Tag: problematic

Dark Psychology & Manipulation: Are You Unknowingly Using Them?

Dark Psychology & Manipulation: Are You Unknowingly Using Them?

Dark Psychology is the art and science of manipulation and mind control. While Psychology is the study of human behavior and is central to our thoughts, actions, and interactions, the term Dark Psychology is the phenomenon by which people use tactics of motivation, persuasion, manipulation, and coercion to get what they want.

While working on my doctorate and studying abnormal psychology, I came across a term called “The Dark Triad” that refers to what many criminologist and psychologist pinpoint as an easy predictor of criminal behavior, as well as problematic, broken relationships. The Dark Triad includes the traits of …

Dark Psychology & Manipulation: Are You Unknowingly Using Them?

Dark Psychology Triad

Narcissism – Egotism, grandiosity, and lack of empathy.

Machiavellianism – Uses manipulation to deceive and exploit people and has no sense of morality.

Psychopathy – Often charming and friendly yet is characterized by impulsivity, selfishness, lack of empathy, and remorselessness.

None of us want to be a victim of manipulation, but it happens quite often. We may not be subject to someone specifically in the Dark Triad, but normal, everyday people like you and I face dark psychology tactics on a daily basis.

These tactics are often found in commercials, internet ads, sales techniques, and even our manager’s behaviors. If you have kids (especially teenagers) you will most definitely experience these tactics as your children experiment with behaviors to get what they want and seek autonomy. In fact, covert manipulation and dark persuasion are often used by people you trust and love. Here https://miramarretreat.org/ are some of the tactics used most often by normal, everyday people.

Love Flooding – Compliments, affection or buttering someone up to make a request

Lying – Exaggeration, untruths, partial truths, untrue stories

Love Denial – Withhold attention and affection

Withdrawal – Avoiding the person or silent treatment

Choice restriction – Giving certain choice options that distract from the choice you don’t want someone to make

Reverse Psychology – Tell a person one thing or to do something with an intention to motivate them to do the opposite which is really what you desire.

Semantic Manipulation – Using words that are assumed to have a common or mutual definition, yet the manipulator later tells you he or she has a different definition and understanding of the conversation. Words are powerful and import.

The purpose of this article is NOT to tell you how to avoid being manipulated and exploited (I’ll write about this in my next post). Rather, it’s to remind us all of how easy it is to fall into using these tactics in order to get what we want. I want to challenge you to assess your tactics in all areas of life, including your work, leadership, romantic relationships, parenting, and friendships.

While some people who use theses dark tactics know exactly what they are doing and they are intentional about manipulating you to getting what they want, others use dark and unethical tactics without being fully aware of it. Many of these people learned the tactics during childhood from their parents. Others learned the tactics in their teenage years or adulthood by happenstance. They used a manipulation tactic unintentionally and it worked. They got what they wanted. Therefore, they continue to use tactics that help them get their way.

In some cases, people are trained to use these tactics. Training programs that teach dark, unethical psychological and persuasion tactics are typically sales or marketing programs. Many of these programs use dark tactics to create a brand or sell a product with the sole purpose of serving themselves or their company, not the customer. Many of these training programs convince people that using such tactics are okay and is for the benefit of the buyer. Because, of course, their lives will be much better when they purchase the product or service.

Who uses Dark Psychology and manipulation tactics? Here’s a list of people who seem to use these tactics the most.

Narcissists – People who are truly narcissistic (meeting clinical diagnosis) have an inflated sense of self-worth. They need others to validate their belief of being superior. They have dreams of being worshipped and adored. They use dark psychology tactics, manipulation, and unethical persuasion to maintain.

Sociopaths – People who are truly sociopathic (meeting clinical diagnosis), are often charming, intelligent, yet impulsive. Due to a lack of emotionality and ability to feel remorse they use dark tactics to build a superficial relationship and then take advantage of people.

Attorneys – Some attorneys focus so intently on winning their case that they resort to using dark persuasion tactics to get the outcome they want.

Politicians – Some politicians use dark psychological tactics and dark persuasion tactics to convince people they are right and to get votes.

Sales People – Many salespeople become so focused on achieving a sale that they use dark tactics to motivate and persuade someone to buy their product.

Leaders – Some leaders use dark tactics to get compliance, greater effort, or higher performance from their subordinates.

Public Speakers – Some speakers use dark tactics to heighten the emotional state of the audience knowing it leads to selling more products at the back of the room.

