Understanding & Dealing with Manipulative People | Dr. George Simon Interview

Understanding & Dealing with Manipulative People | Dr. George Simon Interview


hello there you are wonderful – that’s great okay well hopefully
that’s going to be all right that’s wonderful thank you so much for
taking the time to do this today ok I’m no problem looking forward to it let’s hope we don’t have any more
technical issue ok so you wanted you wanted to ask some
questions so today i wanted to cover the topic of
understanding and how to deal with manipulative people and today we’re
talking with Dr. George Simon who is the author of the bestselling book in
sheep’s clothing he’s also a clinical psychologist with
over 20 years of experience with covert aggression it’s my understanding from your book
that you began recognizing this aggression through your patients who
were describing you know depression anxiety insecurity and you begin to
realize that almost always these were linked with relationships with
manipulative people right yes it is a matter of fact there’s a
term that’s come into vogue recently because of one authors a reintroduction
of the term the term is gaslighting it is a borrowed term from the stage play
in the movie of the same name Gaslight people from the fifties will
remember this movie made in the gold in Hollywood era of this guy who wants to
do away with his wife of these days that’s a much easier thing to do but how
hit the plot was it he wanted to gain access to a fortune
that was hidden in the house he was going to send her off to the
loony been making her think she was crazy and so one of the authors recently
reintroduced this term this kind of crazy making behavior that manipulators
are so good at and I don’t actually use the term gaslighting as a as an
individual tactic rather all of the tactics that 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’s 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 trying to
take advantage of you if they can make you think they’re doing
anything but that or make you doubt when you suspect that that’s what they’re
doing then they were home free that’s how they
succeed in manipulating you that’s why i call their behavior covert
aggressive they’re determined to win determined to have their way determined to get the better of you but
they’re very stealthy and very covert about the way they go about that and the
and the tactics that they use and this produces a kind of gas lighting or crazy
making a kind of effect and this is what i was seeing in so many patients they
were coming in they just knew in their gut that there
was something wrong with their relationship partner but that partner
had that thinking they were crazy and and that’s what made them feel so
unnerved and many times depressed I think that’s one of the hardest part
is like you just feel like something’s really wrong but you can’t quite
pinpoint it you can never pinpoint it you end up feeling crazy you end up
feeling confused you’re not feeling self doubt the crushing sense of guilt in the
blame and responsibility you end up taking on that relationship yourself exactly yeah and many times – it doesn’t
matter so much what tactics are being used but many times a good manipulator
will display an intensity of conviction this is a good tactic in itself whereby
they seem so sure that they make you doubt and this is another way of kind of
crazy making behavior right he who has the most confidence everybody yeah yeah where’s or he who displays it anyway right you know like that like that the serial
philandering spouse whoo-hoo in an apparent outrage and
conviction said you know it says you know there’s nothing to this we’re not
going to discuss this you know I’m incensed and it displays
all this phony kind of a indignant since it looks convincing and the person
begins to say oh my gosh have I just have I just been like the worst accuser
ever you know right maybe maybe maybe those texts i saw on
the phone really were is innocent that is as they
say you know etcetera etcetera and you you know the
story yeah yeah yeah and like you mentioned in your book like the big key
is to be able to identify those tactics because until you have the awareness of
what’s happening of what those tactics are it’s so hard to figure out what’s
going on yeah yeah and like I tell my clinicians
that I trained in workshops you know this year i’m doing a ton of training once again I I for a while I had to take
a hiatus from that but I’m doing several tours this year and like I I tell all
the clinicians that I train fortunately these folks tend to rely on
a certain number of tactics that are tried and true and so if you listen
carefully for the things they say not to the things they say but for the things
they say the kinds of things they say the kinds of tactics that they’re using
observing how they you know when that when they’re making that that that
plausible sounding rationalization or excuse making you know when they’re
doing that behavior over and over and over again that’s your tip off you know and so I
trained clinicians to be on the lookout for these behaviors they tend to rely on
a few of my mentioned that the most popular ones in my book but you know the fact is that a good a
really skilled manipulator is capable of using just about anything because what
they do is they prey on the conscientiousness of the other person
that they count on the fact that their victim has this thing we call a
conscience whereby they have qualms they have unsureness about themselves
they want to do right they don’t want to be overly judgmental they don’t want to make a wrong judgment
they certainly wouldn’t want to read somebody wrongly or or misconstrue a
situation they want to get it right and the manipulator knows this and praise
apartments yeah that actually brings me to one of
the questions I wanted to ask you you know what I hear from a lot of people
and I mean they can be living in different countries from different
cultures from different races even speak different languages from different
socio-economic statuses and what everybody says it’s like did they all
read the same book like how did they all have these exact same just ratted ease
with your take on that well it is the reason is because people
with impaired conscience ‘as know how consciousness work they not only know that they don’t have
the same kind of conscience but they know how people with consciousnesses
work so they know for example that people with good consciousness want to
make fair honest judgments about people so when they play innocent when they feign confusion when they
offer that rationalization they’re playing – that they’re basically
saying I know that you don’t want to necessarily see me as evil as I am I
know that so if I appear to you is anything but
the schmuck that I i I’m home I’m home free i win and that’s how it works and
that’s why they they they all do play on the same playbook because they know how
conscience is work so they definitely understand that they
don’t have that conscience than that most of us have this is the big thing
that people tell me you know in sheep’s clothing will be in print this September
20 years it’s never lost any momentum in
bestseller status in that whole time and it’s now in 17 foreign languages haha why because this phenomenon is
everywhere and the second reason is because when people finally get it that
they really do see in my workshops i train the clinicians I with little
rhyming phrases i say it’s not that they don’t see is that they disagree and it’s
not that they don’t kick it’s not that they’re not aware enough
is that they don’t care enough and as soon as people trust their gut
and understand that because they suspect that all along they suspect that but
popular psychology had them believing that most people are unaware and and
they just don’t really see what they’re doing and they hate the conscientious
people hate to rush to judgment but these folks know what they’re up to they know exactly what but buttons to
push how hard to push them at and just how to get the better of you which is how they do it do you think
