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Art of Manipulation: How to Get What You Want Out of People in Business, in Your Personal Life, and in Your Love Life

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Five Percent of the People Manipulate the Other Ninety-five Percent.

A very well received 'how to' book on learning Street Smarts and what to look out for in avoiding scams.

With topics such as: Character Types to Watch Out For (TIPS THAT TELL YOU YOU'RE ABOUT TO BE TAKEN) • How to Make a Slave Out of a Person (WHAT MADE YOU THINK BEING GOOD TO PEOPLE ALL THE TIME WILL EVER GET YOU WHAT YOU WANT?) • The World Is Rife with Favoritism (HOW TO PUT IT TO WORK FOR YOU) • The Essence of Manipulation
("I DON'T NEED you. You NEED ME") • And the Meek Shall Manipulate the Earth (EVER KNOW MUCH, AND YOU'll. GET FURTHER) • How to Pick a Person Apart and Discover His Real Motives and Feelings • The Guernsey vs. the Brahma (WHY A "POSITIVE ATTITUDE" IS LIKE A GIGOLO) • How to Avoid Being Taken in Financial Dealings (WATCH WHERE THE MONEY IS) • Manipulating a Person's Thinking (KNOW WHOSE MIND YOU CAN CHANGE, AND WHEN IT'S BETTER TO SHUT UP) • Win Ninety-five Percent of Your Arguments! (RULE OF THUMB: LET SLEEPING DOGS LIE IF THEY DON'T AFFECT YOUR VITAL INTERESTS) • Manipulate a Person Against Their Will and Make Them Like It! (THE UNARGUE TECHNIQUE) • A Little Pressure Has Its Place-But Seldom • If All Else Fails, Try the Dirty Way. • How to Squelch Ingratitude Before It Starts. • What You Get Out of Using People for Your Own Selfish Ends?

Unsettling, candid, and very informative.

181 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 1978

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R.B. Sparkman

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 18 of 18 reviews
Profile Image for Diah.
142 reviews15 followers
September 29, 2017
I've read some book that considered as pragmatic power thirst books. The Prince and Leviathan were among them. And somehow this should be considered as contemporary pragmatic power thirst book.

Living is a complicated thing. Sometimes you want to die but you can't. We need to know how to behave and socialize with other people. We want people to do what we want them to do. And RB Sparkman pretty much explain (based on his experience as journalist) how manipulative people works. Not in a philosophical way as in The Prince, more of psychological and exploit human nature.

The thing that I like about this book is how practical the ideas are. Some of them are familiar and sometimes trigger your memory when you realize that you were being manipulated and NOW I SEE THE LIGHT.

Also this book ended nicely that RB Sparkman mention that in the end, as being pragmatic, this book might give you the idea to keep other people from manipulating you, he also mention about the possibility of making yourself even more unhappy by ruthlessly manipulating people.
Profile Image for jayrt.
22 reviews2 followers
December 17, 2018
a marvelous little book that’s easy to eat. full of practical advice such as:

1) smile before AND after saying a smile worthy sentence;

2) be meek and eat crow. for example, when someone is disproportionally fiery and responds heatedly, reply back, “perhaps you’re right”;

3) unveil hidden and true reasons from a reserved interlocutor with the magic phrase, “is there any other reason in addition to that?”; and

4) never let others have a high outstanding indebtedness to you—don’t shy away from getting collateral from a friend.

these are just a few counter intuitive-esque nuggets of wisdom. don’t believe me, please read.
Profile Image for Saeed.
173 reviews55 followers
September 5, 2020
واقعا ارزش خواندن داره پیشنهاد میکنم بخونید. نکته هایی تویه کتاب هست که در حین ظریف بودند من جای دیگه ای ندیده بودم
Profile Image for Tony DuShane.
Author 3 books46 followers
June 27, 2020
It's a fun read. So interesting because a lot of what's in here is kind of biz and psychology 101, but, told from the POV of the 1970s, it was probably cutting edge at the time.

And I was reminded of people who say 'I'm not lying' or 'I'm telling you the truth' - that, when it's sprinkled through their general conversation, RUN from them, they're not friends, they're liars.

I read it because I heard Naval Ravikant talked about it as an important book during a podcast.

I'd give it three stars, the extra star is for living in the 1970s self help era for a few hours. It lags in the middle for a while.
14 reviews8 followers
September 13, 2015
This book details how manipulators operates. The most valuable part of this book is the Unargue Technique which is a step by step method to getting people to be more sympathetic to your cause. This technique can be used in business deals, job interviews, etc.
Profile Image for Henry.
538 reviews13 followers
December 4, 2022
- The book is great at teaching manipulation, but it's even better at teaching how to avoid being manipulated: in essence, humans are all emotional animals. Knowing this, know that you would be easily manipulated by people you like, it's smart to always make decision without emotions (by only making decisions when you're alone and dealing with rational thoughts, risk analysis and margin of safety analysis). If someone is pressuring you to make decision with emotions, stay away from this person asap

- Watch out for people who assures way too much (a person wouldn't constantly assure if he has nothing to prove)

- People want things they can't have. Don't be a "nice" guy. When you feel like you're slowly being taken for granted, pull away (very useful in relationship). Wait for your target to come back to you (and if your target don't, you probably have no sway over your target - move to other targets)

