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Mastering Manipulation, with Dan and Angie

In this episode, confidence and career coach Angie McQuillin interviews Dan Munro to pick his brain about the topic of manipulation. Dan used to work with psychopathic criminals and was trained by top forensic psychologists to manage manipulation and deception. Today he shares what he learned and how to apply master of manipulation in everyday life, relationships and workplace situations.

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Dan’s Top Resources

Books

Dan has 3 bestselling non-fiction books available in both written and audio form:

  • The Naked Truth, his latest release, shows you how radical honesty builds self-confidence and relationships
  • Nothing to Lose explores how to build confidence from the inside by correcting the programming in your brain
  • The Legendary Life is a very practical, action-focused guide on how to plan and execute a life plan that brings you your ideal lifestyle

Online courses

Dan continues to put out high quality online self-paced courses through the Udemy platform


Full transcript (unedited)

Today I am here with Mr. Dan Munro, who I’ve known for a number of years now. So I’m very honored to be interviewing him today around manipulation. Now, as far as I’m concerned, Dan has one of those brains that sometimes I can barely believe it even fits inside his skull. To actually hold it all in there. But genuinely all jokes aside, Dan is an absolute genius when it comes to things like psychology, and human behavior and understanding it. Now, I actually met down a number of years ago, when he became my coach. We’ve become friends since he’s also trained me to become a coach. So our relationship has been many, many years now. But without Without question, Dan is one of the people that I know that has one of the deepest levels of knowledge when it comes to psychology. So I’m very honored to be here with him today to do a bit of a chat around manipulation.

 

manipulation, so solid flattery, they’re very well.

 

Yeah, well, it’s all true. It’s all true. So let’s just get straight into it then. So, Dan, I know this is one of your one of your favorite topics, because one of your speciality is is working with people are people pleasers and everything like that. So I’m going to mostly hand the reins to use you do most of the talking today. So I’m going to start off with the question is like, how would you actually define manipulation? What would you say actually is?

 

Well, this was actually as an is what people mean, when they use that word, I guess, what it actually is, is just cause and effect. It’s any form of interaction where one person causes the other like, right now what I’m seeing is a direct reaction to your question, which was the cause? So you’ve manipulated me, like you’ve limited the range of everything I could talk about with that question in a subtle way. I mean, I could refuse to answer the question is talk about something random? You could say like, how do you define manipulation? My I had porridge for breakfast, but I’m not going to I feel very compelled down to the question. And so every interaction, every statement in question we make moves, the other person that writes pathways in their brain without them having a choice about it. It influences us like, the sun makes us squint our eyes or you know, the ground makes us change, our stepping can help it can help us be manipulated by every interaction. But of course, what people mean by their word as the negative connotation. And that’s probably what we’ll talk about today. The reason I sort of do the pointless rant about manipulation being this general thing is, the best way to manage it is to understand that it’s happening all the time. That there’s no such thing as being uninfluenced by someone you interact with. As soon as they speak, they’ve changed you. And that’s beyond your control. Even if you try to resist the change, the fact that you’re resisting is something that they provoked. So to even resist manipulation is to be manipulated in some way. But of course, there’s better reactions and others. That’s I think we will end up going today. But I think, yeah, what most people mean, when they say the word manipulation is, I think usually they think it’s deliberate. And we’ll challenge that maybe today, because I think a lot of manipulations, unintentional, or subconscious, or even when it’s intentional, it’s not what they really deep down want, and so on. So gets kind of murky about motive. But they mean is basically it’s, if you manipulate me, it costs me for your benefit. That’s what most people mean by that word. You’re controlling me for your own games. And it’s likely to hurt me, either short term or long term, at least emotionally in some way. So I think that’s what most people mean by manipulation is a deliberate attempt to move the other person in a way where they lose a new wind. Yeah, that would be my definition that I get started with, probably.

 

Okay. So where do you think that manipulation comes at the most in your line of work? Because I’m not as advanced to understand manipulation to the level that you have studied it. But I know that there’s obvious intention. Obviously, there’s intentional manipulation, there’s unintentional was conscious as unconscious, there’s extreme right? There’s the obvious one you can you there’s people that have been beaten up by the partners, and then there’s very subtle manipulation. So because it’s so broad, let’s talk about what where it mostly crosses your path in the line of work that you do.

 

Well, I guess there would be people pleasing, one of the lesser recognized categories of manipulation. We generally think of someone who pleases us as being a good person. And in my line of work, we challenge that idea quite strongly. Not just the idea that a good person is even a thing, but the idea that pleasing someone is actually for their benefit. so often really the pleaser who gains or seems to think they gain and the other person can suffer in the long term. For example, if I please you into being into a relationship with me, I pretend to be something I’m not something new, like, you could waste years with me years where you don’t get to meet someone who’s a genuine fit for you years where you’re sort of frustrated and bored and irritated by my passivity and so on. So on two years of like, you sticking with the obligation and commitment to me guilt tripping you and sulking, and so on to keep you there, until you realize that we’re not actually a good fit and that have been faked the whole time. You know, that kind of people pleasing is what comes up a lot of my work. And this is where we really get into both concept of unintentional manipulation and subconscious. So when I say unintentional manipulation, I mean, you’re manipulated, but I wasn’t trying to manipulate you. So maybe there’s more on your side of the fence, like you have an insecurity. And I’ve triggered it, but I haven’t really done anything objectively wrong. Let’s say somebody speaks loudly at a meeting, another person feels intimidated, person speaking loudly isn’t necessarily bullying, they are dominating. Just no one else is talking. So they talk it’s that they’ve done nothing wrong by any standards, but you can still be manipulated. Because you have fears around that and extroverted people or loud noises or something like that. Right. So there’ll be unintentional manipulation. So somebody might start people pleasing me, because they think that I don’t like them. But I’ve actually given them no evidence of that. This is all in their head. So I’ve manipulate them without even meaning to without trying to, you know, so people pleasing is largely subconscious, people pleasers don’t know they’re doing it a lot of the time, until someone like me makes them aware that what they’re doing is categorically manipulation for their own gains. Yes, so people pleasing the the art of making someone like you by pretending or behaving in a way that they prefer. That’s the type of manipulation comes on most minor work.

 

So interests me, you just mentioned around if somebody speaks very loudly in a meeting, for example. Now, that also is something that I hear in my line of work as well, where people say, they’re very dominant, or they try to manipulate people because they overpower me or they, a they try and dominate other people in a meeting. But what you’ve just described could actually suggest that that is just who they are, that could just be their personality. So if that’s the case, how would you then suggest that people can instantly tell the difference between is this just my interpretation? Or is this person actually doing the thing that I think they’re doing?

 

And this is why I bought up early the unintentional subconscious. Elements of manipulation is, if you go down the rabbit hole of trying to figure out whether or not it’s happening, what the true motives or so on, you might end up getting nowhere at all. It’s not the most helpful line to take. Essentially, manipulation exists if you think it exists. Now, understanding that manipulation and deliberate attempt to harm you and not necessarily the same thing can really help like one way to look at it as nobody who does what we’ll call that negative manipulation, that kind of caused pain for the again,

 

nobody does it out from a healthy place. Nobody does that from a place of confidence, a place of high self worth.

 

So if it’s happening, understand, in a way, I think the best way to understand it is that they’re sick. This is a symptom of their sickness. So either that’s happening in the person sick, and this is a symptom that they suffer from in the long run, at least as much as anybody else does. You know, narcissists don’t end up very happy in their old age, I guarantee you that, you know, like, nobody wins with this kind of behavior in the long run. You know, and so either they’re doing it from their place, or they’re not trying to manipulate you, and you’re just reacting from your own wounds and trauma to relatively harmless behavior. That wasn’t designed to harm anybody. Either way, you don’t really need to know why they’re doing this. All you need to know is you’ve reacted in a way that is not beneficial to you. And in most circumstances, that’s about all you have any control over. So the loud person at the meeting they could be delivered Britany bullying you, or they could just be a loud person, it doesn’t actually matter which one it is, what matters is how you’re reacting and what you’re going to do about that. Because no matter why they’re doing it, and we’ll get into response later, your response will be the same. You know, whether they’re doing it unintentionally, and so on, or whether they deliberately try and get you either way, you respond the same way to manage your own, having been manipulated, I guess. So that was a very long winded say, way of saying it’s almost not worth going there. Because the only way to find out is actually to talk to the person anyway, to find someone’s motives. They’re the only one who can give you the closest to the truth. And if you’re talking to a sick person, they’re probably going to lie about it. If you’re talking to a healthy person, they’ll be honest about it. But they’ll give the same answers. Unless you get sort of training and so on. It’ll be some time before you know whether you’re dealing with a liar or an honest person, somewhere in between, ultimately, won’t help you that much other than just to satisfy your curiosity as to human behavior and social dynamics. But I’d say if you’re being hurt by manipulation, first off, is you got to sort your own shit out. Later on, you can learn about other people and in the different reasons why this happens. Does it make sense?

 

I think it does. And as if we’re talking in a look away from the screen, it’s just so I can put something in my memory. So don’t forget it, writing it down, basically. But one thing that I think is really interesting in this type of conversation, and this awareness is that whenever we have our own reaction, I’ve heard many people actually associate that as a gift. Because what it’s doing is highlighting something in us that needs some work or some attention or or whatever it is, it could actually lead us down a path of self discovery, the fact that why is this thing actually triggering me, but it’s not triggering Joe Bloggs over there or not triggering triggering them. So it’s really interesting that we can actually use this in a way of self development as opposed to blaming the other person. And I actually also wrote down very similar to what you said is that even if you were to go and ask the person, so I think you’re bang on, right. But if you have this view of what this person is doing, whether it’s your interpretation, or whether it’s actually real, that they’re intentionally doing it, if you ask them, you’re then dependent on them telling you a the truth, and be that they’re even aware that they’re doing it. Because if it’s driven from their unconscious, then the possibly not aware of it. And if they are aware of it, they might say, well, I don’t see the big deal of it, it’s not necessarily my motivation to to have that impact on you. It’s just part of my personality. So you leave yourself very vulnerable. And at the mercy of them responding in a way that actually works for your robot, as opposed to what you see, basically, it can end in this very entangled conversation. It doesn’t actually go in anywhere. You don’t get anything sorted from it. But I think you’re bang on right that regardless whether it was intentional or not, it’s still having that impact on you. And then I’ll be interested in what your thoughts are around to the best way to handle that. Maybe probably a little bit later. So got some further more questions here. So when do you think people are most likely to manipulate?

