When Psychological Manipulation is a Good Thing

Photo Credit: Kamil Porembiński via Compfight cc

“I can’t get in,” the student came back to me and said.

The convention center in Los Angeles refused to let him into an invite only event. The other students joined him in their plea to me. They wanted to skip this task, as it was “impossible to gain entry by talking their way in.”

The students were military and DOD security contractors.

My job was to train them to use their brain and social skills, as opposed to physical force or coercion, to accomplish tasks. I was contracted to train them through a course we developed called “Urban Escape and Evasion.” Part of the course required the personnel to elicit help from locals, if mandated, by situations that might arise, such as being cut off from friendly troops and finding themselves alone among the locals in a foreign land.

The art of influence and manipulation

As we started researching the art of influence and manipulation, several things surfaced. Mainly social engineering and pick-up. Kevin Mitnik, the famous hacker was the original developer of the social engineering techniques. Neil Strauss and his book The Game dominated the pick-up artist community. Both of their techniques proved to be less than effective for widescale use. They required not only certain information to be known beforehand but also required several attempts to accomplish. And, more often than not, they only worked for specific situations and for very specific purposes, such as to take a girl home from the club. What we also came to realize was that both of these systems were deceit based.

We expanded our thought process to explore other people of influence. We talked with and studied con artists, child abductors, politicians, and more. What we were looking for was a process and similarities, not actual techniques or phrases. We were looking for something that worked with everyone, in every situation. We soon came to realize that there were patterns, or underlying human traits common in all people. We focused our research on those. Kevin Reeve and I continued to develop and research this for several years as we taught what we had learned.

I then began an intensive, personal and case by case study, using friends and their daily lives and interactions to develop further and hone these new findings. I tested every strategy on real people in real conversations. When they didn’t work, I studied it more carefully, then modified and re-tested until the techniques worked consistently. Part of my quest was to discover how to influence people and modify their behavior without using lies and deceit. Something that had never been done before. All the other systems being used were based on deceit.

Could you truly influence people and change their minds about you or an idea without lying?

What I discovered was yes, but I had to go deeper than the others had. I had to find out what people really want, how their brain works and how it interprets information and data.

The Birth of Behavioral Programming

The result of my extensive research was Behavioral Programming. A way to communicate and influence people while being ethical at the same time. A system based on the “Two Pillars” of honesty and mutual benefit. This means you can influence anyone and change any behavior, but you must be truthful, and it must benefit the person being influenced. By understanding the brain and how people actually process thoughts and words, you can program their brain like a computer to execute certain behavior. It’s natural, healthy, and organic.

However, what works on one person may not work on another. We are all individuals after all, and are motivated and influenced by our personality types. In my book, Behavioral Programming, I teach how to identify quickly an individual’s personality type, and use that to get through to them with effective communication.

Another special attribute of this science is the ability to do all of this, not only in person, or over the phone, but also via digital means such as texting and email. No one has ever published a system like this before. Behavioral Programming is truly unique. It works even when you are not there in person. Let’s face it, most of our communication these days is via texting. How many times have people misunderstood your text? How many times have you texted a person only to receive LOL or OK in response? How many times have you texted someone and they took forever to text you back? These are all common issues we experience every day, but this is only because you have not learned how to text properly, how to get the responses you want.

Behavioral Programming covers crucial subjects including how to get others to recognize your efforts and appreciate you, how to get others to value your time, how to get others to treat you properly, and how to program people to give you the respect you want and deserve. Most of the time when we do something for someone, it is either expected or unappreciated. They don’t realize or acknowledge the effort and resources we put into our act of kindness for them. This book teaches you exactly how to remedy that.

Don’t we all deserve a little respect?

Many times the proper respect is not given because our society and corporate environment has programmed people to not give respect because it draws the attention away from themselves. That issue is thoroughly addressed in the book. No more rolling eyes, snide remarks, or other disrespectful behavior, especially in front of others.

You only get one time to make a first impression.

That is true. This book tells you exactly how to profile someone quickly, to determine exactly how to make a great first impression and why recognizing people as individuals is the key to a great relationship. Everyone likes to know they are important. Treating people as individuals demonstrates to them that you are genuine.

But being genuine is not enough, recognizing their unique character is the other half of this equation. This book explains how to discover those characters, and to understand what each person needs from you to add value to their life. Once you demonstrate that—this happens on a subconscious level for them—you are off to a productive, healthy start.

Behavioral Programming will help you develop new relationships and get them started on the right foot. It will teach you to recognize people as individuals with unique traits and desires. The book also has covers topics such as how to improve your current relationships. Let’s face it, all of us have those people in our lives, who seem to use us. They only call us when they need something. We all have those people in our lives that have some behavior towards us that is annoying. This and many other topics are addressed in the book including teaching exactly how to get back those fun and gainful relationships. Understanding why people do what they do and how to remedy each inappropriate act is what this book is all about. Behavioral Programming covers everything from intimate relationships, making friends with complete strangers, strengthening current relationships, and managing people at work. Every individual you interact with needs to be programmed to promote healthy and happy interactions.

You’ll learn how the brain works relative to conversations you have with people. You’ll learn how to maximize your words to gain power or influence when you speak. You’ll learn how to change someone’s mood and how to get the person in the right frame of mind to accept what you are about to say. They say timing is everything, and it can be. If you present your voice at a time when their mental state is not open to you, it will most likely fall on deaf ears. With one word or sentence, you can completely open their mind to accept your influence and take heed of what you are saying.

It’s time to stop being a victim.

Behavioral Programming will completely change how you interact with people. It will change how people treat you. It will stop the behaviors you don’t like and program new behaviors. It will make every interaction you have with people positive, stress-free, and productive.

Wouldn’t it be nice not to have to deal with so and so, and instead have stress-free, productive conversations? How nice would it be to get back to your old relationships with people who have drifted from you? How much easier would your life be if you could eliminate contention and stressful conversations in your daily life, whether at work or in your social life? With Behavioral Programming, it can all be done—face to face, through a phone call, or with a text message.

Now let’s get back to my students. You remember? The ones that said it was impossible to enter an invite-only event.

They were forbidden to use money, coercion or anything but their words to gain entry into the convention. We tasked them with getting inside a sorority reunion. The patrons were black women ages 70 years old and up. Our students were young, mostly white, military males. A daunting task for sure. They believed the contrast would prevent them from bridging the social gap.

“Watch this.” Kevin said as he walked into the convention center.

He used a technique explained in the book on building rapport and gaining sympathy for your cause, and without any solicitation from Kevin, the lady at the counter invited him in. He overcame every obstacle, and the woman felt good about helping him. Both sides won.


Kelly Alwood

Kelly Alwood has been a student of psychology and human behavior throughout his 20-year career, working undercover for the government throughout the world. He has lived among the locals in austere, permissive, and hostile environments as part of his job. From Los Angeles to Nairobi to Baghdad, he has used his power of influence to gain the acceptance and trust of people, in every region of the world. His skills and training have aided him while interviewing suspects for law enforcement, interrogating military prisoners, and developing “assets” the world over. Currently, Kelly spends half his time on operations and the other half training government personnel on low profile operational skills.

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