Selfish People – This can be anyone who has an agenda of self before others. They will use tactics to meet their own needs first, even at someone else’s expense. They don’t mind win-lose outcomes.

Yes, I know. I probably stepped on some toes. As a speaker and a person who is involved in selling services, I fall into this category as well. This is why I must remind myself that working, writing, speaking, and selling with character requires that I avoid manipulative and coercive tactics.

When I’m facilitating training programs on motivation to business leaders, I am often asked about where the line resides between dark psychological tactics and ethical influence and persuasion tactics? Some of these people fully admit that they use these practices often or that their organizations require them to use dark practices as a part of the company’s processes to get and maintain customers.

This is truly unfortunate, and although leading to short-term sales and revenue, will ultimately lead to distrust, poor business practices, poor employee loyalty, and over the long-term less successful business outcomes.

To differentiate between those motivation and persuasion tactics that are dark and those that are ethical, it’s important to assess your intent. We must ask ourselves if the tactics that we are using have an intention to help the other person? It is okay for the intention to be to help you as well, but if it’s solely for your benefit, you can easily fall into dark and unethical practices.

Having a mutually beneficial or a “win-win” outcome should be the goal. However, you must be honest with yourself and your belief that the other person will truly benefit. An example of this is a salesperson who believes everyone will benefit from his product and life will be much better for the customer because of the purchase. A salesperson with this mentality can easily fall into using dark tactics to move the person to buy and use an “ends justifies the means” mentality. This opens the person up to any and all tactics to get the sale.

We can ask ourselves the following questions to assess our intention along with our motivation and persuasion tactics:

  1. What is my goal for this interaction? Who benefits and how?
  2. Do I feel good about how I am approaching the interaction?
  3. Am I being totally open and honest?
  4. Will the result of this interaction lead to a long-term benefit for the other person?
  5. Will the tactics I use lead to a more trusting relationship with the other person?

Do you want to be truly successful in your leadership, relationships, parenting, work, and other areas of life? Then assess yourself to determine your current tactics for motivation and persuasion. Doing it right leads to long-term credibility and influence. Doing it wrong (going dark) leads to poor character, broken relationships, and long-term failure because people eventually see through the darkness and realize your intent.

In my next post I will review the different types of dark psychology and manipulation tactics used most commonly. This will help you be aware of them and avoid being manipulated. Here are some of the tactics I will review…

  • Love Flooding
  • Love Denial
  • Coercive Reinforcement
  • Fatigue Inducement
  • Subliminal Influence
  • Choice Restriction
  • Reverse Psychology
  • Mind Games
  • Brainwashing
  • And a few more tactics you’ll want to know about.
Paranoid Personality Disorder (PPD): Symptoms & Treatment

Paranoid Personality Disorder (PPD): Symptoms & Treatment

What is paranoid personality disorder (PPD)?

Paranoid personality disorder (PPD) is a mental health condition marked by a long-term pattern of distrust and suspicion of others without adequate reason to be suspicious (paranoia). People with PPD often believe that others are trying to demean, harm or threaten them.

People with paranoid personality disorder often don’t think their behavior and way of thinking are problematic.

PPD is one of a group of conditions called Cluster A, or eccentric personality disorders. People with these disorders have unusual and eccentric thinking or behavior.

It’s important to note that people with paranoid personality disorder don’t experience delusions or hallucinations with paranoia, as commonly seen in schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder and severe manic episodes in bipolar disorder.

What age does paranoid personality disorder begin?

People with paranoid personality disorder typically start experiencing symptoms and showing signs of the condition by their late teens or early adult years. Keep reading in this website https://miramarretreat.org/ to know more about this mental disorders.

Who does paranoid personality disorder affect?

Overall, research reveals higher rates of paranoid personality disorder (PPD) in people assigned female at birth (AFAB), while samples from hospital records reveal higher rates of PPD in people assigned male at birth (AMAB).

People with PPD are more likely to:

  • Live in low-income households.
  • Be Black, Native American or Hispanic.
  • Be widowed, divorced or separated or never married.

More research is needed to learn more about why these risk factors are associated with PPD and how stress and trauma play a role in its development.

How common is paranoid personality disorder?

Paranoid personality disorder is relatively rare. Researchers estimate that it affects 0.5% to 4.5% of the general U.S. population.

Paranoid Personality Disorder


What are the signs and symptoms of paranoid personality disorder?

