I recently had someone tell me that the above statement is true. I have always considered manipulation to be something negative and to run far, far away from it.
But in their explanation I related it to the word rebellion. Until a few years ago I had always considered rebellion to only have a negative application to our lives. But consider this. When you're living with a controlling person, the only way to get out from under their control is to rebel against it. It's not about something negative, but about something positive. For instance...a husband has turned into an egotistical jerk and is abusive when he becomes angry. What can the wife do to get out of that? She has learned through the years not to make him angry therefore she doesn't experience his wrath. But the children are older now and he's beginning to be abusive to the children, but again only when he gets angry.
Where does this leave the wife? Does she continue to tip toe around the tulips and live the rest of her life in fear? Or does she stand up to this man who is abusing his position of leader of the home? If she does nothing, she risks continued harm to her children and herself, but if she stands up to him, she could be accused of being rebellious and not submitting to his authority.
In this example, I would definitely advise the woman to rebel against the abuse and protect her children and herself. But the first time I did this I really struggled with the rebellion part of it. I know it's not right for a man to abuse his wife and children, but encouraging someone to rebel.... I just didn't know if I could do that. This is where I had to realize that I was not encouraging her to rebel against her husband, but against his actions. His actions were the problem, and if he couldn't correct his actions, then she and children needed to leave.
So back to my question, is it possible to have a positive form of manipulation? I have just given an example of a positive form of rebellion, but I'm not sure about manipulation. I can't really wrap my mind around that one!