Manipulation. Good, Bad, or Both?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

I am a master manipulator. When I am in the spotlight with thirty or more students, I want to manipulate their behavior with the explicit purpose of student learning. The last few days I’ve been using a point system. They talk, and I get a point. They follow expectations of being quiet and raising their hand, and they get a point. I’m a softy as they do earn points a lot quicker than I do, but this tactic is working like a charm.

This Saturday, and prior Saturday’s when the University of Oregon has home football games, I don my manipulation cap and sell Kettle Korn. Being nice to people. Creating eye contact. Making people feel special. These are all ingredients to causing people to buy from me. I’m not saying they only buy because of my sales wizardy, many buy because the product is really good and they would buy even if I weren’t standing there.

On the other hand, and my sisters can probably attest to this, I know how to work things to get my way, and I’ll be the first to admit that while growing up, I was a God Awful Brat when I didn’t get my way. Okay, I still do that sometimes, but I’m working on it.

While in Teacher School, one of the things that was repeated: “Be nice to school secretaries.” I do try to be nice to everyone, but I tend to be a little bit extra syrupy when I need something. Yeah, I admit that when I was that person in control of supplies at job, if someone was not nice to me, I tended to put their order on a slight hold.

When I think about the word manipulation, I think that this is a negative trait. Sneaky. Underhanded. Inauthentic. And yet, perhaps to just justify my actions, manipulation does mean to move around, to build, to create.

One of the things I can do in the future is to focus where my energy is. Am I only nice to someone when I can benefit or am I nice to someone regardless? I will be paying closer attention to this and only hope I can be honest with myself.



  1. I find it interesting that, in your Title for this blog, the system will separate a word in any-old-place in the word when it goes too long for the space. I.E. in this entry, it separated “Manipulation” into “Manipulati-on” — ???? Very strange. But I suppose typical these days. Doesn’t anyone pay attention to proper ways of expressing language any more? Not even programs in blogs?

    Wizardry. (Wizardy)


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