Toxic People – How They Do It

If someone was to tell you that they were going to get you to pay for their lunch, when you had no intention of paying for it, you would likely laugh at them and say “buy your own!” But a lot of people spend a lot of their time and money buying individuals lunch, or clothes, trips, groceries, rent, etc… basically paying for things that they don’t want to pay for, things that they don’t personally need or want, and parting with time and money for things that have no direct positive impact on their life.

Why do some good people give away so much time and money to people who only care about getting the time and money? Simply because they are being psychologically manipulated by someone who is skilled at getting people to feel particular things.

The Wikipedia Psychological Manipulation page is fantastic! It reveals a number of techniques that can be used to create a feeling within someone that will help you to gain the upper hand in an interaction that will help you part them from their time, money and positive emotion. I do not condone behaving like this, but given the prevalence of emotionally impaired people in the world, one is wise to be aware of how they gain the upper hand in during interactions. NOTE – there are a number of people who can be lumped into category of toxic people including sociopaths, psychopaths, histrionic / narcissistic personality disorder and people who are insecure or suffer thoughts of being inferior to others so the chances of your not being exposed to someone who uses psychological manipulation to get you to do their work from them are pretty small. By learning their weapons, you’re going to go a long way in disarming them.

Below are a few of the techniques that I have seen used effectively on other people:

Lying and lying by omission – someone says something that isn’t true or they leave out a critical fact that prevents you from seeing things objectively. For example, a girl claiming that her body friend went out without her while not stating that she told him she was too busy to go out with him (lying by omission). A guy claiming that his girl friend went on a date with another guy when in fact she went to work. Neither is an objective account of the world.

Guilt tripping – a person suggests to the victim that they do not care, is selfish or has it very easy which creates bad feelings in the victim keeping them in a self-doubting and therefore submissive position. For example, a student telling someone they want to pay for their school that because they are able to work, they have money and don’t know who tough the life of a student is.

Projecting the blame – blaming another person for things that they had a clear hand in creating. For example, when someone puts off doing something until the last minute only to have something pop-up that prevents them from completing the task; the issue becomes what came-up and NOT putting the thing off until the last minute.

Playing the victim – by projecting the notion that they are actually the victim they are able to garner sympathy from others. For example, someone playing up their challenging upbringing as an excuse for behaving in a way that they know is inappropriate. While there are things about ones upbringing that will impact their future choices, adults reach a point when they are able to see their behavior as wrong as indicated by their citing a poor upbringing as the reason why they did the wrong thing.

So how do you use the above to get someone to buy you lunch? Let’s give it a shot! How to avoid buying lunch is in italics:

Lying – Can you please buy me lunch because I haven’t had anything to eat all day because my ex boy friend emptied my back account when he broke-up with me this weekend? You should talk to the police about that, sounds like a crime has been committed. Call them on their words. If what they are saying is true, a call to the police will take care of it very quickly.

Guilt tripping – I’m so hungry! How can you eat that sushi in front of me given me that I haven’t eaten all day? Strangely, you being hungry isn’t impacting the flavor one bit. This lets them know that their experience of the world does not impact you.

Projecting the blame – I had to pay for cab fare last night so that my friend wouldn’t drive home drunk and now I don’t have any money left for food. Sounds like you care more about your friends than you do yourself. Here’s my phone, call them up and get them to pay you for the cab fair. Presenting the solution objectively will let them know that you see the world very clearly.

Playing the victim – someone stole my jacket from coat check and it had my wallet in it. Now I’m not able to buy lunch because someone stole from me. You need to start taking care of your things. It’s pretty unwise to leave your wallet at coat check. By letting them know that they created the situation themselves your give them the information to prevent it from happening again.

The key is to not respond in the natural automatic emotional way. Take what they give you and run with it. They just want a free lunch, they don’t want wisdom, humor or anything enlightened so give them these things and they’ll move on to the next person who may have the money to buy them what they want.