that their behaviors are always self-aware like they’re always aware of
what they’re doing do you think sometimes there’s maybe a lack of
awareness of what they’re doing that it’s just like a reflective kind of
thing yeah you know this is the this is the
thing that i think im gonna brag a little bit i was on the forefront of 20
years ago we now know we now know that many psychological conditions exist
along the spectrum we for example we know that now with autistic disorders we know that these nice little pigeon
holes that we used to have just really don’t exist there are you say for instance people on
the autistic spectrum who are you know really severely
autistic and then there are people all along the spectrum from very mildly
impaired word to where you’d barely notice it and where it looks like
something else entirely maybe it looks like just a little
obsessive compulsiveness but because it’s not quite Asperger’s but it’s somewhere along the
spectrum well we know this about what i call this
the character disturbance spectrum and I and I make the point that everybody
falls along the spectrum at one extreme would be neurosis which is where people
are basically unaware and hung up vs character character disturbance where
they are very aware and not hung up at all but just nefarious just uncaring
just deficient in empathy in human concern in human regard feeling entitled
etc and everybody falls along that spectrum somewhere so yes it is possible yes it is possible that someone who lies
along the spectrum yes sometimes in to some degree unaware
of what they do but it’s a very dangerous assumption to make in our day and time because we have far
more people unfortunately because the cultural climate of our time we have far
more people who are more on the character to Serbs disturb side of the
spectrum right yeah and besides which when it comes to
behavior it doesn’t make a difference whether
they’re aware or not it really doesn’t matter they really need to change their
behavior and as I to us a construct my uh the folks at attending my workshops
the Commission’s we have this crazy notion that we have
to work with people’s heads to make them see actually all we really need to do is
change their behavior uh and that will help them see I and I
give the example of my son my grandson know who I was just complaining about
for messing up my camera here on my computer but when he was about four
years old he really believed we have a pool in our backyard he really believed that if he hit that
if he drove into that pool that he would not come back up oh that he would go into the water then
that would be the end all so he wouldn’t do it now he really believe this now i don’t know if you’ve ever tried to
reason with a four-year-old you know but you can talk to your blue in the face
trying to get him to see you could even try to get him to see that his sister
jumped in the pool and she came back and his uncle he jumped in the pool and he
came back up you know you can you can try to work
with somebody’s head to get them to see but you know what happened eventually
one day he he jumped off one of the steps and then one day he led his dad
throw him up in the air and land in the pool and he went just a little bit under
and then slowly progressively you know by the time he’s six years old he’s
diving in the pool and he no longer thinks that he won’t come up he’s got this whole new awareness as a
matter of fact his whole outlook on the whole enterprise has changed and it
changed because he changed his behavior so we wasted an awful lot of time people
do this in relationships – and clinicians are the worst people on this they try and reason with people try and
get them to see this is a waste of time and energy that’s an editing . yeah it’s not the
point isn’t whether they’re we’re not the point is the behavior is happening we need to do something about the
behavior right and if there is an awareness problem that awareness will
come with the change in behavior so many people go to therapy with their
character disturbed partners and get so frustrated Andrey victimized sometimes they
experienced what I call therapy induced drama because not only don’t they get
any help and their partner doesn’t get any better but sometimes the therapist
get snowed bamboozled impression managed as we call it and it in it and then the
person feels even crazier than they did when they first came in it’s a waste of time and energy and
money to try and reason with person with the character disturbance you change the
behavior everything else comes later it’s that
simple that makes a lot of sense i think that’s
a big point that a lot of people get stuck on it’s like trying to rationalize
ball is it are they aware of what they’re doing are they not as if if
their underwear then it almost like gives them this out for their behavior
but that’s not reasonable actually yeah and you know when they promise that
things are gonna be different you know how I know that they’re lying I
know they’re lying because right there in the session in that here and now
moment they didn’t behave any different right you know it’s it’s one thing to
talk as they say in the 12-step programs to
talk the talk but things are going to be better so another thing to walk the walk to
actually do the things that produce changes and that always happens in the
here and now moment so that means if somebody’s in my office and they’re
rationalizing or their minimizing or they’re blaming others these are tactics I’m labeling here that
needs to stop and be replaced with a more appropriate behavior and then will reinforce their
willingness to do that to change course basically to change tag and that’s what
produces overall change and necessary in sight eventually i think one of the biggest
struggles for the targets the victims of these manipulators is the hope for
change the hope that their partner will change yes and so I’m curious you know what
your experiences you know from what we read about narcissism and you know
antisocial personality disorder and all that these people just don’t change in
your clinical experience you know how often do you ever see these you know
covert manipulators change their behaviour change their ways okay i’m going to go back to the
autistic spectrum spectrum analogy how many severely autistic children have
you seen that with years of therapy are normal probably not right now how many autistic
children on the spectrum who have some degree of autism but get the right kind
of highly specialized intervention early enough can function almost near normally
right right there’s two two variables one
recognizing the problem for what it is and how serious it is and to this is the biggie the right kind
of intervention and traditional therapist don’t know how to do it so so it’s so
easy for them to just say well you can’t do anything about it anyway and then
everybody else believes the same thing too that’s a bunch of malarkey I’ve worked in this field 25 years plus
as a clinician I’ve actually study the problem well
over 32 years but 25 years specializing in this work I enjoy it I’ve watched thousands of
people thousands of so-called hopeless cases change change big time but I had to
throw away every single mindset i had that it might indeed that the way I was
trained I had to discard just about every
perspective that I was given about how to help that happen what do you think from your experience
is like the impetus that makes a person want to change well many times unfortunately the
pressure is external you know the motivation is external the partners had
enough and is threatening to leave there’s money at stake maybe there’s problems on the job maybe there’s been repeated problems on
the job maybe the person is involved in in
something that’s become a near addiction or obsession and is draining the bank
account a lot of reasons external motivation is probably the the
worst kind of motivation the least a mile along on the least