 

Again, you go start with the premises, it’s always happening all the time. There’s always an agenda. There’s no unintentional behavior. The person will often not know what their intentions are, like we’re talking about before you ask a people pleaser, why they’re doing something, I’m just trying to be helpful. And they actually believe that it’s not the truth, but they actually believe it. You know, a lot of my coaching has just really, they really why you do it. And then we do again, and they find out like, Oh, God, why did I never thought of that? Anyway, so assume the manipulations happening all the time. But when we say, the way I interpret your question, when it’s most likely to happen is when are we most likely to be harmed by malignant manipulation. There’s certain times where we’re most open to it. General kind of psychological states one, ironically, is when we’re sure we can’t be. And after working with prisoners, I learned that one their favorite target, you know, if you want to corrupt one of the prison officers, you look for the guy who thinks he can’t be corrupted. That’s the easiest target, basically, one of the easiest Anyway, another time is kind of obvious generic response here, but it’s when you have low self worth. When you’re in doubt, and you don’t trust yourself, the doors wide open for someone else to insert themselves into their position of authority. You know, so anybody who’s either long term traumatized with self worth issues, or they’re in that vulnerable spot, you know, you think about the rebound. How often people will sleep with someone they really shouldn’t have slept with, you know, how did that person get in there? It’s because the door wide open when you’re like, oh my god does nobody even love me anymore. And you’ve got that doubt going. So when you have serious self doubt, that’s, you know, I’ve worked with a lot of psychopaths and antisocial personalities and narcissistic personalities. And their favorite person is the person who’s unsure of themselves as a person who can go like, I’ll be sure of you for you, I’ll come in and do their job. And then they start playing it like leverage, you know, they do they’re hot and cold thing, the gaslighting as we call it, make you doubt your own reality. And that’s how you can create a person who’s easy to manipulate, get them questioning what they were certain about. It’s not the same as curiosity, it’s more like insecurity. So when someone gets insecure, you can be like, all inductance certainty, they’ll cling to it, because humans have that neediness for certainty, I’ll give them some certainty. And then I’ll become their source of certainty. And then I can sort of wriggle my way into their life and, you know, with other tactics, you know, remove other sources that might counter my views and so on, isolate the target, that kind of thing. Generally isolated, low, self worth, or arrogant, those are the, those are the worst places to be in, in terms of, you know, that’s how you manipulate someone. So if you think of someone like what you might call high self worth, but open to manipulation, that arrogance, it’s think of all the people that were incited to riot and the capital in the United States, those were unnecessarily low self worth people was quite a brave thing to do, actually. You know, they they must have at least some of them being aware of the potential costs of their behavior. But they’re so they’re actually played on the whole like, you can’t manipulate us that’s what the whole Q anon conspiracy thing was, like, the government’s manipulating us, but we’re not going to fall for that. So that mentality of you can’t manipulate us made them so easy to move, go right on the Capitol, show them that you can’t be manipulated, right? It was it was used as the main driver and pushed hundreds of people to commit crimes that are gonna ruin the rest of their lives. You know, there are guys currently in prison because of that. So you can see the kind of spectrum you don’t have to have low self worth to be manipulated. But you do have to have a kind of weakness around being open to manipulation, essentially. Sure, there’s other states. But when you say most likely, that’s what comes to mind those categories.

 

It’s interesting how because I have a slightly different view on the essence of somebody arrogant as well, because you mentioned somebody with low self worth and arrogant to me, somebody arrogant, has low self worth, it’s almost like an overcompensation of because they feel a bit shit about themselves. I’m going to try and overcompensate and prove to the rest of the world that I am this thing that actually, they don’t believe that they are themselves. So that to me there, that’s, you know, it doesn’t surprise me that those people are very easy to manipulate. I am very interested when you said some of the people that think that the people that are most sure that they can’t be manipulated, who are not who those people like, don’t name them don’t people’s names in the core, but what what type of personality is that what type of person thinks that they can’t be manipulated?

 

Don’t know if there’s a really a type, but think of it as a kind of defense mechanism, the self view, you know, you mentioned before, the an arrogant person doesn’t have high self worth. And I’d agree because it just depends on the definition of what self worth means. When I say they have high self worth, I’d say high self regard, they think of themselves very highly, it doesn’t mean they actually confident. Okay, obviously, it’s on a foundation of sand, this whole image they have of themselves. When I say low self worth, I mean, the person actually thinks of themselves as a bad person and is very harsh on themselves high self worth or arrogant would mean that they they look in the mirror and say You are fucking awesome, you know, and that isn’t true. And then deep down, they know, there’s little needle at the back of their mind, like, Are you sure but you know, that’s what I meant anyway. Yeah. Which also kind of answers in their next question a little bit, which is, that person who’s arrogant is really the person who’s desperate to believe that they’re confident they’re desperate to believe that they cannot be hurt, that they’re tough, that they’re mentally resilient. You know? There’s some old adage saying from someone I don’t know totally misquoted and not know who I’m stealing from here. But if a person tells you that there’s something there almost definitely not that thing. So if someone says you know, look, at the end of the day, I’m an honest person, all you know about them is that they’re a liar. That’s all you know the stage. Wow, if I’m a caring person, I just really care about people you but that’s probably a pretty selfish person right there. They don’t know it. But they really want to believe that they’re that. So someone they might not say like you can’t manipulate me specifically though some people do say that. But they’ll say something that kind of implies the same thing. Like, I’m independent, or I do, I do things my own way. And I don’t, I don’t give a fuck what anyone thinks to me, people will use that kind of language, or they’re right for manipulation, because you leverage that you’d let you manipulate someone like that with flattery. They’ll be like, you know, I could tell you a really tough actually, and nothing gets through your wall. And that’s, I don’t want to give people manipulation tips. But that’s how you would regulan with a person like that is become their cheerleader, and then your cheer, lead them into the direction you want. Sure, but okay, you’re gonna take that from them, you know, and you can take them on and so on. And you can make them feel like they’re part of a group, that’s the easiest way to manipulate someone is to make them feel belonged, make them feel like they belong. And then they don’t want to be ostracized from the group, and then the whole group moves, they have to move with the group. That’s where you get, you know, the the conspiracy, communities and so on is they might get as a bit off, but I want to stay in the group. So the group generally runs towards the edge of the cliff together. But yeah, the person who’s really, really stuck, and you can tell by the language, they stuck on believing that they are a certain thing, a very admirable, virtuous thing. And they’re not willing to let that go. And that thing is something that can’t be manipulated, can’t be moved as the strong, tough thing. That’s the person who’s, you know, if I’m a prisoner, I’m looking for the guard who thinks of themselves like that, and I’m going to go blow some smoke up, there are some give myself a new friend here.

 

Hmm. Interesting, in terms of, it’s very interesting that the, when people say, I’m this or I’m that, because one of the things I’m always trying to encourage my clients with, and I’m sure you do, too, is to detach from what people think of you. And although like, maybe little mini posts, I don’t care what people think. And even though from from a personal perspective, I can see a massive improvement in between being hanging on to everything other people said about me like this massive neediness of yours, you’re in charge of my validation. And now, whatever you say, makes me feel a particular way. You know, detaching from that is very powerful. But to completely not care about what anybody ever thinks of you, is definitely something that I’m not even sure how you get there. Or if it’s even possible, maybe very, very experienced, but it’s after 40 years of meditating nonstop or something. But even though I promote that as an encouraging thing, there’s no way that I would definitely say I don’t care what anybody thinks by me, because it would be a lie. So I do understand that although it is interesting how the people that promote such things are, they’re actually preaching something that’s really quite valuable as a general life lesson. But to say that you’ve completed it in its full entirety, is often very, very, I was gonna say, very rare, if not impossible, would you agree with that? Or would you say slightly different,

 

it’s a dangerous thought to have. I don’t care what other people think. And with a slight adjustment, it could become a lot safer. You know, we talked about the idea of if I’m manipulated, it becomes a great kind of inspiration for self growth, like I can, oh, there’s a weakness on my arm, or that I can work on rather than, Oh, I can’t believe that person hurt me. But thanks for highlighting that gap. And, you know, the defense that something needs to be highlighted, I’m easily triggered by something, it’s not their fault. It’s my bullshit that got triggered, you know. So, anyway, this idea, I don’t care what people think, with slight moderation is I don’t want my behavior to be compromised by what other people think of me. But I’m open to the risk. You know, that’s far more likely to be a mindset that is resilient to manipulation. We like I can be manipulated, but I’m gonna work on not being, you know, I’m going to work on on countering that, as it happened. I’m gonna work on prioritizing my own value system and my own set of principles over the urges and pushes I get from the outside world. But the idea that I don’t get urged and pushed from the outside world, that I’m completely immune to that bullshit show. When you drive your car, do you stay on the road? Why would you get from because you care what people think that’s why. Right? The kind of person who really doesn’t care what people think is in prison, every single person on the planet who really doesn’t care what people think is in prison or dead. Because if you don’t cooperate with society at all, it goes very poorly for you. With the exception of say, like, no psychopathic dictators and Central Africa or something, but the days are numbered, right, the next one’s coming up and he’s going to be stronger than you. So a person who says I’ll give a fuck what people think the fact that you say that proves that you do Why would you say? How are you saying to What are you trying to convince people of here? Why are you trying to convince people of something if you don’t care, a person who really didn’t care would never say it don’t say anything. Right? There’s nothing to prove. There’s no one to convince. So rather than I don’t care what people think, like I consider myself highly apathetic about other people’s opinions of me, when I hear them, my my brain just deconstructs them into a realization, this is just the other person’s view of the world, it’s got almost nothing to do with could be completely inaccurate, or it’s true for them. But it’s not true for anybody else on the planet. Why would I take it seriously, but I have to go through that. I hear it first. And sometimes I feel a sting. And the fact that I have to go through a little like, let’s analyze it to see if it’s legit information means I have been manipulated a little bit. I’m doing this now instead of something else. And as the thing that I got taught the very hard way, through failure after failure, some of them quite catastrophic failures, being manipulated by criminals. You know, I thought I’d have it all sorted. And then I’d do something that just proved that I had just been full all along. You know, I had a really bad incident once where a pedophile that I was managing reoffended very badly. And he had me totally sold that he is rehabilitated. And he did it. So it was not like something on TV with the shifty eyes. And he’s obviously the bad guy. And this was subtle, just being totally under the radar and dumping any red flags. This guy was later identified as almost pure psychopath, which is incredibly rare. And afterwards, I realized I was I was a mouse with the cat, I didn’t stand a chance against this guy, he could read me like, he had hacked my code, it was so subtle, he didn’t say much, he actually pretended to have a problem speaking English, which turned out to be a lie that that very well. He was just the right amount of flattery, but not too much to spark any warnings, as humility, he even makes mistakes deliberately to show a human human side, it was beautiful, really, in terms of just like, objectively viewing manipulation, it was by watching the perfect dance. And it was perfect cuz it didn’t look perfect. But when that happened, I had, I was quite kind of traumatized by it, I think would be the right word. I had to get some counseling and stuff, because partly because of what he had done on my watch, I had a lot of guilt. Girls life was ruined, because he manipulated me.

 

And I had a lot of guilt about that. But then after, like, sort of emerging from that, I still carry the guilt a little bit but unhelpful way of kind of like, don’t let that fucking happen again. Don’t ever think that you’re winning. Don’t ever think that. That’s the worst thing to think there’s it’s losing to play the game. So think you’re winning means you’ve lost, especially against guy like that. And you don’t know when you’re against a guy like that. That’s how good they are. The guy had the most psychopathic manipulative guy, you know, how all the great serial killers everybody thought he was a great guy. Right? I mean, how good do you have to be to be both a serial killer and loved? How clever do you need to be to get some stranger into the back of your van? You know, how, and never get caught? You know? How do you How good do you have to be to manage all those variables? Well, key thing is, you know, psychopathy is about 3% prevalence in the population. But the that doesn’t really tell us the full picture one has will never know how many there are out there because they don’t exactly put their fucking hand up. And secondly, they tend to get around. So that doesn’t mean that because 3% of people are psychopathic, that only 3% of people get affected. These people go and affect many people. They’re often promiscuous, for example. So you might wonder how you keep ending up with narcissists because they get around. They have dozens of partners before they run out of town. Right? So one person will hurt a lot. We used to say 50% of crime was caused by 5% of criminals. You know, there’s one guy steals all the cars in your neighborhood. Another guy cons, all the old people at the wrist home, they’d spread far and wide. So you never know. When you’re up against someone who’s really fucking good at this. So good. You will not see it. I don’t care how good you think you are. There are top psychologists in the world that were manipulated by the same guy who got me you know, he had everyone fooled. He shouldn’t have been out on parole at all. As one of the things that helped with my guilt is he got through a lot of experts before he got to me and for For me, he was training himself on those experts. So he got a lot of practice and then I’m just I’m a goldfish compared to them, you know nothing. He had me easy. He got through like forensic psychologist who specializes in pedophiles, he got through them. Right? You won’t know if your boss is that you won’t know if your partner’s there. It doesn’t mean you go around fucking shifty about everybody. But it sort of does. It means a bit of skepticism about your own ability to see and be resistant to manipulation. Because you got to ask yourself a general question What’s more helpful thinking you can’t be manipulated, or assuming your cat that you can and keeping an eye out for it, who’s more likely to be manipulated. And that was the thing I eventually I’m like trying to put the ego aside, because it’s been shattered by this guy. And actually, quite a few others got me as well. But nobody harmed more than this guy. But after that, as I get ego aside, you’re not the best at this never will be these guys have been practicing this since I was six years old. They’re wired for it, they have no empathy, you’ll never be better at this than they are. So assume you’re going into a losing fight whenever you meet a new person and just watch out. And once you watch out, it’s not that hard to manage. Manipulation is actually really easy to manage. Because it’s as simple as you don’t feel right. It’s important. Once you learn to trust that thing you’re very hard to manipulate.

