life, thoughts

Emotional Manipulation

PREFACE to this post: I drafted this article before the orchestrated violence began occurring in United States cities. This subject matter does not directly coincide with those riots. However, the upheaval of emotions over it are linked to the topic of this blog. I hope you’ll stick around for the rest, because I think it’s an important message.

***

Proof through the night that our flag was still there

It’s called a crime of passion if a man catches his wife being unfaithful and then murders her lover.

It’s called a crime of passion if a woman catches her husband being unfaithful and murders him.

Does the term “crime of passion” make the act of murder palatable? Do we make it okay to commit murder because they loved and trusted their spouse and they merely reacted from hurt and betrayal?

Of course not.

They made their decisions out of pure emotion. Could our society be making decisions from emotion, and in turn, ruining our lives?

On occasion I’ve touched on what’s happening in society on this blog. Although I lean to one side, I try not to impose my side, because at the core of our issues, I don’t think it’s about sides at all.

In an article I posted in June 2017, I wrote about deciphering between emotions and intuition when making decisions. I was concerned by how so much of our society was reacting to everything from emotion. I honestly feel that is a big part of the problem with the division we’re seeing.

For the first forty years of my life, I didn’t notice a lot of division within society as a whole. There were smaller pockets of division, but not so wide spread as it became in the year 2005 and continues to today.

Side note: In full disclosure, there was division when I was a toddler, but I was too young to know, and the division settled down as I became a self-aware child.

What could’ve happened to our society in 2005 to jump start a barrage of division?

Well, among other things, mass communication became more accessible. Anyone and everyone could have access to the internet. Platforms like MySpace and then Facebook took hold. There have been many more since.

I have to be honest, I’ve read posts and articles, seen photos and videos, that have made me extremely emotional. I find my emotions almost continually being flared—from the internet, to television, to movies—there are constant messages coming at me.

I realize that I don’t have to read or watch any of those things, but the messages are difficult to escape. The times I get a break are when I’m visiting with family, friends, writing, reading, shopping, or taking a well-deserved vacation. But, since mid-March, half of those things have been taken from us due to the virus.

Getting out after lockdown

Our emotions are constantly being manipulated. Is it a wonder we’re divided? We’re having messages sent to our brains, which register to our emotions. We pick a side of how we feel about it, and we react by judging others from our self-righteous keyboards.

Even as I write this out, I’m becoming emotional. Why? Because, I believe in the overall goodness of humanity. Our compassion and sensitivity is being used and abused to cause division. The riots are a different topic, but they to, tweak our emotions to force us to pick a side. In reality, we’re all on the same side of what sparked the unrest.

I long for us to unify against the emotional manipulation . . . to think more rationally before making decisions from emotion. I wrote in my 2017 article, emotions are subjective. Judging people because we think the way we feel is more righteous than another is not the answer.

After explaining all of this, I leave you with one question, and it’s not a rhetorical one.

Who benefits from a divided society?

Someone asked me this question, and I had to figure it out on my own. There is an answer, but it takes logical thinking, not emotions, to find it. I’ll leave it for you to figure out.

30 thoughts on “Emotional Manipulation”

  1. So much food for thought here, Lori. It sounds to me like you truly do believe in humanity and that there is way too much division in our world. For myself, I do not usually look outward to a “they” for the answer. I look inward to discover where I am contributing to division. Am I sharing divisive posts? Am I sharing opinions that hurt others? I look inside at the egoic consciousness that exists within us and see that it’s possible to birth another kind of consciousness. I can see divisiveness inside of myself and that is what feels true. The media, government, advertising–so much more–reflects that egoic consciousness that exists in every one of us. If each and every one of us start the spiritual journey toward healing our inner rifts, then the outer world will slowly slowly slowly begin to change. While most of society tries to change outward institutions, I think that can only be a short-term fix until the inward change happens. Just my two cents!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Kathy. Yes, I do believe in the overall goodness of humanity, despite what we’re seeing. I also believe there are bad people in the world, but everyone is born pure. I agree with going inward and asking questions of ourselves. That is what I mean about being emotionally manipulated. Going within to check how what we see and hear shapes our emotions . . . check how those emotions cause us to think and behave. I know that my emotions went haywire over the last ten days with the riots getting so close to my home and my family’s homes. I admit that those emotions may have affected how I thought and behaved, and that I may need to re-evaluate. Many don’t do what you and I do . . . look within, admit our own biases or when we’ve made a mistake. It’s why I made the basic theme of my blog about introspection. If more people did this, looked to ourselves, we’d change the world. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. I always appreciate hearing from you.
      P.S. Have you ever seen the animated movie, “Inside Out?” It’s an awesome entertaining and metaphorical look at how emotions can affect our thinking and decisions. How we can use them to either help or hinder our lives.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lori, I am sure I would have been utterly emotional if the riots were anywhere close to my home. My heart goes out to you and others in the middle of the movement/violence. I love also that you get this about our inner manipulation/emotions. And–so very interesting that you should mention Inside Out. Have been taking a six-month Internal Family Systems class and people have talked a LOT about that movie. Guess I need to watch it!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. How cool that you’ve been hearing about “Inside Out,” and then I brought it up. Hopefully with the hype, you won’t be disappointed. I found it an ingenious way to show how emotions work.

