Without going to much into my personal psyche, here are some things I know:
- People can be manipulated relatively easily (1)
- I know where I can learn to do exactly that (2)
- I choose not to for moral reasons: I'm a firm believer that I should convince people with arguments and appeal to their ability to reason logically
I often think of imaginary dialogue situations and I thought of bringing up something like "I could manipulate you to do what I want, but instead I'm having this nice conversation with you because I'm not a manipulative jerk."
While I want to convey that I'm trying to be good-willed and essentially put myself in a huge disadvantage if I ever would want to manipulate the other person later (I won't, but the other cannot know this for a fact), because the other person will likely be more wary of me, I cannot help myself but think, for some reason or another, that saying this line above would somehow make the other person think less of me. Is it generally a bad idea to tell people that I could be a manipulative jerk if I wanted to? And if so, how else could I convey my good-willingness to have a civilized discussion instead of some behind-your-back action? (3)
Own thoughts: I think it doesn't sound so good because it is basically the interpersonal equivalent of "Look, I have access to nukes and you don't, and that's cool because I won't use mine." and I can see why that is bad. Also, maybe the other person isn't aware that people can be manipulated easily and I don't want them to get any bad ideas. I feel morally insecure enough about posting this issue on the Internet already.
EDIT: Now with chat room! :D
(1) There are enough studies to support that claim, the most commonly known one is the one were people are manipulated into "giving" other people painful electro shocks.
(2) Obviously, I'm not telling how because this can be easily misused.
(3) Behind-your-back action includes, but is not limited to, long time schemes to reach the personal goal as well as some impulsive "after drinking this much, let me know exactly how this person you know is and tried to intimidate me" action