Common Tactics of Predators And Manipulators

           The person being manipulated will often feel off balance, powerless, confused or out of control. If the manipulator’s tactics work, then this behavior is reinforced. It is only by not complying when someone uses controlling or manipulative tactics that you stop engaging in reinforcing this destructive dynamic. At first the controlling person is likely to up the ante and exert more control, eventually, they will have to change their controlling ways or find another target, because it’s not working anymore.  Knowledge is power.  Keep the following tactics in mind in order to spot coercive behavior and take back control.

Lying: Deception and rationalization. They minimize, exaggerate, or deny to make themselves look good, make you look bad, or avoid consequences.

Intimidation: They criticize and dismiss your feelings. Use threats, anger, and withdrawal to gain your compliance.

Evasion: They create word salads with circular arguments and monologues in order to avoid responsibility, confuse and silence you.

Guilt: They will use your vulnerabilities against you to make you doubt yourself and defer to their perception in order to control all communication, finances, and work or home life.  They try to make you comply with their demands by making you feel you are being mean or somehow hurting them if you don’t go along.

Blame: When they behave badly they project their faults onto you. They never take responsibility and don’t apologize. They often make themselves out to be the victim while they are controlling or coercing you.

Idealize and devalue: In the beginning, they often idealize and “love bomb” you. Once they have you, they begin to devalue you in order to make you feel inferior and gain control.

Triangulation: They enlist third parties to create a case against you or start a larger smear campaign against you.

Gas Light: They alter facts and deny reality in an effort to make you doubt your sanity and keep you off balance.

Isolation: They criticize family, friends, and supporters. They may ruin holidays and social gatherings. Your isolation increases their control.

Silence and Shame: If they are able to coerce you into doing something you did not want to do, they can ensure your silence as their shameful behavior becomes your shame.

Harvey Weinstein: See Exactly How He Bullied and Coerced Women

Talented screenwriter, Gina Gold, brilliantly exposes the exact type of control tactics Weinstein employed while attempting to coerce Ms. Gutierrez to his room.                     (reprinted with permisson of author)           
 
A SCREENWRITER’S ANALYSIS OF THE HARVEY WEINSTEIN TAPE:
 

            Screenwriters study character. We craft scenes based on “objectives.” In other words, we ask, “What does a character want in any given situation?” A character is dramatized by showing the tactics he or she uses to get something they WANT VERY BADLY, and how they CHANGE TACTICS when someone or something stands in their way. In this sad “scene” it’s fairly clear what Harvey Weinstein wants. Ms. Gutierrez’s refusal to give in to his demands is his obstacle.

            HW TACTICS ARE IN CAPS. Notice how he keeps trying new strategies then going back to old ones. His two overall strategies are to 1) Keep the victim off balance, and 2) Manipulate her by playing on her guilt, ambition, and desire to be a good person. (Remember, he has power, size, and 40 years’ life experience to his advantage)

***
Weinstein: I’m telling you right now, get in here.
–MAKE A DEMAND TO GET HER CLOSER

Gutierrez: What do we have to do here?

Weinstein: Nothing. I’m going to take a shower…
–MINIMIZE AN UNREASONABLE DEMAND
— MAKE THE VICTIM FEEL SMALL FOR RECOGNIZING THE REALITY OF A DANGEROUS SITUATION

… you sit there and have a drink.
–GIVE AN ORDER

Gutierrez: I don’t drink.

Weinstein: Then have a glass of water.
–OFFER AN ALTERNATIVE TO KEEP HER THERE

Gutierrez: Can I stay on the bar?

Weinstein: No. You must come here now.
–DEMAND AGAIN

Gutierrez: No …

Weinstein: Please?
–NEW TACTIC – TRY BEING SWEET

Gutierrez: No, I don’t want to.

Weinstein: I’m not doing anything with you, I promise. 
–MINIMIZE AGAIN
–GASLIGHT 
–LIE

Now you’re embarrassing me.
–BECOME THE VICTIM 
–PLAY ON THE REAL VICTIM’S DESIRE TO BE A NICE PERSON
— BLAME HER. 
–CHARACTERIZE HER AS UPTIGHT FOR POINTING OUT THE TRUTH

Gutierrez: I know, I don’t want to. I’m sorry, I cannot.

Weinstein: No, come in here.
–DEMAND AGAIN

Gutierrez: No, yesterday was kind of aggressive for me.

Weinstein: I know —
–BECOME AN ALLY
–ACT LIKE A GOOD, UNDERSTANDING GUY

Gutierrez: I need to know a person to be touched.

Weinstein: I won’t do a thing.
–LIE TO MAKE HER FEEL SAFE AND DRAW HER IN

Gutierrez: I don’t want to be touched.

Weinstein: I won’t do a thing, please.
–OFFER FALSE SAFETY
— DOUBLE DOWN ON THE NICE GUY ACT BY SAYING “PLEASE”

I swear I won’t. 
–MAKE HER THINK YOU’RE A GOOD GUY BY TAKING AN OATH. 
–BE A VICTIM — HER REFUSAL TO TRUST YOU IS TANTAMOUNT TO CALLING YOU A LIAR

Just sit with me. 
–BARGAIN. OFFER A COMPROMISE.

