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How to detect deceitful people

SM Switi

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Hello everyone,

So today we were at this startup event where the goal was to connect with like minded people and discuss general entrepreneurial problems.

There was this old bold man all suited and he sounded 100% legitimate to me, we approached him and had a long talk about his ventures, so before we leave we exchanged our phone numbers in hope for further discussions and maybe work (me and him), I was all serious about it while my friends sounded not, so when we left they started talking about how suspicious this man was, and how his talk in some cases contradicts and made no sense, while I was like wooow I almost believed all of what he has said how can I miss what they have noticed!

They were right, on our way out we stumbled on him driving "rusty Hyundai" -not saying that what you drive is important but at least with his successful ventures as he claimed he can no way drive this car- so after I got home I searched this man up and no results found, no linked In no business profile nothing, only that he or someone with his same name "holds 0 appointments at 0 active companies, has resigned from 3 companies and held 0 appointments at 0 dissolved companies."

Anyway this is not the first time this happens to me, I always fall for people scams, it's like am some big people relationships idiot and this is frustrating. the ability to process ones speech and honesty is just not there, I don't know how I assume always that people are honest and truthful while being blinded to anything else.

So, If anyone please have any advice or methodology to follow so people like me can build that sense of detecting people trustworthy and deception, please please please share it with us because this is important, this might save someones life not only his business
 

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astr0

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I'm also trusting people too much and assuming they are nice before proven otherwise. Sometimes it may be a little too late, but nothing very bad happened yet except losing a few bucks here and there on a shitty service.

"Red flags" should make you cautious. Like a too impressive story, contradictions in his talk, saying something like an expert that you know for sure is not very correct, "rusty Hyundai", etc. Maybe you were just blinded too much by the opportunities that this guy brings or your friends just have more experience with feeling fake using their gut. Experience matters a lot here, I've noticed that scammers detect other scammers almost instantly (lol).

Here's a noticeable thread on the topic:
Who Do They Think They Are?!
 

Bekit

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That is a great question.

I was like you. I believed waaaaaay too much of what other people said. I was too gullible. I was a sitting duck for people who had the intention of being deceitful.

Then I was hurt. Twice.

I took a job on two separate occasions where I worked under two different people like this.

In both cases, I trusted them at first. I thought they were AMAZING. I thought it was a dream job. I thought that what they were doing was so cool!

Trust can last a long time once it is established. Because I trusted my first boss, I dismissed one red flag after another. Again and again and again, weird things would come up, but I would always find a creative explanation for why there must be a reason for it.

Then, one day, I was presented with unequivocal proof from a former coworker that my boss was not only lying - they were CREATING drama just for the fun of it - but they were doing it so cleverly that they were the last person anyone suspected to be the cause.

In addition, they were doing things that were unethical, immoral, and illegal. They were involved in child trafficking. They were leaving an enormous trail of carnage in their wake. In the meantime, they were so charming that everyone they met absolutely loved them and believed in them.

I quit that job. The boss later went under investigation with the FBI.

Unfortunately, I later got sucked into a similar experience with a different boss. However, the second time, it was much quicker that I saw the exact same pattern and quit.

Those two experiences caused me to do some very deep reflection. They prompted me to embark on a lifelong research quest to learn how I could protect myself by becoming better at accurately reading people.

Here are some of my observations, as well as a few resources that I've used to help myself to learn to detect deceitful people:

Observations
  • The people you need to watch out for tend to be psychopaths, sociopaths, and narcissists. Learn the characteristics of these people. When you see someone whose behavior matches the behaviors of a psychopath, don't believe anything they say and take measures to protect yourself from getting involved too deeply (or get away from them completely, if possible).
  • Whether it is upbringing or personality (or both), it seems to be true that some people in the world are not as good at discerning deceitful people. I know that I tend to fall on the side of the spectrum that makes me easier prey for people with bad intentions.
  • Even if you're wired to be more vulnerable to fall for scams and deceit, you can still learn, grow, and improve your skill in this area.
  • As you go through the learning process, try to log these types of people vividly in your brain as you encounter them. Then, let your brain's pattern-matching capabilities take over to spot new people who exhibit the same traits. The behavior pattern is consistent, and once you know what it is, you can spot it quickly. In fact, I've started to see it everywhere. For instance, I watched a short documentary on Elizabeth Holmes of Theranos, and she matched the pattern of my two former bosses to a T. I watched a random YouTube video of the Newlywed Game from the 1950s (?) and I was shaking my head the whole time, thinking to myself, "I bet this guy is a psychopath, and wow, I sure wouldn't want to be married to him. And yet, I bet he's successful in business, charming in social situations, and someone everyone likes. And if she ever tries to tell people what he really is like at home, they'll probably look at her like she's the crazy one."
  • Do not dismiss red flags. People like this will produce red flags in your mind. You'll find yourself explaining away those red flags and telling yourself it's preposterous, there must be some explanation, there's no way this is bad. The more skilled the deceiver, the more you will be dismissing your red flags. But they will be there. Learn to pay careful attention to any red flags that arise.

