And every single woman is familiar with one of the most common forms of manipulation, what Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion author Robert Cialdini calls the "rule of reciprocity."
People usually feel obligated and in debt if someone does something for them, a principle even the densest guy figures out eventually. Hence, if a guy buys you a drink, it's usually because he wants something from you, whether it's your time and attention or more.
But women, it's fair to say, are generally better versed in the arts of relationships, and bring a few more tricks to the table. Or maybe guys are just a little slow when it comes to the machinations of the fairer sex.
"Women, from a young age, when you're with your girlfriends, you're talking about how to use your sexuality to get what you want," says Lisa T., an Australian living in Vancouver. "And then as you get older you use that as well to get him to clean the bathroom. I think we know guys, a lot of the time, are just trying to make us happy."
Yes. Or to avoid conflict by making you unhappy.
It's a two-way street, says Lisa. "There are always guys who are good manipulators. Aussie guys are big-time manipulators. They'll try to get a girl to think one way about herself and you'll go along with it and then you'll think, 'Wait a minute...'"
Sarah M., a server, has her methods of controlling her boyfriend down pat. "When I ask him to do something for me and he says 'no,' I'll say fine, and walk away. And in two seconds he's doing it for me. You act like everything's OK, but let him know it's not."
But women don't want to go out with guys they can push around, do they? "As long as I get my way with the big things, I'll let the little things slide, Sarah continues. "Like, maybe picking the restaurant or the movie are the little things.
"The bigger things, like if I want him to come over to my parents' house for dinner. I might throw a little guilt trip his way.
"I think it's important to sometimes put up a fight about something, even if I do want to see the movie he wants to see.
"You have to pick your battles."