“1 : to treat or operate with the hands or by mechanical means especially in a skilful manner
2 a : to manage or utilise skilfully b : to control or play upon by artful, unfair, or insidious means especially to one’s own advantage
3 : to change by artful or unfair means so as to serve one’s purpose”
How exactly can there be a style of manipulation? Well, everyone has a style and we aren’t just talking about clothes or hairstyles. We’re talking about characteristics.
A manipulator is generally the type of person that preys on the good feelings and blind trust of other people and tends to go for people who are vulnerable.
This vulnerability could be the result of a disability or the fact that the person is over/underweight or short for their age or similar. People that have a physical condition (be that through disability or otherwise) have often been bullied at school or have a low-self esteem because they do not fit in with the so-called ideal look that society as a whole deems important.
The more vulnerable the person the more eager they are to be liked. If a person with a strong personality comes along and starts to spend time with the vulnerable person and pays them attention, compliments them perhaps, the vulnerable person might be willing to do almost anything to make sure that this attention does not stop. For once in their life the vulnerable person feels that he/she is liked and does not want this feeling to go away.
A manipulator will make the vulnerable person feel comfortable and at ease in their company before they put thoughts into their heads about doing something for them.
Vulnerable people come in all shapes and forms. There are those as we have already discussed – people who have physical differences for example. And then there are people who have suffered depression or anxiety and are vulnerable because of this. There are also people who have low-self esteem because they have suffered abuse in some form or have been through harrowing times in other aspects of their lives.
Have been preyed on…
EBONY – this chick has certainly been through the wringer lately. She thought that she was set up for a life of love with Jay but then she lost the plot – and lost him too. She has been having visions of her former love Zoot and at first she was pretty scared by it. She now thinks that this is all part of her destiny and that Zoot has risen from the dead and actually does love her. She has gone through a marriage with the guy and has set up a tribe devoted to him.
SIVA – what is it about this family? Siva has gone through some rough times herself with the troubles she has been having with her lover Lex and his obsession with his wife Tai San. Lex thought that Tai San was dead but it seems she was lost in the Game and made a brief appearance only to disappear once again. Siva has real feelings for this guy and she did not want to lose him – but she cannot stand by and watch him think about his past love. Siva has been very low and emotional lately and this has been taken full advantage of by Java in her quest for making Zoot appear to be real.
TRUDY – this babe always comes up in stories of vulnerability but it is true to say that she has had her fair share of dodgy times and has been manipulated by most of the crazies in tribeworld at one time or another, particularly by the Big G.
And some of the ones that do the preying…
JAVA – the oldest of the braided sisters, Java is also the most evil. She desperately wants power and will do anything to get it. She is intelligent enough to know that she can’t do it all on her own and she needs the help of her sisters to get her to the throne of power. She makes the most of their vulnerability and earns a certain amount of trust from them. This is helped by the fact that she is their sister and as the say, blood is thicker than water. But Java also plays the innocent and pretends that her life is in danger after Ram’s disappearance.
Java knows that she is playing a dangerous game and that she has to be as nice as pie to Ebony to get her to do what she wants. This was easy to begin with when Ebony was scared that she was going mad and she had Java to look after her and tell her that she wasn’t actually losing her mind and that Zoot was real. But now that Ebony believes that she is in a position of power through her marriage to Zoot, Java has to play a slightly different game and pretend to see Zoot herself.
With her other sister Siva, Java uses other manipulative tactics and these come in the form of bullyin. She forces Siva to do as she says and in so doing maintains the upper hand.
THE BIG G – the Guardian was the ultimate manipulator. He definitely preyed on those who were in a vulnerable position from not belonging to a tribe of their own or through just wanting to belong somewhere, anywhere.
He manipulated these people by telling them that he was sent by Zoot (who was a guy that most of these people already feared anyway) and that he had special business to do. The Big G had tremendous power of speech and was able to get hundreds of people to listen to him and to believe him.
Manipulators are basically bullies and bullies are basically cowards. A manipulator is clever, that’s true – they have to be to know how to ‘play’ a person and get what they want. But although they are clever they are also stupid. How’s that? Well, a person who has no scruples, morals or values and is a predator has to be stupid to think that is the way to behave!
But they will get their due in the end and then they will realise how stupid they have been. They say that what goes around comes around and if you are a bully or a manipulator then you’d better believe it – and you’d better start looking behind your back!