Resources
  • Surviving Narcissism - this YouTube channel is AWESOME at explaining narcissism in a way that the average person can "get it" and observe the traits of narcissism so that they can protect themselves. Narcissism seems to be the "least severe" of the trio I mentioned above (psychopaths, sociopaths, and narcissists), so if you can spot the more subtle version, you'll be better able to spot the more pronounced version.
  • The Psychopath Test (book) by Jon Ronson and his Ted Talk
  • 20 traits of a psychopath from the The Hare Psychopathy Checklist -Revised (PCL-R)
 

SteveO

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There is nothing wrong with wanting to believe what people tell you. This will happen in your life. The issue is when you are trying to move ahead with a project or business. But, all you really need is strong knowledge of your business and an ability to verify.
 

SteveO

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Do not dismiss red flags. People like this will produce red flags in your mind. You'll find yourself explaining away those red flags and telling yourself it's preposterous, there must be some explanation, there's no way this is bad. The more skilled the deceiver, the more you will be dismissing your red flags. But they will be there. Learn to pay careful attention to any red flags that arise.
Yesss!!! Pay attention!

I had bosses that were good at cheating people. I once had a job that paid very well for my skill level. I was 20 or 21 at the time. He shorted me a $25 commission one time. I gave him 3 days to make it right. He didn't, I quit. No drama or anything. I felt that I was very valuable to him but that crap was his mode of operation.

I landed another job in less than a week.
 

SteveO

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How can you reinforce your ability to verify ?
This is a very wide open topic. The situation will frequently be different. In some cases you may not care. There is nothing that says we must be right when talking to other people. At times we may not care if someone is full of it.

The times that it really matters is when you need to make decisions. Someone is telling you something or some way to manage a process. This is where experience kicks in. But, if you go to someone else for their experience, how do you know that they are right?

The effort you put in here would be directly proportional to the benefits/consequences that you would face. Perhaps more that one opinion. Or, research the topic using google.

When I answered this, the example that came to mind was with tenants for rental properties. Many people lie on their applications. We would verify their last residence, income, references, credit/background check, etc... Sometimes they would give a friends number and let them know we would be calling to check on their last residence. My managers had some trick questions to try and trip people up if they were not telling the truth. If it was an apartment, they would look up the business phone number. They would look up the landlords name on a house to make sure the address and name would match. There were other verifications but I can't remember them all now.

When purchasing a business, everyone seems to stretch the truth, try to hide things, or flat out lie. You simply need to be a detective. Talk to people, talk to vendors, check all the financials with a fine toothed comb. You may need to hire a company that specializes in this.

Many situations, many processes. It could be time consuming if you let it. Just focus on what you care about.
 

G-Man

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Hello everyone,

So today we were at this startup event where the goal was to connect with like minded people and discuss general entrepreneurial problems.

There was this old bold man all suited and he sounded 100% legitimate to me, we approached him and had a long talk about his ventures, so before we leave we exchanged our phone numbers in hope for further discussions and maybe work (me and him), I was all serious about it while my friends sounded not, so when we left they started talking about how suspicious this man was, and how his talk in some cases contradicts and made no sense, while I was like wooow I almost believed all of what he has said how can I miss what they have noticed!

They were right, on our way out we stumbled on him driving "rusty Hyundai" -not saying that what you drive is important but at least with his successful ventures as he claimed he can no way drive this car- so after I got home I searched this man up and no results found, no linked In no business profile nothing, only that he or someone with his same name "holds 0 appointments at 0 active companies, has resigned from 3 companies and held 0 appointments at 0 dissolved companies."

Anyway this is not the first time this happens to me, I always fall for people scams, it's like am some big people relationships idiot and this is frustrating. the ability to process ones speech and honesty is just not there, I don't know how I assume always that people are honest and truthful while being blinded to anything else.

