In the “Triangulator” Manipulation Game the manipulator forms temporary alliance with someone and turns him or her against others
Who hasn’t done that before: triggering the competitive side of siblings to gain easy compliance? “Who will be ready with dressing up first?” “Who has the cleaner room?” “Who has the better progress report?” The kids put lots of effort to outcompete each other while you manage daily life with ease as you don’t have to bother explanations and democratic debates. The price? The siblings become each other’s main enemy and one of them is always crying; might become a loser for life.
The popular version played in work places might be way more sophisticated: the trinagulator becomes your confidence and gossips terrible things about others. Some twists and turns, then you are against the others in the front line, with the triangulator holding your back. The alliance takes only while the triangulator interest dictates: the minute he sees gains somewhere else, you are dropped as ally, even might become the next enemy.
This tactic is popular among leaders in the “Divide and conquer” fashion. Until coworkers fight against each other, they are easily controllable by their hostile feelings and have no intention forming alliance against the leadership.
This type of manipulation is the base for the “parent alienation syndrome” in which one of the parents turns the child against the other one following divorce.
The motivation is self-centered as usually in manipulation; either become a hero and rescue you from the terrible others, or serving the interest of the manipulator with temporary alliances, or simply taking revenge for the narcissistic hurts accompanied divorce.
The participants’ interest is ignored and this bothers me most in parenting cases. The convenience of controlling the children with manipulation suppresses to consider the damage the child can suffer: the sibling lose each other’s support as allies or their other parent, the loser’s self-esteem decreases, the whole family atmosphere turns competitive even hostile instead of loving, caring and supporting.
What I would do with a magic wand? Give clairvoyance: see through the flattery and other deceptive tactics and realize the real selfish motifs hidden behind. Then resist to the manipulation to the bottom: not letting competition or hostility heat up.
More Manipulation Games: