One of the things people need to learn as they are growning up is how to manipulate others.
What works for one person may not work for others. We have various tools to manipulate others, brute force, humour, logic etc.
What I think it boils down to, is that we are stuck here, not only in the confines of reality, things are what they are, but also within the confines of our perception of ourselves and others, as in, "Who is the boss of whom?"
You might not ever verbalize, or even run it through your streaming consciousness, "Who is the boss of you and who are you the boss of?", but you know, you have a good bead on what 'kind' of person, what 'category' of person that you're the boss of, and of course what kind of, or category of person is 'the boss of you'.
Never mind the supposed ultimate question, "Why am I here, why am I alive?", the question that we're all trying to answer, all the time, is, "Who is the boss of whom?"
This 'real' question has no answer. Well, it's being 'answered' all the time, but it's all a matter of persuasion, self-image. It IS the spiritual, the unknowable puzzle that we strive to solve from the day we realise it exists until the day we die.
We have the power of money, the power of brute force, the power of guile, which is like 'Rock, Paper, Scissors'.
Is there such a thing as free will, or are you compelled to be you by the powers which you perceive yourself to have, or to lack?
My pet bird gets up in the morning, sings his morning song, which, sadly, sounds like a deafening squeeze toy, then proceeds to acknowledge us and to re-establish his dominance over all the mirror images of himself in the house. He has a couple of favourites, the one he sleeps beside, the bathroom one, and some he loves to hate, the one on the headboard of my bed, the one in his 'basement'(under his cage).
I say that we are just like him, we get up in the morning and play exactly the same games as him, but with our family, our bosses etc.
Short of becoming a hermit or committing suicide, there is no escape from our condition, it's what we 'really' are.