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It is focused on our thoughts, actions, and the way we interact with each other. Dark psychology, however, just focuses on the kinds of thoughts and actions that are predatory in nature. Dark psychology examines the tactics used by malicious people to motivate, persuade, manipulate, or coerce others into acting in ways that are beneficial to themselves, and potentially detrimental to the other person. Dark psychology can be seen as the study of the human condition, in relation to the psychological nature of the different kinds of people who prey on others.
The fact is that every single human being has the potential to victimize other people or other living creatures. However, due to social norms, the human conscience, and other factors, most humans tend to restrain their dark urges and to keep themselves from acting on every impulse that they have.
However, there is a small percentage of the population that is unable to keep their dark urges in check, and they harm others in seemingly unimaginable ways. The point of dark psychology, as a subject, is to try to understand those thoughts, feelings, and perceptions that cause people to behave in predatory ways towards each other.
Experts in dark psychology work under the assumption that the vast majority of human predatory actions are purposeful. In other words, most of the people who prey on others The assumption is that when people do evil things, they have specific motivations, some of which may even be completely rational from their point of view.
People do bad things with specific goals in mind and specific rationales for their actions, and only a tiny fraction of the population brutally victimizes others without a purpose that can be reasonably explained by either evolutionary science or some form of religious dogma. You have heard many times that everyone has a dark side. All cultures and belief systems acknowledge this dark side to some extent.
Experts in dark psychology posit that there as some among us who commit the worst kinds of evil, for purposes that are unknown. They commit acts of horror for absolutely no reason. Dark psychology is rooted in 4 dark personality traits.
These traits are; narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy, and sadism. People with such traits tend to act in ways that are pointlessly harmful to others. As we have mentioned, everyone has a dark side, and the anonymity that the internet offers has a way of bringing out that dark side in many of us.
The result is that there is an everincreasing number of people who are looking to exploit, coerce, stalk, and victimize others online, and through the use of other technological tools. These predators seem to be driven by deviant fantasies, which they feel free to play out because the internet makes it possible for them to lurk in the shadows. In other words, they are not restricted by the usual social norms that keep people from revealing their dark side because no one online knows their real identities.
These people tend to have all sort of prejudices and preconceptions, which they go to great lengths to impose on others. I-Predators come in different shapes and sizes; there are stalkers, harassers, criminals, perverts, terrorist, bullies, conmen, and even trolls.
No matter what kind of predators they are, they all tend to have a self-awareness of the fact that they are harming others. Arson is also a different manifestation of dark psychology. Arsonists are people who tend to be obsessively preoccupied with setting fires. Some of them become serial arsonists; they set fires regularly and in a manner that is highly ritualistic. Necrophiliacs are people who are sexually interested in the dead, while serial killers are people who murder three or more people over a prolonged period of time.
These are some of the most extreme manifestations of dark psychology, and although they are rare as a function of the overall population , they are still worth discussing if you want to understand dark psychology. Experts in the field of criminal psychology believe that serial killers and other evildoers are motivated by the pursuit of psychological gratification, which they can only achieve by performing those brutal acts.
To the people who perform the worst kinds of evil acts, those acts are like drugs to them; they are addictive in a way. For instance, when a serial killer gets some form of gratification from murdering someone, he may feel the urge to do it again in order to experience the same gratification.
We will be looking at how you can deal with people who are narcissistic, sadistic, Machiavellian, and psychopathic. We will look at why and how they do what they do, and what you can do to keep yourself from falling victim to their machinations.
Chapter 2: The 4 Dark Psychology Traits For a long time, psychologists have referred to the dark human traits as "the dark triad," which consists of three negative personality traits; narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy.
However, in recent years, many experts in the field have been insisting that garden-variety sadism should also be added to the list of major dark psychological traits.
As a result, we are now moving away from the dark triad and toward the "4 dark psychology traits". In this chapter, we will take a look at each of the four traits and discuss them in detail. In fact, research into these traits has many applications in different fields, including; clinical psychology, law enforcement, and even business management. Studies show that people who score high when tested for the four traits are more likely to commit crimes, to cause problems within organizations, to cause distress to the people in their lives, and to society in general.
In business situations, it may be important to keep people with such traits away from positions of power. We encounter instances of narcissism, Machiavellianism, sadism, and nonclinical psychopathy on a regular basis, and if we are keen, we might be able to notice them.
Statistically, we all have these traits in us to some extent. In fact, when psychologists test people for these traits, they use testing methods that assume that these traits exist in a spectrum. To take sadism as an example, such tests imply that instead of having people who are sadistic and those who are not sadistic, we have people who have high levels of sadism and those who have low levels of sadism.
Another important thing to note is that some of the characteristics that are displayed by people with each of the four traits can overlap, and this can be confusing, even for people who have professional training in psychology. For example, narcissists may behave in ways that are similar to Machiavellians or sadists. Because of this, it may be hard to tell what kind of dark trait a person has just by observing them for a short period of time. You can try to remove yourself from the situation and analyze the person as an objective third-party observer.
