Is it persuasion, manipulation or enticement?

Persuasion: a means of persuading someone to do something

Manipulate: control or influence (a person or situation) cleverly, unfairly, or unscrupulously

Entice: attract or tempt by offering pleasure or advantage

Yesterday, I was accused of trying to manipulate someone. It threw me for a loop as that was 180% opposite of my intention. Truth be told, I wasn’t even trying to persuade nor entice them. An off-hand comment that I thought was being playful was taken in the worst possible way, and elicited an indictment of my morals, integrity and motives. I was quite taken aback.

It caused me to examine the word and the distinction between persuasion, manipulation or enticement, especially in the context of dating and romantic relationships.

I know certain words, phrases and images are enticing to many men. When in a healthy relationship, you learn what your man wants and work to give it to him. Is that manipulative? Only if you want something in return other than his happiness. Of course, if he is happy, he will be more compelled to make you happy. So by giving him what he wants are you being manipulative? Or just enticing?

A gal pal knows her husband likes to have sex every three days. She says she makes sure to oblige, as he is much more receptive then to doing the things she wants. Is she being manipulative? Persuasive? Enticing? Or is she just giving him what she knows he wants?

By midlife, most of us know how to tell a man what we want and how to acknowledge him when he gives it to us. We know he wants to make us happy. For many men, making us happy is a primary goal. However, what if he knows that if he makes us happy outside the bedroom, we will be more enthusiastic about having sex with him? So this is the other side of the scenario in the previous paragraph. What if my friend’s husband did what she wanted knowing she’d be more prone to have sex more frequently?

What do you think about giving your sweetheart what you know he wants? Are you just being smart, working to have a happy man and relationship, or is there some manipulation involved?

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3 responses to “Is it persuasion, manipulation or enticement?”

  1. Ellen Avatar

    It’s all about motivation. If my motivation is to give pleasure or make someone happy, then that’s good. All relationships are really based on getting something we want. We use each other, that’s what’s it’s about. If we do it with good intentions, even if it’s to gain something for ourselves, that’s good. If our purpose is to harm, like making a guy take us to an expensive event when we know we’re not going to continue to date him, now that’s bad. Will our actions bring pleasure or pain? Will we each be better for it? Persuasion can be fun, enticement can be delicious, even manipulation can be a game that brings rewards and everyone benefits.

  2. nysharon Avatar

    its not manuipultion its called marriage.

  3. bookyone Avatar

    Hi DG,

    I agree 110% with Ellen on this; IMHO it’s all in your perspective and WHY you’re doing what you’re doing or not, more than the specific act of doing something itself. If the motivation is sincere and genuine then, if it feels good, as Nike says, do it! It’s only when the motives are less than honorable, or used as a relationship scorecard, so to speak, (something I ABHOR with a passion!) that the potential for manipulation, in the worst sense of the word, exists.

    Just my two cents…

    Hugs from bookyone 🙂