15 December 2012

Zimbabwe: Master Suppression Techniques


Humans are social creatures. Socialisation and interaction is one of their key activities. Actually it is this that defines humans. It is important to understand that most humans desire to be control

situations and have control over other people they interact with, either in business, family or love settings.

Most people are oblivious of the fact that the commonly desired Master-Slave relationship is not the best and healthiest of relationships. It limits the delivering capacity of both the master and the slave and ultimately the greater common good of everyone affected by this relationship.

A Norwegian psychologist Beritas in the 1970s compiled a list of Master Suppression Techniques. We will share and explain these techniques to help you develop healthy relationships with people by avoiding either using them techniques or being the victim.

Making Invisible

The Master uses this technique to make the other person feel unnoticed. The honest reality is every person wants to be appreciated and noticed by people they interact with. However in this case the Master will exert control over you by ignoring you and acting as if they are unaware of your presence. This will make you feel unimportant and worthless thus suppressing you.


Involves the use of mockery, teasing and jokes to an extent that it ceases to be funny to the person who is being subjected to it. This usually happens in a group setting or in the presence of people and the Master will also have the support of the group initially because everyone wants a good laugh. However it gets to a level where the victim feels uncomfortable or where their value is reduced so that no one takes them seriously anymore and the suppressed withdraws into a shell.

Withholding Information

Information is the most empowering human commodity. We are actually living in the information age in which our universe is centred on information, thus the saying knowledge is power. It becomes disempowering to withhold information from a person and thus suppressive. The Master will deliberately withhold important information from the suppressed so that the suppressed is incapacitated to act.

Double Bind

Double Bind is a technique used by a Master that makes the suppressed feel that whatever they do is not good enough. If a person does one thing they are told of how wrong they are and how they are supposed to do the other thing. If the suppressed does the other suggested thing the Master will again find blame in it such that the suppressed is confused as they do not know what to do anymore as such they then respond by not acting at all.

Heap Blame/ Put to Shame

The master heaps blame so that the suppressed is overburdened by the blame on them and they became suppressed. The master also puts the suppressed to shame to strip them of dignity or integrity making them less active and effective. When you constantly point blame on a person they feel very bad and wrong so much that they feel inadequate to do anything noble anymore. Some people will release confidential information about people so that they shame them and put them in their place as they say.

Force/ Threat of Force

This technique uses force or the threat of using force to suppress a person into acting the way the master desires. This does not necessarily mean physical force. An example will be an Executive threatening putting you in a department that you do not like if you do not act as he expects of you or a Prefect threatening detention if a student doesn't do a favour for them. Some will also use the threat of nonexistent danger to make you change your decision.


This is common in intersexual relationship where people drift form real issues and then focus on petty and trivial issues such as the dressing or looks of people to make them act in a way they want. Usually people use this technique a lot though harmlessly when they pass unwarranted or unnecessary compliments in the workplace so that they manipulate you to do certain favours or them. The danger about objectifying people is that people cease to focus on real issues and usually the one who is objectifying the other does this deliberately to sway the suppressed in his way.

Having gone through these techniques it is important that you look at each one carefully and think of situations you are guilty of using them or think of someone who constantly uses such techniques on you. Remember a Master Slave relationship is not helpful for anyone at all.

Till next week God bless you all, Happy Festive season.


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