Narcissism Narcissism is the dark trait that is displayed by individuals who are narcissists. Narcissists display high levels of grandiosity, superiority, dominance, and entitlement. Narcissists tend to be charming people who have a positive outlook, which is why they are good at fooling other people. They also lack empathy for others. One main characteristic that you see in narcissists is that they are quite good at building and cultivating relationships, and they can initially blind people to the fact that they are acting out of self-interest.
We all tend to have narcissistic traits to varying extents, but there are few among us who have Narcissistic Personality Disorder. The terms Narcissist and Narcissism come from Narcissus, a character in Greek mythology. Narcissus was a hunter and a very attractive young man.
He was so attractive that everyone seemed to fall in love with him. However, he only treated people with contempt and disdain, and he never returned the love that others showed him. Because of this, he was cursed by Nemesis the goddess of revenge to fall in love with his reflection in a pool of water.
Just like Narcissus, modern-day narcissists are in love with themselves. Narcissists have an exaggerated sense of self-importance. They think they deserve to be treated better than everyone else around them. They have an exaggerated sense of entitlement, and they truly believe that when they receive favorable treatment in certain situations, it is for the common good. A narcissist thinks that when he is taking advantage of you, he is actually doing you a favor.
This way, he can rationalize a lot of selfish and evil acts. In a relationship, a narcissist will think of himself as more important and more deserving than the other person.
In the workplace, a narcissist will think that he has more natural talent than his colleagues, and he, therefore, deserves to be put in charge of projects or to be promoted ahead of everyone else. The interesting thing about narcissism is that in some cases, it can make someone successful.
Narcissism can be a self-fulfilling prophesy. When a narcissistic person believes that he is smarter than everyone else, he may work hard to prove it, and in the end, he may be more accomplished in his career. When a narcissist believes that he should be in a leadership position, he may exude confidence and acquire leadership traits, and the people around him will become truly convinced that he deserves to be their leader.
Because of this fact, some have argued that narcissism could be a positive trait in a person who is ethical. The problem, however, is that most narcissists seem to believe that their needs come before everyone else's, so sooner or later, they are likely to do something unethical, and to betray the trust of those who hold them in high esteem.
Narcissists who seem confident at the beginning will often turn out to be arrogant. A narcissist who seems ethical at the beginning will throw ethics out of the window as soon as he feels that his dominance is being threatened. Narcissists believe that they are special, and to reinforce this belief, they surround themselves with people who tend to be agreeable.
They want to be around people who will validate their inflated sense of self-worth. Now, even the most agreeable people have the ability to spot flaws in others, and after spending some time with narcissists, they will stop affirming the negative actions of the narcissist.
To prevent this, narcissists try to control the thoughts and actions of the people around them. Narcissists are very controlling. They control people in both covert and overt ways. In relationships, narcissists are more likely to practice domestic abuse because they are trying to keep the other person under their thumb. At work, narcissists are more likely to act vindictively because they want to punish others for challenging their dominance.
Later in the book, we will discuss ways to deal with narcissistic people. Machiavellianism Machiavellianism is a dark trait that involves deceitfulness and manipulation.
They tend to be amoral and self-interested. They don't have a sense of right and wrong; they'll take any course of action, as long as it serves their interests. Machiavellians are cold, unprincipled, and they are naturally adept at interpersonal manipulation. They believe that life is a zero-sum game and that the key to success is manipulating others. They approach all kinds of relationships with a cold, calculating attitude, and to them, when they desire a certain outcome in a given situation, the end invariably justifies the means.
Machiavellianism is named after Niccolo Machiavelli, the Italian political philosopher who is best known for writing The Prince. The book offers advice on how one can control the masses and manipulate people in order to gain power over them. The book teaches people to be cunning, manipulative, and deceitful, as long as they get what they want.
People with these traits are likely to cheat, lie, and harm others in order to achieve their goals. They are emotionally detached from the people around them, so if you are in a relationship with them, you may notice that all your experiences are shallow.
Where narcissist, sadists, and psychopaths may harm others for their own enjoyment, because they lack empathy, or to fulfill certain emotional needs, Machiavellians will do it for a rational and arguably pragmatic purpose. Machiavellians seem to have "cold empathy" as opposed to "hot empathy. On the other hand, hot empathy refers to be being aware of and caring about people's emotions in a given situation. Normal people have hot empathy, which means that they understand how others feel, and they take care not to negatively impact the sensibilities of those around them.
As a result, they tend to come across as unfriendly, emotionally distant, and harsh. If the rule of the jungle survival of the fittest applies, then Machiavellians are more likely to thrive. The problem with this argument is that we are not in the jungle anymore, and society only functions if we all care about the welfare of others. Machiavellians are master manipulators, and they are highly likely to be involved in white collar crimes.
People with this trait are more likely to be involved in embezzlement schemes, pyramid schemes, stock swindling schemes, overpricing schemes, and political crimes.
