How to Manipulate Others Without Being Sleazy

In this world of a million distractions, no one wants to be interrupted.

People generally do what they choose to do. Every morning, noon, and night, the choices you make are the ones you really want to make.

If you want to influence others, that’s manipulation. When you lead, you’re manipulating others. If you have something to sell, you’ll employ manipulative techniques to get someone to buy.


Isn’t manipulation sleazy?

It can be. 

I’ll bet you’re like most people though. You absolutely hate a charlatan. You don’t want to be the victim of a charming snake oil salesman. And you hate it when others try to convince you to do something totally against your will.

But let’s face it. Sometimes your boss will ask you to clean the vomit on the floor when the smell makes you want to vomit too. A disgruntled customer calls and spews venom into your ear, making it ring the rest of the afternoon. You’re late for an appointment and a police officer has the nerve to stop you for a random license check.

Maybe you’re in leadership and have to get cooperation every day. Or you’re a salesperson whose job it is to maximize sales for your company. How do you frame your manipulative efforts in such a way that others don’t find you offensive and sleazy

The secret is found in Dale Carnegie’s third principle of human relations:

Arouse in the other person an eager want.


How do I manipulate without being sleazy?

It’s one thing to know that you should have integrity. It’s another thing altogether to practice it.

Zig Ziglar rightly said:

“With integrity, you have nothing to fear, since you have nothing to hide. With integrity, you will do the right thing, so you will have no guilt. With fear and guilt removed, you are free to be and do your best.”


There are three ways you can manipulate without being sleazy:

First, find out what the other person really wants.

You can do this by engaging him in conversation. Be friendly. Ask him questions about his desires, dreams, and hobbies. Keep the conversation centered on him.

And remember, nobody really cares about what you want – until they know you care about them.

Second, persuade him to do what he wants.

Since everyone is happiest doing what he wants to do, it’s crucial that you frame your desires in the shape of the other person’s. 

Then you won’t seem manipulative because after all, you’re just encouraging him to do what he really wants to do anyway.

Third, everybody wins when you get someone to cooperate because he wants to.

If you can convince others that your vision isn’t selfish, you’ll get buy-in.

If you can persuade others that their stake in your vision will make or break it you’ll get enthusiastic cooperation.

If you can do it without looking sleazy, you’ll be working with friends instead of mercenaries.

Why should I think of myself as a persuader?

All communication is an attempt to manipulate someone else. 

When you’re with a salesman, the one who does the best job of persuasion wins. Either he will convince you that buying is for your own good, or you’ll convince him that losing the sale is in his best interest.

Think about this. If you can solve someone’s problem, wouldn’t it be a shame if you didn’t try to persuade him that you can? What a tragedy it would be if both of you miss the opportunity to improve your lives!

What are you here for if you aren’t willing to share your gifts with the world? 

Start Now

You’re not without talents. Share them. 

You’re not totally selfish in what you want. Go after it.

Don’t let others suffer needlessly because you kept your gifts in the closet.

Don’t worry that some won’t think your gifts are worth anything. Serve others anyway. 

Start today and experience the fulfillment that selfishness steals from you. Help others get what they want and you’ll find they’ll help you find what you want. 

Posted in feeling sleazy, manipulation, persuasion, Uncategorized.

I’m a Writing Coach, a Promotion Strategist, and an Entrepreneur. I help writers engage readers, sell their ideas, and build their tribes. I design non-sleazy promotion plans for artists, writers, and other creatives. When I’m not writing, I love coffee and conversation.