So, If anyone please have any advice or methodology to follow so people like me can build that sense of detecting people trustworthy and deception, please please please share it with us because this is important, this might save someones life not only his business
Honestly it's really just like any other deep learning excercise. The more you're out in the world and around liars and scumbags the better your radar gets. Often you'll know someone is a scumbag without being able to articulate why. It really helps to think of it as a game or a puzzle, so you don't go crazy or get jaded and can stay engaged.
 

Valhalla

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To me, it's about trusting your instincts. Many of us have been conditioned since childhood to be accepting, trusting and inclusive so those thoughts of 'I don't trust person, I don't want them around me' feel wrong.

I think it's still better than those who are skeptical and mistrusting of everyone and everything, so just know you weren't duped, you're not stupid to not see what your friends saw but just be aware that this is your preset. I have the same preset, so when I am faced with similar situations you had, I force myself to ask specific, pinpoint questions and the scammers invariably squirm, generalize or avoid.
 

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AgainstAllOdds

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The easiest way to identify deceit is to look from that person's perspective.

What's their incentive?

Are they a freelance copywriter that seems to be bragging about how many clients they have and how huge their business is? If so, are you a potential client of theirs that they can swindle into giving them work?

If so, start counting the red flags, and start paying attention to WHAT information they're sharing. Are you bringing up this information, or are they? Who directed the conversation that way?

On this forum alone, you have a number of these scammers.

A good example is @AndrewNC - perfect example of a deceitful bullshit artist.

They post about their success, write posts that are there to "teach you something", but really are means for them to funnel you into them making money. Always remember that for a lot of freelancers, this forum is a marketing tool.

Same thing at meetups, including the fastlane forum meetups.

I won't name names, but there's people that share different stories with different individuals. If they feel at ease and that no one's analyzing what they're saying, they're more honest. But if they see a mark, they start bullshitting and positioning themselves to better themselves.

So always ask: What's the incentive? If there is no incentive, maybe you can trust what they're saying. If there is incentive, start watching for those red flags.
 

Silverfox148

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Couple of Pointers on how to spot, you do not need to be an expert to carry these out.
The more practice you get the more automatic it becomes, I put them in different categories
and my level of attention depends on what category they are in, the risk level:

Regular Bullshit Artist/Non Friends/No Money Involved(Low Risk)
People lie all the time really or stretch the truth, friends, family, people you meet etc. I don't pay no mind to the lies really in this category, sometimes people want to lie, if it carries no harm I don't point it out
or confront them, nor am I actively trying to catch them in lies. The lies are so obvious sometimes you just smile and laugh. I am not actively cross referencing information, if the person lies I note it and move on. I do not ask follow up questions to ensure matching/congruence.

Salesman/Co-Workers/Realtors/Non Serious Romantic Relationships/Money Involved(Medium Risk)
Anytime money/resources/sex is involved people will lie and it will be justified in their mind so the lies will convincing, not foolproof but convincing. In these scenarios I am actively listening for any inconsistencies, if I find them I will note them and decide whether to proceed forward, unless I absolutely need what that person is selling and can do so I will move on. I do not get mad at them or confront them for lying because it's ineffective, the person will go into protection mode and in corporate settings this will backfire on you. I will be cordial with the person but I will not seek any friendship or further relationship with the person, if co-worker or someone I can't avoid such as family member I will be cordial but no closeness. I don't really judge them either on the lying, it's up to them.

Methods you can use here:
- If they claim high money status, I will question as to the area they live, if familiar to the area, I will ask if they have been to so and so place, and note the reaction and response, I ask this in a very relaxed friendly manner, not in a detective tone.
-Whatever story/subject they are telling me about, I will let them talk and note what they said, I have good memory. I will steer the conversation somewhere else, or it naturally goes somewhere else, after a period of time 10+ minutes or so, I will suddenly ask a question of the earlier topic and see if they are still consistent/congruent, if they take time to think about it I note that also, even if given the right answer.
-I ask myself what they want from me, if what they want is not in proportion with what I am willing to give I note that.
-I am actively connecting and matching up with everything they are saying, if it fits, if I find inconsistencies and I like the person and get a good vibe, I will bring up the inconsistency in a non friendly direct manner, and give them a chance to explain, people do get excited and stretch the truth.
-If I get a bad vive, that's it nothing they say will convince me, I seek to terminate as quickly as possible without being outright hostile.