They work their way to the top by manipulating people, and when they get to positions of power whether in business or in politics , they use the same techniques to manipulate the masses. Psychopathy Of all the dark traits, psychopathy is the most malevolent. Psychopaths have very low levels of empathy, so they don't care for others. On the other hand, they have extremely high levels of impulsiveness, and they are thrill-seeking individuals.
They are very callous, very manipulative, and they have a heightened sense of grandiosity. They seek thrills without caring about the harm that they inflict on others in the process.
Psychopaths are more difficult to spot than you might think. They tend to keep normal outward appearances; even though they lack empathy and a conscience, they learn to act normally by observing others' emotional reactions.
They can even come across as charming when they are trying to manipulate you. There is a lot of interest and fascination with psychopaths, which is why you see so many depictions of them in pop culture. However, with fascination comes misconceptions. We tend to think of psychopaths as serial killers, bomber, super villains, and people who are certifiably insane, and the danger here is that we forget that most psychopaths are just normal at least by all appearances , and they can harm us in other ways.
People who like starting fights, who disregard your emotions and those who consistently lie to you may turn out to be psychopaths. Adult psychopathy cannot be treated. However, when psychopathic tendencies are observed in children and young people, they can be put through certain programs that teach them to be less callous and more considerate of others.
A key thing you need to understand is the difference between a psychopath and a sociopath. In colloquial conversations, these two terms are often used interchangeably, but in psychology, they have different meanings.
A sociopath is a person who has antisocial tendencies. On the other hand, psychopathic traits are innate. People don't become psychopaths; they are born psychopaths. However, social and environmental factors may contribute to a person's particular brand of psychopathy.
For example, people who are born with psychopathic traits and are brought up in an environment that is chaotic and violent, are more likely to have more pronounced manifestations of their psychopathy. Experts agree that there are three main factors that contribute towards psychopathy; genetics, brain anatomy, and environmental factors. Like the other dark traits, psychopathy exists on a spectrum.
Clinicians use a scale assessment system to measure the level of psychopathy; everyone falls somewhere on that scale, but people with a score of 30 and above as considered to have psychopathy that rises to the level of clinical significance.
The Hare Psychopathy Checklist is used by mental health professionals to check for psychopathy, mostly in clinical patients and in criminals, but if you suspect that someone you are dealing with is a psychopath, you can find it online and use it for free as a guide if you want to know for sure that you are indeed dealing with a psychopath.
Sadism Like the other three dark traits, sadism is characterized by callousness. Everyday sadists tend to be normal and functional by all indications, but they enjoy harming others. Sadists are intrinsically motivated to cause others harm, even if they are completely innocent. Sometimes, sadists can prioritize the infliction of emotional pain on others even if it comes at a personal cost to them.
They find cruelty to be pleasurable and exciting, and some even find it sexually stimulating. Some psychologists have noted that sadists are often drawn towards career paths where they are allowed to harm other people under the guise of legitimate work.
That means that many of them flock towards law enforcement, the military, etc. Psychologists have observed that when the levels of sadism in police forces are compared to the levels of sadism in the general population, the levels within police departments are always invariably higher.
This could explain why police forces often have problems with some of their members taking the law into their own hands. Sadists tend to inflict pain on people around them for no reason, and they are likely to escalate, especially when they discover that the person in question is less likely to push back.
That explains why bullies keep picking on people who don't stand up to them. Sadists are the kind of people who would tell your secrets to other people even after promising to keep them private because they enjoy it when you experience discomfort. Sadists may also work actively to get you fired from your job or to jeopardize your success, not because they want to get ahead of you, but just because they want you to be unhappy.
They are more likely to steal other people's property, not because they need it, but because they don't want what the other person to have it. They are more likely to bully you either in real life or online. You can always spot a sadist by the comments and remarks he makes online.
Most internet trolls tend to be everyday sadists. They will make negative comments about pretty much anything, not because they strongly believe in the opinion that they have, but because they want to annoy you or get a rise out of you.
Chapter 3: Psychological Manipulation Techniques Psychological manipulation is defined as a form of social influence which seeks to alter the behavior and the perceptions of others, by the use of tactics that are indirect, deceptive, and underhanded.
This way, the interests of the manipulator are advanced, usually at the expense of the other person in that equation. Psychological manipulation employs methods that are both devious and exploitative, and they are often used by people who have one or more of the dark personality traits that we discussed in the previous chapter. Now, from the very start, we need to make sure you understand that not all psychological manipulation and social influence is negative.
For instance, parents may manipulate their children into eating vegetables. In as much as that is manipulation, it ends up benefiting the child because his or her health is improved. Similarly, friends, family members, and healthcare professionals may try to influence you using certain manipulation technique with the aim of getting you to make the right choices in certain situations.
Social influence is a normal and important part of social discourse. In healthy social influence, there is no aspect of coercion. In other words, when a wellmeaning person tries to influence you, and you resist that influence, they are not going to strong-arm you into doing what they want.
