Manipulative People Skills: I Know You’d Do the Same for Me #PeopleSkills

Manipulative People Skills: Presumption Demeans Everyone

Manipulative People Skills: Image is Twisted Balloon in Shape of Poodle

Manipulative People Skills: Presumption Demeans Everyone. Image licensed from

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The blogs are abuzz with author Robert Cialdini’s recommendation to replace the generous phrase “you are welcome” with “I know you’d do the same for me.”

Be careful. This statement is very manipulative. Unless you have a very close relationship with someone, it is presumption at its worst. Even with someone you know well, it can blow up in your face.  When someone says thank you, you are welcome is still far and away the better response.


Manipulative People Skills: Avoid Declarations Like “I Know You Would”.

Mr. Cialdini claims that you don’t want to miss the potential power you have with someone after they say thank you. Power? Is that your goal? Even if you claim you want influence not power, the presumption of manipulative people skills will damage the very relationship you hope to count on.

“I know you would …”

  • is a command not a request. Hardly polite and very presumptuous. Ask don’t presume. “May I count on you to do the same for me?” It honors the other person’s choice. If you are not comfortable asking for something in return, then definitely don’t presume and demand it!
  • is too late. If you expect something in return for your help, let that be known in advance. Surprising someone with a quid pro quo after they are thanking you for your help is sneaky and disrespectful. Manipulative people skills disrespect others because they hide the truth until the manipulator wants something. Don’t be a manipulator. When someone says thank you, honor them with the simple generous reply of you are welcome or I’m happy to help etc…
  • is arrogant. You can have influence with people through emotional intelligence, empathy, generosity, and honest communication. “I know you would” and its cousin “I’m sure you agree …” are none of those. They say to others, “My assumptions and beliefs are enough. You don’t need to express your opinion or preference. My values should be yours.” How presumptuous! It shapes the relationship heavily one-way — with your rules and expectations. Develop a two-way relationship with mutual input and respect.

Develop strong healthy relationships where influence develops from the respect you earn. Listening, understanding, empathy, and generosity of heart will take you further than assumptions, presumption, and manipulative people skills!

What do you think is the long term impact of manipulative people skills?

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
People Skills Integrity & Authenticity
12 Most Beneficial People Skills Behaviors to Influence Others
Avoid 8 Common Causes of People Skills Mistakes

©2014 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

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8 Responses to “Manipulative People Skills: I Know You’d Do the Same for Me #PeopleSkills”

  1. Graciously accepting a thank you honors both parties. It acknowledges the appreciation felt as well as the person offering it. Attempting to deflect a thank you with “Oh, it was nothing” or “You’d do the same” often reflects discomfort with receiving and can feel awkward and uncomfortable. “You’re welcome” allows each person to be seen, heard, and appreciated – it’s interpersonal magic!

  2. Karen says:

    I agree. There is a similar annoying response gaining traction where I live in South Carolina. When someone says, “excuse me,” or “pardon me,” people reply with “oh, you’re fine.” I do not rely upon others to proclaim whether or not I’m fine, and that statement blurs the line between grace and judgment.

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Hi Karen,
      It is very interesting to see how people responses evolve over time. Seems like some people feel awkward using more outwardly gracious responses. In the instance you noted of pardon me, one could answer with something as simple as “yes of course” to “most certainly” or “my pleasure” and the list goes on.

      We can at least keep our voices going to gain “traction” as you call it and continue the cause of graciousness.

      Many thanks for your comment here.

  3. Wow! I’m looking around for a .jpg to stick in my email replies to say “Your’e welcome” to people who send me thank yous and I see THIS whole discussion. I’m about to start using the “I know you’d do the same for me” thing and find your blog entry. HOW REFRESHING! And completely accurate too about being manipulative. I know this post is dated, but i’ve bookmarked this blog. Thank you Kate Nasser.

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Hi Doug,
      SO pleased that you found this post helpful. I am truly honored. Glad to have you as a subscriber and hope you will comment on any post that captures your attention and ignites your thoughts.

      Warmest thanks,

  4. Tom Rhodes says:

    Sometimes trying to find a “new and better way” just doesn’t work. Your Welcome is a sign of respect and note that says “you don’t owe me anything”.
    It’s unfortunate that the world is moving so much towards the What’s in it for me mentality. People Skills are about the person not getting something your self.
    Great post as always.

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Thank you Tom. I was as “shocked” as you when I read the “what’s in it for me” advice. It brought me to write this post and I am glad others have found it valuable.

      Warmest wishes of thanks,

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