This movie sheds light on how money and power is used to manipulate people in our culture and shows how we can put an end to it, although Anastasia wasn’t perfect at it. Her inner struggle between what she wants is something most people can relate to.
Sometimes our heart and head do not match up, and that’s when it’s important to speak your mind and stick up for yourself. She didn’t do it all that well, but in these 50 Shades of Grey quotes we’ll look at some of the moments when she did, so we can learn how to find a backbone in the face of manipulative people (notice I’m not pigeon holing men here, it can be anyone).
Spoiler alert, this article will give away certain main parts of the movie! If you haven’t seen the movie, the slug line is that a young billionaire asks an innocent girl to be his submissive partner and sign a contract.
Interestingly enough, a woman in the theatre when I was watching the film said her four daughters all told her to see the movie and that many women’s groups were going to see this movie together. It hits on some key issues that many people, often times women, face. This movie shows how infatuation can be a very dangerous thing.
Business is about people, Miss Steele, and I’m very good at judging people. I know how they tick, what makes them flourish, what doesn’t, what inspires them, and how to incentivize them.
In the first scene between Anna and Christian, he reveals that he is manipulative. He isn’t trying to hide it, and seems to be very aware of it. His nonchalance is a cover-up for his selfish behaviors, which have amassed him so much wealth.
Often manipulative people will use this as a sneaky tool to make you feel like they are being open and vulnerable with you. They know when they expose themselves in all their true colors you will see it as a sign of vulnerability. Just because someone is honest with their shortcomings, doesn’t mean you have to accept them.
Imagine if someone said: I’m a full blown alcoholic and drug addict. Would you jump at the chance to date them just because they had admitted it? There are many things people can be addicted to, and the only way they can change is by their own will, not yours.
I’ve always found the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.
It’s important to know what type of people, men or women, tend to be control freaks. Usually they are the workaholics, the ones obsessed with getting ahead at all costs. The ones whose personal identity is tied up in other people’s opinion of themselves are the ones to look out for. They will be liked by many people and seem to have it all put together, which gives them the ability to wield power over those who see their life as ‘better.’
Christian: “I’m used to getting my own way.”
Anastasia: “That must be very boring.”
Here, Anna takes her first swing at Christian. She is not willing to give up her personal power to a man just because he has money. Anastasia takes the high road and rebuttals by appealing to his emotional side.
While Christian sees the world in black and white, just as the contract he wants her to sign is in black and white, Anna is a writer and a romantic idealist who allows him to see the full spectrum of human emotion. She uses her words to carefully open the idea that human connection is much more rich and enjoyable with mutual respect.
You’re here because I’m incapable of leaving you alone.
Christian uses a manipulative tactic again by showing he is addicted to her. When he constantly tells her he has never let other women fly in his helicopter, sleep in his bed or meet his mom, he is still being manipulative to get his way. He knows that by making her feel special, he can get his way.
She almost falls into his trap; it’s as if she has one foot in and one foot out. She is playing with fire though and risks losing her identity completely, because you can see her becoming obsessive and daydreaming in class. This is a perfect example of why it’s a bad idea to get involved with manipulative people; it’s hard to see things clearly when you’re dealing with a sociopath or narcissist.
I’m not going to touch you until I have your written consent.
Once again, Christian is using a manipulative tactic. He’s withholding something so he can get what he wants, and he’s using the idea of a playful game to manipulate her. He pouts when he doesn’t get his way and shows no regard for her wellbeing, besides saving her when she was drunk and pulling her away from an oncoming vehicle.
He seems to care for her only as long as things go as he wanted them to go. This conditional affection is manipulative and if you ever feel like you’re in a situation like that, run in the other direction.
No matter how good looking someone is, or how many other naive people are swooning over them, you will not be happy with them and it can create serious psychological long-term effects to get involved with someone who has serious emotional intimacy problems like Christian’s character.
No, I think I’ll hang on to my free will a little bit longer.
This moment of empowerment rings loud and clear. Anna takes another swing at Christian by showing him that he doesn’t own her. She will not do what he says and tie herself down to a life of misery. She is a down to earth girl who isn’t impressed by indecent behaviors.
She hasn’t settled yet and if he can’t prove himself to her, she won’t settle for him. She has a high self-worth and you can see her battling with it. She knows she’s smart because she has a 4.0 and her best friend is the valedictorian.
She also is very comfortable in her own skin; she doesn’t usually wear a lot of makeup or revealing clothing. She is definitely the girl next door type whose hobby is books and not being in crowds. She is a pretty good depiction of the girl who is fighting to maintain her dignity in a culture that constantly asks her to give it up.
