By Asher Hancock:
I’ve always been fascinated by how humans are wired, by the ins and outs of our respective minds. More pressingly, I’ve always wondered whether or not there’s a little man named Smickle in my head controlling me Ratatouille-style. I took AP Psych last year, which qualifies me as an expert in all psychological matters, even though I received the grade F (as in Freud). Of course I am referring to Sigmund Freud, who discovered the human mind, as well as something about loving your mom a little too much called the Edifice Complex. (See, I know my stuff.)
During my studies, there was a lot of focus on how understanding the way people think can be a tool for good. But, I don’t know why there’s not more emphasis on the way it can be used to manipulate people to the point of insanity. As a wise man once said, “The true path to victory is to find your opponent’s weakness and make him suffer for it. To take his strength and use it against him until he finally falls or quits.” Master Shifu never fails to be a voice of wisdom and let the record show that he is my one true inspiration in all facets of life. Therefore, I will lay out a few tactics that will allow you to vanquish your foes.
The “My Bad” Technique
How often does somebody tell you about some bad event they experienced or complain about the state of the world? I’d have to say pretty often because we live in a pessimistic society obsessed with first world problems and I’ve found that this kind of life is devoid of meaning, ergo my intent to devote myself to the Viking cause and perish in battle so I can go to Valhalla. But I digress. Next time somebody vents their horrible experiences to you, my advice would be to simply respond “my bad.”
“Hey man, I’m kind of having a bad day because apparently my parents are sending me off to military school.”
Response: “Oh, my bad.”
“My family had to flee Syria due to Taliban Rule.”
Response: “For real? Oops, my fault.”
Although you played no role in getting them sent to military school or the rise of the Taliban, they are now left to wonder what role you apparently must’ve played in said misfortunes. They will then begin to question whether they are just a puppet and you their puppet master, and suck up to you in order to avoid your wrath. The downside of this is you may start to truly believe you are all powerful and jump off of the roof of your house in hopes of unlocking your inner Spiderman. My mom tells me I should stop including my embarrassing personal anecdotes in my stories to which I simply respond, “Worship me earthling for I am the all knowing and you will bow to me.” She took my phone away and made me clean my room so maybe I’m not the master manipulator I thought I was.
The Backhanded Compliment: Dictator Edition
It is a well known fact that I am too cool for the mainstream and that the traditional backhanded compliment is in reality a creation of the mainstream media, a subliminal message designed to control our interactions as a society. By the way, I’m not some conspiracy theorist who thinks the world is secretly run by lizard people. It’s obviously more of a Planet of the Apes-type situation because opposable thumbs are multipurpose tools that can be used for everything from peeling a banana to covertly controlling governments around the world. But I digress. There is merit to the backhanded compliment, but only if it is used to make somebody feel like some sort of fascist or dictator.
Conversation with coworker:
“Wow, you are very organized.”
“Mussolini should really take a page out of your book!”
Conversation with coworker but in Russian:
“Ух ты очень организованный.”
“Сталин должен вырвать страницу из вашей книги!”
Nobody wants to be associated with a fascist, especially in Russian, unless they are themselves a fascist (naturally). I don’t speak Russian so I’m unable to read the second example, but I’m sure it’s ice cold, just like my heart (I’ve forgotten what it’s like to feel, to love, to be loved). Once you utilize this type of compliment, the receiver will refrain from using authority in any way, petrified of becoming further associated with dictatorship and will go from being totalitarian to being a total beta.
There is more to this story, more tactics to be told, but the leaders of The Milking Cat are extremely organized, Kim Jong Un-style, and will likely send Professor Plum to beat me with a lead pipe in the library if I don't meet their deadlines (Ending on an uncomfortable note may be a psychological tactic or may just be because the voice in my head that tells me what to write has gone quiet for the time being. By “voice in my head,” I am not simply talking about my thoughts or inspiration but that little man named Smickle who I believe is controlling me Ratatouille-style).
To be continued...