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HONESTY - Do You Know When It's the
WORST Policy?

When is being honest a good idea, and when can it
not only get you in a heap of trouble, but be truly unsafe?

Volume IV   # 62      Copyright 2013        All Rights Reserved

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You've no doubt heard it over and over: "Honesty is the best policy."
Well, no doubt there are situations where it is. For example, you have an intimate relationship, there's a high level of trust, the relationship has maintained over time, - that's a situation where honesty is not only the best policy, but it will enhance the level of emotional intimacy, connection and satisfaction.

But that said, there are situations where honesty is definitely NOT the best policy. To truly make your 'honesty choices' wisely and avoid all manner of possible negative consequences, it's important to know when to button your lip.

Here's one example: Your work environment has an opening at a level above yours, and you want to be considered. Meanwhile one of your co-workers shares something about his/her life that's more personal and intimate, and encourages you to do the same. They ask leading questions, they appear to be concerned about you, they may ask "how is such-and-such going?". Their manner says "I care about you."

So you share some details about yourself you would have otherwise kept to yourself, and the next thing you know, the higher ups that will make the choice about who gets that promotion have somehow gotten wind of your personal information. Now you look bad, and guess what - the person you shared them with is now looking like a much better choice. To put it briefly, you've been had.

The previous example is about a particular situation. But are there people with whom sharing personal information is not a good idea? In short, YES! There are people in this world who are all smooth as glass on the outside. They find out what's important to you and then align themselves with those values, saying that's what they want too. They may even produce evidence of their desires matching yours. But all this is a con, designed to get you into a situation where your guard is down, where you are vulnerable - physically, emotionally, financially or more. Then they take advantage, and you are left not knowing what hit you.

The buildup to this payoff for them can be short, as in a number of minutes or days, or really long - over a number of years. Think of the movie starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford, called "The Sting". The two laid very detailed and convoluted plans for conning their mark.

These cons can even become imbedded in organizational culture. To see this laid out in the financial industry and learn how it caused the recent financial crisis, read Liar's Poker by a financial insider - the former bonds trader and journalist Michael Lewis.

But to find out how to identify these situations, people and organizations before you get taken in by them, I suggest you read Roxanne Livingston's book Chronically Hurtful People. Roxanne is a social worker (and former BHB guest author) who spent well over 30 years working with the diagnostic categories called 'sociopaths' and 'character disorders'. She has lots of identifying tips and self-care strategies.

And if you've already been taken in - well, you're certainly not alone. There are smooth operators everywhere, and they present themselves with complete innocence and trust. And some are incredibly skillful.

The problem is that the more honestly you share what's going on with you, the more they use it to manipulate you and take advantage of you.

So, what to do? First, always listen to your gut, as it often 'knows' this is going on before your head does. Also recommended is listening to Roxanne.

 (Note:  BetterHealthBytes or Pamela Levin have no financial interest or connection to these books)

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Tags: manipulation manipulative people manipulated sociopath symptoms sociopath personality disorder character disorder personality disorders psychological manipulation sociopathic personality disorder

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Tags: manipulation manipulative people manipulated sociopath symptoms sociopath personality disorder character disorder personality disorders psychological manipulation sociopathic personality disorder


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