Emotion and How It Can Be Used Against You

In today’s world, there are many ways that your own emotions can be used against you. This is something that one hopefully learns through the years. Here are some ways that your own feelings can be used to lead or mislead you into transactions of various descriptions.


Have you seen advertising that presents only the facts necessary for you to make a proper decision? How did you feel? When I see this type of advertising, I feel that my time has not been wasted with diversionary tactics which tend to cloud the decision-making process. I can make a straightforward decision about the transaction. To me, this is ideal. The transaction likely involves money coming out of my pocket, and so a good decision is important.

However, there are (purposely-written) commercials or advertisements that play on your emotions. If you don’t buy this product, you are somehow “missing life experiences” or living “below your station”. These are just two examples of the many ways. Being seen as successful (rather than being successful and feeling successful) is drummed into us as being important. It truly isn’t when you are alone with your thoughts.

Using beautiful, barely-clad women to advertise soap seems fine to most males, but this is soap! Do we even need to advertise it? Don’t we wash anyway? Don’t you buy soap by looking at the package and giving it a sniff, maybe reading a bit on the package, and checking the price? Or maybe you buy the same product all the time and are aggravated when they “improve” it and you can’t find “your” soap on the shelves anymore. This is just one example that doesn’t break rules but is a subtle play on your emotions, keying in beauty with the product. Perhaps I am a poor consumer but it is the function of the article that I am buying not the feeling. Advertisers would have you feel otherwise.

Advertising is necessary. I accept that. Misleading advertising or that which is not “up-front” with costs or limitations, or that which plays on your emotions too much is not for me.


One of the most disturbing realizations is how much our political systems thrive on emotion, appealing to those areas of self where we want to believe what they are saying and feel good inside until we realize that we may be fooled. How many times has a politician told the crowd exactly what they needed to hear? How many times has the promise been acted upon successfully and on budget? I am always wary and use a little test with each leader, politician, salesman, or the like that I am listening to. I ask myself on how much of my emotion he or she is relying. After that, it becomes a simple matter to weed out the facts and make my decisions, or just end the encounter. We must always remember that the evolution of manipulation has taking place along with all of our other “advancements”. Don’t be blinded by emotion.


Even if one were at a party or other happy occasion, it is possible to be coerced or otherwise humbled so that one feels the need to take part fully in the festivities, be it performing in some way or otherwise doing like others (possibly drinking). Most times this technique does not create obvious negative effects and results in a livelier gathering, but it is felt inside and considered by those upon which it is inflicted. This is an emotionally-driven method which is used almost unconsciously by most of us during at least some period in our lives. All these little bits and pieces of emotional manipulation have tiny effects (or perhaps larger) effects on one’s inner stability or “truth”. We can be distorted by even these tiny effects over time. Perhaps, this is when growth occurs. But perhaps this is when instability sets in and the character flips to overcompensate for inadequacies as perceived by a few acquaintances. It is then that things may take a turn for the worse.

It is a world full of contradictions. I feel we must be alert to those who would take advantage for whatever reasons.


About 12stringman

Retired but not expired
This entry was posted in consumer, trust and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Emotion and How It Can Be Used Against You

  1. wellspring01 says:

    “When you are alone with your thoughts..”. It seems you’ve nailed the acid test of whether we’ve been manipulated or not. After the purchase, or vote, or participation has passed, do we feel “right” with it in the sole company of our own conscience? Moving forward, I plan to check in with myself a lot more often, because there’s nothing more disheartening than realizing you’ve betrayed yourself. Helpful insights.

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