promising because that when the pressures off then the motivation goes so it depends what really and this goes against to what what the
top psychology has been saying for 50 years and by the way there’s research to
support this now in the last 11 years has been solid research telling us how
wrong we were about this but where I’ve seen people really change is when they
finally have a healthy sense of shame develop we were told that shame is
always toxic and a bad thing you don’t condemn the person you only
condemn the behavior and you don’t you don’t cast aspersions
on the person’s character you only talk about the behavior it’s
okay for them to feel guilty it’s damaging to their self esteem for
them to feel shame i can tell you this I’ve worked with some of the most
severely disordered characters including people who have spent much of their
lives in prison not one person not one who really turned
their lives around did so out of a sense of guilt I know
people i know abusers for example who felt badly every time they beat the crap
out of their partner it never stopped him wow they did it
again it was only when they took that look in
the mirror and finally decided that they didn’t like who they saw Wow it was only when they had a healthy
not a toxic but a healthy sense of shame about who they were as a person about
who they had allowed themselves to become what their identity had become
when they became uncomfortable with that things changed we’ve had it 100% absolutely wrong about
shame so how do they get to that point like
how how did they get to that miraculous 0 points where they decide to change
your going to ask me to give away all the tricks of the trade ok this is this is this is why I’m this
is why I’m going around the country doing all this training again because
one of the things that we as clinicians used to not do is we never touched
character issue in other words we were taught you don’t judge in character
construction in what I call 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 and they also have to know that it’s not just about the behavior
but it’s about self-definition who are you going to be and I give examples of
this powerful examples in my trainings that that kind of send the message home
depending on whether or not this would go anywhere else i would i would give
you such an example uh I i’ll i’ll give an example but I I
don’t want you to eat to use it anywhere else is that ok what do you mean not use it anywhere
else I I wouldn’t want anybody else to hear this example should i delete this
part of the video then yeah okay okay sure I guess that’s that yeah now you see this is what I tell my
clinicians if you will address if character is the issue if you will dare to address it you would be amazed sometimes what can happen Wow but if you won’t
touch it if you won’t even go near it how the heck is anything ever going to
happen right 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 well no big surprise nothing happens now you can make judgments you don’t
condemn you’ve got to be directive people who are basically four years old
emotionally they need to be told how it how to be
mature but they need to know what to do where to go and then you have to
reinforce them and encourage them but it can’t be done I’ve made a lifetime of it and it’s
actually fun you know it’s not only fun because it’s
no longer like pulling teeth is it’s fun because I enjoy watching people change
and grow it sits in the how I called the art
benign confrontation you know it’s you and me buddy and it’s
about who you are and it has to be gentle it’s kind of like a tough love and they
have to they have to know that the regard is there they have to know that but they also
have to know it’s about who they want to be how they’re going to define themselves
what their values are going to be what their commitments are going to be too that’s what we do with all the other
stuff is just fluff you know we have a communication problem
with the reason you have a communication problem is when he is when he or she
talks to you with that filthy mouth he has no regard for you as a person that’s what needs to change he didn’t have to learn new words he
knows different words to use he just doesn’t care to use them don’t
you see mr. Smith that have you it of course he does but browbeating works
better oh yeah so what do you say to your patients who
come to you telling you a story about you know this character disturb personal
lives whether it’s there you know intimate partner or someone at work or
someone in their family when it just really looks like this person is just
not going to change like they’re at that extreme and you know and in the hardest
struggle for that victim is letting go of that hope so that they can you know leave that person and get on with their
life how do you work with them yeah you’re talking about the slot
machine syndrome look like a sheep’s clothing and in my book character
disturbance i talk about it too and also it might be my new book with the Kathy
Armistead how did we end up here I talked about that a lot is a
phenomenon because the person’s put all that investment
into this relationship and what what what they really dreading is losing that
investment walking away from it and they want to hold out any shred of hope that
they had lost everything it’s a real grieving process they’re
trying to stay off a pretty significant depression and so they they want to
claim to that last bit of hope when what they really need to do is just
like with a slot machine which you really need to do is cut your losses
because it will release you it will that’s what it was designed to
do it right and just like these people those one-armed bandits just like these
people they are they’re programmed to every now and then give you that little
ray of hope that makes you think doesn’t baby you know I stick in there you know then I won’t look like such a fool you
know you’re right we’re having invested all this time but
you get taken to the cleaners and uh so yeah I work with that slot machine
syndrome want and it’s really all about staying off the depression and how
people get that way is very interesting i – III do this in my training – I i
illustrate this for the therapist that attend but there was a great researcher
who a researcher by the way who has I was a strict behaviorist and who poopoo
the whole notion of character and he’s now like the biggest proponent he he just had this epiphany get this
old age is that character matters ever after all and i quote him in my book
character disturbance but anyway hit at one of his great research experiments
had to do with the the paradigm of learned helplessness this is basically where you put animals
in a situation where nothing they do who makes a difference in controlling
the outcome and this is the exact experience that people in relationships
with manipulative another disturbed characters and they try this and they
try that may try everything they try reason they try modifying their own
behavior they they try and courage – they day they tried their but they tried
everything and nothing seems to make a difference and then they end up feeling
helpless and hopeless and depressed and what i do to bring them out of the head
and showed them where their power is where they have power is over their own
behavior they have the power to take action and so as soon as they stop
thinking about that character disturbed person in their life what are they going to go what are they
going to do next what am i what situation am I going to have to clean up
next because of what they do what do I say to get him to do this or
what do I say to get him to do that as soon as they get out of that mindset and
they turn inward and start saying what do I need and what am I going to do to
get it what rules am I going to set what limits
am I going to set what boundaries am I going to enforce what expectations are am I gonna weigh down firmly and and
insist upon everything changes they start it to get their energy back they
start feeling empowered right is the power than their own behavior and their
