#9: Brags about manipulating others

Posted on July 17, 2013


Creepy guy

Several years ago, I read a pop psychology book on reading people and figuring them out. I don’t even remember the name of the book nor the author, but I do remember reading something that (at the time)  I thought was ridiculous. The author stated that people often admit who they are, even when they are dishonest and manipulative. 

To me, that seemed outrageous. Why would a swindler admit that he’s swindling? Why would someone who’s intent on deceiving others be honest about being dishonest? This whole theory seemed out of whack. 

But then I started paying attention. And I noticed that, if you really start listening to other people, the dishonest will often admit that they’re liars, manipulators and swindlers. They won’t fess up to screwing you over, of course, but they’ll brag about how they outsmarted someone else. Yes, they will actually brag about it. I have no idea why and it doesn’t make much sense but I’m guessing that at the subconscious level these people feel guilty enough about their behaviors to warn us about who they are.

Watch out for the work colleague who boasts of how she screwed over her peer or her boss. She’ll do the same to you when you’re up for a promotion or when you become her manager. 

Watch out for the guy who tells you, in a joking way, that he’s “bad news” or that he’ll “only break your heart”-because he almost certainly is and he almost certainly will.

Be mindful anytime someone tells you (without remorse) how they mistreated another human being in any way. These are the people who can be guaranteed to mistreat you.