- Women (attractive ones) finds their places in the society with looks. Thus, your affirmation towards her (or lack of) could have a tremendous affect on them. Lacking them, they'll work hard in various ways to try to regain them (pit one against others)

- Winning favoritism: people want to hear they're appreciated by their hard work. Whether it's a girl putting great effort into her look, or a businessman worker hard to accomplish something: find something to trigger that person's pride: they want to hear people are interested in them

- "I don't need you, you need me" should be your default mindset. Know your value in the transaction and let the other person know that you can walk away very easily because you can easily find another alternative. Narrative is the key here. Always think hard to find a way to let the other party think you're doing the other party a favor

- Silent is the best defense: If someone is being condescending, stay completely silent (even for 10, 20 minutes) until the other person talks. It sends a message saying "I don't really need to put up with you"

- The best way to pause an argument is by responding, "you're probably right"

- To find a person's true intention, one tactic is to throw out a direct, blunt question. The 3 seconds after the question, the person's eye would reveal the answer (a blunt question would be like, if you think someone is deceiving you, simply shift from a warm introduction to, "I think you're fucking with me. Why are you fucking with me?)

- If someone won't do something, they often will make a novel (not true) reason for it. Sensing you're given such an answer, follow up with a version of "is there some other reason besides it?"

- Positive and strong are two completely different things: people favors positivity, but grow suspicious when being strong armed into things

- Watch where the money is. The moment you give out money is the moment you lose control (always get goods before hand out your money)

- Don't deal with people who have nothing to lose financially (a person who has bad credit, a business that's tethering on the collapse): they're willing to say anything to con you. If you have to deal with those people, when they want your money for materials, buy those material yourself. Pay them only for the amount of work they've complete

- Always ask for the price before letting someone complete work
Profile Image for Ojaswi Shankar.
1 review4 followers
May 16, 2021
As the name itself suggests, this book is based on the concept of manipulating people in day-to-day affairs to one's own advantage. It provides you with, broadly speaking, sixteen easy-to-incorporate strategies, in form of sixteen different chapters, that would go great guns in turning the tables to one's advantage in his/her interpersonal relationships with people, in both private and business setup. The best part of the book, in my opinion, is that it maintains a perfect balance between explaining enough and being a drag. It sticks to a particular point just long enough for the reader to get a decent hang of it, and then, pulls the string just at the right time, which if had been let loose would have made the content nothing but verbose. Neither does it waste any ink in explaining which is already common knowledge. To say more, another good part of the book is that, it is not replete with boatload of unnecessary examples, involving complex factual scenarios, and harp on the same string over and over again to explain any concept/strategy, consequently, helping the reader retain his attention on the principle thoroughly rather than on needless details of illustrations, and take home the point being made.

Overall, it's a great pick to lay your hands on next. That being said, some chapters aren't as good as the others and may, at one's convenience, be ignored; but the lion's share is certainly worth a read.
Profile Image for Liridon Cenaj.
4 reviews1 follower
July 8, 2018
Nice guide on manipulating the shit outta people, and defending yourself from getting manipulated from other people.
Profile Image for Frank.
329 reviews77 followers
March 22, 2023
Will come back later to finish this book.
39 reviews
December 31, 2016
The wisdom presented in this book is easy to understand, since it is often illustrated by examples based on the experiences of the writer. It is a very good read for people who want to get some insight on how manipulative people work. In turn, this shows you how you can recognize this behavior from other people in your own life, and if you so wish, practice manipulative behavior yourself.
Profile Image for Don.
633 reviews
September 15, 2019
I read this strictly as a reference.

There was no way I was going to change my personal morals and become something even remotely resembling a power-tripping asshole. Yet, that's the point of the book, where you have to give the impression that this form of overlording will never be found out because of the weasely nature of not wanting to be accused of the practice; nor any desire to be portrayed openly being a complete and total Dick or sneaky, unethical Jerk and carefully avoid blowing the effort taken to establish shyster antics with any discovery of their inner motives.

"He or she is a great person!" No, they're not. Fooled you into thinking that's the case with lies and however else you mistakenly came to that conclusion in the thinking of that particular narcissistic individual. To lack consideration towards others and be devoid of scruples of any distinction.

The title caught my attention because of something that happened to me a few years ago and I wanted to confirm my suspicions of the subject person. Yup, that family member is gone from any good and helpful reproach due to the power intimidations being applied by the 'special friend'. Sadly, I have to let things run their course and hope the future brings a total realization of how wrong they were against me. Might be a long time in coming, or again sadly, may never resolve itself before my passing. As they say: can't dwell in the past, and to hell with people (even family members) who are too fucked up with themselves to see they are being played and do not realize it at all.

If anything, I'm glad to have stumbled across this book. It was a guide to see these weasels for what they are and learn to see the signs. I should have read this many, many years ago...
Profile Image for Prithu Puranjan.
44 reviews1 follower
October 19, 2021
Started reading this book after my love of the character from my last book i read. "Wayne" in the book "Bands of Mourning" or "Breeze" in the Mistborn series.

The way characters like these get out of life and death situations with some simple mind games played with the opponent, incited an urge in me to read their psychology .

This book definitely tells you about tricks how con-men used to con people in 1970's and would allow you to not be fooled in today's world, where everything is a market.
Displaying 1 - 18 of 18 reviews

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