own self awareness of what they’re doing to enable it right you so r is so hard
to let that other person go though in so many respect because they’ve been
they’ve been basically trying to nursemaid this person to health of you
know for years they got caught up in it right yeah so I’m also curious what do you think is
at the heart of the covert manipulation like why did they do it what drives them
to do that it works haha hello oh it’s so effective now you know just try one of these
tactics like guilt tripping or shaming try one of those tactics on somebody who
doesn’t have a very good conscience just try guilting the crap out of
somebody who doesn’t care and just try shaming somebody who doesn’t have an
ounce of shame in them try it sometimes see how successful a
manipulator you are it doesn’t work right normally what
happens is they’ll flip it back right yeah yeah yeah so what they figured out is that it
works with people who are conscientious these tactics work and it’s a way to get
what they want you know we all this is so natural as
human and this is the other big bone that I had to pick with traditional
psychology traditional psychology is obsessed with people’s fears it’s obsessed with people’s fears
everything is an anxiety this anxiety that things people run from people who
are people who are rabid sensation seekers who use people as objects and
have an infinite number of ones that one night stands because their life needs to
be a thrill a minute they are described as commitment-phobic ok we are obsessed with seeing
everything as a fear within the traditional psychology Florida but the
fact is that we are primarily fighters from from yeh hai for program we’re just
infants we fight for the things that we want that’s naturalist normal and if we do it in a in a civilized way
it’s healthy but these folks are unfair fighters
their dirty little fighters their covert fighters and they’ve learned that it
works especially it works with really
conscientious people right so that was actually the biggest needle
mover for me reading your book actually first i thought one of your videos and
then I got your book when you were talking about how these behaviors are
not defensive they’re not unconscious their offensive
behaviour that was huge for me to understand could you comment a little on
that for people who haven’t really sure yeah and then this is you know this is
to to think that this is even still illuminating for psychiatrists and
psychologists and social workers in licensed counselors and marriage and
family therapist who attend my workshops to think that this is still new news to
them when I train them on this is just it’s mind-boggling to me because we are
so steeped in these old paradigms but you know we used to think so for example I in my workshops i talked
about about the so-called defense mechanism of denial and i asked the
clinicians to explain to me what denial is and then they’ll give me an example and it’s clear they haven’t got a clue
what real defense mechanism denial is the first of all its
unconscious the person has no idea they’re doing it denial is not lying it’s not refusing to admit the obvious
you know you you caught him red-handed there’s that text on the phone it says
they want to meet him next week at certain hotel and do that the blue think it says it right there
right and sets saying well you’re still reading it wrong as a tactic to try and
convince you you’re still crazy and you haven’t really nab them that is not
denial it’s a fighting tactic designed to get
off the hook and they know full well with the doing and they just pray that you’re
still conscientious enough that you’ll doubt and they’ll get away with it one more talking right you know real
defense mechanisms 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 an extreme pain intolerable pain and I give examples of
what that kind of things will looks like for example i give an example
of real denial and I in my book characters the disturbance i give this
example and I do so in my book how did we end up here also I i give the example of of of an
elderly couple who has been working out in the yard doing the gardening that
they always do on a Saturday afternoon and all of a sudden the the gentleman
kind of looks strange in the face and his speech becomes a little slurred and
he seems to have trouble maintaining his balance and the next thing you know he’s
passed out on the ground and the next thing you know he’s in an ambulance on
the way to the ER and the next thing you know the ER nurse
comes out and says he’s had a stroke and the next thing you know the doctor comes
out and says he’s had a very massive stroke and for all intents and purposes he’s gone and the woman is not ready for
this and so she stays by his bedside and she
holds his hand and she talks to him and the nurse says he can’t hear you when
she talks to him anyone and she squeezed his hand and the nurse says he can’t
feel that she squeezed his hand anyone now is she just a wire know if she just
constantly refusing to listen to reason is she trying to make the nurse think
that they’re crazy no her unconscious is protecting her
from the grief that she will inevitably have when she’s ready for it but she’s
not quite ready just 20 minutes ago they were in the
garden now they’re telling her he’s gone she’s not quite ready it and her
unconscious is protecting she doesn’t even know she’s doing it and it’s
protecting her against pain that’s too unbearable now there’s beauty in those those old
formulations that saw these defense mechanisms they’re real there are such
things as defense mechanisms but the way that we extended the terms and define
these behaviors and made them all defense mechanisms when they work was
our error it was an error in our perception it was an it was an over-representation
an unfair extension of what Sigmund Freud had discovered we did that it was our mistake we framed
it wrong and because we framed it wrong we talked
to other people to frame it wrong – and that’s what trap them in their
relationships because they see these things and they think oh you know they
really don’t realize what they’re doing maybe they really believe that they’re
saying to themselves and then when the white coat bulb goes off because they
read the book and they think you know and that and then went on top of that
when they when they call him on it and said you know by the way i read the book I know what
you’re doing well below and then the best person to mess it up yeah right you got it you got it you
know it it’s like everything changes I I probably get 50 emails a month from
people who say that that light bulb moment is would change their life right there’s nothing more edifying than that
right nothing more edifying that i have a BF 4 I mean for all the life group that took
and all the toil that it took that to the right that first book that alone is
worth everything if you know anybody has that lightbulb
moment and it changes the nature of their relationship and for the first
time they’re not going to be bamboozled anymore that I couldn’t ask for anything
more that’s truly the most powerful thing I
got from this is when you know you were describing the difference between being
motivated by fear and motivated by did not buy desire sorry yeah yeah the cat analogy you need yes yeah I by the way that was given to
me by a great clinician and researcher by the name of reach reid meloy he based
out of San Diego and he’s done a lot of work with Psychopaths actually um and
that they’re that was his analogy I’ve kind of expanded on it a little bit but
yeah yeah that just made it so real when I when I could look at it like that it
just it I finally like got it because I think I kept you know unconsciously
going back to that well maybe its base on the fear of some sort some
insecurities that’s why they’re like this the abuse
of their past you can’t pick up a pop psychology book
from the sixties through the eighties without hearing those same things we
even thought that way about bullies underneath it what were they bullies underneath it all
