I seem to be the only one who has the courage to bring issues up to my superiors, and I'm usually pretty successful in resolving those issues with them. My most successful tool is being able to speak to them on their own terms--that is, how these issues might affect them as well. I'm also the youngest member on staff, so I'm not sure exactly how I got so much clout. I do, however, try for "win-win" situations wherever possible, especially when an issue is my own. So, I guess I could see this as either hard manipulation or actually empathizing with their own needs and identifying problems as they come up.
It just tends to happen that some of these issue resolutions benefit me, too.
And my customers tend to call me personable, again, because it seems that I'm able to speak to them on terms that they can understand. I also find that, when I meet new people, I'm able to relate to something about them, such as some tangential interest with some common thread of discussion. And in business discussions and elsewhere, I do subconsciously (and sometimes consciously!) practice techniques such as mirroring. Maybe that is manipulative..
I've also felt a sense of "belonging" in a wide range of social groups, including three different church groups. I'm not a Christian, nor have I ever said that I was. I don't see going to church as "lying" either, since I've gotten a lot out of the Sunday School sessions and the comradery that comes with having these close groups of friends. They might assume that I'm a Christian, but I never lie when I'm explicitly asked. The groups that I associate with are all very, very different in nature, and I don't feel like I'm compromising my own identity with any of them or manipulating them into accepting me.
This thread caught me at the right time.. I'm in a very "J" mood today