Social engineering, in the context of information security, refers to psychological manipulation of people into performing actions or divulging confidential information. This differs from social engineering within the social sciences, which does not contain the divulging of confidential information.
“There are those whose primary ability is to spin wheels of manipulation. It is their second skin and without these spinning wheels, they simply do not know how to function.” ― C. JoyBell C. P sychological manipulation can be defined as the exercise of undue influence through mental distortion and emotional exploitation, with the intention to seize power, control, benefits, and privileges at the victim’s expense.
When it comes to moral discussion, how to manipulate people may seem unethical for many of us – and for a good reason, since you are actually manipulating other people’s thoughts, feelings and emotions in your own interest. However, manipulation does not necessarily have to be a bad thing: at least not for you!
Gaslighting is a tactic in which a person or entity, in order to gain more power, makes a victim question their reality. It works much better than you may think. Anyone is susceptible to gaslighting, and it is a common technique of abusers, dictators, narcissists, and cult leaders.
One of the worst things about gaslighting is that you become the puppet where the gaslighter is pulling your strings…
1. They tell blatant lies.
2. They deny they ever said something, even though you have proof.
3. They use what is near and dear to you as ammunition.
4. They wear you down over time.
5. Their actions do not match their words.
6. They throw in positive reinforcement to confuse you.
7. They know confusion weakens people.
8. They project.
9. They try to align people against you.
10. They tell you or others that you are crazy.
11. They tell you everyone else is a liar.
“In exploring the difference between mind games that are dark and those that are not we touched upon the motivation behind manipulative mind games. The range of motivations that underpin manipulative mind games will now be explored more fully. This shows the spectrum of dark motivation that underpins this commonly found manifestation of dark psychology.
One reason for the playing of mind games is to manipulate the victim into performing a behavior or thinking or feeling a certain way. The manipulator, in this situation, may feel that their other forms of manipulation are not effective and may try something less obvious, such as a mind game. The manipulator may also choose to influence their victim in this way for their own twisted amusement. This occurs if the manipulator is trying to get pleasure as well as influence as a result of their mind game deployment.
Pace, Michael. Dark Psychology 101: Learn The Secrets Of Covert Emotional Manipulation, Dark Persuasion, Undetected Mind Control, Mind Games, Deception, Hypnotism, Brainwashing And Other Tricks Of The Trade (pp. 59-60). Make Profits Easy LLC. Kindle Edition.”
“Mind games is used to define three forms of competitive human behaviors:
- a largely conscious struggle for psychological one-upmanship, often employing passive–aggressive behavior to specifically demoralize or dis-empower the thinking subject, making the aggressor look superior; also referred to as power games or head games. 
- the unconscious games played by people engaged in ulterior transactions of which they are not fully aware, and which transactional analysis considers to form a central element of social life all over the world.
- mental exercises designed to improve the functioning of mind and/or personality; see also brain teasers or puzzles.
The first known use of “mind game” is in 1963. The first known use of “head game” is in 1977.”
In intimate relationships, mind games can be used to undermine one partner’s belief in the validity of their own perceptions. Personal experience may be denied and driven from memory; and such abusive mind games may extend to denial of the victim’s reality, social undermining, and the trivializing of what is felt to be important.
Covert Emotional Manipulation (CEM) “occurs when a person who wants to gain power and control over you uses deceptive and underhanded tactics to change your thinking, behavior and perceptions. Emotional manipulation operates under the level of your conscious awareness. It holds you psychologically captive. Victims usually don’t realize what’s going on while its happening.
Covert emotional manipulation occurs when a person who wants to gain power and control over you uses deceptive and underhanded tactics to change your thinking, behavior and perceptions. Emotional manipulation operates under the level of your conscious awareness. It holds you psychologically captive. Victims usually don’t realize what’s going on while it’s happening.