 

That’s very interesting. I haven’t worked in rehabbing criminals that you have. But I do relate to being shocked at how one person I’ve I’ve heard you refer to them in the past as master manipulators. They just absolutely experts are doing this. And I think one of the last coaching calls I had with us or maybe in the client obviously, was after a relationship just broken up. And I’ve been absolutely pulled in to this narcissist. And I was shocked because I’m normally sharp as a blade. And I’m not saying I can’t be manipulated, because I never saw it. I’m not saying I didn’t believe that I can be manipulated. I believe that I can be but I’m pretty more switched on than the average person out there. I would argue when it comes to things like this and human behavior, but this guy absolutely pulled the wool over my eyes to the extent where I was actually very shaken up. How blinkered I’d become and how much my blind foot I’ve been totally blindfolded by and it wasn’t until I kind of see the signs of it. My best mate gave me a bit of a nudge towards the anger. And where’s Angie gone, where’s my best mate, gone, this isn’t the energy that I know. And it’s like really not suddenly, things started, like the penny started dropping, left, like broke up with this guy left the relationship but in reflection once had kind of done the grieving because the guy meant a lot to me as well, at the time. When I started looking back at it, I was like, Oh, my God, from the outside, it was so obvious. But when you’re in it, it’s incredible, too. I was almost shocked that somebody had the capability to manipulate me to that degree, I mean, not even have a like squishy clue what was going on at the time. And which kind of leads me on to thinking that I think when you’re more emotionally invested in something, because I know that you’re obviously very, you must have been very proud of what you did. And when you’re doing your work with rehabbing that those criminals. And it meant a lot to you to you know, be part of that journey to get them back on the back in the world and acting as normal human beings. And you’re a lot more than they are, you’re technically in that role, to a degree, your responsibility as well. So when you’re emotionally involved in something, I also think you’re you’re somebody not you personally, but somebody can be so much more vulnerable to being manipulated than when you’re emotionally detached from something because you’re not where you just you just don’t care as much as when you care. Your brain works in a different way about it. What are your thoughts on that? Would you would you agree?

 

Oh, definitely, the caring is the thing. It’s what you care about that matters. And the thing that makes you most of all vulnerable is caring about seeing yourself a certain way. You know, you nailed it with the probation officer thing. When I first started, I was so concerned that I wasn’t good at the job. And you know, the pasta syndrome and all that. So what I hear the most often, you’re the best probation officer I’ve ever had. It’s exactly what I wanted to hear and they fucking knew it. What do you mean, this probe who has a good probation, nobody wants to be on probation. But there’s some people generally like I helped them and they wanted their help. This is eventually what led me to become a coach is like, I want to work with guys that like that. They’re very rare, fully like, you know, when you got remorseful guys who just like I don’t want to be this guy, but they never said I was the best probation officer ever. You know, they just worked with me there was no compliments, or sometimes they’d be like, I wouldn’t be where I was without you. But that’s after proven ranges, but the complements one, they just end and the people who did a base would combine that with invalidation. So on the same conversation where they’re telling me I was the best probation officer ever, that point out that I made a spelling mistake on one of my forms. Just a little think, like, you’re not perfect, but you doubt yourself, but don’t worry, I’ll I’ll back you up later, I’ll give you that self worth back. And I’ll take it away, and I’ll give it back and they come to God, Ron, what was weird is work with some of these guys, they’ll do this and there’s no gains, there’s nothing I give them. Read, they just did it to do it. That was they just do it to play the game. They just love the game. I don’t care if I reduce this sentence. I mean, I can’t do any of that shit. Anyway, probation officers don’t have that much power. They just did it just to see if they like walk away again. Got them. That’s a they live for it. Right. But, you know, you might see yourself as a caring person or a good partner. You know, a lot of the reasons I think people will stay with a bad partner. Bad fit for them, shall we say to be fair, is because they desperately want to believe that there’s someone who can choose a good partner. They don’t want to fuck I fucked up. I’m not good at choosing people, I’m attracted to the wrong people. They don’t want to admit that because it breaks their own self image. It even goes the reverse way, there are people who don’t want to stop believing that they’re a loser. So they’ll fight against encouraging people, you know, though, they’ll resist positive manipulation, and they’ll open the door wide open to negative because it helps reinforce the belief. Right? So you know, generally, I used to work with a lot of battered women. And that just bounce from one abuser to the next, it used to baffle me. Take me six months to get a woman to finally the guy who was heading here. And a week later, she’s with a new guy. How do you know which guy’s head like how do you find? Well, I’m not gonna be like that guy hits in that guy. And I know it’s a small percentage, but I’m not gonna be able to fucking crank them out. Yeah, they’re just like, like, the amount of times it was within a week or two, that they’ve found another one. Even with no social life, you know. And I realized, oh, it’s magnetism. They attract each other, they see each other in the crowd, you know, I came to learn about this almost very mystical element of manipulation. Like, as a people pleaser, I used to find people who needed fixing I could spot literally be physically attracted to them. That’s how quick I could spot them. I don’t think of it as any sort of Psychic Force, I think it’s the incomprehensible way the brain can read micro body language and stuff without even consciously sort of noting it. So I could see the way someone walks perhaps and their facial expressions and go, that person’s right for my particular game, you know, and it would all happen totally under the surface of my consciousness. Attract, attract and be attracted to the person that fits right on with a people pleaser, showing an explosive, very detrimental combination, but we’d find each other I didn’t find confident people. So I’ve actually forgotten the initial question.

 

Do you remember either, but I was still enjoying what you’re saying? Well, I will just add on a little bit, I think in all the work that we do, I think 99% of the stuff that you say, I agree with, I think ABS Yeah, yeah, yeah, tick, tick, tick. The one thing that I think we do see things slightly differently is what you just described what how two people can actually find so easily that right match. And I am a firm believer, most of these days and probably ever used to be around energy and the energy that we literally projects now, it kind of leads into a bit of spirituality. I know that isn’t your bag, but it is more so mine these days in terms of that, but when the energy matches, like on a level of frequency, it’s just it’s like you said it’s like a magnet. It’s like, you can just feel it from somebody, which I believe is why you can two people can be in a bar with one other person say, and they can both say exactly the same thing. Even with the same facial expressions, would you like a drink? And you can kind of get a feeling of like, I don’t know what it is. I can’t quite put my finger on it. But I don’t like That’s why people say I don’t like his vibe. I don’t like her vibe, it’s vibration. But I don’t like what I’m feeling from this guy. Whereas I don’t know what it is about that guy but that’s the dude that somebody want to spend time with. Like, he’s, he’s cool, or she’s cool, whatever. And I think that’s how two people can like basically get that massive pull towards each other. But I think a lot of those are an energy and how it’s projected, which is why manipulators. They’re so they’re so tuned in to what that feels like and to radar that those people, that’s how they pick them and when you’re in the place where you’re going to reach Practice manipulator, you’re going to be sending off that energy left, right and center as I see it. So they’re just going to be like sponges, for the MIPI manipulators, which is why the people that have been beaten up, leave a relationship and they go straight into a new relationship and get beaten up again. So that you mentioned magnetism, I think it’s kind of the same thing. Like we’ve all got, like an entity, that project and whether it’s body language combined to that as well. But that’s just personally my take on it. But it is very, very interesting. So do you think with the manipulation of that you help most people with? Is there a particular type that you think is an AI no manipulation? You described as a very broad thing, but I’m talking about the so called negative manipulation. Is there a particular one without being extreme around beating people up that you think is? Either Is it right to say the most manipulative? I mean, is there even a scale on it? How would you measure it? And is this something that’s like the worst or the worst one that people might hold as part of the personality trait?

 

Well, if we think of worst as being like most damaging to a person’s psyche, and quality,

 

yeah, that’s good.

 

I don’t think violence is the worst. And I mean, sexual abuse of a child is pretty bad. But it’s I don’t know if there’s manipular really counts as the manipulation we’re talking about when you just force yourself on somebody. And that’s why I say like randomly getting punched by a stranger in the street. And rather than staying in a relationship or being sexually abused by someone by force, I don’t think it’s in the same category of what we’re talking about, it’s more now losing a fight. So if we rule out those that are clearly sort of ways that people recover from violence a lot better than they do from an emotional manipulation. Therapists around the world have their calendars booked out because of Pyrantel emotional manipulation, the damage it does when you’re still forming your brain. And you don’t have critical thinking, and you don’t have the kind of frontal lobe performance that you need to like, withstand the external world like, informs you as a person that limits your options permanently. So I’d say the most harmful in a very broad, generic sense, is bad parenting. And one of the things I’ve learned a lot about more recently, is the first three years the shit you don’t even remember. That’s where a lot of the main damage is done. And it isn’t done with the hurtful comments and stuff like you get with, say, the mom and the teenage girl that kind of nasty, spiteful stuff for the man up and don’t cry like you get from the Father to the Son, and all the classic stuff that we talk about a lot, though, that stuff is devastating. You know, I’m in work because that stuff exists, but that there’s stuff we have a happy, healthy world to support there. Been the first three years? You know, I’ll give you an example. Because I’ve only just become aware of this. Being a father and standard research, that element of psychology, which I ignored for most of my career, like, I’m not that interested in infants, you know, but now I am. And we’re out with somebody. They’re not a bad person or anything, but this was bad. That was somebody and she was talking to my wife. She had a one year old ish in the pram and the kid started crying grizzly, just woken up for asleep. Without looking. The mum grabs a pacifier and just shoves it into the baby’s mouth and literally holds it there by force.

 

What’s the pacifier? Dummy? A dummy? Yeah, oh, yeah, sure. Okay.

 

And just hold it there by first and then make eye contact with the kid. And I was like, You have no idea how damaging it is to do that. The messaging you just gave their child was horrendous. The no eye contact, no acknowledgement, no recognition, or shut up your inconvenient message. Like your emotions are inconvenient to me. So I will literally squash them as I own. That’s how it’s done. You know, so a lot of us we have issues with attachment. That’s one of the biggest issues we have, or at least in my field work. We struggle to trust people we cling to people have both push and pull, we can’t seem to like have a connection we feel safe and healthy with. We don’t realize that in the first three years of our life, a lot of that damage was done. And it was done often with good intentions. You know, there’s this Ferber method where you leave a baby to cry itself to sleep. And it’s supposed to kind of like just toughen the kid up and you know, learn how to sleep on your own.

 

I’ve personally just put out there I’ve never agreed with that. But that’s just right.