Sophisticated Bullshit Artists/Serious Romantic Relationships/Anyone I Let In My Home/Sociopaths/Friends/etc(High Risk)
These people are hard to spot the sophisticated liars , it is not easy they have pretty developed practiced stories that match up, often times you will not get a bad vive from these individuals. These people you can't catch via your gut.I also put anyone I let in my house or family , close friendships through the below screening all the time. People change , and the circumstances so it's all the time:

- The biggest filter I use here, is what does the person want from me, and it's not always money, what does their association to me provide them, if it is not clear to me or I don't like what it is I eject.
- Anyone here I ask about their childhood , their parents, I observe them when they are not interacting with me, etc. I observe them when alone, their body language.
-Another test to catch sociopaths, is to let them influence you /think they did and if possible try to bring up said influence indirectly in a group of other people the sociopath is interacting with. An example is x said the director y is a dumbass, etc. I will bring up the topic that director y is facing headwinds/detractors in a group setting and see the response from x, I don't necessarily expect them to say anything but I want to see their reaction.
-In my opinion it is almost impossible to catch a sociopath one on one, they just have a gift for it, so you have to catch them indirectly.


 

Real Deal Denver

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What an enlightening thread.

I have just now (after follow up reading) identified for the first time what is wrong with several people that I have been "nurturing" and "waiting" for them to grow up by repairing the damage they have caused. Or at least admit to it. It occurred to me that they just might not care, but I refused to accept that someone could turn off their guilt so easily and so completely.

Well, I see I should have listened to my gut.

No more. My own naivete has caused me to hang on to these worthless relationships for years.

Wonderful thread. Up until now, I was just assuming everyone would feel guilty and try to set things right. Now I see things clearly.
 

James Cozens

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Haha your story speaks to me on a spiritual level!

I think everyone above have made great points and it's also great (and sad) to see that I'm not the only one who's encountered deceitful people.

After years of pondering, I would say that the only way to spot deceitful people is to be exposed to deceitful people regularly.

When I think about it, I was raised in a very honest, trustworthy environment, so when I went into the big world on my own, I wasn't ready for all the liars and con-men. I got done over so many times and lost so much money, I went into a bout of depression from it all.
Yet you can look at people who grew up surrounded by bullshit - they definitely know how to smell bullshit and it doesn't affect them in the slightest. Like their brains can make little micro-adjustments to detect the lies.

I guess in our case, our subconscious mind has been wired to see truth and theirs has been wired to spot lies.

Maybe the way to re-wire it is to expose yourself to more bullshit :/
 

Real Deal Denver

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I will add some more insight to my earlier post, which I am keeping separate so it can stand on its own.

On several occasions, when I have sought "understanding" to help me sort out my feelings of betrayal, I was told - every damn time - to drop the victim mentality and move on. Funny, I am the one that was stabbed in the back and lied to, and I'm waiting for some type of closure - and I get talked down to and made to feel guilty. Well, I'm not wired that way, so I never felt guilty. The opposite effect occurred, and I have become jaded. All the while, I had been hoping for closure and for the relationship to be repaired. I was willing the entire time to do my part to repair it.

I have heard the "it's always your fault" (somehow) mentality far too many times. NO the fock it isn't. I've even had professional psychiatrists tell me that it's my fault in one form or another. Me being the VICTIM is my FAULT! Sorry to have been BORN. That garbage only infuriated me. I am not the curl up and whimper type - nor do I walk away and call it a day after someone stabs me. It's my Mother's fault really. She gave birth. IF ONLY everyone would gladly be the victim and roll over - wouldn't life be so much easier? Ask any psycho, socio, - path freak. Sure would be nicer for THEM!

My God - it took a long time, but this thread has been so enlightening. I now see that there is no reason to try to save some miserable relationships. Stupid me for carrying this baggage for so long.

Great, wonderful, and fantastic thread. Should be required reading for EVERYONE every five years or so.
 
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Kennypaul

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Read Chapter 41-THROW HIJACKERS TO THE CURB! from the Millionaire Fastlane,and I clarify from that chapter:

Former President Ronald Reagan once said,"Trust,but verify."When I hired a liar, I trusted but didn't verify.It took several robberies,video cameras,and public record searches to uncover the truth.I verified too late and it cost me. Point:TRUST BUT VERIFY

Also,according to the same chapter:
When you trust everyone,you engage in business opportunities that violate the Commandment of Control.You allow others to dictate your financial road trip.And when that happens,you crash and burn.There is only one person you can blindly trust in this world,and that is YOU.

Hope this helps you.
 

