Saturday, June 09, 2007

discussing influence

What is the difference between influence and manipulation?


GloryandGrace said...

You've been tagged~

Catherine said...

Good question!!! I'm not married, but I'm a therapist and this is a very relevant question for me in that context. What's the difference between influencing my clients, and manipulating them?

I think there's a motivation component (focusing on their gain vs. focusing on my own) to it, but that doesn't really answer it completely. There's also a respect component. I think that influence involves the presentation of truth with the options to (A) accept it and change or (B) decline to accept and remain the same or (C) discuss it further, etc., while manipulation attempts to "make" a change in someone without the person's assent, usually through some sort of deceptive manner.

In other words, I think influence is more straightforward and places a value on the other person's interests (i.e., pointing out a problem, suggesting change based on some objective truth) while manipulation is deceitful and selfish (i.e., trying to produce a change regardless of the other person, likely for the advancement of one's own interests). (Sorry that was so long - I didn't mean to write a book!)

GloryandGrace said...

While some may consider manipulation a form of influence, and it is, I also think that it's a matter of motive.

Carmen said...

i agree with catherine as far as intentions go, but i think influence can be involuntary: you just be who you are and Christ is seen in your actions and values and words. Manipulation, on the other hand, is really intentional, only using it to get what you want..and your selfish desires are seen in your actions, values, and words.

Jonny said...

Oh Christine, you already know this. Ask someone with a arts degree.

The man has influence, the wife uses manipulation.