Manipulation is basically an art. You need to be confident during the process of manipulating someone so as to sound true even if you are telling the whitest of lies. If not using them for manipulation, then these books on manipulation can be used to gather information about being aware of these manipulative attacks towards you and your personality.
I myself, am not a non-fiction enthusiast but I believe that in today’s world only the known is safe. This is why some of these self-help books provide you the best way to learn about the statistics to use in life and to get through even the biggest of problems using your brain.
Hard work is always appreciated but smart work gets you success. In the path to success, there’s nothing too unethical and only the ones who care for the least yet know the most, are the ones who can truly succeed in life.
So with the intent set in, I would like to discuss a few books with you to help you learn and be safe against the art of manipulation. Also, remember that the writers aren’t really the ones who believe that manipulation is your best way out of any issue. Most of these writers are in fact against manipulation. So try to keep an open mind.
My List of Best Books on Manipulation
The Lucifer Effect
This book is written by Philip G. Zimbardo. It’s a must-read and it explains morality in a quite simple way. It goes on to speak about how good and evil coexist in every human being and how it’s the situations around us that influence us in choosing what side we’re on.
It goes on to speak about how people are wrong in believing that Good and Evil are two very opposite concepts. Anyone can be turned from an angel to a devil and so can this process take place in reverse. Morality is a vague concept and if we begin to understand how our circumstances control our actions and the role of morality for us, we’d be able to control our actions as well as others and nothing would ever surprise us.
This is one of the best books on manipulation and a must-read for those who are interested to know more about the existence of good and evil present in everyone and how it may prevail. It is an interesting book as it uses a mythological scenario quite well and accommodates it in the real world.
In Sheep’s Clothing
This is a pretty great piece of work, written by George K. Simon. This book dives into the psychology of people who are obsessed with power, who manipulate others and who are secretly aggressive.
This goes on into explaining that competition being the mode of your fighting is completely normal and how this is our primal way to react as we have a basic need to fight over the resources to survive. And how it is only fair if it’s done in a fair manner.
It also defines aggression in its own way as fighting without any regard for anyone else. It explains how a hidden and extremely manipulative type of aggression is termed as covert aggression. And how it can be different from overt aggression while pointing out that a person might go back and forth between the two.
This book differentiates between passive aggression and covert aggression and how they both seem so similar yet they’re not. Also, it talks about the attitude of manipulators and how manipulation can be recognized and dealt with. Giving a small look at dependent and codependent relationships.
The Psychopath Whisperer
This book is written by Dr. Kent A. Kiehl and it discusses his journey through studying psychopaths and figuring out how their brains are abnormal and different.
It takes a solid dig at how paraphilic psychopaths, in turn, become serial killers and how it’s dangerous to trust them due to the fact that they are great liars and quite skilled at the art of manipulation. He explains how this might be a thing with them by birth as their brains work a little differently.
Even the psychopaths who don’t like killing might end up as serial killers somehow. Although mass murderers are still mostly the people who suffer from psychosis. These are the people that hear and perceive stuff that is much different than the reality.
The author even strikes a quite interesting topic over how the media and other people use the word psychopaths in a rather derogatory sense than in a medical way. And he moves forward to point out how everyone has some of the other traits of a psychopath but that doesn’t mean that they would commit any kind of a crime.
This is a book written by Patricia Evans. And she highlights the traits and mannerisms of controlling people. She describes that a person with control issues will think of his/her partner as a part of himself/herself. And how it’s quite a threat for control freaks when they see signs over their partner being or becoming independent from them.
She tries to point out the ability of a controlling person to never take the blame on himself/herself and how they constantly feel need to believe that the reason or root for their aggression is their partner, whom they believe is a part of their own. And also that most of these controllers are doing so unconsciously.
She also takes a solid dig at how these controlling people do so as they don’t want to lose the person they are with and how they feel threatened by their partner having his/her own personality. She also reviews how these people are great pretenders and are always trying to limit their partners to their own wishes and desires.
Here are some of the techniques that the author thinks are used by controllers:
- They try to devalue you.
- They don’t actually listen to you.
- They find a fault in everything you do.
- Calls you demanding or high maintenance when you start to complain.
- Make you realize that you don’t appreciate their efforts.
- Make you feel like you are ever sensitive.
And so on.
30 Covert Emotional Manipulation Tactics
This book is written by Adelyn Birch. And she talks about how people use manipulation to control their partners in a relationship. She points out how dangerous it may be to let a manipulative person have the upper hand in a relationship.
It is only 30 pages long but it has some amazing insights over the manipulation games played by every type of a manipulator in a relationship and is, therefore, one of the best books on manipulation. It describes a way to understand and act on emotional manipulation. It also makes you aware of it in a case that someone is using it against you.