they were really insecure Freddie kids but it’s just it’s just
garbage it’s just garbage you know they’re
saying the same thing now about Donald Trump yeah he competencies and compensating
for size and for your debugger and it’s just that all this ridiculous stuff when
they’re just simply are people out there without 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 that the brains aren’t working
working the same they’re still not enough evidence to say
that their brain is constructed differently from birth that’s a misinterpretation of the data a
lot of people are saying that that’s a very big misinterpretation of the data
but we do know that their brains work differently wow you know based on the functional MRI
scans is that ok right right so do you do you think it’s
predominantly the nurture aspect then it’s always both in the extent to which
nature versus nurture has the greater weight in shaping someone’s development
varies which explains why which explains why
some people come out of the most horrendous how to one of the most
horrendous kinds of environments and turn out unbelievably well and some people have just about
everything you could ask for and turn out just awful ok you know so you know
the the the the the how strong a factor in the
development of a person nature versus nurture is varies it varies and once
again i would say that when it comes to intervention doesn’t make any difference
because you can’t undo their history and you can’t reprogram their genes ok what has to change their behavior
right 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 brain is plastic as it is changes with new learning so we can
learn to be better if we want to believe it but not only if we want to but if we
are reinforced for it you know there are so many things in our
culture unfortunately that reinforce dysfunction why does supper i’ll pick on Donald
million why does a person like Donald Trump not
even consider changing his ways because it works way thank you very much I got what I want hey it’s got plenty of money got the new baby number five hitter got
this got that you know hey convince me i really need to do this
all day that’s very true so you know we have to look at the
climate that we have created this climate of entitlement greed disregard
this incredible egocentricity this me me me now and how is aight geist of
our time help me the this is the other point that I make to
my clinicians I point out that Sigmund Freud was not crazy but he was dealing
with the phenomenon of his time the Victorian era a horribly repressive
era massively repressive so people were nervous wrecks that’s not our time people it’s not hard yeah yeah I remember hearing that one of
your videos you know the anxiety the guilt right from being repressed vs now not nearly that much no I think that’s
where Confucius got things right you know he said start with the individual
get the individual right the individual gets right the family gets right the
family gets right society gets right i think it starts with each one of us it’s it is a Confucius had it right
because it’s the right place to intervene it is a visit it is a true vicious cycle the fact that our social traditions and
and our cultural climate are so unhealthy is producing more character
impaired people but it’s also because there are more character impaired people
hate that we keep having these so that we keep having the societal decay and
Confucius is right in the fact that when you when you look at the the the entire
cultural climate to to change that to to make that your focus and and and to
change that that’s that’s a daunting almost impossible enterprise but you can change one heart
at a time and that’s what has to happen and uh that’s really where my work has
been I i have enjoyed cultivating what i call this this benign confrontation
character constructive kind of therapy well I work with one heart at a time and I just call them out on their crap
in a in a gentle loving but firm kind of a tough love way and you know basically
asked them to consider how they wanted to find themselves in character like it
matters that’s why i call my radio program
character matters do it because i think it doesn’t it it matters more than anything I can’t I
can’t believe that in the United States today we have seen this cavalcade of
shameless characters before us all who want to be our leaders what a sad sad statement right there there’s one I have respect for this one not a chance in there is going to be the
first president not a chance up right it’s pretty soon they got a strike and i
actually have about ten more minutes so if you have other questions go ahead it’s getting to be almost the
top of the hour you know you know I think that’s
basically all that i have i just want to thank you again so much dr. Simon for
taking the time to share this with me and with my tribe today I’m going to put
this video out later really really grateful for the time and
just all the efforts you’ve invested like this book changed my life no doubt
it’s changing so many other lives incredibly grateful well I’m proud of all my books i am
particularly proud of character disturbance because it really tells
people that the the complete spectrum of disturbed characters and especially what
the kind of therapy that can really help looks like oh and I’m proud of the Judas
syndrome because for people of in the faith community the Christian faith
community I it makes it real it makes it real about the power of
faith to help transform and elevate a person’s life and I i I’m really proud
of my book with Kathy Armistead how did we end up here because so many people in
dysfunctional relationships either in the middle of the relationship or toward
the end I really scratching their heads and trying to figure it out because they
don’t want this to happen again and they don’t they don’t want to carry into
their next relationship the same vulnerabilities that might have
a work to their disadvantage this last time and so you know that
they’re scratching there’s they’re trying to figure it out so that’s why we wrote how did we end up
here and we have another book coming out at the end of the summer called the 10
commandments of character is my it’s a summary of my experience about the life
lessons my character impaired people have had to learn whether they were
youngsters having a tough time as children or adults are as teens or
adults needing to rebuild the life the life lessons that our children have to
learn and and everybody has to learn in order to have the kind of character that
we want them to have and so that will be coming out at the end of the summer I hang that up and edits I’m I’m my
worst critic and I’m not happy with it just yet so i’m i’m hanging it up it’s
mostly written but i’m hanging it up and edits that’s great to know surround the end of
the summer to look for that one right ok and then of course my blog and
manipulative – people.com the other blog that I right for you mentioned a radio
show where we got character matters sunday nights on you see why . TV sunday
it’s 7 p.m. us eastern time 6pm central four p.m. pacific how would someone access that online it’s a you see you see why . t be
awesome you see why . TV not TV yet just radio
only but soon to be TV every Sunday night and people can call in like ask me
questions share stories that’s great so now and and your your
network looks great by the way I i would have been to your site see here i think i haven’t pulled up
here I said the self-healing for victims of
narcissistic abuse and I like your little acronym to thank ya and I see that you’ve got some I see
you’ve got a webinar series yes and an audio coat course it’s just I
have I haven’t I haven’t visited those yet but i but I will awesome so the best bet on lights oh you’re welcome best to look of luck
in your work and I enjoyed our interview and maybe we can do it again sometime yeah i’m gonna read your next two books
and then the next one coming out and maybe after that we’ll have another
interview great awesome thank you so much dr.
Simon you’re welcome taking by

