Manipulation can bring you great rewards. Everyone is nosy about something. I for one am today and always have been nosy and curious, and particularly so at the workplace. Workplace gossip is among the finest entertainment of which I am aware. I love it and I want to know it all. I don’t want to be left out of the conversations or theories surrounding the whispers. I want to weigh in and be heard among the busiest of tongues. I am like a dry sponge when it comes to workplace gossip, standing ever so ready to suck it all up.
I want to know who is in trouble, who is getting fired and who got caught doing what with who. I want to know more than just the whats but also the hows, whys, whos and whens. I love it and I can’t get enough.
When it comes to the juicy stuff, I am sure you have also found that the bigger the story the stiffer the tongues. There are those who learn of workplace gossip only to selfishly sit on it. They walk around with this knowledge in defiance of that which we all find interesting, as they mock us with their silence. How dare they.
But the thing is… I am Tom Nardone. Keeping a secret from me, is not the easiest thing in the world to do. When the river of gossip begins to flow, I get very thirsty. My thirst must be quenched. Yes. It must be.
Manipulation Makes the River Flow
Manipulation of people is how you break the dam. In order to direct the flow of information toward you, you need two things. 1.) you need to be friends with several inside people, and they must have the access. No matter how big of an asshole they might be, they get a pass. 2.) you need to sharpen whatever skill-sets you have for the manipulation of others. If you are good enough at number two then you can do without number one.
Manipulation is something on which people put a negative connotation, and while I will admit it is often used for evil or selfishness, there is no better way to loosen the tongue of someone hording vital information you need to know about the personal lives of other people. Let’s begin.
Here is what you must absolutely know about the people who have information. They want to tell you! I promise they do. The reason they won’t, can be many things, but the three main reasons are guilt, fear and superiority.
- (Guilt) “I shouldn’t tell you. It was told to me in confidence.”
- (Fear) “If I tell you they will know it came from me because nobody else knows”
- (Superiority) “Don’t worry about it. All the people who need to know, already do”
Okay we will deal with them one asshole at a time.
Okay Mr. Guilty Conscience has built a damn on the mighty “Gossip River”. Listen to him. He is not saying, “It is wrong to tell you. I was trusted with this information.” even if those are his words, that is not what he is saying. What he means is “Please! I am begging you help me shit-can this guilt so I can feel excited about telling you all about it.” This person needs you to remove his guilt, and for you to not exhaust every effort to crack him, well you may as well just kick him in the nuts.
All you say is, “Listen, Mr. Guilty Conscience, you and I are tight. Everybody is going to know this soon enough. Don’t let these other clowns distort the truth so I get some half-ass version of the story. I want to know the truth about it and that is why I am coming only to you about it.” OR “Listen the damage may me done but this is a friend of mine and if there is something I can do for them then you have to tell me or you will just be making it worse” See? You just increase the guilt. Manipulation wins again.
Now to Mr. No-sack; he is afraid of losing his job or a friend as a result of his talking. Do not let him live in fear, what kind of a person are you? There is a nugget of truth in his body. Free him so he can remove it and focus on living his life.
“Hey No-sack, I hear what you are saying, and I can’t believe I have to say this to you of all people, but I obviously do. “Hey man! (short pause for effect) It’s me.” I swear to god that one works.
Last but not least, we deal with the smug bastard named Mr. Superiority. The one with no fear or guilt, and completely content to just be a stingy information hording asshole who thinks he has a right to know something we don’t. The solution to this one is a magical one, in that it works on all three types.
This, if done correctly, will work every time. You don’t ask him anything. Mr. Superiority wants all the milk for himself. He will never share a single tit. You have to approach him with a tit of you own. There are two types of tits; the tit of misinformation and the tit of new information.
Manipulation: New Information
You go to this person like you are doing him a favor and tell him, “Wow! You will not believe what I just heard. This is crazy!”
He cant let you feel superior so he will say, “Yeah I heard.”
To which you reply, “No everyone knows about that, I mean what I just heard that happened not five minutes ago!”
Now he is interested, and you have become Mr. Superiority and he wants the tit. Make him purchase it. You tell him you are not sure if you want to be spreading this rumor because there may be those who do not know the first part of it. When he tells you he knows, make him prove it. When he tells you what you wanted to know in the first place, you say, “Oh! I didn’t realize anyone else knew that part I guess it wasn’t new after all”. Tell him you own him and walk away.
Simply go to this person and tell them a bunch of over the top nonsense and make certain he believes you believe it. He will see this as an opportunity to flex his muscles of superiority, and will do so by setting you straight with the facts. There is no joy in it for him if you think you know what he does. After he sets you straight, he will take pleasure in knowing his information was better than yours.
I will leave you with some safe practice drills. These are some harmless drills you can try out on your friends and family members. Manipulation can be used to learn answers to questions, but you do not even have to ask them.
Let’s say you wanted to know what your wife had for lunch one day. You just make a statement assuming she ate somewhere you know she would never eat. “I smell Chinese food, darling did you eat Chinese for lunch?” She will say, “Hell NO! I hate Chinese food I ate at El Torso’s” I know what your wife ate for lunch, is not really a juicy nugget, but as I said, it is a drill to keep you sharp.
You are talking with a friend at work, when the conversation goes to money. You decide you want to know how much he makes, but you cannot ask because it is inappropriate. You say something like, “Yeah okay Mr. Money-Bags, that is okay for you, but I don’t make sixty thousand dollars a year”. You will many times hear a response like, “What are you smoking I make sixteen dollars an hour.” HA! You win!
The flow of information is in perpetual motion and if you can harness the power of manipulation it will flow to you and through you as a river, and you shall never thirst again. Don’t let a stiff tongue stand between you and your right to know the business of everyone whose problems are of interest to you. You take charge and squeeze every last drop of milk out of the tit you have clutched within your hands.
I am Tom Nardone and you are welcome
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