jun 2016 – 1 hr video – via michel fb share – Understanding & Dealing with Manipulative People | Dr. George Simon Interview

meredith: topic.. understanding manipulative people.. 20 yrs experience w cover experience.. it’s my understanding that you began recognizing this aggression thru your patients who were describing depression, anxiety, insecurity.. and you began to realize that almost always these were linked w relationships w manipulative people

1 min – right.. there’s a term that’s come into vogue.. gaslighting.. from movie.. where guy wants to get rid of wife so.. send her to looney bin making her think she was crazy.. so.. it’s this crazy making behavior that manipulators are so good at

crazywise (doc).. voluntary compliance.. pluralistic ignorance.. structural violence .. et al

gaslightingsarah kendzior‘s gaslit nation et al

2 min – i don’t actually use the term as an individual tactic.. rather.. all the tactics manipulators use are meant to make you feel a little crazy.. they’re meant to make you doubt what your gut tells you is going on with the person who is trying to get the better of you.. if they can make you think they’re doing anything but trying to pull the wool over your eyes.. take advantage of you.. or make you doubt when you suspect that’s what they’re doing.. they’re home free.. that’s how they succeed in manipulating you.. that’s why i call their behavior covert aggression.. they’re determined to win, have their way, get the better of you but they’re very stealthy/covert in the way they go about that.. and that tactics they use.. and this produces a kind of gaslighting or crazy making effect.. and this is what i was seeing in so many patients

suicide ness

3 min – they were coming in.. they just knew in their gut that there was something wrong w their relationship partner.. but that partner had them thinking they were crazy and that’s what made them feel so unnerved.. and many time depressed

4 min – many times.. doesn’t matter the tactic.. a good manipulator will display an intensity of conviction.. they seem so sure they make you doubt.. this is another way of crazy making behavior.. saying.. not going to discuss this.. looks convincing.. makes people think.. oh my gosh am i the worst accuser every? maybe those texts i saw on the phone really were as innocent as they say..

oi – ie: no negativity

6 min – fortunately rely on tactics that are tried/true.. so if listen closely.. ie: using rational sounding sense making over and over.. that’s your tip off.. a really skilled manip is capable of using just about anything.. because they prey on the consciousness of the other person.. they count on the fact that this victim has this thing we call a conscience.. they have qualms, unsureness about self, they want to do right, they don’t want to be overly judgmental.. don’t want to read people wrongly.. and the manipulator knows this

m: why all same strategies

8 min – people w impaired consciences know how consciences work.. they know they don’t have the same kind.. so know that people w good consciences want to make fair/honest judgments about people

or no judgment

so when they play innocent.. fein confusion.. offer that rationalization.. they’re playing to that.. basically saying i know you don’t want to see me as evil as i am.. so if i appear to you of anything but the schmuck i am.. i win

9 min – this is the big thing people tell me.. this phenom is everywhere and when people finally get it.. as soon as they trust their gut.. and understand (evil ness) because they suspect that but popular psych had them believing that most people are unaware and they just don’t see what they’re doing.. and conscientious people hate to rush to judgment.. but these people see what they’re doing.. they know exactly what they’re up to.. which buttons to push

see.. i can’t even accept that here.. maybe they see.. but it’s their cope\ing strategy.. so still have a reason.. we’re all sick in sea world.. judge\ment is a killer..

10 min – m: do you think they’re always self aware.. do think sometimes it’s more self reflexive..

yeah.. this is the thing i’m going to brag a bit.. i was on the forefront 20 yrs ago (when book came out).. we now know that many psych conditions exist along a spectrum.. ie: w autism.. that these nice little pigeon holes we use to have.. just don’t exist.. i call the character disturbance spectrum.. ie: neurosis unaware.. to other end.. very aware and not hung up at all but just nefarious, uncaring, deficient in empathy, human regard, feeling entitled.. so yes.. it is possible that something on the spectrum is sometimes.. to some degree unaware of what they do.. but ti’s a very dangerous assumption to make in our day/time.. because cultural climate of our time.. far more people on the character disturbance side of the spectrum

but pointing fingers doesn’t help.. we need to get out of the rat cage.. out of sea world.. assuming bad doesn’t help..