However, in unhealthy psychological manipulation, the manipulator often resorts to coercive techniques if they sense that you are resistant to the softer techniques that they have been trying to use on you. When malicious people deploy psychological manipulation techniques against you, they usually try to conceal the aggressive nature of their intentions, so you have to understand that most of their techniques are designed to be subtle. Most of them will also take some time to get to know you and understand your psychological vulnerabilities before they can decide which manipulation techniques will work on you.
The best manipulators are those who reveal their intentions long after you have decided to trust them. Remember that manipulators generally have a tendency toward ruthlessness, so even if they are treating you well at the beginning of your association with them, pay close attention to the way they act towards others.
In this chapter, we discuss the most common psychological manipulation techniques that are used by people who mean to harm you or to take advantage or you. Gaslighting Gaslighting is one of the most lethal psychological manipulation techniques out there. It involves getting someone to doubt their own memories and perceptions, and instead, to start believing what the manipulator wants them to believe. The manipulator will sow seeds of doubt in the person so that they start thinking that either they remember things wrong, or they are losing their sanity.
Gaslighting involves the persistent denial of things that obvious facts. It also involves a lot of misdirection, contradictions, and blatant lying. When a person is subjected to gaslighting for a long time, they start to become unstable, and they start feeling as though their own beliefs are illegitimate. One common example of gaslighting is where an abuser convinces the victim that the abusive incident she recalls did not even occur.
This phenomenon is more common than you might imagine, and it happens in all sorts of relationships. A manipulative boss or colleague might prey on a subordinate and later deny that it happened that way. Someone who groped you might later claim that they "accidentally brushed against you," and they may insist on it so much, to the point that you start thinking that maybe you were mistaken.
I mean, I have a firm grasp of my own reality, and I doubt someone could be able to convince me that my perceptions are wrong! The way it works is that it often starts with small lies on the manipulator's part and small concessions on your part. At that moment, you might think, "Well, a minute difference isn't such a big deal, and maybe we just got our lines crossed".
You could dismiss this small discrepancy because it seems inconsequently, but that will just be the beginning. The next time, the lie will get a little bigger, and you will feel obligated to excuse it as well, because you already let something else slide, so it would seem inconsistent if you made a big fuss at this point. After that initial seed is sown, the lies will start to escalate, and you will continue making concessions and agreeing with things that you know are lies, until one day, you realize that you are so far gone.
You might not even notice when the small lies graduate into bigger lies. In every step of the way, you will be letting go of your reality and accepting the other person's version of things, and you will find yourself trusting their judgment over your own. In a nutshell, gaslighting involves desensitizing you to your own reality, until the truth becomes what the other person says it is. Gaslighting is more likely to work in situations where there is a power dynamic between two people, or between a person and a group of people.
In a relationship where the victim is financially or emotionally dependent on the manipulator, the victim may accept to let go of her reality because its more comfortable to do so than to stand up to the manipulator, only to end up losing the relationship. In a situation where a leader gaslight his followers, it often works because deep within, the followers want to believe whatever lies the leader is telling them.
There are several techniques that gas lighters use to get a stranglehold on their victims. One such technique is withholding. This is where the manipulator refuses to listen to what the victim says or pretends not to understand what they are saying. You might bring up something important, but the response you get is, "I don't even remember this thing you keep talking about. Because that is not how that happened. This is where they change the story or question the way the victim is thinking in order to avoid addressing whatever issue the victim is raising.
Trivializing is also a common gaslighting technique. This is where the manipulator makes the victim feel that her feelings or needs aren't that important, or that she is just being unnecessarily dramatic. Manipulators in such cases may say things like "don't blow things out of proportion.
If a person makes you ruminate about certain character flaws, they are most likely gaslighting you. Someone who tells you that you are too emotional might really be trying to get you to stop trusting your emotions.
If you feel confused about the nature of your relationship, or you feel like the person is driving you crazy, or that you are losing control when you are with them, they might be gaslighting you. If you walk into a room with the intention of having a discussion about something specific, but a few moments later, you find yourself arguing with your partner about a whole other topic, it means that the person is deliberately frustrating your genuine efforts to communicate, and it could be a sign of gaslighting.
If you feel fuzzy about your own beliefs, thoughts, and feelings whenever you are with someone that is a clear red flag. Projection Projection is a psychological manipulation technique where someone transfers their emotions and mistakes onto you. Projection is a defense mechanism that almost everyone uses to some extent. We all have a natural tendency to project our negative emotions and undesirable feelings onto the people around us, and this often happens when we feel like we have been put on the spot.
However, in as much as we all do it, narcissists and people with other dark personality traits tend to do it excessively and to absurd extents. Toxic people find it very difficult to admit even to themselves that the nasty things around them could be a result of their own doing, and they always find people to blame for every little thing that happens.
Such people often go out of their way to avoid taking responsibility for their own actions. As a result, they may assign their negative behavior and traits to you. For example, if you have a boss who is always late to work, you might be surprised to find him accusing you of tardiness even if you are consistently punctual. When a person is cheating on you, he may choose to spy on you by checking your messages, phone calls, and emails, and he is more likely to barrage you with questions every time you are a few minutes late.
