Today I’m sharing two reviews, both for works which are more booklets than full-length books. The first booklet that I’m going to review is Manipulation: How to Recognize & Deal with Emotional Manipulation by James Edwards.
The issue this booklet addresses is very personal for me. I have experienced notable emotional manipulation from more than one person in my life (I will not say who for obvious reasons). Perhaps I’ve even emotionally manipulated others without realizing it. The point is that it’s a problem which hard to admit happens in the first place, let alone take steps to fix it. However, I’m sure that many of you also struggle with being emotionally manipulated and need help as much as I do. That’s where Manipulation comes in.
Edwards presents a lot of helpful information in a very short amount of space (about 40 pages). The organization is solid, first showing readers signs of emotional manipulation then illustrating the different kinds of manipulators and, finally, giving advice on how to deal with manipulators, whether it’s at work or at home. As with most books and booklets of this kind, Manipulation does not serve as an end-all strict guide to dealing with manipulators. After all, manipulators are people, too, and so each one needs a personalized approach in order to minimize the amount of hurt feelings and dehumanization. Instead, Edwards gives readers tools and guidelines to help them take control of their lives again.
I think that the best part of this booklet is that the information validates a victim’s feelings and experiences. Most of what Edwards says really clicked with my situation. Contradicting you to get what they want, making you feel insane or like you’re losing your memory, belittling your problems, and even flat out getting mad, I’ve experienced all of these forms of emotional manipulation. Seeing that I’m not the only one, that it truly is common and I’m not just being paranoid, has brought me some relief. I’m too afraid to compare notes about this situation with anyone but those closest to me, and so being able to get a perspective with some distance from me really helped.
For me, the advice on how to deal with a manipulator is obvious but not so easy to act upon. Edwards is on-point with how to approach the situation. The problem just lies with what individual readers feel they can and cannot handle.
The only real qualm had with this book was the amount of proofreading errors. At first, they were minor and did not detract from the work. However, the errors became hard to bear in the last fifth or quarter of the book. I could still understand most of what Edwards said. Regardless, several sentences and phrases were difficult to decipher because words were missing, misused, or were repetitive. This issue is just a matter of more thorough proofreading. Therefore, I don’t hesitate to recommend the booklet on that basis. I just wish that the author/editor put more work into proofreading the last ten or so pages.
Overall, I think Manipulation by James Edwards is a necessity for those undergoing emotional manipulation. Whether you are suffering from it, know someone suffering from it, or even suspect that you might be a manipulator, this booklet will give you a more unbiased perspective on the situation. Moreover, it will help you and the manipulator or victim to reach a solution which, given some time and patience, will benefit everyone. The proofreading is a big issue, but it’s worth overcoming to get the information this booklet provides.
You can buy an eBook or print copy of Manipulation by James Edwards on Amazon.