13 min – but.. really doesn’t matter if they are aware or not.. they need to change their behavior.. this crazy notion that we need to work with people’s heads to make them see.. actually all we really need to do is change their behavior.. and that will help them see


14 min – ie: my grandson.. when 4 he really believed if he dove in to pool he would not come back up.. so he wouldn’t do it.. you can talk till blue in face to get him to see.. even that others did it and came back up.. can try to work w somebody’s head to get them to see.. what happened.. day by day he progressed.. walk on steps.. let day throw him.. et al.. he’s got this new outlook on whole enterprise.. and it changed because he changed his behavior.. so we waste a lot of time trying to reason w people.. trying to get them to see.. waste of time/energy

as long as it’s not someone outside changing behavior..

graeber model law et al

15 min – if there is an awareness problem.. that will come w the changed behavior.. so many come to therapy with their character disturbed partners and get re victimized.. i call therapy induced trauma.. not only do they not get help and partner doesn’t get better.. but sometimes the therapist gets snowed/bamboozled.. impression managed as we call it.. and then the person feels even crazier than they did when they first came in.. waste of energy/time/money.. to try and reason w a person w character disturbance.. change the behavior.. everything else comes later

16 min – when they promise things will be diff.. i know they’r lying when in the moment.. they haven’t even changed their behavior.. ie: if someone in my office is rationalizing/minimizing/blaming.. that needs to stop and replaced w more appropriate behavior..

m: i think one of biggest struggles in partners hope for change.. how often do you see them change their behaviors

18 min – ie: how many severely autistic people that you’ve seen w years of therapy are normal.. none.. now how many on the spectrum.. and get right kind of intervention early enough can function almost near normal.. 1\ recognize problem for what and how serious it is 2\ right intervention.. and traditional therapists don’t know how to do it.. ie: can’t do anything about it anyway et al

19 min – 25 yrs in this work.. i’ve watched 1000s of so called hopeless cases change big time.. but i had to throw away every single mindset i had .. the way i was trained.. i had to discard just about every perspective i was given about how to help that happen..

20 min – m: what do you think is the impetus that makes people want to change

many times.. unfortunately the pressure/motivation is external ie: partner leaving, money at stake, .. addiction, .. external motivation is probably the worst kind.. least helpful/promising kind.. because when pressure is off motivation goes.. so.. this goes against pop psych.. last 11 yrs solid research telling us how wrong we had everything.. but what i find that when people change.. they finally have a healthy sense of shame develop.. we were taught shame was always a bad thing.. don’t condemn the person.. only the behavior.. ok to feel guilty but not shame.. i’ve worked w some of most severely disordered characters.. not one who truly turned their lives around did so out of sense of guilt.. i know people who felt really badly every time they beat their partner.. it never stopped them.. it was only when they took that look in the mirror and finally decided they didn’t like who they were.. only when they had a healthy .. not a toxic.. sense of shame about who they were as a person.. about who they had allowed themselves/id to become.. when they became uncomfortable with that.. things changed.. we’ve had it 100% absolutely wrong about shame

oi on shame – maybe semantics.. as you called it not toxic

talking in circles too.. you said people won’t change via the mind

23 min – m: so how do they get to that point ..that miraculous shame pt where they decide to change

you’re going to ask me to give away all the tricks of the trade

oi.. not even funny man

this is why i’m going around the country doing all this training again.. because one of the things we clinicians do is we never touched character issues.. we were taught.. you don’t judge.. in character constructive therapy.. you make judgments all the time.. some things are just not good.. you make those judgments.. you lay those principles out there.. they gotta know who you are.. what you stand for..

perhaps one reason your book has been best seller for 20 yrs.. and we’re worse off?.. let go man

and they also have to know that it’s not just about the behavior but about self definition.. who you gonna be

same thing.. too confining.. that perpetuates this toxic game

24 min – i give powerful ie’s of this in my training to bring this message home.. (asked her to delete this part for the no one else could here)

obviously deleted.. not a joking.. laughing when they came back

this is what i tell my clinicians.. if character is the issue.. if you dare to address it.. you’ll be amazed sometimes.. what will happen.. but if you won’t even touch it.. won’t go near it.. how the heck is anything ever going to happen.. if all you want to do is deal with the surface level stuff that doesn’t matter in the long run as much as character.. no big surprise nothing happens.. you can make judgments.. you don’t condemn.. people who are basically 4 yrs old emotionally.. they need to be told how to be mature.. what to do .. where to go.. then you have to reinforce/encourage them.. but it can be done .. i’ve made a lifetime of it.. and it’s actually fun.. because no longer like pulling teeth.. it’s fun because i enjoy watching people change/grow

oi.. need a break.. soured me fast

26 min – it’s in the how.. i call the art benign confrontation.. it’s you and me buddy it’s about who you are.. it has to be gentle.. kind of like a touch love.. and they have to know that the regard is there.. but they also have to know it’s about who they want to be.. how they’re going to define themselves.. what their values/commitments are going to be.. that’s what we deal with..

oi oi oi oi oi (to me.. w a smug smile on his face)

all the other stuff is just fluff.. ie: we have a communication problem.. well the reason you have a communication problem is when he/she talks to you w that filthy mouth.. has no regard for you as a person.. (laughing) .. that’s what needs to change.. he doesn’t need to learn diff words.. he knows what words to use.. he just doesn’t care to use them (laughing).. of course he sees.. but brow beating works better.. duh..

