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Manipulation vs. Authentic Communication Part 1

Grab a ringside seat. These two giants of the communication world are going to go head to head in these two blogs to determine which is more life giving, constructive and appropriate. Let’s begin.

Manipulation

-Worldwide, impersonal and personal. Often gives back back smoke and mirrors, often not what was promised-

Manipulation is the current giant of the communication world. Actually, it has been used for centuries to control people and make others very rich and powerful.Today, on a global scale, every image, symbol, word and sound that is paid for by advertisers or politicians or anyone with the intent to sway you with words and images is manipulation. Do you realize the scope of this statement?

After billions, maybe trillions of images and sounds have been flashed before our eyes and ears since the mid 20th century, we are conditioned to believe those messages and not ours. By now, with all the audio and visual gadgets that pitch us all day and all night, we have become numb to the overwhelming presence of manipulation.

I think we are almost “manipulation blind”. If we comprehend the acceleration of what seems to be a downward spiral of peace, prosperity and security as greed has gone big business, we could begin to feeling hopeless. Very few of the messages pumped out at us tell us we are okay as we are and we can create a better world.

We are overwhelmed with information delivered by text, tweets, e-mails and the Internet subtly telling us we are not complete without their product or service. Who hasn’t given in and bought a home gym guaranteed to help us lose weight? And how many times have we given away our credit card numbers, secretly knowing that damn machine will probably end up in our garage or at a garage sale? Why did we shell out money knowing in our heart of hearts we wouldn’t use it for long, if at all?

We we have been made to feel inadequate and that success, love and money won’t come to us without buying things to improve ourselves. We are made to feel badly about ourselves because they tell us we simply won’t measure up. Then it’s more products and services that we must buy to keep up.

Here is how I see it. Manipulation is bad, yes, just plain bad. It often takes without quite giving what it promises.

Manipulation is the “go to” for people who don’t believe that plain old connection and honestly gets you anywhere. This way of doing the business of life has spread like a virus, being modeled by advertising and media for years.

Product packaging, celebrity endorsements, entertainment tonight type shows all shove the image of what a perfect, successful person is today. Does 20/20 ever do stories on celebrities endorsements to reveal what famous people are paid to say they “wash their hair with this or wear that” when we all know that they don’t really use these products or services. I really doubt that Jennifer Lopez uses drugstore hair dye. These folks can afford the best and do buy the best…in private. How much money do they make to pretend to love a product and why do we believe them? That’s something to think about. It is all acting, folks.

It appears that even in our personal lives we have to think about how to “get over” on people because we don’t believe in ourselves. The real, quiet truth with a capital T is that we have the presence to change the world when we communicate authentically and honestly and demand it from others and our society. We are not victims of mass manipulation if we stay awake to what is being sold to us and saying “no” when we want to say no.

In Part Two, I will address the benefits of Authentic Communication. Take a break and come back to your seats for Round Two. Only you can decide the true winner.

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