It makes your instincts strong enough to recognize emotional manipulation even if you aren’t able to figure out the tactic used in doing so. Its main focus is on romantic relationships but it also works for other relationships like friends, family members, acquaintances and so on.
Potentially powerful emotional manipulators can manipulate you in such a way that you might not even notice how you start decreasing in self-worth and self-confidence. They make you doubt your own perception to be superior in the relationship and they try their best to lower your self-esteem to a level where it won’t ever be a threat to them.
The Art of Seduction
The author of this book is Robert Greene. And as the name suggests, it helps you master the craft that is seduction. But here, seduction doesn’t just mean sexual, it includes political, social and also definitely sexual which is the most discussed topic in this book.
By this book, the author tries to display how seduction can be used as a weapon at times. And how seduction may be the most useful tool in your quiver. The author tries to explain that being beautiful doesn’t help you master the art of seduction, it’s all about using psychology in a way that even the most brilliant of minds are conned by your words or actions.
It describes how a seducer needs to look at the world differently and how good he is at making single-handed efforts towards a person to show his/her care towards the concerned person and making them feel special as an entity. It elaborates on how the seducer needs to analyze their victim before he/she pounces on them.
It takes a solid dig at how to build your character to be so seductive that it turns the strongest of your prey into domestic cats. And this is really a book that everyone should go through once in their lifetime as it teaches you a lot towards the art of seduction and it also makes you aware of it.
How To Lie With Statistics
This book is written by Darrell Huff. In which, the author tries to awaken the people on how statistics are used in our day to day life just to con us into believing into stuff subconsciously. And he tries to elaborate on how people use false statistics and missing data objects to mislead their users into consuming them.
Like if they say that an average American works 5.7 hours a day. But is there a way for the surveying department to figure this out for sure? All they can do is ask the citizens and the person might also lie due to his or her own wish then that simply makes the data incompetent. Only an unbiased source can provide the right details and only that would make the statistic right.
He explains how media and other related fields have a biased way of expressing information and hides the information that goes against them. I personally feel that this book is quite helpful and giving it a quick read might help the reader.
The 33 Strategies of War
This self-help book is also written by Robert Greene and it’s a quite wonderful read. This book almost all the techniques and strategies that have been used for ages in the craft of war. Although, it’s not just for war tactics and may also be accommodated in your current day to day life.
This makes its reader focus on social strategies by using a war theme. It drives on the principles of conquering your own mind before try to conquer someone else. It also explains how we must avoid clear frontal attacks and instead attack the entity at its source and how we must try to gain the most by spilling the least amount of blood (which means causing the least amount of potential harm) by infiltrating your opponent.
It’s quite interesting to read as its theme is war and it gives a number of great insights of knowing how to win in most situations.
A Goal Digger’s Guide
This is written by Baje Fletcher. Although the title has the word “Goal” instead of “Gold”, it still talks quite deeply about gold-digging. It tries to educate its readers on how they may be able to get the most out of their situation using the right statistics and finding the right person to use in the process.
It tries to teach you how to be independent and how to trap the richest of people in helping you achieve your goal. Although it also focuses on concentrating on your education, saving up for the future, and to avoid having sex for personal goals it also accommodates using some rich folks in gaining their trust and using them for your own advantage.
The author shows a great combination of goal setting and ambition to trickery and deceit in achieving it. It’s an interesting and educational read for most readers if you keep an open mind.
The Art of Deception
This book is written by Kevin D. Mitnick and William L. Simon and it works mainly on how social engineers manipulate information and people to break into the deepest securities.
It starts by defining humans as the weakest security link of the society and then discusses how social engineers do everything in their power to figure out the smallest and even irrelevant information initially and then make use of it to destroy well-built empires to bits.
It also explains how a company should train its employees in protecting the information at hand to protect the assets and interests of the given company and keeping it safe from potentially harmful people who may wreck the company’s growth by infiltrating it.
Who’s Pulling Your Strings?
This book is written by Dr. Harriet B. Braiker. This is one of my most appreciated books amongst this list which is why I’ve kept it at the last on my list. This book explains how being in a relationship with a manipulative person may cause you anger issues, bring down your self-esteem and self- confidence, and make you feel helpless all the time.
She is an author known for helping in increasing awareness towards such kinds of manipulation and she helps the reader in learning all about manipulation and being aware of it.
She helps in making the victim realize the ways a person might use some strategies in manipulating their partners and she also helps the person in ending the cycle of manipulation by using self-assessment quizzes, exercises, and action plans. Reading this book might help you positively under manipulative control from your partner.
These are some of my personally recommended books on manipulation for readers who need to learn about it and who wish to protect themselves against manipulation by gaining as much information about it as possible. If you liked the content, please leave a comment below.