27 min – m: so what do you say to your patients telling you a story about this person.. when it just really looks like this person is not going to change.. and the hardest struggle is letting go of that hope so they can leave that person and get on with their live

yeah.. you’re talking about the slot machine syndrome.. what i call it in wolf in sheep’s clothing.. in my book character disturbance i talk about it too.. and also in my new book w cathy armistead.. how did we end up here..

nice plugs man.. oi

28 min – it’s an phenom because a person put all this investment into a relationship.. and what they really dreading is losing that investment.. don’t want to lose everything.. trying to stave off a depression.. w slot machine.. need to cut your losses because it will fleece you.. just like these people.. programmed to every now and then give you that little ray of hope.. but you get taken to the cleaners..

29 min – how people get that way.. i do this in training too.. research experiment about learned helplessness.. where nothing they do controls the outcome.. and this is exactly like people in manip/disturbed-character situations have.. try this/that.. reason.. changing selves.. encouragement.. therapy and nothing seems to make a diff so they end up feeling help/hope less.. and depressed..

31 min – what i do to bring them out of that is show them where their power is.. ie: over their own behavior.. they have the power to take action.. so as soon as they stop thinking about that person.. and turn inward.. and start saying.. what do i need and what am i going to do to get it.. what rules/limits/boundaries am i going to set/enforce.. what expectations am i going to lay down firmly and insist upon.. everything changes.. they get their energy back.. start feeling empowered

oi.. graeber unpredictability/surprise law.. fromm spontaneous law.. i’m sure he’s thinking he needs to save them now.. but band aids don’t work.. otherwise they would have after 20 yrs

just saying.. what we need is a deeper focus.. so that .. yeah.. maybe some of his ‘patients’ change.. but they have to have gone on to some other toxic relationship.. maybe better.. but not legit free/happy.. like everyone is talking about is happening because of these rules/expectations.. et al

32 min – it’s so hard to let that other person go.. been trying to nurse this person to health for years and got caught up in it

m: what do you think is at the heart of the covert manip.. what drives them to do that

it works.. it’s so effective.. just try one of these tactics.. like *guilt tripping or shaming.. on somebody who doesn’t have a very good conscience.. it only works on people who are conscientious..

*i thought you said those are how to change the manipulators? so you’re manipulating them too?.. (like j talking about the comedian who was bullied and now his material is riffing on others)

33 min – this is so natural/human.. this is the other bone i had to pick with traditional psych.. it’s is obsessed w people’s fears.. everything is anxiety this anxiety that.. things people run from.. people who are rabid sensation seekers.. who use people as objects and have an infinite number of one night stands because their wife needs to be a thrill a minute.. they are described as commitment phobic.. we are obsessed w seeing everything as a fear.. but the fact is we are primarily fighters.. for the things we want.. and if we do it in a civilized way.. it’s healthy.. but these folks are unfair/dirty/covert fighters.. and they’ve learned that it works.. esp w really consciencious people

34 min – m: huge for me while reading your book.. these behaviors are not defensive.. not unconscious.. but offensive behaviors

to think this is even still illuminating.. still new news.. it’s mind boggling.. so steeped in these old paradigms.. ie: self mech of denial.. i ask clinicians in my trainings.. what denial is.. and it’s clear they haven’t got a clue.. ie: (saying it’s): 1\ unconscious .. no idea they’re doing it.. (that) denial is not lying/refusing.. (but really) it’s a fighting tactic designed to get off the hook.. they know full well what they’re doing and they just pray that you’re still conscientious enough that you’ll doubt and they’ll get away with it one more time..

37 min – real defense mechs are unconscious.. the person has no clue they’re doing them and they’re designed to mitigate overwhelming emotional pain and anxiety.. the unconscious does this for the person so that they wouldn’t be in extreme/intolerable pain ie: i give example of real denial (lists his books again): elderly couple working in yard.. man passes out.. goes to er.. had a massive stroke.. and for all intensive purposes.. he’s gone.. but woman not ready for this.. so stays by his bedside and talks to him.. nurse says.. he can’t hear/feel you.. is she just a liar? refusing to listen to reason.. her unconscious is protecting her for the grief when she’s ready.. she doesn’t even know she’s doing it..

39 min – there are defense mechs.. but the way we extended the terms.. was an error in our perception.. we framed it wrong and taught others to as well.. and that’s what trapped them in relationships because ‘oh the really don’t know what they’re doing’.. and then when the lightbulb goes off because they read the book.. then too when they call the person on it.. ‘i read the book’.. and they’re like.. yeah yeah.. you’re right.. it’s like everything changes

oh my..