Mac

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Read the book "Winning Through Intimidation" by Robert Ringer. It talks about 3 types of people in the business "jungle".

1) Type "1" lets you know that they intend on screwing you over. It's obvious, they show the signs and you can see it in their eyes. They're the best kind... because you can easily steer clear of them. Unless you're too kind hearted.
2) Type "2" tells you that they want to help you, they tell you there's no need for contracts... because they're "virtuous". There's no need to worry about them screwing you over. Until they do.
3) Type "3" is somebody who doesn't necessarily want to deceive you or betray you... but end up doing it anyway. Let's say you and a few other friends started a business -- your one buddy was a good friend and would have liked you to stay... but under pressure from your other friends decided to kick you out of the business in the end.

I've dealt with all 3 types. You run into these people especially when you're consulting or freelancing. I used to let people walk on me, skip payments, etc... in an effort to provide value. After reading this book... that changed. And I didn't bend my arm for another deceiving client again.
 

Xeon

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ALWAYS trust your gut instinct. It's that simple.
When you talk to someone and 1% of you feels something is "off" but the other 99% tells you he's a good guy who truly cares, always listen to that 1%.

All humans want to make use and manipulate other humans in one way or another, the only difference is whether the intention is good or evil.
Even mothers use manipulation to get their kids to eat their veggies.

I've learnt a few things in life......psychopaths are the most charming, and girls with daddy issues are the most attractive (and also the most cunning at manipulation).
 

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Red

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So I'm going to offer a resource that's going to sound sexist at first blush but is actually based on biology and the survival evolution of humans: when in doubt, ask a woman.

Why?

Evolution of survival instincts. We ladies know we're the (overall, generalizing here, there are outliers) physically weaker sex. Survival in previous, less civilized times often depended upon sizing up the other humans around & deciding if you could trust your safety to them or if they would do you harm -guys, I know you get this, you do it too. (a great resource on this topic: The Gift of Fear, by Gavin DeBecker)

But because of our often more diminutive stature, it's hypothesized that women developed a more in-tuned mechanism for assessing safety in their fellow humans. Everything from intent, to motivation to disingenuous motive can be sensed. Men also have this ability, we all do, just some are more dialed in than others. When you stack that on top of observing actions, speech & body language as mentioned above, it gives you a pretty good assessment of an individual. If your partner is a woman, don't hesitate to ask their input. There's a good chance they'll have some valid input for you to consider.
 

Valhalla

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Also the official forum discussion book Psychology of Persuasion has some really helpful insight into tactics people and companies use. I'm early into the book but the "foot in the door" and reciprocity techniques are something I've become very aware of. The jist is be careful making commitments no matter how small or taking a free gift.
 

Primeperiwinkle

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This is prolly geared more towards dating manipulative ppl but I think it applies to any relationship.

I was raised by a narcissist. Then I married one. I stayed married for seventeen years. Sigh. It’s taken me years and prayer and hundreds of extremely honest conversations about stuff to get halfway to normal. I’m still working on it.

Real Healing takes time. (I’m ok with being messy. Life is good.)

Red flags that stand out to me now:

1. A person with only one or no friends. This is not proved by social media at all but irl time. How often do they see, hang out with and/or help their friends? Do you know their friends? Do they talk about their friends? Do they work to make friends? Do they value friendship? Bad ppl don’t.

2. A person who can’t take a joke. Good people, healthy families, and great friends pick on each other in some way or have their own humorous dialogue. Bad people only make jokes about others not WITH others. No narcissist I’ve ever met can handle being “picked” on for dorky or weird or absolutely normal human stuff.

3. A person who insists on constant interaction. Narcissists NEED attention. If you think you’re in a relationship with a bad person find a way to clearly tell them you have other things that are going to keep you busy for a bit. Be specific about this one boundary.

Manipulative ppl ENJOY crossing boundaries.

Tell them that you need time to focus on other things, that you don’t want to talk for a while, like a week or two weeks because you’re distracted or just busy. They will cross the boundary, repeatedly. They CANNOT handle being cut off from influencing you.



Annnnnd for those of you who still aren’t sure if you’re in a bad situation please use my tried and true technique of awesomeness. Ok. Well.. it’s awesome to me.

Talk about that person to an objective third party. Share details. For instance, explain the WHOLE conversation that happened between them and you, with other people. Then ask those objective people what they think. Lots of people.