Now, a good partner may get a little suspicious or insecure if you suddenly become more secretive or absent, but if your partner starts treating you with suspicion even if you acting completely normal, chances are they are the ones who are cheating, and they are just projecting it onto you.
Manipulators tend to project partly because they want to destruct you and to keep you on the defensive, and this gives them more control over your life. As you frantically try to defend yourself from the accusations that they have made against you, they get to do whatever they want, and you never get the time to call them out on their mistakes. They are also counting on the fact that it would feel weird and childish if you accused them of the exact thing, they have already accused you of, so it takes away the possibility that you might confront them based on suspicions that you might have.
As we have mentioned, projection is something that everyone does, and that can complicate things for you if a manipulative person project onto you. When someone projects negative emotions onto you, you might have a natural inclination to project your sense of empathy and compassion back onto them.
This explains why projection works so well as a manipulation technique. Even when someone is accusing you of doing something bad, you will still feel compassion for them, and you will go out of your way to reassure them that they are mistaken; but when you do this, they win, albeit with your help.
When you feel like someone is projecting onto you, the best thing you can do is leave your own emotions out of the equation and try to respond as rationally as possible. Isolation We all have social support systems that help us cope with difficult situations and keep us from making decisions that are bad for us. We have friends and family members who take notice when our behavior changes, or when we start hanging out with "bad people," and they always watch our backs.
Manipulators understand this, and one of the first things that they'll do when trying to gain control over your life is to isolate you. Isolation facilitates abuse because it takes away any recourse that you might have when someone starts getting abusive.
It closes a victim's avenues of escape, and it increases their sense of helplessness. It ensures that when things go south, there's no one there to rescue you. It increases the power that the abuser or manipulator has over the victim because it makes the victim more dependent on the abuser.
Isolating the victim from the outside world is widely used by all sort of manipulators. When a cult leader tries to indoctrinate young recruits, he will make sure that they are locked away so that he can have complete control over the information that they receive.
The same happens in abusive relationships, workplace bullying, and many other areas. When an abuser sets out to isolate you, he will start by driving a wedge between you and the people that you depend on. He will learn everything about the dynamics between you and your family and friends, and he will use the weaknesses in your bonds to sow distrust and conflict.
For example, if a guy knows that you are close with your sister, but you have some unresolved childhood conflicts with her, he may try to reignite those conflicts so that you start drifting apart.
In the workplace, a manipulator may create animosity between you and your colleagues so that they get mad at you and stop siding with you or watching your back. If you join a cult or any sort of group and the leader is a manipulator, he may insist that you cut ties with your family and friends, and only depend on other people within that group.
Rivals in business, at work, or even in your personal life can isolate you by smearing your name and discrediting you with other members of the community. In this instance, the manipulator is using isolation as a double-edged sword to gain control over both parties that are being pulled apart from each other.
Once an abuser has managed to isolate you, he will take his abuse to the next level because he knows you have no one to turn to. In fact, other manipulation techniques such as gaslighting work even more effectively when a person is isolated. They say that love is blind, and sometimes, at the beginning or relationships, we are blind to the dark traits of the people we are dating.
Some manipulators may try to isolate you from the very first time you meet them. If you start dating someone and you notice that he never wants to hang out at your place, or he never wants you to bring your friends along on casual dates, chances are he is trying to isolate you so that you cannot get your friends to give you an objective assessment of his character.
In the workplace, isolation can take many different forms. A person may isolate you by denying you access to certain opportunities, withholding important information from you, or keeping you out of the loop on matters that are crucial to your job performance.
Isolation can also be used by a manipulative person as a form of punishment if you are not doing what he wants. For example, an abusive person might invite all your friends and acquaintances to a gathering, but fail to invite you, so that you feel left out, and you are forced to do what he wants just to score an invite to the next gathering.
Positive Reinforcement We always think of positive reinforcement as a good thing, but malicious people can also use it to manipulate their victims. The fact is that we all use positive reinforcement in one form or another.
Positive reinforcement happens when a good or desirable stimulus is presented in such a way that it appears to be a consequence of certain behavior. For example, a child who eats his vegetables gets a scoop of icecream at the end of the meal, and it registers in his mind that those two things are intricately linked. An employee who works hard and becomes more productive gets a bonus at the end of the month, and her brain makes the connection between the hard work and the extra disposable income.
When manipulators use positive reinforcements, they are always trying to get you to do things that benefit them. For example, an abusive person in a relationship may buy you a gift after a major abusive incident in order to keep you from leaving or reporting him. You may have heard of people who hit their spouses and then buy them flowers the next day. In such cases, the abuser is trying to get you to accept the abuse as a norm that comes with a reward.
The message here is that "if you shut up, you get something nice. Machiavellians are particularly good at using this technique.
For example, a boss who embezzles from work may offer you a payoff to keep his secret. Manipulators often use positive reinforcement on an incremental basis when they want you to do something against your will. The objective here is to lull you into complacency.
They know that once you have accepted a basic level of positive reinforcement, they can escalate things and push you outside of your comfort zone.