80 thoughts on “Understanding & Dealing with Manipulative People | Dr. George Simon Interview

  1. Overt/ Covert Narcissistic PERSONALITY DISORDER is about extroversion or introversion and always primarily about *Manipulation*.
    They like to learn.
    To learn them you need to know what they study/ *read*…
    Mine read Nick Anderson's book : The Art of Manipulation: 10 Powerful Techniques on How to Influence Human Behavior, Effectively Deal with People, and Get the Results You Want.
    !!!!?
    The question is, who would want to write this book and what kind of people would want to read it or even recommend it.
    If we don't study the NPD's modus operandi, we don't know the first thing about their ways.
    They Word Up on books like this while their victims explore emotional, meditational, spiritual subjectivity.
    The fault of denial is a two sided sharp sword.
    That's why all people eventually all fall on swords from each side.

    Take it too far…?
    Their victims often fall into cancer.
    They do.
    If they don't go to cancer, they go into lifestyle limiting diseases.
    The 3 life questions remain,
    (1) what did your narcissist do for you.
    (2) what illness did your relationship with them give you
    (3) what does your illness now do for you / what attention does it bring back to you.

  2. Now i know why empaths are attract narcissist. It seems only an empaths can change a narcissists though it need a strong well being.

  3. You show excellent interview skills and good eye contact for working with Simon. Help Simon to be more attentive in the exchange and look up from his notes.

  4. What a fabulous post. As a person who has been in many relationships with very manipulative people and was married to a Narc/Psychopath. It has made me step back get more information to help me learn what to look for and how to draw the lines so that I can avoid getting wrapped up with these people in the future. I so appreciate people like both of you making this kind of information so accessible.

  5. Behavioral therapy. I taught character development. I reached a good number of young people.-Unfortunately, my own life(health, wealth, happiness) was destroyed by demanding, manipulative, disordered personalities. They honestly DO NOT care what they do to you. Do not waste your life–not one second of it- on them. They will hurt you until there is nothing left of you.

  6. To do the kind of therapy he means he first has to judge them. So maybe that's appropriate on the one hand but on the other hand it also gives the therapist an ego boost and superior position, which a lot of narcissist therapists misuse.

  7. "a healthy sense of shame" Arrogant people don't experience shame= they Blame others for their poor behaviour and Attitude.

  8. Dr. Simon is adorable!! Great interview, so informative with a kick of humor and sass!! Thank You!

  9. So the great lesson for the ones at the receiving end of this manipulation is just one thing: TRUST YOUR GUT FEELINGS!

  10. This video was made three years ago. I wonder if the good dr. changed his mind on D. Trump. He seems to be the only empathetic politician towards the regular working class people in Washington…..probably because he's not a politician.

  11. 30:40 The way out is to change our own MANIPULATIVE way of wanting to control, fix and change the manipulator. Works better to change the behaviour on the 'victim' end and step out of the whole victim / rescuer / perpetrator triangle altogether. So, take response-ability by 1) stop thinking about that person (co-dependent addiction to be in someone else's business, which leads to depression by lacking of self-care) 2) look within: what do I really need? Boundaries and expectation management are part of a defensive tactique, while focusing on creating what we really want (honouring our priorities) and take action accordingly is integrity and self-respect. And… I forgot the best bit:dis-entangle by not engaging into mind games, remember life isn't that serious, you're in front of an actor playing a part…

  12. I am ten minutes in — and again, feeling much validation as I watch this video. All of your content, Meredith, and the experts that you're bringing to help targets heal … I have so much gratitude for you as well as Dr. Simon. I've been watching a lot on the covert narcissist on your channel and Debbie Mirza and you are my favorites! I feel truly seen and validated and it is helping me heal.

  13. This guy strikes me as narcissistic. He brags often, doesn't want to share the "secrets of the trade" and sounds glib. Great interview, though.

  14. i dont agree with so much of the things he's saying, because I have so many arguments that would question he's, and he sounds like he's so sure about what he's saying… He cant know he's sure, cause there are so many possibilities, probably even ones we dont know about. So… Its limiting to be that sure when speaking(thinking) about stuff, just saying

  15. Hey Meredith,
    I’m still only 12 mins in to this video (so maybe it’s covered later) and you are very switched on with this stuff…
    But around the 10 minute mark when you asked the golden question of whether these people know what they’re doing, (based on my last 2 ex’s) they had attitude that resembled the term “Battle of the fittest”, but their weapon of
    choice/“fittest” was purely convincing deception. And their attitude was that “you are weak and I am superior if you can’t spot my compulsive lies, and on the usual narc “double bind”, you are paranoid and a predator if you do spot my lies and call me out on them. Just came to me at this point of the video.
    Great video as usual!👍🏻

  16. My family member says she's "so honest, unlike some people"–(meaning me). But I can't be honest around her because she will blow up. I don't like her brand of "honesty." It's brutal.

  17. Speak the truth in love–Ephesians 4:15  I believe in this. Getting there with someone like this is a difficult, rocky road though.

  18. I can't help but feel it hard to believe that "manipulators" have this kind of special understanding of other people's minds desire, and able to just push the buttons to get the response they want. I would assume they "know" this at an unconscious level. That they just know from try and error and reinforcement that this tactic is likely to produce this result, etc., in a more blackbox fashion.