Ever notice how unhealthy ppl overshare? I was one of those people. That’s ok though. Oversharing is ALWAYS better than hiding what’s happening to you or ignoring it and doubting yourself continually. I was tryna find my self again. I needed input. I didn’t want to share stuff with ppl I admired.. ppl in my life. I was embarrassed.

(Forums helped, a lot actually. Lol)

It was easier to share with strangers sometimes.

That’s ok too. Good people actually exist and they help. If you’re honest enough to talk about your mess.. it means you’re on the way to fixing it.

Next time a random stranger overshares with you..you should.. well.. sometimes the person oversharing is a leech and super unhealthy.. but sometimes they’re a decent person in a scary, vulnerable place.

Sharing gives us all perspective but you don’t have to give your time to strangers if you’re not in a healthy place. I tried very hard to ask wise ppl to give me a bit of advice.. and I tried to be respectful of their time.

If you are a constant victim of manipulation it means you have true blind spots; blind spots that are absolutely invisible to you.

Talking to other people will help you if you’re willing to change.

I once shared a small, amusing, slightly embarrassing story about a date I went on (after my divorce) with, like, maybe fifteen separate people. NONE of them were entertained. Over half of them had a strong negative response, two of them said they would never talk to a guy who did what this guy did.

I thought the story was mildly funny. I thought it was a silly embarrassing thing. Ok? Silly. Right?

The reason I kept retelling the story was because I didn’t understand their problem with the guy. They were upset, FOR me. That seemed odd. Thankfully, by then, I had already learned that my radar for manipulation was broken. So I told the story again, to somebody else. Same response. Huh.

I didn’t understand all the negative responses. Why were they annoyed?

The people who responded negatively.. they seemed genuinely pissed off for MY SAKE. But from my POV.. it wasn’t a big deal. At the time, I didn’t realize that his behavior was rude. It seemed normal to me. It took fifteen ( or whatever) many ppl to convince me that MY standards needed to change. What seemed normal to me WASN’T normal or even decent.

Which is sad. Really.

But... I’m thankful now because it helped.

(He had “tricked” me on a date and played a practical joke on me. I stopped talking to him because of those convos. He turned out to be a TOTAL pos. I found out through an acquaintance, much later.)

A LOT of my deep paradigm-shifting personal revelations.. in the last few years.. have taught me how to come to terms with the fact that I was inviting poor behavior into my life, that some of my social signals were not healthy, that in certain ways I was feeding into manipulation. I had done that for a while. Seventeen years is a long time.

I used to be sharkbait for narcissistic people because I ... liked? or found at least one (usually more) of their manipulative tendencies interesting or amusing or sexy or fun. I didn’t like all of their stuff.. but some stuff I really thought was funny or charming.. just wasn’t.

I used to see deep character flaws as “minor” and giggled at arrogance because I perceived it to be confidence. I don’t now. I think. Lol.

In other words, I had to change me.

Spotting manipulative people isn’t enough. You gotta build clear boundaries. You gotta see where you’re a mess and clean that crap up.

(Just FYI, I don’t focus on this stuff, or negative stuff. I forgave myself, after a while. It was hard. Now, I focus on being a balanced person. More balanced at least. Lol. When I date, which isn’t often, I take my time. But I still tell my friends everything.)

HTH.
 

Suzanne Bazemore

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How can you reinforce your ability to verify ?
In addition to what @SteveO, I think having systemic methods in place will help. Don't rely on trust. If you have systems in place to verify, then you can be your trusting self and let the system do the work for you. The type of system depends on what type of business you are trying to conduct.
I used this method when raising my kids - have certain rules in place and don't depart from them (regarding other people), even if you trust the person, because trust really is not an issue. People can get you to believe what they want you to believe, but if I had a rule in place, and my kids knew about it, such as no one will pick you up from school besides me, your dad, or your grandparents, even in emergencies, then it wouldn't matter if someone tried to trick them into getting in the car, because they wouldn't do it. I had set up a system where my kids knew and understood that I would never send someone else to pick them up, no matter what, even if I was in the hospital.
In business, it could be something as simple as (like a thread I was reading the other day mentioned) not leaving money in PayPal (so that it can't get scammed back), or having a two-method verify system for things.
 

Arun Siva

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the goal of "detecting" is a broad intricate subject. People nowadays are a contrast to those of the past. The only thing you can do to justify judgement is what you see in front of you. Body language, tone of voice all the usual BS is vital here especially. (If you are like me and deal with a plethora of people that you dont really see often on various job sites or factories) but for other industries relationships MAY matter.... Often times i feel relationships are a thing of the past because the world is changing. You have to basically process and make quick assertions (calculated) based on your experience and the only way to know is to live and go through some shit and hell in order to gauge people better. There is no exact blue print or methodology but there are certain parameters you can gauge when analyzing who is worth a damn and who isnt.
 