 

You shouldn’t the data shows that you really shouldn’t. Yeah, and I you know, a lot of parents listening to this might be feeling quite defensive right now because they tried it and it seemed to work and the kid seems to be fine. And look, it’s working. coverable we need to understand what you did. Who told their baby cries? And when it’s distressed? No one’s coming for it. Yeah, it’s on its own. It can’t trust anybody. You can’t rely on anybody. It’s in this cold dark world where it can’t see it can’t understand what’s happening. And it’s left alone. The reason it stopped crying, because a wind inside. Yeah. I mean, nobody’s coming for me. And then later on, we like, why won’t my teenage daughter talk to me about anything? Oh, that’s just teenagers. No, that’s avoidant attachment. That someone who said, you know, when I cried, no one helps me, I’m on my own. And they formed a belief before they even knew what beliefs were before they even had language. So, when you ask, like, what’s the most damaging, it’s the stuff that happens. And honestly, like a bit of that stuff, can be counterbalanced. So to give some hope to parents that like thought they’re using the right method, they really love their kid, and they try to help and they find what the doctor says, and the doctor actually gets it wrong. In this particular case, if you’re a very loving, encouraging supportive parent the rest of the time, don’t worry about it, it’ll counteract it, you’re not going to have a damaged kid. But if you’re also emotionally distant, too busy with work angry at them every time they cry, yeah, that’s gonna do some damage. There’s not enough counterbalance, you can fuck things up in relationships, you can accidentally be a bit of a people pleaser, a bit narcissistic or a bit less than that, as long as it’s just a bit and the wrist heals, you know. But if it’s more than a bit, and I don’t, I can’t define what a bit is. There’s just a mine, where it stops being counteracted, where it doesn’t get healed. where it starts to grow, a cancerous kind of psychological tumor that will eventually kill whatever is happening. A lot of people just don’t realize that that’s what happened to them as kids, because very little subtle things, you know,

 

totally agree. Yeah. It’s interesting when you said, when people defend that, I mean, obviously, the the conversation today isn’t around how you raised children, but it is very significant about you know, I left when somebody says, I left my child to cry, and it didn’t do any damage. And it worked. Well, first of all, what do you mean by worked? Basically, it made your life easier. That’s what you mean by worked, it made my life easier because I could get to sleep more easily. Or I could get back to work more quickly. Or I didn’t have the inconvenience of having to hold an ongoing crying child that’s given up on putting the hand up saying I need some help right now. But nobody’s coming. So I just give up I’ll go inside, like you said, so what do they mean by it worked? And because I’ve heard people say the same thing. And when people say, well, it didn’t cause any damage to my kid, because they’ve got, you know, 10 a stars at GCSE or they’re going to university. Well, how are you measuring? What damage? Did you measure it by their success? Because that in its own right, so achievements, because that in its own right can also be quite damaging as well, when you only recognize a kid for what they achieve rather than who they are. What your what you’re basically saying to them is that I recognize you for what you do, rather than who you are. And that in its own right can be in direct parallel, like parallel relation to that particular pattern that we’re referring to when they’re a kid anyway, that dismissiveness of their human birthright needs. Versus Oh, yeah, but it shows that they’re fine because they’re achieving something. And the two are very, very different. And it’s good to recognize it’s very important to recognize your kids for both. If they do something good. Obviously, pat them on the back and give them high fives and chest pumps, whatever you want to do, but to recognize them for the stuff they’re not physically achieving, as well, I think is so overlooked in our society to raise a stable human race. Would you agree?

 

Yeah, look, sometimes I think my standards are too high. But I would have to say that most people are not ready to be parents in that most societies are not set up well for families. You know, it’s interesting, I was talking to a friend of mine who he kind of exclusively dates international woman. And so he gets us range of cultures or into his life. And one of his girlfriends was Mexican. And she she came over to New Zealand she said one of the weirdest things when she got here was hearing babies crying all the time. She’s you don’t hear it where I live. Because you live in a fucking house or 12 family members, the baby’s needs get met constantly. And certain African tribal cultures a baby’s feet doesn’t touch the ground for like three years. They’re constantly coddled, constantly held. They turn out just fine. Psychologically speaking, they turn out to be powerful leaders in loving mothers, whatever, they turn out fine. So the ideas that we hear, especially in Western culture around how to raise kids is no it’s how to raise industrious workers. It’s not how to raise healthy human beings. So we end up with these industrious look at my industrious little kid. He may You mean the one that can’t like connect with people? Is that the one Talking about? Yeah, I mean, no one looks in the mirror and goes, You’re not good enough is that the one you’re talking about? The one that won’t talk to you about the deep inner problems, because they don’t trust you as that kid you’re so proud of the worst I see is like, I got hurt as a kid and I turned out fine. No, you didn’t. Or you didn’t turn out as good as you could have. Definitely not, there’s no way violence and proves you as a person. There’s no fucking way. There’s no psychological paper on earth that’s ever given any validity to that idea. And there’s plenty of gone against it. If you if you say something like that, like, you know, I got hurt, and I turned out fine. What you’re saying is I got conditioned to believe that violence against children is healthy. Now, say it like that, and tell me that you turned out fine. Right? It’d be like, I got sexually abused as a kid. No, 10 are fine. Right? You wouldn’t say that. So you wouldn’t promote it as a parenting tool. Right. But as you said that the tragedy is there to raise somebody in let’s go away from parenting just to be in a healthy connection with people. It’s a hassle to do it. Right. Here’s the manipulation. This is what I was thinking about. Before I’ll call you know, I was looking at kind of the prompts and what we might talk about. And one of the things that’s become very clear to me over the last couple of years, and I already knew it back when I was working with offenders is the most motivating forces the most ridiculous one, avoidance of a hassle. We get very motivated by guilt, we get motivated by the pursuit of pleasure, we get motivated by frustration. But ironically, a lot of our decisions every day majority, perhaps are just trying to reduce hassle. We don’t like hassle. And everybody’s got a different different mission. Different definition of their word. What hacer was for them, they’re very active people. But a hassle is like having to wait for something, or someone like me, hassle as being active. So from the beginning, whether it’s parenting a child, whether it’s being with a partner, whether it’s hanging out with our friends, a lot of our manipulation towards other people is trying to reduce the amount of hassle they’re going to be for us. Often the amount of emotional hassle. It’s uncomfortable for me about be around someone grieving, so cheer them up. You know, it’s agitating for me being around people who are bored, I’ll entertain them. And it’s scary for me to be around, someone is angry, so I will calm them down. And we just, we constantly, like you’re too much effort for me emotionally, I need to reduce you. Right. And this is how not only we manipulate others, like, in my line of work, I’m actually dealing with people and the way they manipulate others more than the way they’re being manipulated. I mean, it goes both ways. You work on your own shit, and you start to see it coming from others. Working on your own shows the best way to tackle this, it kind of covers everything. But when you start to see like, how often do I do something with the primary motivation of making their emotional state more comfortable for me, it becomes very uncomfortable to see how much you do it to just go wow, it’s like a little bit of everything I say, here’s some of their benefit. And this was a very, very painful wake up call for me in my mid 20s. And didn’t happen in a single epiphany is a series of stages of ongoing revelation over time. Where I was like, do I ever not do this? Hear that? Like, is it everything? Is it everything I’ve ever done as my career based on this career that just shuts everyone up? Is

 

that really why I chose it? You know, that when I go out drinking every weekend, when I go to the nightclubs that I don’t even enjoy is that just so my mates will be comfortable around me. Like not to mention every sentence out of my fucking mouth as a just designed to put someone in a state that I enjoy. Why am I so funny all the time? Why not put so much effort into that? I can stand up comedy performance that I do in every social situation. Because I like people laughing It’s less hassle than being sad or serious or arguing. Now as I say shit, please don’t tell me that’s the only reason I do this because I’m starting to look like it’s the only fucking reason I do this you know? Anyway, like I said, when we talk about the most harmful it really can just come down to the fact that we’re just trying to stop people being a hassle. We just we don’t want to put in the effort that healthy connections require parent doesn’t feel like they have the time and sometimes they because of the way society functions in the western world they don’t have the time and support needed to do the right thing the long painful thing that you got to do for the kid to develop properly they’re spending time with them the letting them cry in your arms the leading them feed themselves even though they make a mess of Mister whatever the lien the master 400,000 questions a day and answering them to focus on hassle. But if you put If then you’re going to end up with somebody says Dr. Gabor Marte is is if you get the first three years, right, you don’t have to do anything else. And that’s pretty much like you get their toddler development, right, they’re going to be so fucking confident they’ll take off on their own, that you won’t have to worry about them. They’ll climb the trees without falling, they’ll stand up to the bully, you know, they’ll resist the ship from the teachers of theirs, right and whatever, they’ll do everything they need to be a healthy person. But you get that first three years wrong. If you make them into a little slave that tries to be convenient. The rest of world is going to dominate them as well.

 

Very interesting, I think, what was the one that you just Oh, yeah, reminded me of when this hassle topic, I’d never looked at it like that. But I think there’s, it’s very, very true. But it’s also we kind of go back to the children again, but it’s so related that it’s why so many parents just hand their kids like a like a tablet or some form of device where they’re busy this guy, right just watch TV or just watch. I mean, if they’re busy thrown off, they’ve got specific, I’ve got to get this washing up done, I’ve got to put the washing on. Fair enough. But some people just can’t be asked to just interact with them. Because it takes a lot of patience to read the alphabet 57 times it takes a lot of patients to count to 10 420 times in a day. Whereas actually, that’s the part that is most needed. I guess at that age, I’m going to don’t have children. But from the small research I’ve done on very, very young kids. But the hassle part is just so much easier just to check on my laptop or so much easier to talk chalk on a tablet. And then it creates that whole addiction. It’s also another reason why I think we’re so obsessed with our phones as a as a world. And to a degree technology has manipulators, because they actually a lot of these like applications, like the obvious ones, Facebook, Instagram, everything else and just the way that they’re designed. They’ve hired people that know how to basically manipulate our minds. And they’re designed in a particular way, that we’re actually feeding the trap in which we’ve been set for us by using these devices, so much so and we start them off. And these days at such a young age, like I openly admit, I spend too much time on my phone or on an online business, I’m always on technology of some nature. But I certainly miss it when it’s taken away from me like if I’m out somewhere my phone dies, I feel a bit Oh my god, I hate it. Like I don’t have that immediate connection with the world. So it’s definitely there. And I didn’t even have a mobile till I was in my mid 20s. So imagine what that’s like when you’ve been programming somebody to be manipulated by technology in that way, since they were seven or six, in some instances, even younger, in some instances, you know. So it’s a, it’s quite frightening when you think of it like that of what that could lead to, if you fast forward four decades of that programming and reprogramming. And it also explains why we’ve got such a disconnected society, and why so many people are behaving in a manipulative way. Because that are sometimes not even aware of what those social cues are, because they’ve spent so much time focused staring into the phone.