    I also kinda feel it's hard to relate to this idea that there are good people and there are manipulators, with the later preying on the former. It's hard to relate because for one I think probably everyone uses manipulative tactics once in a while without really realizing that what they're doing really constitutes manipulation. Most likely there are people who just abuse these tactics at extreme degrees, but as a general rule you can't really just observe a manipulative tactic in someone and put them in a box "yeah his one is a manipulator, beware". And secondly, it seems to easy to just view people as manipulators when they've crossed you. If you've been hurt in a relationship, you'll start picking apart everything the other person has said and done, and most likely there were some things they regretted, or were uncomfortable with, and tried to evade one way or the other, and you'll find manipulation there. Should that be enough to conclude they're one of these evil manipulators and should be ruled out as bad persons once and for all?

    I ask that also because I,ve had this issue.. A girlfriend that had seemed so genuine, and caring, and loving, who one day cheated, and then exhibited all of the worst bullshit I've ever seen. But even though I ended up aware enough to see her tactics in play, I just couldn't (well maybe it's because she was really really good) bring myself to see her as this super calculating evil. I knew she was also capable of great generosity and selflessness. And so this portrayal of manipulators made it harder for me to come to terms with the manipulation. Because even though I had the evidence of the use of manipulative tactics, I couldn't genuinely fit her in that box.

  19. Thank you for pointing out the truth about how it is sometimes expected that we give character-disturbed individuals a free pass for (supposedly) lacking in awareness. Thank you for telling it like it is. Thank you for pointing out the truth. Thank you for not making excuses. This sounds so embalming, validating and soothing. And thank you for making a distinction between a healthy sense of shame and a toxic sense of shame and I wholeheartedly agree. Moral depravity (where a healthy sense of shame and a healthy sense of right/wrong is lacking is rampant nowadays).

    Thank you sir & Meredith!

  20. Be AWARE and BELIEVE your gut! It exists for a reason. Don’t feed energy sucking monsters, nourish your soul instead. The choice is ALWAYS yours.

  21. Hi, I went to the Doctors site for the radio sessions but couldnt find it. I typed www.ucytv.com and some chinese stuff in chinese came up. Can you clarify?

  22. "Misery loves company" feel sorry for them. They may be alcoholics and irritable around you. They may not understand your in love. They may be diabetic with low sugar and irritable and your joy and loud behavior annoys them. Maybe you want to party. Maybe they are breaking the law and need to control you. They may believe they have it all figured out and want it done their way. Either way there is usually a conflict in actions or beliefs. They don't understand empathy for them could solve the problem, but they didn't tell you or you don't agree with what they want. They may have tried to tell people what they want and it didn't work. They are desperate. Like, Scarlette O'Hara in Gone with the wind. "If I have to lie, cheat, steal or kill'. It is lack of control for them. Find out what they really want. A lot of times they can't tell you. It is so sad that because of these people victims wound up on mental wards for twenty years back in the day. I lot of it was the Mother got remarried and the stepfather didn't want the son around or something like that. The may have been gaslighting and bribing the psychiatrist, which may not have even been needed because they probably needed victims for their budget funding. Trust me it is pure misery on the medications they give and to be locked up. Haldol was the worst and the *.ine *.one * and others are dopamine inhibitors, which inhibit your love, pride and pleasure chemical. I was on 800 mgs of clozapine my pillow was soaking wet in the morning and stunk. I got fired from my job I stunk so bad even after taking a shower. So, the doctor told me to sleep with a garbage bag around my pillow. A lot of the Doctors are paid consultants and manipulated in some way to push the meds. They keep people out of the hospital because they are turned into such zoombies that they appear normal. They meds do not cure the symptoms of the illness. One is slowed down from meds so much they can't get a word in edgewise and it leads to wait gain and diabetes. The Doctors excuse is: "Well, that can be treated" Psychiatry is a 450,000,000,000 dollar a year business and it is narcassists that may be invested or causing that. The church and taking care of ones body and psychology are the real answer.

  23. We not being controlled
    We let it happen because
    Those Manipulated people
    Love to frame people lies and the
    Extra stuff

    If you know u not crazy
    And you really know what u
    Got

    I have autism their trying to
    Tell me I have autism
    I was born with it just a
    Little of autism

  24. If their can manipulate in a group

    A autistic person who can hide
    He's or her traits for year s

    Without people knowing what
    Their have

    I can manipulated the hunter without their knowing it 🤣😂🤣😂😂

  25. Their don't like if it
    Don on to them back

    Don't test a autistic person
    Who knows study it surroundings
    I study the hole body of people

    Manipulated people don't do
    The extra stuff

    Like autistic people just to
    Get to your daily routine

  26. Yep autistic people or known
    To manipulate a full nation a specially if you or a adult on the spectrum

  27. I don't want to change
    My behaviour because
    People need to mind their business and let the autism
    Person be what they our

  28. And people like narcissist and psychopaths love to use this on
    People to place people in
    A fals reality i Dont hurt people
    I show s those evil careless people that manipulate others around u
    Is not good since work place people love to use it on their victims Alot

    I don't play with amateurs
    A specially if it is the narcissist
    Flying monkeys who trying to make
    People upset with placing
    People outside and trying to tell me i should change for what I don't know u this people have destroyed
    People life around the world
    Police walking around confusing the public online spreading false
    Information around about u

    Is not the autism people to
    Blame for it

  29. People who spy on your
    Social media or the bad once
    And their have the large public to
    Switch things around

    Like
    When u in public and people
    Start staring at u for no reason
    You know what going on
    Crimenals who falsy trying to blame u

    U cannot blame someone
    Who doesn't know them
    Their strange people
    And strange people does
    This from the beginning to
    Autistic people we not rude
    People we not trying to destroy people life autistic people mind their own business

    Will people who out on the street setting up acting movie
    And that is really bad