Bekit

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Here's a noticeable thread on the topic:
Who Do They Think They Are?!
This is a really enlightening thread. Thanks, @astr0 for sharing the link.

Particularly relevant/helpful posts in the thread (since it's 5 pages long and there's a lot of bickering between members all the way through):

1. The initial post in the thread - A warning to beware of gurus building a cult following

2. Post #51 by @axiom - How to know when/if you should leave a "mentor" who is sketchy

3. Post #64 by @Razz - How to be a victim (a brilliant, 13-point write up on what NOT to do when dealing with these types of people)
 

eliquid

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I think like any skill, you have to "build it" and get a "gut" instinct.

Most times, this means you have fallen pry to 1 or more of these type of deceitful people.

Could be family members ( relatives that take advantage of you ), bosses or co-workers, scams you got involved in, business partnerships that broke apart, divorced spouse or ex, etc.

While a lot of advice in this thread is good, I feel you need to experience it yourself to truly build up that skill.

Personally, I trust no one ( to a degree ).

Instead of TRUST and verify, I don't trust anyone to start. Trust then has to be earned which allows me to not have to verify. Luckily ( or unluckily depending on your view point ), I've been burned enough I just don't need to verify or trust upfront.

Not claiming a victim status here, I am well aware what happened before in my life. But now I can spot a deceitful person a mile away. If you wanna get something from me, you have to gain my trust first. Not going to give it out and then verify later. Nope.

I'm sure people can pick apart why this is not a good method, but it's worked and fits me perfectly and I've had 0 issues since implementing it.

.
 

Johnny boy

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How I know to trust people or not:

1. Who made the proposition?
Did this person come to me or did I go to them with the idea? I immediately have distrust if the idea comes from the outside in.

2. How does this person know me?
If I meet someone at a business meetup, I’m pretty skeptical of their intentions. If I make friends with them at a random bar or somewhere unrelated to what the partnership would be based around, then I have more trust.

3. I expect everyone to be selfish so I trust situations more than people.
Do they gain much by cheating me and will they get away with it? I don’t care if it’s my own family, I don’t put myself in that position. One situation could have so little leverage and so much risk I would trust my family and another situation could have so little risk and so much leverage I’d trust OJ Simpson to do right by me. Bad people are usually only bad when it’s opportunistic. And good people all do bad things in the right circumstances. Trust situations a bit more than people.

4. I don’t trust ambitious people so much.
Greed makes us do some crazy things. Crazy good and crazy bad. I watch out for ambitious people. Regular, average and content people are less likely to steal and cheat you.
 

Vermilion

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Man, its so though to trust anyone in today's world. I felt that on my skin last year more then ever. I was at 7 damn interviews for an IT job and I was promised at least on 4 of them that I am getting a job, I just need to wait a little bit for them to 'fix' some intern stuff in the company and they will let me know when I should start working. Nothing happened.

This year some stuff took off in a similar way with one dude that was 'impressed' by my work and he would be happy to hire me. Nothing happened.

Now one dude said he will connect me with couple of entrepreneurs in hope to get a job. To be honest I don't trust neither of them but its a worth a try, because my main goal is just to land that job and stick there to save some money and start my own shit, because this is definitely a sign that I need something on my own and I promised myself that I will be my own boss no matter what but I need some of that capital to start something. Also I started focusing in a last couple of months on finding a legit way to start earning some decent money with really small or 0 capital. By the end of this year I need to make some money flow by myself I don't want to predict some specific number right now but its a must for me. I am pissed. Just work hard and stay disciplined and money will come.

In the end we are definitely on our own no matter how big family we have or how many friends we have.
I think this picture summed it up nicely and I learned it the hard way, but I am glad I did this early in my life.

 

ApparentHorizon

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Game theory is good for this. In the tit-for-tat strategy, you start off assuming the person is good.

If they do something good for you, you reciprocate in kind. If they try/do take advantage you, you retaliate.

You will get the short end of the stick from time to time, but overall it produces positive results for most.

Tit-for-tat was pitted against other methods of interaction, and beat them by a long-shot.

