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How to Handle Master Manipulators
Dale Hartley MBA, Ph.D.
Malingering is faking illness to gain a benefit or avoid responsibility. Two brazen criminal malingering cases are presented along with the clever ways by which they were exposed.
Tax-time dread and IRS aversion are very real. When it comes to taxes, some people have a full-blown phobia. There has never been a name for this phenomenon, until now.
A Ponzi scheme bankrupted President Grant and brought down a major New York Bank. With Mark Twain's help, Grant recovered some of his fortune. Who was this consummate swindler?
Clinical zoanthropy or lycanthropy is a type of psychosis in which people believe they have become animals. Cases date back to antiquity. Several modern cases are presented.
The “no true Scotsman” fallacy may be used to gain an unfair advantage in arguments. It affected 2020 electoral politics and may feature prominently in this week's horrific events.
Polyembolokoilamania is insertion of foreign objects into one's orifices. A government database tracks cases that require emergency medical extraction. Several cases are presented.
When someone habitually schemes and deceives, that person is probably a Machiavellian. But you don't need to label them. Their persistent duplicity is your flashing warning sign.
When told by police that a stalker tried to purchase a gun to kill him, Stephen Spielberg obtained a restraining order. Do such orders deter or inflame stalkers?
Understanding the dystopian world that confronts us requires having words and ideas that accurately express what is happening.
Poe was found semi-conscious in a Baltimore tavern wearing someone else's clothes. Delirious and hallucinating, he died four days later. Strange clues point to what happened.
When positive psychology is used as a means of gaslighting and manipulating people, it is rendered into something saccharine, superficial, abusive, and distorted.
A mother who was also a psychologist practicing marriage and family counseling reportedly killed her children and then herself rather than share custody. What led to this tragedy?
Here is a true tale that could have been penned by Edgar Allen Poe. The setting: a sepulchre late at night, where beauty and untimely death meet psychotic love and necrophilia.
Freud kept a small metal porcupine on his desk as a reminder of "the porcupine dilemma," which he considered essential for understanding relationships.
The disease model is helpful in understanding how QAnon's outlandish and unverifiable claims gained wide acceptance. Three cases illustrate the viral spread of QAnon.
If a plasma center offers double payment to donors with Covid-19, would people deliberately infect themselves just to score a few dollars more?
To avoid cognitive dissonance, some people suppress awareness of contradictory beliefs. See a man assert contradictory political opinions twice within 30 seconds.
Recent research has identified 7 types of stalkers who target public figures, based on their motivations.
The plague came to England the same year Shakespeare was born. Compare the reaction of 16th century Europeans to 21st century Americans.
She set her stories in "the Christ-haunted South." Her characters are from a place and an era of segregationist Baptists, tent revival Pentecostals, and itinerant Bible salesmen.
All complex systems, including humans, have limitations or "constraints." The theory of constraints offers a process for eliminating or improving them.
Resilience is coping with and enduring adversity. Why not gain strength and thrive?
This case study of my encounter with a manipulative couple illustrates how confusion, puzzlement, and sense of "having been had” are typical of encounters with High Machs.
"The amount of energy needed to refute bull**** is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it."
An elderly couple is killed in their gated community. He is decapitated. She is dumped in a lake 6 miles away. No forced entry, and nothing is taken. Now the case has gone cold.
Going along to get along can minimize conflict and dispel cognitive dissonance. It can also produce dire consequences.
Salespeople and service technicians who make house calls know what lurks behind the closed doors of suburbia. And what tales they can tell!
In this case, the alleged killers are female, African-American, and one is a family member who was not slain, but who allegedly participated in the crime.
Just as he (or she) cons victims before abusing them, the predatory pedophile cons himself or herself as well. This leads to a sense of power and invulnerability.
Dale Hartley is a retired professor of business and psychology.