Have I been using my newly developed social skills for evil?

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GreenPele
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21 Aug 2009, 5:21 pm

Of course years ago my social skills sucked, but I've slowly learned some things from other people. However I'm starting to think I've been abusing my new skills, even my Mom tried to say I'm getting to be a bit of a sociopath.

For instance I never really use these social skills to just make friends, I'll sometimes use them to get people to buy things for me, like when I get my Mom's boss/friend to buy me soda when I visit my Mom at work. Or like on very rare occassions I'll get angry at somebody and then pretend to be their friend, only to find a way to get even with them without them knowing.

I think I've gotten into a habbit of using social skills the wrong way. I kind of feel bad about it. =/


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21 Aug 2009, 5:39 pm

The things you gain by doing this are without real value and only give you a false sense of power. You can fool yourself that this isn't true but that is the way it is. I'm glad you feel kind of bad-that speaks well for you.



GreenPele
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21 Aug 2009, 5:57 pm

I have to admit, it does make me feel a little powerful when I do it. Used to I had to power over my life, but just seeing how I can get things by pretending to be something I'm not has made me feel like I'm more in control.

Well I don't want it to get out of control, I don't want to turn into some horrible monster, but at the same time I want to be in control of my life enough to where I don't get hurt by others and I can be more happy.


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21 Aug 2009, 6:19 pm

Gary Zukav

• We are evolving from a species that pursues external power into a species that pursues authentic power... Authentic power has its roots in the deepest source of our being. An authentically empowered person is incapable of making anyone or anything a victim. An authentically empowered person is one who is so strong, so empowered, that the idea of using force against another is not a part of his or her consciousness.



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21 Aug 2009, 7:14 pm

If you view people as objects to be manipulated, then you're exhibiting sociopathic traits. But your awareness of and regret about it suggests you're not a sociopath, as Aimless said.

I'm not sure I understand the meaning of the Gary Zukav quote. I am confident that Aspies may seem manipulative, since we don't give the signals and cues NTs expect in social interactions. I've been accused of being manipulative, though I wasn't consciously attempting to get anything from anyone. My social skills are not nearly that sophisticated.

Since people are already noticing, it's probably best to stop this behavior now, before it causes damage to your reputation that may take a long time to repair.



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21 Aug 2009, 7:55 pm

All I know is being a nice guy is getting me no where, I'm as nice as I can be and I get jack for it. If I became evil and was mean to others, I'd be noticed more. I may follow your path..... well, not really. I do think about it sometimes though.



Last edited by Homer_Bob on 22 Aug 2009, 11:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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21 Aug 2009, 8:15 pm

It is absolutely true that you can manipulate and or intimidate people into doing what you want. You can gain power and money and social status. The question is whether these things in themselves have any real value. What Zukav means is that the person who feels complete does not need to go outside of himself for validation. The cruel king can tell himself that he is beloved by his subjects because he is obeyed but it doesn't change the fact that he is despised and feared. That is the difference between false and authentic power. The king who's subjects follow him because they trust and value him is more powerful than the other. I'm talking about inner power here ya know. :)



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21 Aug 2009, 8:23 pm

Homer_Bob wrote:
All I know is being a nice guy is getting me no where, I'm as nice as I can be and I get jack for it. If a became evil and was mean to others, I'd be noticed more. I may follow your path..... well, not really. I do think about it sometimes though.


There's a difference between "being nice" and "letting people take advantage of you".
There's a difference between "maintaining healthy boundaries" and "being an as*hole".

You can be nice without letting people take advantage of you.
You can maintain healthy boundaries without being an as*hole.

"Niceness" has nothing to do with what you allow people to do to you. It has to do with your demeanor, the emotional state you portray as you conduct yourself. You can portray a kind, pleasant demeanor while still advocating for yourself. It is not bad or wrong to advocate for yourself; it's healthy.

If people react badly when you advocate for yourself, first consider whether your demeanor was acceptable. Tell trusted family members what happened, and see what they say. If your demeanor was appropriate, and the other people still reacted badly, that's a good sign that they were trying to take advantage of you, and that they reacted angrily once it became clear that they weren't going to be able to manipulate you. These people are not worth your time.

Being around these kinds of people will only cause you to pick up bad habits. Being around manipulative people breeds a mindset where you feel you have to "one-up" them, to stay ahead of them, to manipulate them before they can manipulate you. This attitude is toxic to any healthy relationship. You are better off alone than in the company of manipulators.



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21 Aug 2009, 11:43 pm

Honestly, it looks to me like you're mirroring others. This may be a transition phase for you. You have new power, you're testing its uses, and you're weighing the consequences. This is a huge and healthy enterprise. We should all be weighing our actions and monitoring our directions.



GreenPele
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22 Aug 2009, 12:00 pm

I guess the reasonI've been doing it is because everyone else I know does it. So what exactly is a good way to stop doing it? Just catch myself when I do it?


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22 Aug 2009, 1:58 pm

GreenPele wrote:
I guess the reasonI've been doing it is because everyone else I know does it. So what exactly is a good way to stop doing it? Just catch myself when I do it?


That sounds good. Try also to catch the value of what happened. And the why of it. I don't mean take forever on each one. Supposing you don't come up with a "why" for something, make a mental note to think it through. Maybe make a date with yourself for a few minutes daily, some quiet time. Don't judge yourself, just notice the paths and patterns. Adjust behaviour if appropriate to do so.

I wonder if you feel torn right now? You're a nice person but it feels good to throw your weight around for once in your life? If that's happening, accept it, be *very* conscious of it. We all have a hungry animal inside. Feed it and train it like you would a dog. A wild thing is good to have, but don't let it mster you.

Why am I talking like an oracle today? Maybe my own wild ting needs a dose of humility.



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22 Aug 2009, 2:07 pm

true claradoon-I try not to let myself get away with any nonsense. If I have a mean thought I'll ask myself if I'm really just jealous.