41 min – i probably get 50 emails a month from people that say that lightbulb moment is what changed their life.. there’s nothing more edifying than that.. for all the labor/toil it took to write that first book.. that alone was worth it


42 min – on working w psycho paths.. fear vs desire.. you can’t pick up a pop psych book w/o those ideas.. underneath bullies.. are insecure fraidy cats (does puke sign).. it’s just garbage.. underneath bullies are bullies.. they’re saying the same thing now about trump.. ridiculous.. when there are just simply people out there w/o empathy.. and some don’t even have the capacity for it.. there’s something wrong with them right from the get go.. and in some cases.. we know their brains aren’t working the same.. not constructed diff from birth.. like many say.. but we do know that their brains work differently.. yeah right (he says with first sorrowful look on his face of the 50 min talk.. both shaking heads yes seemingly sadly)

fitting with your demeanor sir.. dehumanize.. wtf

almaas holes law.. maté trauma law.. gabor on childhood trauma.. et al

43 min – m: so do you think it’s predominately the nurture aspect them..

44 min – it’s always both.. and the extent to which nature vs nature has the greater weight.. varies.. which explains why some people come out of the most horrendous kinds of environ’s and turn out unbelievable well.. and some have everything you could ask for and turn out just awful.. (both laugh again)

holy cow.. for your prominence.. and bashing of past prominant’s.. your missing it man.. missing the center of the problem

when it comes to intervention.. it doesn’t make any diff.. because can’t undo their history or unprogram their genes.. what has to change is their behavior

behave ness.. and it’s deep embed of manipulation.. oi.. the circles we make

45 min – this is the great human capacity of all the creatures on the planet.. we have this incredible capacity to learn.. and we also know that our plastic brain changes w new learning.. so we can learn to be better

yeah.. 1\ who’s defining better (other whales?) and 2\ better for what environ (still in sea world).. krishnamurti measure law.. hari rat park law.. et al

m: if we want to

not only if we want to .. but if we’re re enforced for it

oi.. incentive ness.. huge red flags

there are so many things in our culture.. unfortunately that reinforce disfunction

funny you say that

why does does a person like trump not even consider changing his ways.. because it works.. i got what i want.. new babe, money, et al

so in your profession clueless that none of us.. even you.. knows what we legit needs.. ie: you’re poking fun at those as wants.. while you’re wants are for people to behave.. to be civilized.. for people to do what you tell them to do..

46 min – we have to look at this climate we’ve created.. of entitlement, greed, disregard, this incredible egocentricity.. this me me me

like.. read my book.. come to my training .. to be enlightened.. you silly fools..

zeitgeist of our time.. the other point i make to my clinicians..

everything belongs to him.. my clinicians/patients.. and he’s always pointing things out to them

red flagsno train

(what he points out) .. this phenom: freud was not crazy.. but dealing w the phenom of his time.. a horribly repressive era.. so people were nervous wrecks.. that’s not our time..

oi.. oh my.. boiling

graeber wealth law et al

47 min – confucius had it right because it’s (individual) the right place to intervene.. the fact that our social conditions and cultural climate are so unhealthy.. is producing ore character impaired people.. but it’s also because of these character impaired people that we keep having this societal decay

wait.. so 1\ that’s not stressful? 2\ you really are all about pointing the finger to your ‘dehumanized’ ones

48 min – when you try to focus on changing climate.. that’s a daunting almost impossible enterprise.. but you can change one heart at a time.. and that’s what has to happen..

and how’s that working out? what if we need everyone in sync for the dance to dance.. (which is doable today)

and that’s really where my work has been.. i have enjoyed cultivating what i call this benign confrontation character therapy.. where i work w one heart at a time.. and i just call them out on their crap in a loving/firm/tough-love way..

1\ hari rat park law.. 2\ costello screen\service law


character matters more than anything.. i can’t believe in the us today we’ve seen these leaders of shameless characters.. what a sad sad statement.. there’s one i have respect for.. not a change in heck he’s going ot be president.. it’s pretty sad

red flag.. thinking we need leader\ness.. you obviously assumed it the rest of your talk.. so no surprise there.. .. but you’re invested in people work and still ok with president ness..

via google – character: the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual

first time i looked it up.. fitting..

and nice to have someone who knows what those should be..

50 min – m: this book changed my life and millions of others

well i’m proud of all my books.. particularly character disturbance.. because it really tells people the complete structure and what people can do.. and i’m proud of the judas syndrome for what people in the faith community .. it makes it real.. about the power of faith to make it transform.. and i’m really proud of my book w cathy armistead.. who did we end up here.. because so many scratching heads.. don’t want to carry into next relationship same vulnerabilities.. and we have another book coming out end of summer called the 10 commandments of character.. my experience about life lessons my character impaired have had to learn.. the life lessons everyone has to learn *in order to have the kind of character we want them to have

ridiculously me me me.. and.. of course there are 10 commandments for character.. and of course it ends with *this

i’m hanging that up in edits.. i’m my worst critic.. and then of course my blog and radio show.. people can call in ask me questions..

man is he beaming now.. so proud..