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Discussion Starter #1
I've read somewhere that an upset ENFP can become rather emotionally manipulative. I have experienced this from two ENFPs in my life. When upset or angered by me, they tend to sling little barbs in the hopes of making me feel guilty and when they fail to elicit such a response from me (what they say does not bother me emotionally but I will be inwardly offended) they just say things to make me feel low or to drag me down, at least for the moment.

I am not implying that all ENFPs are like this and even if they were, it's not really something to be ashamed of. I was only curious as to whether any of you ENFPs have caught yourself doing or saying such things when in a negative mood, and if so, what is your surmised reason?
 

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I'm an ENFP and I'm guilty of doing exactly that. For instance, I have a very close friend of mine and on his birthday, he wanted me to go out and about with him. Granted, my friend is pretty. Almost too pretty really. I'm fairly jealous of him in that aspect, btw, so it felt like an easy thing to get at him for. I was hung over from his party the night before and he woke me up at 8am to go on a 2 1/2 hour car ride to our state's capitol and go shopping and go out to dinner.
On our ride home he mentioned that he aspires to be a model someday. They days events annoyed me. It involved walking around in downtown Boise watching him try to make anyone we came in contact with believe that he's something of a celebrity. When he mentioned he wanted to be a model I said something to the effect of "Yeah, it wouldn't take TOO much work for you to get up to par." I then proceeded to tell him that he would definitely need to get lipo on his muffin top, get his teeth whitened, and get his nose shaved down a bit.

I suppose it's a defense tactic. When we feel threatened, as I typically do when I'm with him, we use our powers of manipulation to make people think that they're beneath us.
 

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There isn't a doubt in my mind that it's immature. I don't accept it from others and I have worked on not doing it for several years. Still, when someone pisses me off enough I'll do it. My poor friend didn't really do anything to provoke what I did. I don't go around manipulating people into self loathing without provocation now.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Immaturity is one thing. I believe all people, at one time or another, have been manipulative without being aware of it. It is only human nature, after all.
 

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Yes, I used to do this when I was younger and immature. I think it's almost subconscious to a certain extent, and I also think any type is capable of it; it's just a matter of who grew out of this crap in childhood, and who didn't. We all probably threw tantrums at some point as well, but healthy individuals grow out of these behaviors.

For me personally, I think it came from being used to getting my way. I somehow learned very quickly how to get my way as a kid...I remember being able to con my Sister into giving me anything I wanted by making her think it was a fair trade (I was a kid, and I am not proud of this! Haha!). When I wasn't getting my way, I knew the big guns would work...and it usually involved the method you mentioned in your post. Again, it was when I was technically a kid (teen), but I've since learned that it's actually pretty much abusive behavior and cruel. I most certainly realize now that guilt and shame are terrible things to inflict on someone for your own personal gain. I didn't realize that it was abusive manipulation at the time though.

To me, all kids exhibit behaviors that are not pretty and require growth and maturity, but when something like this sticks, it's terrible. I've seen Parents do their children this way and it's awful; those are the kids who grow up with major self worth issues. If I were you, I'd call her out on it; say something like "you know, if I upset you, why don't you just discuss it with me rather than trying to guilt me?". She'll probably get pissed, but oh well! Tolerating crap like this will just enable her to continue doing it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If jeers you, I'd call her out on it; say something like "you know, if I upset you, why don't you just discuss it with me rather than trying to guilt me?". She'll probably get pissed, but oh well! Tolerating crap like this will just enable her to continue doing it.
She actually does get incredibly pissed off when I do that. The last time I said the exact same thing as you proposed, she told me to fuck off. Then about ten minutes later she asked me if I were angry. Though I was slightly irritated, I said no because I thought it would make things better. The fact that I was NOT angry pissed her off even more.

*Sigh*
 

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She actually does get incredibly pissed off when I do that. The last time I said the exact same thing as you proposed, she told me to fuck off. Then about ten minutes later she asked me if I were angry. Though I was slightly irritated, I said no because I thought it would make things better. The fact that I was NOT angry pissed her off even more.

*Sigh*
I meant to write "if I were you" not "jeers" haha! Anyway, do NOT back down. Be honest with her and even tell her straight up that you consider her behavior manipulative. I'm sure she will get mad, but pretending everything is fine and unnoticed won't stop it. She needs to be made aware of herself. Also, if she tells you to fuck off, don't kiss up to her. Go about your business and let her sit with her decision to push you away. If you kiss up to her when she pushes you away, you will just create a new pattern of control for her.

Also, it's very important to communicate your feelings. If she does something that upsets you, don't hold it in just to keep the peace. That might work short term, but mark my words, there will be a cumulative affect...and it won't be pretty.

Stand your ground and do not tolerate these behaviors. I don't mean get all dramatic and start a screaming contest either; I mean confidently, calmly, and steadily state your case, and don't back down. Compromise as you see fit, but don't bend because of her negative behaviors and reactions, that will only reinforce them.
 

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I think I agree mostly with @Enfpleasantly here. I had a slightly different scenario; I'm actually not manipulative because I hate the repercussions behind it... but I had such a chaotic childhood and very little trust in people in general. Sometimes manipulation was the only way I knew how to get people interested in me or to pay attention.

