start to talk about the budget crisis in your firm just when you were about to ask for a raise? Well, this a way to throw you off track. To make you feel so guilty about the situation that you won’t dare to ask what you deserve.
Next time somebody is trying to manipulate you by using these techniques, be smart as a whip and don’t let them trick you. Please share this!