 

And all the other ways as well, you know, like, generally late, let’s say you have a mother that guilt trips you well guess what her mom did to her. This is how she learned to communicate her needs. That’s how she thinks it works. She doesn’t even think just this is how talking happens. It’s like if you read 1984, by George Orwell, in the constant theme is that they’re rewriting the language. So people can’t actually think for themselves. They’re limiting the language in such a way where you’re forced to have the kind of thinking that they want, because the languages thinking, you know, it’s such a great idea that generally were raised to manipulate by people who were manipulated manipulators this fall. But at this point, you’re also touching on the solution. You know, you said that that feeling you get when you’re away from technology. If you ever want to break your addiction to technology, you go on the bush for two weeks. And you prove to yourself that you don’t need it, you remind yourself that you never needed it. If you want to break your dependency, in relationships, you stay single on purpose for as long as you possibly can. Now, if you think that your friends circle manipulates you move to another city be on your own. One of the key elements to recovery or should I say to building a resilience in healthy skepticism and ability to manage manipulation is to be willing to lose the thing. The thing you’re attached to that made you easy to manipulate. Maybe it’s an identity you need to lose maybe its sense of security. Maybe it’s validation. There’s something you need to lose and show yourself that you can survive without it. You know, for me, it was identity. I wanted to be seen as the nice guy. There was the thing that anybody could use against me. You know, my friends at the time they used it to make me their entertainment. It was really hard to look back on it realize I was only invited to things if they wanted to laugh. If somebody funnier was there, I didn’t get invited. Does I? Oh, that stings. I don’t actually have friends. I had lots of them. I don’t I have an audience and audience, they’re looking for a cheap deal. But my attachment to being the funny guy, It compelled me to be the funny guy, which is also me manipulating them. So we’re going back and forth was circular here, manipulation is almost always circular. One of the interesting things you’ll see in domestic violence cases is how often the woman usually but men get beaten to but how often the woman will provoke the violence. It’s 5050, quite often, you know, she could leave, but she doesn’t. There’s always the victims also manipulating in their own way. Both people are essentially a victim to each other. Now, one person could be far more malicious and deliberate than the other person. But manipulation is a dance, it’s 5050. The person really can’t be manipulated is actually beautifully demonstrated the movie, The Departed, there’s a scene. Jack Nicholson’s character, the mafia boss type guy, he was talking to the main character about his dead. He says, you know, your dad never wanted money. There’s nothing you can do with a guy like that. And he perfectly in that moment, he illustrated what someone resilient to manipulation really looks like a person who has nothing they need, nothing they need from you. Like if you really want to become somebody can’t be affected by others. And that way, they can’t be hurt and tricked and moved around. You had to figure out what it is that others provide for you that you don’t provide for yourself, what it is that you think you need, that you don’t need, or is that you’re not willing to lose it willing to lose anything, you’re untouchable, any prisoner will tell you, any sort of long term serving inmate will tell you, as the crazy people that get the most respect, they might be the smallest. But if they’re willing to lose their lives to have a fight, nobody wants to fight them too much. So the biggest toughest guy will leave the crazy guy alone. Right, he might be smaller, but the crazy guy will like bite your balls off, he has no limits.

 

Social church is like a phrase, I heard that once you’ve lost everything you’re the most dangerous person to go up against, because there’s nothing for them to lose, there’s nowhere for them to go any lower. So the person that has already lost everything, for whatever reason, are the ones that you should fear the most.

 

Pretty much. And and you know, you have to become a bit dangerous. To be secure from manipulation, you have to be willing to cause a scene, if you’re willing to lose your job. If you willing to divorce, you have to be willing to lose all your friends, you have to be willing to be ostracized by your family. If you’re willing for those things, I don’t mean you seek them or provoke them, but you’re willing you like my integrity comes first, those preferences come second, if I’m left with that choice, if you’re that person, almost impossible to do any real damage to you. And manipulation, I don’t mean that you can’t be moved a little bit, but you won’t be moved very far. So for example, I’ll put it this no matter how confident you are, you can be tricked in some way you can be influenced, manipulated, like we talked about this, people have been practicing this for decades. Do you like a dog that can be trained, that even smells dog will be trained by human, they just don’t have a chance, right? But how long it continues for, that’s where the difference happens. So someone can scam me once. And that’s all they’re gonna do. I’m gonna be like, you’re not keep my money. I’m fucking out of this. Right? But the person’s like, I’ll go get my money back. That’s a person who’s going to get real damage done to them. Right? This is how casinos work. Casinos are basically a big manipulative scam. It’s not about getting you to gamble. It’s about getting you to keep gambling, because the odds are slightly stacked towards the house. So over time you’re going to lose. So what a lot of casino machines will do, the way they are programmed is to let you win up front. Now you’ve got something to lose. I’ve doubled my money, maybe I could double it again. And then by the time you’re actually down to a point where you’re less than what you came in with, you’re like, I’ve got to at least get back to what I came with. And that’s how they get you. The vision goes on. They’re like I got 20 bucks. Whatever happens with this, I’m out there loser the hour I’m done off to the pub, that person only loses 20 bucks. And they didn’t need that 20 bucks so they don’t really lose anything at all. I remember one of the worst things I’ve ever seen in my life was in Vegas for the first time. And we’re just, I mean, we’re all broke. So we’re going to like the $2 tables and just watching the fancy tables and stuff and transport That’s just it was really it. They were just called the spinny. Ball one,

 

the red and black one.

 

I’d never seen this before. I don’t think it happened in real life, this guy came with a stack of money and just put it on a number. I thought you’d have to use the chips, but he just put the stack on the namao. Ours is like, a cowboy hat on boots and everything. And I was a big spender. You know, I was awesome. I’m so thrilled. He’s like, fuck, that’s some high stakes. And he’s got like a 180 channels on me. And he lost. And the guy almost had a heart attack. He wasn’t willing to lose his face just went like I’ve never seen anybody just go pale. He went from like, normal, healthy looking to like cancer, just like that. I was like, Oh, it made me feel sick to see it. It’s just like, I can’t know what he says, I’m like, are we gonna do like, or if my wife finds out, and he was just devastated. And I was watching this, like, there’s no way you just did something that stupid prank or something. Because that’s so brutal, they grab the stack. And if it was little, like pushy thing, and there’s a slot, and they just put the money in, it just disappears. And you just see the guys grab a stack of money disappears. And this guy just basically collapsed in front of us. And I thought, that’s the problem with gambling is the person isn’t actually willing to lose the stack. Those wanting to lose the state cannot be harmed by the casino. Right, but the guy actually, even if it’s secretly just in the back of his mind, wants to at least keep his money or keep his pride or whatever, the casino is going to eat him alive. Because the odds will just turn against them over time.

 

It’s very interesting, the desire to win or the desire to gain. And he said that the the casinos haven’t ever been to like one in my life, I think it was in my local town. I spent about five pounds, like big, big bucks. But anyway, they said that they’re designed to give people that win at the beginning, how that, to me is identical to when you’re talking about when you’re working for connections, when they will give you all these compliments, and you’re the best person that we’ve ever worked with, and blah, blah, blah, or a narcissist who love bombs, they call it love bombing, don’t they, when they love bomb their partner at the beginning, they shower them in love and tell them that the best thing since sliced bread, yada yada yada is that I want to win something, I want to gain something and you’re fueling that desire to gain it. So whether it’s a casino, whether it’s in, you know rehabbing criminals, whether it’s in a relationship, if you’re vulnerable in that thing that you want to gain and you’re not willing to lose, when you see that you’re kind of getting the thing that you want, you become you get sucked in. It’s like a massive magnet like, and then that’s how people then become such a victim to it. I would I would suggest based on what you said, the similarity just suddenly stood out to me and everything that you’ve used as examples.

 

Exactly. I mean, if you can figure out what’s the thing that you’re least willing to lose, and maybe your next year dedicated to being okay, without that thing. That’s the best work you can do. Like one of the examples, I think that comes up a lot for people in the workplace would be like public humiliation, so you get backed into a corner in front of a crowd and some way you see this in debates all the time where person who was formally, rationally debating starts getting overheated and defensive and starts getting spiteful and throwing out insults. And they think they’re winning, and you watch it afterwards, you just go Oh, my God, everyone just thought you’re an absolute dick about halfway through onwards. They’re not, they’re not prepared to lose in front of a crowd. They’re not prepared to lose face. But the person who was the person who realized maybe I was wrong about that, and whole girl goes, oh, so easy, you don’t know anything. If you want to think that. That person, you know, they can, they might lose the baby, they don’t lose the war. You know, they go home, and they’re okay with themselves. So it gives a fuck of the whole crowd turned on. You can see this sort of playing out right now, the whole Joe Rogan podcast. Again, you know, very interesting kind of conflict. With the canceled culture, cancel culture is a great example of kind of group mob manipulation. And what’s really interesting about the canceled culture ideas, the person has to want to keep their reputation in order to be cancelled. So they don’t care. You can’t do anything to them. You know, and this is why like, soon as like Dave Chappelle the comedian, they attempted to cancel him the mob so many occasions, but he doesn’t care. If he’s cancelled or not. He walked away from $50 million, or one point in his career, he doesn’t give a fuck if he loses everything. And because of that, he didn’t lose anything. But the person who says I’m sorry, it’s in some way goes back on what they believe in, compromises their integrity to try and please the crowd. They always get canceled. It’s sorry, it’s the death sentence.

 

I also think that can go we kind of go slightly off topic with the cancel culture cut pencil culture, I think a lot of people that are most offended at the peak of the listeners, because if you it’s also a form of manipulation that if the same narrative is constantly cancelled no matter what the topic is. So an in one narrative is actually allowed out into the into the rest of the world, that’s also a form of manipulation, because people are going to be programmed to believe the only thing we’re hearing on loop. Whereas actually, an alternative opinion might not be the person that’s being cancelled, that has the issue. It’s the listeners going on in a minute, this is surely like we should hear both sides of the story here, you’re only promoting one that’s an issue. But again, it’s a form of manipulation. It’s like this mind control kind of thing. So it’s, it’s so broad manipulation is everything, whether it’s in technology, whether it’s in relationships, whether it’s in connections, whatever children raising, or whatever. So just and you’ve got a bit of a time limit. So let me just ask one more question. I thought it’d be really useful for anybody listening is that? How would you advise somebody to recognize that they’re being manipulated? I know, again, it could be a bit down to interpretation. But if that is the case, how would you suggest that they then respond to it and how they handle it?

 

Cool. simplest way I can put it is, if you don’t feel right, trust that you’re being manipulated, even if the other person doesn’t mean to manipulate you being manipulated if something happens inside of you. So if it’s happening, it’s happening, it doesn’t matter where they’re trying to go, they mean to or anything that’s happening is that if you’re intimidated, you’re intimidated, doesn’t mean that they’re necessarily objectively intimidating. Doesn’t mean that they’re trying to dominate you. It doesn’t matter if they’re trying to or not. If you are, you are, and it can be both. What I’d say is anything that just seems a bit off and including positivity, like you’re so flattered by someone you feel that like warmth there boost from them all the time. That’s actually a red flag doesn’t necessarily mean they’re doing anything bad. But it does say something in new requires us validate. Like, if your mood changes when someone either complements or criticizes you. That means that your self worth is dependent on external variables. That’s a problem. Right? If it just gets a brief clip, and then back to normal, it’s okay. We’re a little beep. But if it’s like, oh, you change who you are because of it. That ain’t right. I mean, I’ve been manipulated by my own bank account. Right? I look at my bank account. Yeah. And they are just numbers on a screen. There’s no way the bank accounts trying to hurt me. Right. But it just shows me like my my attachment to financial resources to security. That’s my the gap in my armor. I don’t have that then looking at my bank app should just be numbers on a screen, this will always was just, you know, ones and zeros. A binary code, it’s nothing doesn’t mean anything. Right. So as soon as you feel off in relation, like in reaction to somebody else saying or doing something, if nothing else go there’s something off in me, that needs work. Right? Doesn’t matter what they’re trying to, I mean, does matter. Like, if you’re in a relationship with us, your boss family member, there’s going to have to be some decisions to be made about how that continues or whether or not it continues. But one I mean, it’s almost one thing for certain is before you can say you’re manipulating me, you need to go like Is this me? You know, is this the right like? Am I generally a secure, happy person, you know, not happiness? Searly burn my generally a secure, confident person who assure themselves as just around this one person that that all falls apart? Or does this cash it happen a lot? Is this? Is this a pattern? You know, one of the things my coach asked me I’ve one of the best questions ever. When you having a problem, ask yourself, Is this a new problem or a recurring problem? And as soon as you say that, almost every time it’s recurring, like this has happened before, it looks different, but it’s the same thing. And so you got to ask yourself that when you’re having an emotional reaction to somebody else saying something about you, or to you, even seemingly indirect, do you have a stronger than baseline reaction to that? Because there’s this recurring, do I always react like this to this kind of thing, or this kind of person, or the narrative I have about this situation is this one of those narratives that I tend to have a bit of a reaction to either positive or negative? Because that’s the that’s the gap in your armor. And in terms of solving that, for, shall we say, Don’t call it a problem, but is a piece of work that you want to work on. This is where addressing it with the other person kind of kills two birds with one stone, you’re doing it for you, but also you’re helping them to respect you. When we look at as in terms of manipulation is you can start with a generous assumption. They didn’t mean to do that. And if it turns out you’re wrong, that will be proven. You don’t need to worry that you’re going to be naive here. I’m just going to start with like, let’s let’s give them like the benefit of the doubt. And we’ll put this to the test this is going to go on probation now. Somebody says something to you like, oh, I don’t like the way I fell when he said there. We’ve got some doubts. It might just be me. It might be didn’t mean to, you know, like, generally there have been a person or it might be like something I can learn about them. Like I have a few friends that are autistic, and you know, they can be like really blunt. And once I get that, and I’m okay with it, then I don’t take anything personally. Without the government. Are you looking at Fattah today? Like for what the fuck you say? I’m attached to looking good. That’s not the problem. Right?

