Creative Leadership

When Nice People Manipulate

I sat next to an older lady on a plane the other day and from the start I knew she was trouble.  I had gotten upgraded, so we were in First Class, but she started right off  complaining about “How the seats in First Class had shrunk.”  It was pretty obvious the seats hadn’t shrunk, she’d just gotten wider.  For the rest of the flight, it was a litany of things she needed other people to do for her.  Fix her headphones, reach up and get her bag, get her a magazine, find a blanket, flag down the flight attendant (she called her a “waitress”), change her TV channel, and more.  MUCH more.  As she sat there knocking back her gin and tonics, she had everyone in First Class running around doing her bidding.

I could see that she’d learned to play off her “sweet little old lady” thing and use that to manipulate others for her wishes.  Never once did she say “Thank You” or ask – she just demanded, assuming everyone would cater to grandma.

You’ll meet plenty of people in life who seem very innocent, but have aggressively learned to use their age, sex, race, status – even disability to manipulate people into doing their will.

I’m happy to assist, and I’ll always err on the side of helping people. But when you see they use it as a “technique” and not a need, be on your guard.

They’re wasting your time.

Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

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4 Comments

  1. not just innocent ,an ignorant in knowing the true meaning of real life they pretend to be somebody rather theyre NOBODY.

  2. Um, yeah…. met a few of those people in the green room… of which I have no tolerance for. Seemingly “nice” people with status, success or good looks does not give them the “right” to demean others for their personal use or agenda. Can you say, PRIDE?

  3. Hi Phil. Point well made and indeed noted. It can be annoying though. But after I read your piece, two portions of scripture flashed thru my mind…”like sheep before the shearers-Is 53:7″ and “turn the other cheek-Matt 5:39”. So when u say “be on your guard” are we not responding to “this world”? I think our faith needs testing ALL THE TIME. I want to blv that the Spirit will like us to respond as Christ inspite of our knowing that we are being taken for a ride. That is why we are in the world but not of it. This is not about my being better but just sharing the daily challenge I face trying to live ‘kingdom life’ here.

    Amaebi Okara
    Victoria ca.

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