          I wanted to add that my post is also about how the media manipulates our emotions, and that’s why we have to keep a check on how we’re reacting. Our humanity/emotions are being used, and that’s why I asked the question about who benefits from how it affects and divides us.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I think the media manipulates emotions because most people won’t read an article (or blog) unless it contains drama or titillations. Because the ego-mind doesn’t like to be bored and actually won’t read or listen some of the time unless there’s spice or fire. Look at successful novels, same thing. Over the past 11 years I keep exploring this in blog titles. What will pull people in but not manipulate? It’s a fine line and I have succeeded and failed many times.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I totally agree about the media manipulating emotions to draw people in. I would agree somewhat about novels and blog titles, except I think the content isn’t always meant to manipulate emotions (at least on blogs). I also think it goes way deeper, and there are more than just the media who benefits from a divided society.

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  2. “Who benefits from a divided society”

    You state there is an answer to this question. You state you know the answer and that we need to come up with the correct answer.

    My question, not rhetorical: Is your answer the only correct answer?

    Perspectives are different; my truth may not be your truth. What is correct? Incorrect? Are we judging?

    You asked a question, not rhetorical. I gave you a rhetorical answer. My apologies.

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    1. I’m not sure I understand your answer, Linda. But, I do understand your question. Yes, I do believe there is a correct answer, and I do believe it’s the answer I came up with. Sounds arrogant, I know. If anyone else comes up with a different answer, I’d be curious about it and open to listen, though. I can say that I started by eliminating the people who suffer the most from a divided society.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I gave a rhetorical answer and asked some questions because I believe that there is not one answer only, to any questioned asked. Depends on your perspective and your truths. I could be wrong.

        I do not think you are arrogant. I simply offered a different set of questions to consider.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s hard to believe that all this upheaval is happening at the same time. I think you’re right about the Internet being a great tool for communicating opinions. Unfortunately, like most great inventions, they can be used for good or bad, and the bottom line always comes down to people making choices. For example, a gun can be used to provide food or to kill a person, but the shooter has the control of the trigger, so it is people who make the choices – not the gun. Same with the Internet. It can be used for good or evil. I thought about your question – who wins in a divided country? Everybody loses to some extent.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Anneli. As far as the internet being a tool for communicating opinions, that’s all well and good, but it’s a matter of how people react to it. Like I said, between the internet, the news media and entertainment, we’re’ getting bombarded with messages that THEY want us to hear. “They” control what we see and hear. Most of their messages generate emotions. Who is “they?” Well, that’s the answer to my question. It’s the “they” who are the ones that benefit from a divided society.

      Sorry to be so vague, but I don’t want people who read this to get the answer from me. I think people should figure it out for themselves.

      I appreciate your well thought out comment. I totally agree with your assessment about the person making the decision, not the trigger or the gun. Once again, it’s acting from emotion instead of the thinking brain.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I was thinking that if the protesters all went home and put a one-week moratorium on their marches, only the rioters would be left and they could be dealt with. Then if people wanted to truly protest peacefully afterwards, they could still do that.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Definitely a way to weed them out, Anneli. I work for the police department and for the past four days my fellow coworkers have been interacting peacefully with the protesters during daylight hours. At night, the officers have had bricks, rocks, fireworks, etc. thrown at them by the rioters who’ve come armed with guns and machetes. It breaks my heart.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. It makes you wonder why anyone would want to be a police officer, and yet what a chaos it would be without them? Bad enough the lawlessness we’re dealing with now – It would be worse than the wild west if we didn’t have them at all.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Oh yeah, and Anneli, I forgot to comment on when you said, all this upheaval is happening at the same time. Right? Almost as if were coordinated, or maybe just perfect timing? BTW, in some areas of the country (a clue is which areas), it IS like the wild west, because the police departments aren’t arresting people and letting them do as they please. One sheriff said she isn’t going to put her officers in harms way to to defend businesses. So, umm, yeah. 🤷‍♀️

            Liked by 1 person

            1. If the police are not there to provide law and order, who will do it? If the job is too big for them (and it just may be so), they should be given some help. The local politicians are waiting for someone else to make the decisive move and then they can criticize if it doesn’t go smoothly.

              Liked by 1 person

      2. This is a good idea, Anneli. Because certainly the peaceful protesters are getting drowned out by the rioters. And most of us know that those rioters have a different agenda than the protesters.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I’ll answer your question, Jill. The media sets the narrative for us, and a lot of them refused to call them rioters because they want to give them legitimacy. So, people who don’t ask questions and just follow along, think rioters are protesters.

      I’m just a little know-it-all. Heh. 😜

      I wonder if anyone will consider the question I asked. I’m sure you know the answer, though. 😉

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  4. I always saw the term “crime of passion” as an explanation, not an excuse. As far as I’m concerned, you still have to do the time!
    And yes, we do get manipulated, all the time, and probably since the dawn of humanity. The internet has made that a lot easier. It’s up to us to do the thinking around it, to question, to look even if we find the answer unpalatable, and especially if the answer isn’t what we thought we knew. Hard stuff, and I’m no better at it than most …

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Lynette. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve written things down out of emotion to post on the internet (not usually for this blog), and then have never posted it. I’m not always successful at channeling my emotions properly, but I try. I just don’t know if most people are even aware that they are being manipulated. It’s why I felt the need to post about it.

      Thank you for sticking with this post and sharing your thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. A very interesting perspective, Lori, on a difficult and challenging subject. You are right on how “it isn’t about sides at all.” Mass communication is definitely a part of this picture. Emotions or logical thinking? A thought-provoking post.

    Liked by 1 person

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