 

I am getting fatter. You know, what’s the problem there? I’ve got an honest friend. That’s good. I need to get my shit sorted. But they’re also long, long term benefit for their own relationships. I can help them see you know, there’s other ways to communicate stuff like that. This is how I reacted maybe other people react like I do quite often. Maybe that’s why you’re struggling to make friends, you know, and we can help each other. A lot of people like especially people pleasers, they’re actually helped a lot by people giving them honest feedback for once I tell the same story over and over about a guild telling me that I sounded pathetic. When I was doing self deprecating humor. Also Ha, pathetic I’d never thought of that. I thought this was funny. I don’t even like doing it. Fucking it’s just secret self loathing disguised as a joke, like, nothing good is happening. And it sounds pathetic. Okay, I’m willing to have another look. Thank you. For me. I didn’t at the time. So you bitch. But five years later, I’m like, thank God. She said they’re sure. So all you have to do to address it, is to call out the not right feeling. And if you’re not even sure you can literally say like, I don’t feel right. When you said that. We did that or something’s off. When you say, give me a compliment criticism, indirect remark weird statement that the key here is their response. Maybe not their first response, but the long term pattern response will tell you whether or not they actually respect you know that, you know, I actually had this conversation with someone yesterday, she’s got like, got sort of narcissistic family, unfortunately, sometimes you get packs. And she says like, what do I say to them, so on so forth. And basically my response is, look, if the person’s healthy and has your best interests at heart, all you have to do is tell them how you feel and they’ll do the rest. You know, they’ll they’ll figure out how to interact with you in a way that shows respect. You know, like one of the worst types of manipulation that’s hard to deal with and certain cultures is what I call bullying, banter. Stuff that looks funny and makes everyone around you laugh, but it’s actually a like, a conduct right into the heart. And so it’s a secret. It’s like, Anthrax inside a birthday card. You know what I mean? It’s this thing that nobody doesn’t look like bullying to anyone but it’s definitely bullying but you doubt yourself because everyone’s just the lads at the workplace or whatever.

 

So passive aggressive, passive, classic passive aggressive, right?

 

Well, I heard of a new term covert aggressive. So passive aggressive as inactive but covert is quite active, but it’s hidden. And so this would be definition of covert aggressive, which is like now we’re all just having a laugh. Might you’ve been too sensitive? As I do, do you hit my wounds? This isn’t being too sensitive. Like you have a laugh about how small my ears are, that’s fine. Unless I’ve got a big problem with how small my ears are, then you don’t ever laugh about it. Like that’s not banter. That’s creativity. That’s torture. You see, there’s a lot in the trades, like being an apprentice and the trades with your bricklayer or poem or whatever. Generally the culture is you get some shit as a kind of indoctrination into the thing. And if it’s healthy, there’ll be some funny pranks but there’s nothing they’ll make you cry yourself to sleep but there’s some of these places where the guy gets tortured you know the guy late his life is ruined personal it’s aggressive it’s constant the guy nervous to go into work. That’s not banter. So that guy needs to trust their feeling like if I feel this way and I right now you express the feeling and their reaction will tell you how much they actually respect you if you like dude, like I know this is a bit of a laugh do you guys but it’s actually really hurting my feelings. Do you mind calming it down a bit? And they don’t that tells you all you need to know this was never banter. Show. This was always bullying. No confident healthy person is going to keep hurting you on purpose. There’s no fucking way. And this is the thing to keep in mind. No matter how much self doubt you have about yourself. You don’t need to know whether or not you’re okay. You can ask yourself would a confident healthy person do that to me? If the answer’s no that tells you so much about what’s really happening. Again, am I not be intentional? And they’ll be like, you know, the same client, she’s got an 80 year old art who she was struggling with. I’m like, yeah, she’s 80. Good luck to you. It could be fucking great. Yeah, very good luck. You know, to my family members fell out for a decade before everybody realized they both actually had dementia, they just thought they’re really mad at each other. Right? Like, there’s some stuff you can’t, you can’t change in another person. Right? But you need to first get the feel I put it out there like, this is the willing to lose, I’m willing to lose your respect. And willing to, for the boys of the workplace to think I’m too sensitive and willing for my boss to think weak and wanting from my partner to, to think that I’m self, what do you call it? Selfish?

 

Like, what, when you think this would be sensitive, or sensitive kind of thing,

 

whatever, whatever it is, thing you think, yeah, self conscious. You know, whatever it is that you’re worried they’re gonna think of you as this is the bravery, you have to let them have their thought, let them make their judgement and understand, look, if they react badly to this, that’s all the information I need to get out. And, I mean, this is really hard. I know, if I’m listening, if I’m someone listening to this is very low self worth easily manipulated person, it’s unlikely they’ll also have the bravery to walk away, but I want at least plant a seed in their head. That is the answer here. You either have the self confidence to confront and hold boundaries and like resist the storm, or you got to walk away. There isn’t a third option where you stay in a fight that you’re not strong enough to win yet, kind of thing. You know, you need to be able to practice this at a level you can handle. So, you know, we talked about this when we talked about confrontations that start confrontations with people who are safe to confront, you know, and, um, it could be like, you might know, in some intuitive way that you’re, you are too sensitive, you’re sensitive to stuff that isn’t malicious, sensitive to stuff that, you know, like you got a best friend is always encouraged, you always had your best interests at heart loves you, wants you to do well. And occasionally they say things that hurt your feelings just very occasionally. And you can kind of see like, it’s very unlikely that they’re trying to hurt me that there was some big act. Well mention that one to them. This is a safe person to try this out with this as a kind of the level of battle you might be able to handle right now. And just say, Look, you know, I don’t mind having a laugh with you. This is one topic. I’m just I’m sore about it. Like, I’d rather you just push that button. Any other topics? Fine is not there, you know, words to that effect. Now, if they go to town on that topic after that, well, maybe there is something wrong with them. Yeah, right. You gotta ask yourself if I really love somebody, and they asked me to just stay away from assume behavior or thing because I heard them in there was totally a choice I didn’t need to do their behavior was no compromise of my integrity to change his behavior. What would I do? real harm and I fuckin DS the shit, Ellen. Well, so you’re sick person? Fucking help. Sure. You’re the problem. You’re the bad guy in this situation? If the answer is yes to that. But most people, I tried to have a generous assumption though. I’m getting cynical as I get older. Most people don’t want to hurt the loved ones. I think most for anybody,

 

or anybody. I think it was one of the biggest things that came out from working with you, is understanding people’s motives when it comes to being somewhat assertive. And sometimes people are unaware of it. Sometimes it’s intentional. Sometimes people are oblivious. Sometimes people have other motivations because they’re driven by their own insecurities or whatever. But having that conversation with somebody, if they genuinely are somewhat of a caring person, whether you’re a stranger or whatever. A good person generally has some form of reaction that’s like, okay, look, that wasn’t my intention. I’ll keep an eye on it, I’ll do my best not to go there. Again, be probably more intense if it was a partner or something. But it’s the ones that actually tease you about it, call you over sensitive, tell you to pipe down even intensify the level of banter, then they’ve exposed the motivation. And the motivation from the very get go was to somewhat cause harm. And if you then expose it, and they actually carry on knowing that doing the action will continue to cause harm. You’ve got your answer. I remember when you explained that to me years ago, and I was like, Yes, that makes so much sense and it has categorically stood me in good stead. Like what that particular piece of advice just given is so true. If it’s come up time and time again, and the people that are responsive to it, are the people, I’m much closer to the people that people that aren’t, I’ve just drifted out of my life and I feel better

 

for it. Exactly. I mean, a brings up one of the key dilemmas here, which is you got to learn how to measure people’s behavior and not be moved by their words. It’s one of the first things I had to learn with working with criminals where I was really quite practically applicable. They would say they’re doing all the stuff, and it would sound good. But I could have measured another way. And where I could I did say they’re going to rehab or call up the rehab, did they come out? Did they participate, not just the hear the word, but act as if I didn’t have any words to go on and had to get my information elsewhere. And that really, they that eliminated most manipulation for me or my you can say whatever you want, I’m going to check. And so I’d either find out through the check whether or not they’re telling the truth and build up. This person’s consistently honest or consistently dishonest. Or the fact that they knew I was going to check me and they had to adjust their behavior. And because I went, I’ve got to go to rehab, because it’s always going to ring up anyway. So I put them in a position where their words didn’t matter. You know? And you can do this in almost any situation, essentially. And when I say behavior, I also sort of mean words in a different way. Let’s say you ask someone to treat you better. And they say, I promise I will. That means nothing. Absolutely nothing. How do they treat you for the next month not next couple of days next month? They treat you after the heats died down and the conversations forgotten? Is there a permanent shift in behavior or at least the attempt with a few slips but I like upside now? I’m working on it as the at least the attempt and sometimes when I say behavior I mean the way they talk to you. But I don’t mean that what they say they’re going to do I mean, what they actually say to you in in day to day life. So someone you know the banter things are good example. Sure. But I like I don’t mind taking the person but back and forth. But nothing about my family. I’m sensitive about their villi All right, all right. But then brother family, and then for a month, there’s no jokes about the family. Okay, that’s real. Right. And this is, it’s just so easy to measure once you can just remove the spell the magic fuckin spell of people’s words, you got to understand what people’s words they’re not just noises. It’s computer code. It’s programming. When it enters your ears, your brain creates pathways it literally changes the physical structure of your brain to listen to someone speak every single time they do. new memories are formed new understanding of how the world works is either confirmed or denied, and so on. So when someone speaks to you got to understand they are trying to program my brain whether they mean to or not. Now, am I going to let that happen? Now you can’t stop it. But you can categorize the information comes and go that was just words, put it aside measure the behavior. Rather than that was good information. I’m going to go with that. My promises are the worst because promises harm both parties. For promise feels so good that you’re not really motivated to do much else. And this is I mean, plague of politicians does the dawn of time I’m going to do this I’m going to do that a you can’t promise shit about the future because you don’t control it. And B you feel so good promising. You feel so sure of yourself that when it comes time to actually doing it. There are five good other shit to deal with. And this is how often do you know this? You actually sent me a study

 

is right when I was being coached by EA that’s long time ago.