One problem I struggle with is the fact that I am not the greatest at biting my tongue. Unfortunately, sometimes my 'little comments' can be construed as passive-aggressive manipulation. My fiance is the only one who gets that I just have to get it out of my system; I'm not wanting him to make any changes, but I struggle with keeping my emotions completely on the inside. Luckily I've worked on it enough that I only have to do it around my fiance; I've taught myself how to at least hold the feelings through work and other people :).
 

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Everybody gets manipulative sometime in their lives. I have noticed that when I am manipulative, it is when I'm being "defeatist". I have to do something that I'm scared or uncomfortable doing. I kind of go all submissive and cute-puppy. o_o I've gotten over much of this particular act of manipulation over the recent year. I tell myself that sometimes I've just got to do these things, can't run away from them forever.

I suppose the other times I get manipulative, it is strangely when I'm meeting someone, and I want to make myself "likable" and "approachable". I read the person's character and figure out what "diplomatic" approach I should take. This is all done unconsciously. Some people wouldn't even call this manipulative, but sometimes it can be, and I have to watch myself.

As for the behavior you have described, I agree with @Enfpleasantly. ^_^
 

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Honestly, I'm never manipulative at this point in my life. I'd probably make life easier for everyone if I were, but I just refuse. When I was a teen, I learned how to manipulate people and -- as for most ENFPs, I imagine -- I found that my people skills made it ridiculously easy. By the time I was about 15 years-old, I was bored and disgusted by manipulation.

I value my authenticity above almost anything else and would truly rather have an honest conversation with someone and receive a "NO" than play games and receive a wished-for "YES."
 

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The thing is... if we're being REALLY emotionally manipulative, then you might not even be able to tell. If we want to, we can do it in a way that results in no culpability but the results we want. But like others said, I like being authentic and I don't want to force people to do things or feel a certain way to get certain results. I value my freedom and the freedom of others.

That said, when I have been manipulative in the past (intentionally), it has been through socializing. I somehow, charmingly socially isolated my target. If someone hurt me, oh, I seemed okay on the surface, but I proceeded to charm their friends away from them and after a few weeks, they wondered why they seemed to be doing everything alone. It may not seem like much, but it's actually pretty hurtful when one person can take away all the friends you've ever had -- your best friends -- and seem to not even notice or care. Their life actually seems way better without you in it, whereas yours has gotten worse.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
That said, when I have been manipulative in the past (intentionally), it has been through socializing. I somehow, charmingly socially isolated my target. If someone hurt me, oh, I seemed okay on the surface, but I proceeded to charm their friends away from them and after a few weeks, they wondered why they seemed to be doing everything alone. It may not seem like much, but it's actually pretty hurtful when one person can take away all the friends you've ever had -- your best friends -- and seem to not even notice or care. Their life actually seems way better without you in it, whereas yours has gotten worse.
Tsk, tsk, Mausi. How naughty yet so clever. I admire that cleverness, despite its intended purpose. ;)
 

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I hate emotional manipulation and I avoid it like the plague. It just doesn't mesh with my 4w5 Sx/Sp motivation to genuinely and authentically share myself with others.

I do, however, employ another form of manipulation: the power of suggestion. If you can easily think of a bunch of possibilities, their implications, and how to support them or argue against them...then you can really stack the deck in your favor. One way is to simply suggest the ones that you prefer and intentionally overlook the ones you dislike. Another is to suggest ones you don't favor but paint them in a negative or ridiculous light. Controlling information can be a very powerful form of manipulation without getting messy and all up in people's feelings with guilt trips and passive aggression.
 

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Manipulation, like every other word in the English language, has several million different meanings to every body.

I think manipulation can be something benign like convincing your friend why your idea for Pizza is better than his idea for Tacos. I think the problem is when manipulation is actually "Emotional Blackmail."
 

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Oh my god, yes. yes, yes, yes. Maybe it stems from having such tolerant tendencies? It takes someone really hurting me to get me to the point where I'd be hurtfully manipulative towards them, but when it happens...watch out!
 

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Oh my god, yes. yes, yes, yes. Maybe it stems from having such tolerant tendencies? It takes someone really hurting me to get me to the point where I'd be hurtfully manipulative towards them, but when it happens...watch out!
Yikes. I'd say manipulative ENFP (and their sensor analogs ESFP) are worse than manipulative ENTP (ESTP) since ENFP are great with Fi and thus have a deep fundamental understanding of people. Good thing it takes a lot to push an ENFP to reach those unhealthy levels though. : )
 

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I don't see any challenge with manipulation, yeah sure, it's something that doesn't take much effort, i think especially for ENFP and our communicating skills. I didn't have to use this in order to get what i wanted/needed. Admit, i can be charming in situations where i have something to gain, like a job interview, although my charm can't stand on it's own without merit.

I still use this charm to get better deals when shopping, booking airline tickets and what not, although like someone else mentioned, huge difference between manipulation/emotional manipulation. Nothing wrong with getting a few perks when no one suffers any kind of emotional stress. I don't use it near as much as i could, i don't see any advantage except for the few examples i provided.
 

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Yikes. I'd say manipulative ENFP (and their sensor analogs ESFP) are worse than manipulative ENTP (ESTP) since ENFP are great with Fi and thus have a deep fundamental understanding of people. Good thing it takes a lot to push an ENFP to reach those unhealthy levels though. : )
I have noticed though, that manipulative or hurtful behaviour, though it usually makes me feel better "in the moment" because I am angry and hurt, usually makes me feel worse in the long run as I then have to deal with the guilt of hurting someone, instead of just being mad at someone for being an asshole, getting over it and moving on.
 
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