We cannot model the nuance of meaning for a single word in our minds to model exactly the meaning of that word in another mind. No more than the models in our minds of nature exactly model the complexity of the universe. The best we can hope for in communications with others is an impression of some aspect of reality and goodwill. Perhaps goodwill is the most important.
That is well worth repeating and examining. Even though we cannot model exactly in our mind, what another had in their mind the importance will be in the agreement on the key points - the essence. And if we are of good will, then we are attempting to communicate honestly. Under that kind of umbrella we can keep trying, and our back and forth will bring adequate success in real communication. Without goodwill, the intent is to hide some aspect of reality and instead of communicate, to miscommunicate in that area. (I would also argue that it is strongly in our self-interest to hold tightly to honesty and goodwill as personal standards).
What I see as so important is the difference between these two views:
One viewpoint acknowledges that nuances (or honest mistakes as well) can lead to ambiguities in communications and result in less than perfect shared understandings (but that view also says that goodwill and patience can continue to work at diminishing those imperfections - and it doesn't matter that perfection only requires a shared understanding of the points essential to the context, not to the tiniest nuance.
The other view starts with the fact that we often want to influence others towards our positions (which by itself is benign and true), but goes on to ignore or downplay that there are differences between doing so without goodwill or honesty, versus the psychological and ethical position of not seeking control or influence in any instance where dishonesty is used. This view also takes the idea that we wish to hold some aspects of our lives as private, to hold some thoughts to ourselves, perhaps just to avoid hurting someone's feelings when it isn't necessary (which is also benign and acceptable), and somehow makes those motives stand up as if they were a justification for dishonesty used to gain control of some kind. And dishonesty includes refusing to look at flawed arguments used because they might be effective.
Psychological aspects of manipulation involving dishonesty often include one or more of the following:
- a need to advance their own purposes and personal gain even if it involves being dishonest or unethical.
- a strong need to attain feelings of power and superiority in relationships with others (pseudo-self-esteem)
- a want and need to feel in control (aka. control freak) as a constant drive to minimize insecurity or anxiety
- a desire to gain a feeling of power over others in order to increase psuedo-self-esteem
- boredom, or growing tired of his/her surroundings, seeing it as a game more than hurting others
- a rationalization that only fools don't manipulate others, or that others simply won't admit it's what they do.
- a lack of empathy for others, or an inability to empathize (some degree of narcissim or sociopothy)
- use of manipulation as a kind of passive aggresive way to vent hidden anger
- a dislike for others that results in a degree of joy at seeing them bested
[Taken from Wikipedia article on psychological manipulation, but modified and added to.]