Detecting those who would take advantage of you?

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Joined: 31 Jan 2011
Gender: Male
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30 Apr 2023, 1:37 pm

Hi, I'm wondering if anyone on WP has gotten better at detecting those who would take advantage of us? Or can describe moments where you were almost certain that someone was trying to pull one over us?

Granted, there's a bit of the "survivorship bias" here...whereby those whom we turn away may have been of that type, but we'll never know, unless it's through the anecdotal evidence of other "marks" they took advantage of.

There's also something of a selection bias here, where we give off certain non-verbal vibes that we're someone who can be more easily taken advantage of, so we attract more of that type. Same thing goes for attracting hostility, unfortunately, which is why "NT advice" won't always be congruent with our rather unique predicament.

I was reading the book "Give and Take" by Adam Grant (which is a great read, BTW), and on Page 181 he says:

"Many people think they can judge givers and takers in the blink of an eye. But in reality, they're wildly inaccurate. Blink again. I don't mean to imply that we fall across the board in thin slicing. As Malcolm Gladwell revealed in Blink, many of our snap judgments of people are strikingly accurate. At a glance, we can often spot a passionate teacher, an extraverted salesperson, or a married couple in contempt. But we struggle mightily when guessing who's a genuine giver."

Basically saying that even NTs can zero in on a person's reciprocity signal. But, again, this is probably because NTs don't attract as many of that "taker" wrong element, so there's that selection bias at play again. 8O

I always thought that was a bit of a paradox for us Aspies, b/c if anything we ought to have our guards up that much more and be non-trusting, even somewhat paranoid, of just about everyone. I suppose it's due to a drought or a long yearning for genuine friendship, relationships, meaningful work etc. with others that's like a refreshing spring.


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Joined: 18 Jul 2013
Age: 56
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30 Apr 2023, 1:50 pm

I can't recognize people who would take advantage of me or hurt me or bully me unless it is excessively blatantly obvious. So I get victimized a lot. I don't seem to be able to get much better at recognizing these people no matter how often this happens to me.

"I'm bad and that's good. I'll never be good and that's not bad. There's no one I'd rather be than me."

Wreck It Ralph


Joined: 16 Mar 2023
Age: 34
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30 Apr 2023, 2:00 pm

If they don't offer to reciprocate and/or act as if they are entitled to a good deed from me I take it as a sign that they are likely taking advantage. Getting burned by that person once is the cost of never doing anything for them again, especially in the workplace, which I hate.


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Joined: 15 Sep 2008
Age: 70
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30 Apr 2023, 6:35 pm

I don't think it's easy to know people's motives, so I've usually confined myself to watching what I give and lend to people - I don't normally give much if I'm getting nothing back, and I very rarely give what I can't fairly easily afford to lose. And I keep the things I care about locked away or concealed if I think there's any danger. I don't trust people blindly, so if I'm investing anything in them, I'm likely to be somewhat on the alert for deception, and if things start looking one-sided, I'm likely to opt out before the cost gets too heavy. I usually avoid people who fail to keep promises, or otherwise arrange to avoid their unreliability from doing me much harm. But overall, people haven't asked me for an awful lot or tried to exploit me very often.