We’ve all be taken advantage of – or at least felt that way – at some point in our lives, personally or professionally. Not everyone shares the credo of “treat others the way you want to be treated” or “do onto others as you would have others do onto you”.
1. They only seem to contact you when they want something and although they may ask how you are, they don’t really care or respond when you tell them something other than the typical “fine, how are you?” and turn the conversation back to them.
2. The conversation always turns back to them or whatever they want to talk about.
3. They are demanding and persistent in their persuasiveness to get what they want.
4. They don’t seem to really listen to you and their smile seems to stop at their eyes.
5. They don’t ask about you or what you want or need – at least not with any sincerity.
6. They are one way in public in a group setting and another in private or one-on-one.
7. They speak negatively about people who don’t do what they want or have questioned them on their actions.
8. They “name drop” and brag about what they’ve done or who they know – this is a sure sign of overcompensating for insecurities.
9. They refer to themselves as an expert rather then let others refer to them as an expert. It’s as though, they’ve bought into their own hype.
10. They dole out insincere or “over the top” compliments – flattery that’s almost always followed by requests.
11. They only want your opinion to confirm theirs and they get miffed when, or if, you disagree or question them.
12. They always seem to want more, no matter what you say or do – and seem to look for validation at every turn.
Most of this type of taker are known as “Emotional Manipulators”, and what makes them so hard to spot and to defend against is that they actually don’t think they are doing anything wrong or self-serving. It’s as though they have a sense of entitlement to get their own way no matter what.
Questions You May Want to Ask Yourself:
Would they do for you what they expect you to do for them?
Is what they are proposing actually fair or are they trying to convince you it is?
Do they generally take all the credit and share (or give away) all the blame?
Rules of Engagement
Treat others the way you want to be treated.
Be honest and fair.
Listen to your instincts and/or confer with someone you trust.
Make sure your communications are clear and documented in writing – better safe than sorry – especially in business dealings.
If you think someone is manipulating you, then learn to defend yourself against them.
If you’ve ever been “played” by a taker, don’t fret it as it may be a blessing in disguise, as now you’ll be more aware and less likely to be manipulated by another taker. Generally, we learn from our mistakes – or at least we should.
If you’d like more specific information on Dealing With Manipulative People, there’s with an excerpt from George K. Simon’s book In Sheep’s Clothing. I haven’t read the book, but I may have to if the excerpt is any indication. If you’re anything like me, you’re curious about people, their behaviours and interactions.
If you’ve got any tips for identifying or defending against Takers disguised as Givers, please comment below.