Simplified as cooperative vs non-cooperative, and can be broken down as:
  • Completely trustworthy of everything
  • Not trusting anyone ever
  • Starting out not trusting
  • Starting out trusting
There is one caveat however, which I don't fully agree with. If someone screws you over, like taking the money and running in a deal. (Then you take them to court, as retaliation.) Later, they come back with a different piece of information which leads to a direct profit for you. You should continue reciprocating on the good deed. Also dubbed, forgiving tit-for-tat.
 
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Andy Black

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Man, its so though to trust anyone in today's world. I felt that on my skin last year more then ever. I was at 7 damn interviews for an IT job and I was promised at least on 4 of them that I am getting a job, I just need to wait a little bit for them to 'fix' some intern stuff in the company and they will let me know when I should start working. Nothing happened.

This year some stuff took off in a similar way with one dude that was 'impressed' by my work and he would be happy to hire me. Nothing happened.

Now one dude said he will connect me with couple of entrepreneurs in hope to get a job. To be honest I don't trust neither of them but its a worth a try, because my main goal is just to land that job and stick there to save some money and start my own shit, because this is definitely a sign that I need something on my own and I promised myself that I will be my own boss no matter what but I need some of that capital to start something. Also I started focusing in a last couple of months on finding a legit way to start earning some decent money with really small or 0 capital. By the end of this year I need to make some money flow by myself I don't want to predict some specific number right now but its a must for me. I am pissed. Just work hard and stay disciplined and money will come.

In the end we are definitely on our own no matter how big family we have or how many friends we have.
I think this picture summed it up nicely and I learned it the hard way, but I am glad I did this early in my life.

Maybe this might help in your job search?
 

socaldude

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I have found that asking questions helps detect deceit.

How
What
When
Where
Why

Lies don't stand up to intense questioning.

Think of what happens in a police interrogation or in a courtroom.
 

socaldude

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Instead of TRUST and verify, I don't trust anyone to start.
Yeah, I agree. I tend to feel the same way.

I don't trust anyone.

But as someone who is always working with new people I have to find out WHO to trust.

As entrepreneurs we work with partners, employees the public and customers. We can't just tell everyone to get lost. We have to know who to trust.

We have to know how to read people, which I have gotten pretty good at doing over the years.
 

prady

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The approach that works comparatively better for me is first to read the psychology behind "Types of Personalities". While there are billions of people on the earth, they only fall into a small number of personality types. And each group acts/behaves in a similar pattern.

So once I know what personality types there are, next step was to practice applying it in the real world to group people I meet into those "types". Once you get the hang of it, you would start doing a lot better in how to respond/deal with people, whom to trusts etc.
 

MJ DeMarco

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Bekit

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Perhaps this thread could have worked for another thread...

How I (didn't) become a millionaire at 19
OK, let's use this as a case study and see what we can extract from it.

Observations:
  • Charismatic writer posts a super impressive story on "How I became a millionaire at 19."
  • Lots of people are taken in (including myself), both on and off this forum.
  • A few people are not. Let's see what tipped them off (below)...
  • After some time has passed, the truth comes out and word gradually spreads
What tipped some astute people off that it might not be true...
@MJ DeMarco said...
Funny how this story now is checking out to be possibly fiction and when it was originally posted, I was skeptical. Close to 200 likes and I was not one of them because such a gregarious story should have gregarious details. There was few.
@Alxander said...
I remember very clearly that he said "it was from a group of old people that pooled money together for an app idea they had, the funny thing was that they chose the price, I never gave them a quote..", found that very weird already...
@Guest User 450 said...
Great. I wish you the best. But: Can we as a forum stop encouraging transparent, valueless, unvetted peddling of "personal brands" thinly veiled as inspirational posts?
Narratives and stories are worlds apart. The proven, successful folks on this forum who've been kind enough to share have given narratives - reports of process, chronicles of events.

Stories are linear - with a beginning, middle and end. They are often complete bs. Useful and persuasive but bs. Life isn't linear, business isn't linear.

So, if someone with a brand to sell (unvetted people using their real name for example), tells a short story that hits all the trite notes of entrepreneurship (even if they're correct) and zero proof of process (I cold-called! - I figured out FB ads! - I learned how to cloak!) it smacks of internet marketing circular logic.

I'll leave the thread and sincerely hope op delivers gold.
Further Observations:
  • There's at least a kernel of truth to this. In post #19, the OP links to two articles from standard news organizations that told his story. I know this bolstered my belief in the story.
What else do people see in this story? What patterns does this fit into?

I'd love to figure out who @Guest User 450 is and interview them. How'd they know?
 

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