Does someone have to be aware that they are engaging in manipulative behavior for it to be manipulation? Do they have to have a negative or selfish intent? These questions comes from a personal issue where in a few of my past relationships the other person has called me a manipulator when I am expressing my honest feelings. I feel like they could be gaslighting me and actually trying to manipulate the situation themselves, by getting me to question my own thoughts and feelings. I believe that I am an honest person and that I would not force anyone into a situation that they didn't want to be in. But I know that I am not perfect and of course have my own wants and needs, and I feel like to an extent everyone manipulates. A mother could come up with sneaky ways to get their child to enjoy vegetables and even lie about ingredients, or a person could want to be friends with someone and fake an interest in something the other person likes to start a conversation with them and end up becoming best friends, or someone expressing their feelings could cause the listener to change their mind on an issue. Are these all forms of manipulation? Does it require lying or a want to hurt or control the other person? And does the manipulator need to be aware they are doing this to be at fault? I would love to hear any stories or examples of what you consider to be manipulation!
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