The simplest and most commonly used form of positive reinforcement is a commendation. When someone goes out of their way to compliment you in public, they could be using positive reinforcement to manipulate you.
For instance, when you are with a group of friends and one of them starts saying what a nice guy you are, how much they know they can rely on you, the chances are that he is buttering you up to ask you for a favor. Negative Reinforcement Negative reinforcement is a form of psychological manipulation which is used to make people feel obligated to act in certain ways in order to avoid certain levels of mental or physical pain or discomfort.
In positive reinforcement, you get a reward for acting the way the manipulator wants you to act, and the desire for that reward is what modifies your behavior in the future. Negative reinforcement is, however, a bit more complicated than that. Both of them are popular manipulation techniques, but there is a subtle difference between them.
Many people assume that they are the same thing, but they are not. In punishment, the manipulator adds something negative when you don't act a certain way. In negative reinforcement, the manipulator subtracts something negative when you act the way they want you to act. Reinforcement is meant to strengthen voluntary responses, while punishment is meant to weaken voluntary responses; the manipulator will choose one method or the other based on the kind of outcome that they desire in that particular situation.
While punishment is meant to stop a certain behavior from occurring again, reinforcement is meant to encourage the behavior to occur again. However, he will use negative reinforcement to force you to do or to keep doing something he wants. For example, nagging is more of a negative reinforcement technique than a punishment.
When someone wants you to do something, they keep nagging you to do it, and the nagging which is the negative stimulus stops when you comply. So, negative reinforcement works on you because you want to put a stop to a negative stimulus that already exists, while punishment works because you want to keep something negative from happening.
Every time someone does something negative to twist your arm to get you to take a certain course of action; that is negative reinforcement.
Sanctions are also a very common form of negative reinforcement. They are used by powerful nations to get other nations to bend to their will, but they can also be used in interpersonal relationships or at work in one form or another. A sanction is basically a threat of a future consequence if you fail to do something. Sanctions may be used in relationships for the common good or for malicious intentions; you have to assess the individual situation to tell if the use of sanctioning or any other negative reinforcement technique is malicious.
Punishment works because it makes the victim fear the consequences of going against the will of the manipulator. We have already looked at how punishment differs from negative reinforcement, but we should point out that in some instances, those two can overlap. In this segment, we will take a look at some of the most common types of punishment that people with dark personality traits use to manipulate their victims.
Nagging Nagging, also known as pestering or hectoring, is a form of manipulation where one person continuously urges another to do something, despite the other person previously refusing to do it or to agree to do it at a later time. One author famously described nagging as an interaction where one person makes a repeated request while the other person repeatedly ignores that request, and both people become annoyed as the battle of wills escalates.
Although it has negative connotations, nagging is actually an integral part of interpersonal communication in many social dynamics. Parents nag their kids to get them to do certain things. In fact, nagging is necessary when training children to take up certain constructive habits.
Nagging may also be used by well-meaning people; friends or partners may nag you to do things that benefit you. In fact, some amount of nagging is necessary even in healthy relationships. However, people with dark personality traits may nag you to do things that benefit them and impact you negatively. To tell if the person nagging you has malicious intentions, you have to examine the individual situation.
Are they asking you to do something that only benefits them? Does the nagging seem forceful? Do you detect anger or threats in their body language and in the words they choose to use?
Yelling Yelling works as a manipulation technique for one simple reason; it makes you feel uncomfortable or afraid to the point that you comply with whatever the manipulator wants you to do. There are two main ways in which manipulators use yelling to manipulate others.
People either yell to dominate over you, or to play the victim and to gain your sympathy. Yelling can be used to intimidate someone. When a manipulative person yells at you, he may be trying to intimidate you because you are more likely to do what he wants if you are afraid of them.
Manipulative people resort to yelling partly because at that moment; they know that they are unable to make a logical argument to get you to do what they want. They know that if you stick to the facts of the matter, you might come out on top, so they yell because they want to disorient you and make you lose the argument by default.
Just like with the other manipulation techniques; you have to look at the person's intent. When manipulators use yelling to play the victim during an interaction, they often but not always choose to do it in front of an audience. Silent treatment The silent treatment works as a manipulation technique because it's a form of love withdrawal.
The silent treatment only works in cases where there is some level of emotional dependency between the two parties you don't really care if a total stranger gave you the silent treatment. As social beings, we need the approval and the affection of others to thrive. Even people who are introverted need to have some sort of back and forth with the people in their lives to feel whole. When someone gives you the silent treatment, they deny you that affection, and it can mess with you psychologically, and force you to make certain concessions that you aren't ready to make.
Some of them may even suddenly vanish from your life or go out of their way to avoid being in the same room with you. The silent treatment is one of those bad habits that tend to escalate with time in a relationship. Overt intimidation is also known as bullying. This is where manipulators make open threats to get you to do what they want. It may be a threat of physical violence. If you stand your ground, they may even resort to actual physical violence.