    Find a real job than
    Trying to show people their
    Wrong i kn the thief or watching

  30. I don't use manipulation
    Is a bad thing to play around with

    Work place use it to manipulate customers to buy stuff in their
    Shops

    To make money u need to manipulate people to buy your product

  31. My brain picks up Alot of stuff important for me and not be fooled by people who has
    No reason to be in your life
    Trying to be rude on the street
    Autistic people will show u
    How u people act in the open and show u or wrong but when u dealing with work place bullyin
    Is a different story

  32. Looks like someone is upset
    Playing silly music

    Is a daily pattern don't matter how
    Much u switch it up

    Autistic people will deal with
    The ridiculous people over again
    Because their don't make any sense at all why they're
    Goin after people

  33. Their never act normal
    Waiting on you on a street
    🤣😂😁😎😎 Showing u traits
    Of autistic people

    I saw it on every vlogger fliming outside doesn't matter what
    Video I watch I seeing those
    Fake spy s

  34. WONDERFUL STUFF. Can someone please explain what is the difference between a person with Borderline Personality Disorder and the Covert Narcissist? They seem to use the very same tactics of manipulation and gaslighting. Outwardly they put on a very good show for the world to see but behind closed doors with the one they supposedly love it is often a very bad story of continuous abuse and manipulation.

  35. This is so helpful. Dr. George Simon's work is important, and 99% of what he says is right on the money, and so appreciated. The only point I would argue is his assertion that these manipulative tactics are not rooted in fear. In fact, unless you are dealing with a rare pure psychopath who has zero conscience, any act of human aggression is rooted in fear. I have known covert manipulators very well and I can sense their fear — they are irrationally terrified of anyone they falsely perceive as being a threat to them in some way. But just because someone's pathology is deeply rooted in a subconscious fear does not make them an innocent victim, nor does it mean they should be coddled the way traditional therapists may do. I completely agree with Dr. Simon's treatment plan. But it's important to recognize that these people with "impaired consciences" who prey on those of us with healthy consciences do not lack fear. You can't tell me that Hitler did not fear the Jews. Deep down, he must have falsely perceived them as a threat to his well being. Does that mean we should pity him as a scared little victim? Hell no. Just as these covert manipulators should not be treated as victims. But their behavior is still rooted in fear. They live in fear of facing their own dark side, their shame, their pain, their damaging behavior. This is why Dr. Simon's technique works. He forces them to look at their shame, not run away from it as they have been doing their whole lives. Why do we run from and avoid shame? We do we avoid anything? Obviously because we fear it. Being fearful does not in any way absolve one's sins.

  36. I believe that people who appear to be manipulative have simply adapted their behaviour to avoid deep pain. It’s easy to label them as bad or evil without understanding the environment that their personality was formed in. I don’t believe anyone is inherently bad, but they have adapted in ways which make them appear so, for self-protection. If you make their behaviour about you, then you will think they are being manipulative. If you make their behaviour about self-protection, it makes it easier to understand. Such people will only change when they are ready, willing and able. Respectfully holding them accountable is helpful, but condemnation actually makes things worse.

  37. "Why do manipulators manipulate?"
    Here is a theory – Possibly short term material gains and a sense of power?

    Look at the faces of manipulative people – they never look truly happy and peaceful. So their machinations are not working to bring them longer lasting inner peace.

    They crave the inner peace of conscientious people but they don't have it. So instead of working on themselves to get it, which would be a long arduous task, they go for the short cuts. They take their victims' peace away for some temporary ego satisfaction.

  38. I listened to this in the car with no visuals – if he doesnt already he should narrate his own audio books!

  39. This is one of the most important videos about narcissism I've saw on internet in a very long time.
    And the most important aspect is that narcissism is treated as an attitude and not as an aptitude. This is not about healing anyone, it's about educate an adult who was the emotional intelligence of a child.

    It's a long journey, exhausting and the most important thing it should be done through the use of an intense and unstoppable of discipline and strength agains an ancient children isolated under layers and layers os iron which desensitise that person to connect truly emotionally with the others.

    There is two ways of doing this.

    In an intense, extreme and even cruel experience. (Abandon, prison, death of someone or insertion in a gulaig)

    Or

    A long term work based on making he/she to feel shame in a healthy way. Not blaming theirs, but the behaviours. And this should never ever be done by one of its "victims", but for an external agent (always specialised on manipulators and narcissists)

  40. What an exceptional video, aside from the part that was edited out which, I'm certain, is critical information. I'd like to be privy to the edit out, please.

  41. Meredith Miller, you are awesome. Dr Simon, I have your book. It exposes the inside truth in a way that can only come from total familiarity with the subject. Thanks for sharing what you know.

  42. I love the movie gaslight…my ex narc and daughter put me into a mental ward for hallucinating and thought I wanted to kill myself or my ex…it was horrible…they (902) ed me..long story but..I got out in a week and divorced his ass…now I am happy and free…

  43. Incredibly accurate information, from my experience. I've come to learn and know (Remember?) – myself, and everything involved with increased -awareness. In retrospct, it seems like i was always inclined towards a certain "vibrational-resonance", which just so happened to be ostracized and censored in this contemporary-simulation.

  44. this is not a useful video for victims of narcissists this seems to be for other therapists and it does not explain how to deal with narcissism at the personal level.

  45. I totally agree with the statement Dr George made about the investment & staving off the grieving process… before I knew about narcissism, I was in that place for a VERY long time… years & I couldn't figure out why I couldn't leave, but that's it exactly. I'm still with the narcissist, but working on my exit plan.

  46. On a lighter note! Is that pillow in the background an OCD test or is it just a pillow ? Please don't answer that because I have to find my other scuba flipper and shave off the other half of my moustache before I put peanut butter on my elbows .

  47. Innter integrity lady, In my opinion, your micro expressions, and other expressions say you are a phony, and out for yourself.

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