 

Yeah, I’ve been searching for because I wanted to cite it so many times I can’t find

 

  1. Maybe in an old email from about 1922 or something I can maybe digging

 

effects. But yeah, the study clearly showed there’s such a dopamine hit when making a promise that both people the receiver and the giver feel so good about it that there’s really no need to follow up. So promises can keep a terrible relationship going over and over and over for finally collapses. Because promise feels like something it’s not it’s nothing, even if they mean it, it’s still nothing. So I can control and predict the future and now you can’t you just lied to me or promises allies if you start with that can really help your relationships. Lucy and I had a big talk before our wedding vows because I’d taken a long time to get my head around getting married. I’ve kind of been anti, you know, let’s get the government involved in our relationship to everything. And I said look, one of the things I just can’t get my head around as this like, till death do us part the sickness and health is promising stuff like, I don’t know, I might turn into a deck, I don’t know what I’m gonna be, you know, you might you might change it someone I don’t want to be with anymore I don’t want to, like, chained myself down here I don’t want to chain you down either. And so it came to an agreement about our vows having no promises for the future just an expression of how we feel right now in gun and like how it might look

 

like your intention, at least your intentions

 

is like, you know, the way I feel right now. I’m keen to keep going. Not like I definitely will no matter what happens no. She told me was 16 Guys, no, I’m not going to keep going. I

 

think it’s highly unlikely why never lose,

 

he just doesn’t socialize enough for the opportunity. But the point being is, you know, no matter what someone sees after you confront them, kind of don’t take it seriously, even if they react badly for you to sensible but just give them give it a week, they might get over that bit and start changing their behavior like sometimes you you had an ego spot they don’t want to back down in front of the crowd. But they will once the once the crowd stopped watching. I always think whenever you confront someone, the first reaction doesn’t matter at all, just ignore it. It gives you some key indicators but doesn’t really tell you anything. If it’s a really nice reaction, it could be a lie. It’s a really bad reaction they might come down and change your baby later. You just don’t know unless you know the person well over time patterns. But just go get it give it like three days you have in your head like how long do I need before I’ll know and don’t be scared and go I’ll just give it six years now by month Max and even if you’re married a month Max before this becomes a deal breaker. If somebody can’t change their behavior with a month’s worth of practice, they’re not going to change their behavior and I don’t mean perfectly change it but let’s say you got a partner of 10 years and like I want you to stop criticizing me so much. Alright, a reduction in criticism would be progress. I’d give them that I did trying the 10 years I’ve been doing this pattern it’s hard to break but no reduction or an increase time stopping about the boss really so yeah, the generally the approach to the manipulation call it out call or how you feel if you’re feeling bold enough you can even use the word manipulation but you talk about it like ownership I feel manipulated not You’re definitely a manipulative narcissist. People use the word narcissists too much. There aren’t that many narcissist. Okay. His behavior you thought was narcissistic, because you’re sensitive. But it’s not the same as actually dealing when you’re dealing with a real narcissist they are. I don’t know that word gets used way too much. There seems to be a lot of them because they have a lot of relationships. But true narcissist is is

 

a technical term, isn’t it? It’s not something that allows cystic

 

personality disorder. It’s highly anti social, it’s highly psychopathic. The person lives in a world of one where they are God. And everybody else is just objects to be moved around. This is a rare type of person. They’re also person, people are just a bit of a dick. Sometimes it’s not the same. There are people who are a bit selfish or people are insecure to the point where they, you know, they do impulsive, painful. That’s not the same. NASA’s cannot change. Right? Just like I cannot just think myself into being a black guy. Like I did certain things about me that are unchangeable. a narcissist has a psychological profile that is unmovable. You put them into therapy, they get worse. Not better. Okay, so, I mean, if they’re willing to change, they can do some stuff with their marriage, their behavior was essentially just trying to pretend to be a good person and live that way. It’s it’s not their true nature. So it’s doing what’s in their best interest long term, which is good but works but you’re not going to change a narcissist. If you’re with one you run away. That’s the only approach. You are the psychopathic person you run as far as you can. You put up as many barriers between you and them as you can you do not try to change them, you will lose. But if you are someone who just has some bad pep had patterns, habits, conditioning from childhood or whatever, there’s room for growth. One thing a narcissist and a psychopath cannot do is change. That cannot change in a significant way in a short period of time. So if somebody is doing that, maybe they’re not analysis, maybe they’re just traumatized. Okay. That’s one of the easiest ways to heal a relationship that’s been hurt by manipulation. But at the core, the people are good and they write for each other. Because understand, you’re seeing someone lashing out from their wound. This isn’t a person trying to hurt you. This is a animal caged in the dark feeling like being poked with a stick. And that’s barking and biting. It’s got nothing to do with you It happened before you arrived, when you’re just here while it happens, you know, and my wife gets like really anxious and sort of not critical. But she’s kind of like, did you do that to do do this, it’s not like she doesn’t trust me, she has anxiety. I don’t do that to her. You know. And when I get all stressed down, try to control everything. It’s not me trying to hurt anybody. It’s because I spend a lot of my childhood feeling out of control. And that bothers me. When it happens, it triggers me. So when you see then another person, give them the benefit of the doubt first. But also, self respect, doesn’t matter why you’re doing this, it has to change. You have all the reasons in the world, you can be a good person at the heart, but you can’t treat me like this. Got an app to say they’d like your Lucy’s family can get on my wiki a little bit. She’s like, the good people might Yeah, but it doesn’t matter. What matters is how they treat me. They can be the best people in the world, the treatments not good enough. I don’t hate them. But I do hate their behavior. It’s got to stop. You know, and this way, it doesn’t matter why they’re doing it. Your behavior changes or doesn’t. That’s the only measurable later on, like, I find a lot of people get a lot of peace after particularly traumatic relationship, if they have been with a narcissist, for example, and being like, just taken back six years, it’s going to take them to recover kind of thing. Again, help to do your research. What is narcissistic personality disorder? How do they function in you learn about things like love bombing, and you start to get on there, what the fuck was happening, and it doesn’t hurt to learn all that stuff. Right to get into psychology, learn about manipulation, to learn about psychological disorders and personality disorders, and how these people interact with the world, you know, you’re a wiser person, you’re going to see it more, you’re going to be less affected, that’s certainly a huge pillar of becoming confident in the face motivation. But ultimately, it’s still optional extra, you don’t need to know all that stuff to go, I’m affected by something and need to work on that. You know, that’s really if you do that, that’s all you need to do. It’s more than 50% of the work, and it will do what you need to do predict yourself.

 

Well, yeah, and I think it’s, like I said, very early on in the call is it’s an opportunity to, it’s like a gift. So with the, with the experience ahead with the guy that I mentioned, rather than sitting there blaming him for, for whatever happened, it actually opened up a lot of self discovery. And it sent me down a new little path of like, okay, there’s something here that I really need to get a grip to, because that shit is not going to happen again, no, Over my dead body, well, I can’t promise that but I’m going to do my best this my radar is going to be way more switched on than it ever was before, because of that experience. So in many ways, I’m very grateful of that. But it opened up a new part. It’s actually there’s a little bit of healing I need to do here somewhere. So I’m not vulnerable to people that have that ability to manipulate in the way that he did. Why was I so vulnerable to that one, I’m normally so boundary based and so assertive, and so able to manage myself in the world. So everything that we’re faced with, is absolutely like you said, it’s a it’s an opportunity for us to self reflect. But again, something that I’ve heard you say, and I think it’s very, very true and very accurate and brilliant. Basically, we’re net, we can never really be anything to anybody in terms of the way that they behave, because everything is only a reflection of the way that they think about it the way that their brain is wired, the way that they’ve been almost like conditioned to respond under particular stimulus, which will be different from somebody else’s, all we’re seeing is that play out. And we’re just the match that’s triggered a little box of dynamite inside them, which is another thing you said to me once as well. So all we’re seeing is everybody just enact, so not an actor, like react to whatever was already inside them before we ever came into their life. So we can never really be responsible for anything, the way that some people react on anything. I mean, there’s some universal things, if you go around and you kick everybody in the shins, they’re probably going to have a fairly standard response to you. But in terms of things like just the way that people are behaving that we disagree with, and we take it personally, it’s never really personal. But it can still be even when somebody’s trying to actively manipulate consciously. It’s still nothing to do with you, because it’s still the way that their brain is choosing to behave based on something else that’s already inside them. And when you can start getting to that level, I think it you can become very detached from it, you can identify it, but you’re not as vulnerable to being affected by

 

  1. Yeah, and that raises actually a really good point is a lot of people have been harmed by manipulation, the responses to close up and become very lonely and isolated to like, you know, they have their response. I’m not gonna let that happen again. And the way they’re not gonna let that happen again, as To prevent any opportunity, very true, very true, which is, you know, had a normal traumatic response. It’s you know, attachment theory covers that the reason we become avoidant as gay, I’ll just keep everyone away, they’ll solve it kind of does, if you don’t mind being lonely forever and disconnected forever. But another way is to go like how do I be open? How can I be safe in myself around being honest. You know, I thought about like, the other day, I was on the quarantine thing for coming over to New Zealand COVID and all that, and giving us very limited time outside during the day. Long story short, I told a little white lie to try and get more time outside the car situation. Anybody would say it’s fair enough, like half an hour outside of day for a family with a baby. It’s ridiculous. But I knew it was wrong. I knew I lied. Where I was going with it. I hit a point. Shit.

 

I was having a curfew and you had to do a little white lie or something?

 

Yeah. What am I trying to get to here? Right being Oh, fuck that example. Okay. The point is not to close off, to protect yourself to become someone who can be open without anything coming back through the door. Person who can say something, there’ll be judged. And it’s okay to be judged. They can take the risk with people. And the way to become that person has actually through even more openness, openness and being vulnerable to attack are not the same thing. They look like the same thing because that’s when it happened. But you being vulnerable to attack was a separate factor occurring at the same time. Correlation to people thing like ours really open with everyone, they hurt me. So you being open wasn’t the problem. You’ve been hurt double was the problem. Right? You can be open without that. You know, like I said, we see in the examples, guys like Joe Rogan Dave Chappelle and stuff. They’re very, they’re some of the most honest public profile people on the planet. And it’s still untouchable. They know something that you don’t try to figure out what their thing is, how is it that they can go out without anything coming back in? How’s that when they hear negative feedback, they can respond to it, but without losing who they are without being hurt by it. Like Joe Rogan’s response to people criticizing his podcasts on previous stuff was beautiful, he was able to cherry pick out the stuff that actually was helpful feedback, without buying into the narrative that he’s a bad person. Today, right, I said some stupid shit. I’ll try and work on that. But I’m still a good person. Like, I’m still gonna keep doing what I do. I’m not gonna give up. I’m not gonna throw out everything because few people get upset. Right? So he’s able to like, filter what comes in. Right? Now, that’s a whole conversation than not itself. But long story short is, again, that thing that you’re not willing to lose that identity? How do you first get okay with losing it? And then to replace it with something more fluid more flexible, something that no one can harm? Because it’s not only business. Someone knows you’re a bad person. You go, Look, I’ve been measuring myself 10 years, I don’t need that. The I got this time to worry. You’re stupid man. If you say so what have you got to do you know, like, I’ve got my own intelligence pretty well measured over here, I got this. Right to get to that point where you measure yourself rather than asking other people to do it for you through the behavior directly or indirectly. That I mean, if you’re vulnerable to other people choosing how you are, then you’ll never be safe from you go be around the nicest people in the world, and you’ll be manipulated unintentionally by them. You’ll be manipulated by Facebook, you’ve been manipulated by your bank account, you’ll be totally open to attack all the time. It’s got nothing to do with how open you are with other people how willing to connect you are. So I’m not even really sure where I’m going with that. I think it might even be a whole topic on its own. But just the idea, like if you get to a point where your validation is your job, you figure out if you’re a good person, you figure out what the rules and the principles are. You measure how well you’re living by them. When somebody else tries to step in on that area, it is there. I got this. I got this mom, you know, take a step back, you know, I’m an add on now. I figured it out. You just have in the air in your space. And I won’t be all like bitter and resentful and defensive. It’s just a kind of over the line. Back back right back back. There you go. If someone keeps stepping out of line again, you’re actually not a good person. I’m out here. In general, I’m talking about years and years of work that never actually ends fully keep working on it. But there’s certainly a point we can get to the stage where you simultaneously hold the belief that I’m open to be manipulated. But I’ve got this as well. It’s going to happen, it’s going to be brief. I’m going to get on top of it early. I’m going to have the humility say he got me but you only got me once. Now fuck off. You can get to that spot. And that spots maybe as good as it gets, you know, but it’s good enough, I think personally. Awesome.

