Anonymous said: How could one play a manipulative character?
Ah, manipulative people. Oh-so-fun to write, not so much fun when you encounter them in real life. Here are a few things you can implement when writing or roleplaying such a character.
Manipulative people will often be incredibly nice and sweet to you, and shower you with compliments to get you to do their bidding; butter you up, if you will. Basically, manipulative people will can be the best friend you’ve ever had as long as that friendship gains them; and once they feel you’re useless to them, they will either be your worst enemy, or treat you like air.
Perhaps a manipulative person doesn’t have a hidden agenda when brushing their teeth, but it’s not unlikely for them to have one whenever they interact with others, and that they’re always thinking about ways to get their will through. Don’t pin what they do on chance, but instead consider the fact that there might be an underlying reason for whatever they do in the company of others—until proven otherwise.
Bullying and guilt-tripping
When flattery doesn’t work, manipulative people will often show a more negative side and turn to things such as bullying and guilt-tripping to get what they want. Instead of making you feel like the best person in the world, they will make you feel like the scum of the Earth; chewed on, spat out, and stomped on. Most likely you’ll end up agreeing to their demands; not because you want to, but because you have to.
What makes manipulative people so tricky, is the fact that they’re usually rather suave and pretty good at covering their tracks. Chances are you won’t even know you’re being manipulated until it’s too late; if you ever notice at all. Don’t write the manipulation tactics as being used too obviously, but instead, try to slip it into the writing with a little bit of stealth.
That’s pretty much all I can think of right now, so hopefully you got something out of it. Here are some additional links you might find useful:
- Character Trait Entry: Manipulative
- Creative Writing Plot Ideas: Dealing With Manipulative People
- Television Tropes: Manipulative Bastard
- 5 Behaviors of Manipulative People