They are usually angry people who have problems with authority. Covert intimidation involves the use of veiled or vague threats to manipulate people. People who use covert intimidation has violent tendencies, but they try to control themselves because society frowns at overt displays of violence. Such people are very dangerous because they are good at hiding their true nature from the rest of the world.
These are the kinds of people who abuse their spouses indoors but then present a charismatic character to the rest of the world. Traumatic one-trial learning One-trial learning refers to singular experiences that we encounter, which end up shaping our behavior in the future.
This sort of experience is usually traumatizing and powerful enough to serve as a deterrent from acting in a certain way for the rest of our lives. In many cases, one-trial learning may occur without anyone inducing it or imposing it on us.
For example, if you try a certain kind of food for the first time, and then you get a serious bout of food poisoning, you may be traumatized to the point that you avoid eating that food again in the future. When we were still hunters and foragers, one-trial learning would help us avoid foods that were poisonous or situations that were dangerous. Malicious people use one-trial learning as a manipulation technique to get us to tow certain lines.
The way it works is they induce the traumatic experience in such a way as to ensure that our brains associate certain actions with the trauma. One such example is corporal punishment. Corporal punishment is less common in Western societies than it was a few decades back, but it is one of the easiest forms of traumatic one-trial learning to understand.
It used to be that when a child did something wrong, the parents or teachers would hit him while making it very clear to the child why he was being punished. In future, when the child considered making the same mistake again, he would remember the pain that he experienced earlier, and he would decide that the action was not worth a repetition of the painful experience.
Of course, corporal punishment is now either frowned upon or illegal in most jurisdictions because it causes serious psychological wounds and self-esteem issues. Manipulators use traumatic one-trial learning in many different ways. They use verbal abuse, intimidation, and explosive anger to traumatize people and keep them from acting in certain ways in the future.
One day, you decide to confront him about it in a calm and rational way. However, he reacts in a very explosive way. He calls you names, throws a tantrum, causes a scene, and he makes you extremely uncomfortable and traumatized. In the future, when a similar issue arises, you will be afraid to confront him, so he gets away with it. In this case, he has manipulated you by conditioning you to avoid confronting or upsetting him in the future.
The next time you want to do something, but you decide against it because you had a bad experience in the past, you should know that you are dealing with traumatic one-trial learning; if the situation is tied to a specific person, that should indicate to you that the person is a manipulator.
Manipulation of facts Manipulation of facts is one of the most effective psychological manipulation techniques because it is based on facts that are subject to interpretation.
When a person manipulates facts, he is technically not lying; he is just using the facts in his favor. It could involve cherry picking facts, omitting certain facts, or taking facts out of context. Even the most indisputable facts are subject to interpretation, and people with dark personality traits are very good at coming up with interpretations that portray them in the best possible light. Machiavellians are especially skilled at using factual information to turn bad things into seemingly good things.
One way to manipulate facts in interpersonal relationships is by making excuses. People can excuse all sorts of bad behavior by creating narratives that warp the context of the objectionable actions that they have taken. There are many documented cases where abusers in relationships were able to convince their victims that they did certain things to deserve the abuse. There are many wife beaters who defend themselves by saying, "you made me do it.
Victims who are in love or are dependent on the abuser are more likely to accept warped interpretations of abusive events because their own judgment is impaired by their affection for the abuser. Withholding of key information, or strategic disclosure of facts, is another common technique that involves manipulation of facts.
Someone might be telling you the truth with the intention of manipulation you. Manipulators know that your reaction to certain information depends on the mood you are in when you receive the information, or whether or not you will consider that information a priority at the moment you receive it.
Manipulators also know that hiding certain key details can affect the way you digest and react to information. Strategic disclosures and withholding of key details are used every day in interpersonal relationships, in business, and even in political discourse.
Politicians use this all the time. Other ways to manipulate facts include; exaggeration of the facts, sensationalizing or the facts, understating facts, or presenting facts with onesided biases. Mind control and mind games The term mind control has many definitions and interpretations, but the crucial thing to note is that it doesn't involve any sort of magic or supernatural ability; it just requires a rudimentary understanding of human emotions and behavior.
Mind control can involve brainwashing a person, reeducating them, reforming their thoughts, using coercive techniques to persuade them of certain things, or brain-sweeping. There are many forms of mind control, and we could fill an entire book discussing all those forms, but for our purposes, we will look at the concept in general terms.
Mind control means a person is trying to get others to feel, think, or behave in a certain way, or to react and make decisions following a certain pattern. It could vary from a girl trying to get her boyfriend to develop certain habits, to a cult leader trying to convince his followers that he is God. Mind control is based on one thing: information. We have the thoughts and beliefs that we do because we learned them. For example, even if you are the most rational person out there, if you go online and watch videos about a certain conspiracy theory, you will start to believe it to some extent.
That explains why people who seem smart can end up getting indoctrinated into cults or even terrorist groups. That explains phenomena such as Stockholm syndrome where people who are kidnapped or held hostage start being affectionate towards their captors and empathizing with their causes. The worst thing you can do is assume that you are too smart for mind control to work on you. Under the right circumstances, anyone can be persuaded to abandon their world view and adopt someone else's.