 

By the way, if you can hear any massive shuffling around flappy lips snoring it’s not me. It’s my dog. He’s just started, just woken up. Just making all the racket in the background on the off chance you can hear that. Anyway. Yeah, so Wow, man, we’ve been talking for nearly two hours not far off it. So it’s always so fascinating to hear your views on this stuff. We’ve covered child rearing, we’ve been listening, we’ve covered a lot of different things. So do you have any final thoughts and also let people know where they can find you if they want to reach out or want to have any form of coaching with you or in any follow your content or whatever?

 

Cool? Well, I mean, last thing first, I just prefer personal context, if you’re going to email me dan@brojo.org. Or if you want to check out the work, just go to brojo.org. And there’s all the articles and everything or stuff, the videos, Cetera courses, auto ship, and the community, Rhodri communities all starts there. So that’s your starting point. Final thoughts. Like I just want to speak to the people who have been manipulated, and they’re feeling really bad about themselves for having let it happen, you know, for falling victim to it. The loss of trusts May the resentment they have towards themselves for being a victim getting silly. The words victim of manipulation and human being can be interchange without losing any meaning. Right? It is impossible. I mean, in a sense, that manipulation happens all the time. And it’s beyond your conscious awareness through to the fact that no matter how confident and savvy and whatever street smart you are, there’s someone out there better than you. And it’s only a matter of time before you cross paths, and they you’ve got something that they want in you’re going to lose that one. Right. And what you’ll realize is that if you survived a big hit, you’ve actually had a valuable life lesson that somebody else hasn’t had. The reason I’m so skilled, I’d say in managing manipulation well, is because I spent seven years working with criminals who beat me out it was because I had relationship after relationship with a woman who beat me at it. Right? And because I’ve seen myself do it to other people and regretted my behavior and felt guilty about what I’ve done as the losses that taught me right reading books and should only read that after the fact. Right They just helped me understand what had happened but it already happened and whatever you took however bad you feel about yourself that lack of trust you have in yourself now that’s not the correct response to this the correct responses Okay, what did I learn Alright, or as you put it, like how do I make sure that doesn’t happen again? How do I change me to reduce the risk of that Lisa risk

 

I like that because he can’t become bulletproof from it but you can damn well reduce that risk. You certainly

 

shut the door to the maximum possible extent only a little bit of that bad light comes through kind of thing like he can become immune but the man of hurt you take can certainly be reduced and it starts internally and there’s nobody listening to this that does not have the capability to work on that. Right but you got to focus on you not them. I was with a narcissist, you chose a narcissist Why’d you do that? He abused me you let him abuse you continuously. Why’d you do that? You had me doubting who I really was. Why do you doubt yourself? Where do you get your information from? How do you get to a point where that’s less the door that’s not open to someone else where self doubt is something you measure and deal with on your own. Stop blaming other people for you been manipulated? Look, manipulators don’t choose the victims are random. Right? Whether it’s the energy spiritual sense that you know whether it’s micro body language and voice tone. I don’t know what the fuck it is the honest answers. I don’t know how they know, but they fucking know. I’ve asked many, many criminals, how do you choose your people and as I just look at them, I just know it’s them. Yes, the person who’s not going to put up a fight, that’s a person. No narcissist is looking for fighting a lose, they want a guaranteed win. No bully is looking for a victim who’s going to fight back and make them look stupid. They’re looking for the victim is going to bow down and grovel. And they know how to see it. So if you’re being targeted, repeatedly for manipulation, if you find that happens to you a lot. It’s you. Those people, they’re those sharks, they smell the blood in the water, they come to where the bleeding is, that’s it, they don’t go on there randomly bully that person. It’s the opposite of that. They go who’s the easiest and they carefully, they test and prod and they see how people react. You see the guy banter in the workroom and somebody gets bit sensitive, and suddenly they’re targeting that person. That’s the one. That’s where I get my jollies from to prove that I’m a man and it’s a voice in my head that I’m a little posse, whatever it is that they’re dealing with, you know, you can become kind of invisible or repellent as maybe a better word to the bullies and the narcissists and the people who generally seek to harm because they can look at you and whether it’s energy, your body language, or it’s a test of behavior back and forth, that kind of gives them information. They go that’s not worth the fight they want to fight. That’s gonna be hard work. Yeah, court. So true.

 

With you, and I’ve talked about this before, but when somebody throws in like a comment, that is probably just pushing the boundary bit like on the cusp of being rude, but they’ll disguise it as our interest having a bit of fun bit of banter. And when people don’t stand up for themselves, if it if it cuts a bit, and they just join in with the laughter and think, Well, if I just laugh, I’ll blend in with this roar of laughter that everybody’s laughing at the same thing they weren’t notice that I’m affected. You’ve just hold that person, I’m not going to stand up for myself, you’ve basically just put your hand up and said me pick on me because now you know that I don’t have firm boundaries, you’ve just identified yourself as the person that won’t actually say, hey, that’s no, that’s not okay, me, you’re not going to go there with me. So actually, by trying to blend in and be the people pleaser, and try and manipulate back almost, you’ve just identified yourself as the easy target because you’ve just said I don’t have boundaries.

 

Now, this is actually one of the most important points. The first battles the most significant one, I want to finish with a little story that I got taught in Department of Corrections called downing the duck. Now, the duck is a name for a target in a prison, like who who’s the guard that you’re going to target for corruption. And so they choose their ducks. They work on these ducks for like a year more, they’re very patient, they’ve got a life sentence to serve, there’s no rush. It was a story from a prisoner. He actually sent this to the parole board after he escaped from prison, told the story of how he got out by downing the duck. I won’t do the whole story because it’s fucking long. But what it comes down to is he identified as target and arrogant, isolated person. He went through a few various things to kind of get in close with the guy. But there came this critical moment where in front of the guard, he went just a little bit into another prisoners cell to talk to him. He’s not allowed to do that. But what he wanted to establish is how’s he going to react to their very tiny breach? And the guy said nothing he had already established like a meaty relationship with Amida actually, he set up a fight that he saves the guard from the whole fight was orchestrated. Is there a situation I got you back don’t you are you one of our boys now you know, some guys that we respect the most and you’re one of them, we’re gonna make sure nothing happens to you is this whole game that they do. And then you just eat like a couple of feet in it’s like their thing we like is worth saying something about it’s not technically a total and they know this like ask them for an extra pencil there’s all these little ones that they do that they go like it’s so barely breaking the rules. Now it’s not barely breaking the rules, it’s the tip of the wedge into the door. And so he goes if he does that, then I’ll double up next time I’ll start by going into sales in front of them create a pattern that now it’s awkward to bring it up and then you start like increasing the ones and eventually get the guy to actually breach his contract and then you can use that against them. So you know he built up to eventually to Guy received a package on his behalf. He said okay, their package had drugs on it. You didn’t know that but now you do. We’re going to tell your Warden if you don’t do other stuff for us just turned on. But as you see it a little bit of banter your first day at work your butt knew It’s awkward, they don’t really want to say anything. It’s just they excited to be there. Not sure what the culture is, and somebody says something, it’s just a bit off. And you’re like, Well, what do I know? Well, actually, you know, you know, you doesn’t matter what the fucking culture is, maybe the culture of this place is toxic, and they need some fresh blood in here. Who knows what’s going on? All you know is that wasn’t right. If you do not address that little toe across the line, as Andy just said, you’re saying me, I’ll take it. And that’s how they smell you. It’s not just a vibe. And it’s not just body language, they always test it first. You know, I remember I used to walk around. I live in quite a rough neighborhood as a teenager. Walk around and the thing people just say Hey, and if you looked at them the fuck you’re looking at in that Chase. Weird game as they walk around you here hating you, like Don’t fucking look. Right. But it took me ages to realize I’m too late to realize it. Me try not to look and pretending I didn’t hear was the signal they were looking for. Let’s go and stand up and sit there now chase me, right. I never got to try this. But if I’d been like, Well, what do you want? They probably wouldn’t be like nothing, bro. What’s up, blah, blah, blah. Yeah, if I’d shown like, I’m here, I’ll fight. I’ll scrap. You know, you might win this one, but it’s gonna hurt you. If I’d show him that it would have been like, it’s deflating to them as actually calms them down. I learned this later in life, you know, with prisoners, as they got quite calm around me after I learned to hold myself a certain way. But when I first walked into prisons, they’re all back at me and all the weird shit that they do to? Well, yeah. So as Andy pointed out, like, you got to fight every battle. Anytime you don’t feel right, just call it out. Because if you don’t, they’re gonna go that’s the person doesn’t call it out. You know, this is our pitfalls function to go, who’s the kid who’s not going to tell me? And they test for that?

 

I think a quick quote from Jordan Peterson. I know he can be quite a controversial guy. I think he does say some incredible things, though. But he said something once I was like, He’s bang on there. He said, When you’re in when you’re with somebody, they’re manipulating you. The best way they’ll do it is I’ll take two millimeters at a time of your space. And you don’t know it and you don’t know six. It’s so small. And you think I can’t mention this a lot like right idiot, if I call it out, whatever, it’s two millimeters. And then they’ll take another two millimeters, and then they’ll take another two millimeters and it’d be so subtle, you won’t barely even notice it. And then about a year later, you look back and go. I’m a friggin mile away from our started, how did I get here? And that’s how it’s done so subtly and so discreetly, to the point where you’re like, oh, my god, how am I here? And he put it beautifully in that little statement. And again, I’m a little bit wary of mentioning this is some people hate him. I’m still on the fence of them. But some of the stuff he says is cracking. But that particular point that he made was absolutely bang on the money as far as I’m concerned.

 

Absolutely. And if nothing else, he’s an expert in pathological behavior. And, you know, a year a year is how long it took their pedophile to con me so that he could reoffend he took a year to do it 110 minute meeting at a time just move the needle a little bit sometimes isn’t moving at all just to create a center space to create a sense of nothing’s happening. It was I’ve never been played like that. It was invisible. Except wasn’t because there was a couple of times where it didn’t feel right and I didn’t act

 

amazing. Right here we go. Let’s we may as well wrap up again. You’ve already done he was supposed to do it again, don’t just your mind is again, where people can find you. emails, websites, wherever.

 

Dan ambrogio.org embrasure.org The website that’ll get you started everything else flows from there. Basically, if you want to work with me, just contact me you don’t need to go the long way about it. I just like to talk to people directly as soon as possible.

 

And I can personally vouch you will gain a lot from working with them because he is genuinely excellent at what he does. So if you’re on the fence and you’re contemplating it, don’t hesitate just get in there. See for yourself.

 

You’re willing to do a free session you’re either like it or you’re alone. Manipulation manipulation but

 

feel good in a good way. Okay, well, thank you very much for your time Dan for really enjoyed it later. Bye bye.

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