Psychological manipulation is an ancient form of social control, but it is now being used more and more to manipulate children’s emotions.
The dark side of this manipulation is its ability to cause harm, says David Peele, a psychologist at Harvard University.
Peele has been working on dark psychology for more than 40 years and is the author of a new book, The Dark Side of the Mind: The Hidden Psychology of Dark Manipulation.
Peele explains that the dark side is when children feel hurt or violated and the parents try to manipulate them into acting the way they would want them to.
For instance, if a parent says, “You’re a great person and I love you, but you’re just too hard on yourself,” the child may respond by feeling upset and angry.
“If the parent tries to manipulate the child into behaving the way he or she would prefer, it can be very difficult for the child to do so.
And that’s when children will become increasingly aggressive, even aggressive toward their parents,” Peele says.
In addition to being a tool of social manipulation, the dark influence of dark emotions can cause harm to children and can make them more likely to behave in ways that may be harmful to others.
“There is some evidence that dark emotions are correlated with antisocial behavior and violence,” Peely says.
The Dark side of the mind is available from Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.
For more information on dark manipulation, visit darkpsychology.com.
PEELE’S DARK SCIENCE ON DARK MIND How dark psychology can help us understand children and how to help them be good parents.