Mind games are covert tricks that are deliberately crafted in order to manipulate someone. Think of them as "handcrafted" psychological manipulation techniques. While other techniques are applied broadly, mind games are created to target very specific people. Most of the psychological manipulation techniques we have discussed thus far can be used when crafting mind games.
A person who understands you will tell you certain things or behave in certain ways around you because they are deliberately trying to get you to react in a certain way.
It almost always involves feigning certain emotions. People who play mind games use innocent sounding communication to elicit calculated reactions from you.
Mind games occur in office politics, personal relationships, and even in international diplomacy. At work, someone could try to make you feel like you are not up to the task so that they can steal an opportunity from you. In a marriage, your partner could make certain seemingly innocent slights against you so that you feel like you have something to prove, and you take a certain course of action as a result.
Chapter 4: Behavioral and Character Traits of the Manipulators Being able to tell if someone is taking advantage of you or manipulating you is one of the most important survival skills that you need today. Manipulators have many identifiable behavioral and character traits, some of which we will discuss in this chapter. Here are the character and behavioral traits that you ought to look out for if you suspect that someone is a manipulator.
Lying by the commission and lying by omission A lie of commission is what's called a "classic lie. In other words, a lie of commission is something that is simply untrue. It involves purposefully telling someone something with the intention of deceiving them. It is extremely deliberate, and its main purpose is to gain a personal advantage in a given situation. Everyone lies. Even seemingly innocent young children will tell a lie of commission to get out of trouble; a child with jam on his face will deny touching it because he is trying to evade the consequences of telling the truth, not because he is malicious.
Narcissists will lie because they want you to think highly of them, while sadists will lie to cause you pain. Lying by omission is also known as "exclusionary detailing.
It may also involve failing to correct certain misconceptions that one is aware of. Lies of omission are more sophisticated than lies of commission because they give the person a loophole in case they are caught on the lie. The first and most common instance of lying by omission is the kind that involves leaving out details. The best example of such a lie is when a salesperson talks about the positive aspects of a product but fails to mention its negative aspects.
Manipulators can use lies of omission to control the way people react in certain situations. For example, when a malicious person reports to you what a mutual friend said about you in an earlier conversation, they may choose to mention the details that are likely to breed animosity between you and your friend but leave out the redeeming details.
If someone said three things about you; two compliments and one critical comment, the malicious person will report the critical comment to you and deliberately fail to mention the two positive comments. Download Read. Whether you have been experiencing manipulation for years, or if this is something entirely new, psychological manipulation can be tricky to decipher. Mostly because the manipulators themselves are true masters of emotional disguise. Luckily, you can keep this from happening to YOU, if you know how Here's just a small fraction of what this book contains: What dark psychology is and how it is used in the world today.
Shockingly effective psychological techniques for manipulating, persuading, and influencing people. The basics of covert emotional situation and manipulations. Understanding the mechanism of emotional manipulation. All about hypnosis and how self-hypnosis differ from stage hypnosis. Proven verbal and non-verbal communication skills to enhance your manipulation prowess. How Neuro Linguistic Programming is used to change a person's entire thought process. Detecting manipulation in your everyday life and personal relationships, and strategies to safeguard against it.
Clever techniques on ways to protect yourself from emotional manipulation. And much more So if you want to keep your life and mind under your control then click "add to cart".
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This could be your instinctive reaction to protect you. Some of the most attractive persons have dark aspects that they keep hidden from inquisitive eyes.
This audiobook calls into question many of your preconceived notions about humans. It makes you wonder if your charming employer is indeed a great person or simply a deceitful one. This audiobook will have you wondering about the many ways you are deceived and exploited for the benefit of others on a daily basis as it delves into the darker side of psychology.
In this audiobook, we look about brainwashing and the various ways you might expose yourself to it. We also take a look at hypnosis and talk about everything you thought you understood about this age-old method of mind control. Do you fall for the same old deceit tactic over and over again? Do you have a dark side to your personality? Perhaps you are one, or perhaps you simply have more bad days than good.
You will feel more enlightened and empowered after listening to this audiobook, and you will be better equipped to deal with individuals who are not always polite or kind. We all try to persuade others to give us what we want, starting when we are babies crying for food or comfort. Some children, however, do not develop the characteristics of conscience, empathy, and selflessness as they gather the skills of persuasion.
They can become predatory adults who master the dark triad of psychology. By learning the tools of dark psychology, you can avoid manipulation by others, master the dark arts yourself and understand why people engage in them at all.
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WebDownload or read book Dark Psychology and Manipulation written by Zac Adams and published by Independently Published. This book was released on with total . WebNov 18, �� Dark Psychology Complete Series: Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming: Internet Archive Loading viewer Dark Psychology Complete Series Topics . WebAre you searching for Dark Psychology PDF? If yes, then you are in the right place. We have provided instant download links for Dark Psychology Book in this article. Scroll .