Her roommate pressures her to put on red lipstick and get over her bad day by seeking attention from men at bars. This is a typical way women seek gratification which doesn’t work.
But Anna loses her free will in a moment of weakness at her graduation when he speaks in front of everyone and uses his prestige to coerce her to agree to the contract. Yeah, he may look cool at that one moment, but it’s fleeting, and many people have given speeches but been heartless. Don’t let someone’s celebrity fool you into thinking they are worthier than your neighbor working for minimum wage.
Roll your eyes at me again and I will take you across my knee.
This is when Christian plays the fatherly role. If you think about the relationships you witnessed growing up, think about the power struggles. Was one person the boss? If it was normalized for you since childhood, you could find yourself falling into these types of relationships if you’re not careful.
We’ve all heard of women looking for their father in men or looking for someone to take care of them for security both emotionally and financially. Don’t fall into this trap. Just because you see people around you doing it, doesn’t mean it will give you any sense of real security or empowerment. If you allow someone else to feed you, you will be hungry when they are no longer around.
Do you trust me?
Here we see more manipulation tactics coming into play. Christian has flown Anna in his private plane to his very impressive penthouse in Seattle. His place oozes rich and she is having a harder time holding her own. He is getting her to share his addiction and trying to coerce her to believe him and play into the way he wants her to be.
He creates rules that she will have to follow and expects her to follow them. In return, she gets him, which is really not great at all. The image of what people think of him is empty because he has no capacity to love and show compassion.
He tries to reel her in by acting as if he has her best interest in mind. He warps his words to the point where the audience almost, point here ALMOST, believes he really wants her to be happy as well. He tries to play into her naturally compassionate side by slowly revealing secrets about his traumatizing childhood.
If he was smart enough to become a billionaire, he would be able to get a therapist and work through his childhood issues. He is again being manipulative and using his childhood as an excuse to be selfish. This is another common tactic to watch out for.
Why can’t we sleep in the same bed?
Anastasia seems to gain a little strength when she opens up to him and says what she really wants, which is a normal relationship. She wants equality and doesn’t understand why he’s not willing to give that to her.
Christian tries to make her think he is incapable of emotionally connecting to someone although he is fighting it. Just because he shows little signs of compassion, doesn’t mean she should have anything to do with him. She ends up in a pickle when she allows him to hurt her in the process.
The lesson here is that often women think they can save a man and they hang on, then he strings them along by showing small signs that he might change and make them feel like he needs their help. He will make the woman feel like she is the only one in the world who could possibly help him.
This is a big no-no. If someone makes you feel like they need you to change, you need to let them do it on their own and not be their counterpart in the process. Yes, people do change, but it must be for them and not for you. It must be their own decision and not because of you. You will only fool yourself trying to change people.
Anna, please it’s you that’s changing me.
This is an example of Christian playing the innocent puppy. As if he doesn’t know what he is doing. He is dangling the idea that she is his savior in front of her to satisfy her need to be a nurturer. Like he said in the beginning, he does understand how to incentivize people by understanding their motivations.
He has done the same with Anna and people will try to do that with you. Be your own incentive and don’t let people dangle opportunities in front of you. If someone tries to dress manipulative behaviors up as something else, such as a protective contract, you can be sure you’re heading down the wrong path.
Maybe they will surround themselves by other people who also act the same way so they feel normal and make you feel like the odd one out. This is called pluralized ignorance which is a form of peer pressure.
I broke rule 7 clause 5.
This is something Anna says to be cute as she is relating to her captor and playing into his game. She is trying to gain his affection within the constructs of his warped perception. She is becoming desperate by putting up with his horrible idea of a contracted relationship. She feels bad for him and that is her downfall.
It’s the typical story of the person who is kidnapped relating to the psychological problems of the kidnapper. Amidst the pain of being forced to sleep in a separate room and act in certain ways, she is rewarded with a new car and new clothes.
He uses gifts to manipulate her since she can’t afford them herself. The truth is she didn’t need any of the things he gave her, society only encourages people to think they need more stuff, which allows them to be manipulated.
In the showdown, when Anna asks him to show her how bad it can get, she thinks she can save him by showing him her pain. In the process, she disrespects herself. Sacrificing yourself is not normal, even if it’s shown in Hollywood movies. Don’t think that this ‘love story’ is something you want in your life at all.
She was able to tell him, “You will never do that to me again,” and tell him not to touch her. But she still stays at his house like a little pet and who knows how messed up the other 15 women he had tortured became.
Art is a window to the soul, and this film adaptation takes a look at the ugly and disguised psychological issues rampant in today’s culture. Being aware of how people use manipulation and how hard it is to spot can empower you to not fall prey to it.
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