Don’t embarrass me in the hotel. I’m here all the time. 
–FALSELY GIVE HER THE POWER TO RUIN YOUR REPUTATION
–MAKE HER THE OPPRESSOR/BECOME THE VICTIM 
–BLAME HER FOR POINTING UP YOUR BAD BEHAVIOR

Sit with me, I promise —
— BARGAIN AGAIN

Gutierrez: I know, but I don’t want to.

Weinstein: Please sit there. Please. One minute, I ask you.
–BARGAIN AGAIN
— GIVE A SHORT, CONCRETE TIMEFRAME. 
–BE POLITE (ACT LIKE A NICE GUY SO SHE FEELS BAD)

Gutierrez: No, I can’t.

Weinstein: Go to the bathroom.
–MAKE A DEMAND

Gutierrez: Please, I don’t want to do something I don’t want to.

Weinstein: Go to the bathroom —
–MAKE A DEMAND

Hey, come here. Listen to me —
–CHANGE TACTICS
–MAKE HER YOUR ALLY

Gutierrez: I want to go downstairs.

Weinstein: I won’t do anything and you’ll never see me again after this. OK? 
–BARGAIN
–TELL HER NO ONE WILL EVER FIND OUT.

That’s it. If you don’t – if you embarrass me in this hotel where I’m staying —
–CUT OFF KINDNESS
–THREATEN TO WITHDRAW CAREER OPPORTUNITY
–GIVE HER FALSE POWER OVER YOU/MAKE HER THE OPPRESSOR/BECOME THE VICTIM

Gutierrez: I’m not embarrassing you —

Weinstein: Just walk —
–CUT OFF HER CHANCE TO ADVANCE CAREER

Gutierrez: It’s just that I don’t feel comfortable.

Weinstein: Honey, don’t have a fight with me in the hallway.
–INFANTALIZE HER BY CALLING HER “HONEY” 
–DEPICT HER AS IRRATIONAL, OVERLY EMOTIONAL/ MAKING A SCENE

Gutierrez: It’s not nothing, it’s —

Weinstein: Please. I’m not gonna do anything. 
–MAKE ANOTHER FALSE PROMISE OF SAFETY

I swear on my children.
— SAY ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING SHE MIGHT BELIEVE, YOU’RE GETTING DESPERATE
–SELL YOURSELF AS A HARMLESS DAD

Please come in. 
–ASK POLITELY

On everything.
–TRIPLE DOWN ON ON THE FALSE OATH

I’m a famous guy.
–THROW AROUND YOUR IMPORTANCE
–POINT UP POWER DISPARITY

Gutierrez: I’m, I’m feeling very uncomfortable right now.

Weinstein: Please come in. 
–BE POLITE
–BEG

And one minute. And if you wanna leave when the guy comes with my jacket, you can go.
–BARGAIN AGAIN
–ADD A TICKING CLOCK

Gutierrez: Why yesterday you touch my breast?

Weinstein: Oh, please. I’m sorry. 
–MINIMIZE ABUSE
–OFFER HALF-HEARTED APOLOGY THAT TAKES NO RESPONSIBILITY

Just come on in. 
–COERCE BY TELLING HER TO LET IT GO

I’m used to that.
–SAY YOU HAVE FORGOTTEN NORMAL RULES OF BEHAVIOR BECAUSE YOU’VE BEEN POWERFUL FOR SO LONG
–PLAY UP POWER DISPARITY

Gutierrez: You’re used to that?

Weinstein: Yes, come in.
–ASK AGAIN

Gutierrez: No, but I’m not used to that.

Weinstein: I won’t do it again. 
-LIE

Come on, sit here. Sit here for a minute, please?
–BARGAIN

Gutierrez: No, I don’t want to.

Weinstein: If you do this now you will [unintelligible]. 
–BARGAIN

Now go. Bye. Never call me again. OK? 
–WITHDRAW AFFECTION AND CAREER OPPORTUNITY
–THREATEN FUTURE

I’m sorry, nice to have — 
–APOLOGIZE TO SHOW YOU’RE A NICE GUY TO GIVE HER ROOM TO CHANGE HER MIND AS YOU…
–THREATEN TO CUT OFF OPPORTUNITY

I promise you I won’t do anything.
–MAKE A FALSE PROMISE

Gutierrez: I know, but yesterday was too much for me.

Weinstein: The guy is coming. I will never do another thing to you. Five minutes. Don’t ruin your friendship with me for five minutes.
–GO BACK TO THE TICKING CLOCK 
–THREATEN TO RUIN HER CAREER
—BELITTLE HER FOR GIVING UP A LIFE-CHANGING OPPORTUNITY OVER FIVE MINUTES OF DISCOMFORT

Gutierrez: I know — but, it’s kind of, like, it’s too much for me. I can’t.

Weinstein: Please, you’re making a big scene here. Please.
–BECOME THE VICTIM
–BLAME THE ACTUAL VICTIM
–MINIMIZE HER FEELINGS SO SHE DOUBTS REALITY AND GIVES IN

Gutierrez: No, but I wanna leave.

 

Weinstein: OK, bye. Thank you.
–WITHDRAW ALL AFFECTION 
–WITHDRAW CAREER OPPORTUNITY. 
–BE POLITE TO SHOW YOU’RE A NICE GUY AND SHE’S A BAD PERSON IN CASE SHE SAYS ANYTHING.

 

(*Please share this post with as many friends as possible. Manipulators can only win if you comply with their controlling behavior. Arm yourself with the knowledge and tools that you need to protect yourself and set limits when you are confronted with one of these tactics.)