People with paranoid personality disorder (PPD) are always on guard, believing that others are constantly trying to demean, harm or threaten them. These generally unfounded beliefs, as well as their habits of blame and distrust, interfere with their ability to form close or even workable relationships. People with PPD severely limit their social lives.

People with PPD may:

  • Doubt the commitment, loyalty or trustworthiness of others, believing others are exploiting or deceiving them.
  • Be reluctant to confide in others or reveal personal information because they’re afraid the information will be used against them.
  • Be unforgiving and hold grudges.
  • Be hypersensitive and take criticism poorly.
  • Read hidden meanings in the innocent remarks or casual looks of others.
  • Perceive attacks on their character that aren’t apparent to others.
  • Have persistent suspicions, without justified reason, that their spouses or romantic partners are being unfaithful.
  • Be cold and distant in their relationships with others and might become controlling and jealous to avoid being betrayed.
  • Not see their role in problems or conflicts, believing they’re always right.
  • Have difficulty relaxing.
  • Be hostile, stubborn and argumentative.

What causes paranoid personality disorder?

Scientists don’t know the exact cause of paranoid personality disorder (PPD), but it likely involves a combination of environmental and biological factors.

Researchers have found that childhood emotional neglect, physical neglect and supervision neglect play a significant role in the development of PPD in adolescence and early adulthood.

Researchers used to think there was likely a genetic link among schizophrenia, schizotypal personality disorder and PPD, but more studies have revealed that this connection isn’t as strong as they once thought.


How is paranoid personality disorder diagnosed?

Personality continues to evolve throughout child and adolescent development. Because of this, healthcare providers don’t typically diagnose someone with paranoid personality disorder (PPD) until after the age of 18.

Personality disorders, including PPD, can be difficult to diagnose, as most people with a personality disorder don’t think there’s a problem with their behavior or way of thinking.

When they do seek help, it’s often related to conditions such as anxiety or depression due to the problems created by their personality disorder, such as divorce or lost relationships, not the disorder itself.

When a mental health professional, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist, suspects someone might have paranoid personality disorder, they often ask broad, general questions that won’t create a defensive response or hostile environment. They ask questions that will shed light on:

  • Past history.
  • Relationships.
  • Previous work history.
  • Reality testing.
  • Impulse control.

Mental health providers base a diagnosis of paranoid personality disorder on the criteria for the condition in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

Are other medical conditions associated with paranoid personality disorder?

Yes, approximately 75% of people with paranoid personality disorder (PPD) have another personality disorder. The most common personality disorders to co-occur with PPD include:

  • Avoidant personality disorder.
  • Borderline personality disorder (BPD).
  • Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD).

People with PPD are also more likely to have substance use disorder and panic disorder than the general U.S. population.


How is paranoid personality disorder treated?

People with paranoid personality disorder (PPD) rarely seek treatment on their own. Family members, coworkers or employers usually refer them.

When someone with PPD does seek treatment, psychotherapy (talk therapy), such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), is the treatment of choice. Therapy focuses on increasing general coping skills, especially trust and empathy, as well as on improving social interaction, communication and self-esteem.

As people with PPD often distrust others, it poses a challenge for healthcare professionals because trust and rapport-building are important factors of psychotherapy. As a result, many people with PPD may not follow their treatment plan and may even question the motives of the therapist.

Healthcare providers generally don’t prescribe medication to treat PPD. However, medications — such as anti-anxiety, antidepressant or antipsychotic drugs — might be prescribed if the person’s symptoms are extreme or if they have an associated psychological condition, such as anxiety or depression.


Can paranoid personality disorder be prevented?

While paranoid personality disorder generally can’t be prevented, treatment can allow someone with PPD to learn more productive ways of dealing with triggering thoughts and situations.


What is the prognosis (outlook) for paranoid personality disorder?

The prognosis (outlook) for paranoid personality disorder (PPD) typically depends on whether someone with PPD is willing to accept and commit to treatment. Talk therapy can sometimes reduce paranoia and limit its impact on daily functioning.

Left untreated, PPD can interfere with a person’s ability to form and maintain relationships, as well as their ability to function socially and in work situations. People with PPD are more likely to stop working earlier in their lives than people without personality disorders.

In addition, PPD is one of the strongest predictors of aggressive behavior in a hospital setting. PPD is also associated with stalking and excessive litigation (lawsuits).