Exploiting Human Frailty: Is This Russia’s Plan For Destroying the Ukraine? Reply

Flag of the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU)

Flag of the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU)

By Chris Simmons

Over the last several weeks, “pro-Russian” forces – presumably including disguised Russian government personnel – have seized numerous Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) buildings.

But what is their goal?  Why would they attack Kiev’s intelligence service?  A display of strength? Perhaps. Seizing weapons? Undoubtedly, but as a lesser mission. I suspect that perhaps Moscow seeks to indirectly defeat the Ukraine by obliterating its primary spy service.

In capturing these facilities, the masked Russian personnel and their allies now presumably have the personnel and security files of SSU personnel, as well as family photos, contact information, etc. Additionally, the Russian “separatists” have already shown their propensity for anonymity (i.e., “unmarked uniforms, masks, etc). Such secrecy helps create a baseline of fear. As tensions escalate, the environment becomes ripe for terror attacks.

Students of irregular warfare (previously called “guerrilla warfare”) know insurgents maximize their strength and minimize their risks by attacking where an enemy is weak or vulnerable. Another tenet of this type of warfare is the adage, “Kill one, terrorize a thousand.”

Moscow does not want to engage the SSU directly – and now it doesn’t have to. It can incite panic by unleashing a reign of terror against the families of SSU officers. Such an effort could be as simple as kidnapping the loved ones of a few of its personnel. Russia would follow these acts with a well choreographed media campaign to convince the 4000 SSU members that their families are next. Bear in mind that to be effective, a terror threat need not be real — but merely perceived as credible.

People will always follow the 1st Rule of Human Natureself interest.  If Moscow successfully creates an environment of fear so pervasive that SSU members are forced to choose between their families and their nation – the Ukraine is doomed.

Bullying and Corporate Psychopaths at Work Reply

Clive Boddy is a Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior at Middlesex University in England. For the past seven years, he has studied the evidence and effects of toxic leadership, and in particular the influence of the presence of corporate psychopaths on various workplace outcomes, including on levels of conflict and bullying at work.


7 Sneaky Influence Tactics You Never Saw Coming 1

How people disguise their efforts to flatter and ingratiate

By Dr. Adam Grant in Psychology Today

Early in life, when people wanted to influence us, they got away with flattery and conformity. By complimenting us and agreeing with our opinions, they buttered us up and got what they wanted. As we gain experience with coworkers and bosses, advertisers and marketers, and friends and family members, we become wiser. We recognize these thinly veiled ingratiation attempts, and they fall flat.

Like a virus that mutates after being neutralized by medicine, many people have responded by developing more sophisticated weapons of influence. These stealth strategies are harder to spot, and if we’re not aware of them, we fall for them.

To learn about these tactics, strategy researchers Ithai Stern and James Westphal surveyed and interviewed thousands of members of the corporate elite. They asked CEOs, top executives, and board members at some of the world’s largest companies how they got away with ingratiating without making others suspicious of their motives. Seven consistent strategies showed up:

1. Framing flattery as likely to make us uncomfortable

Many executives admitted to prefacing compliments with disclaimers:

  • “I don’t want to embarrass you, but…”
  • “I know you won’t want me to say this, but…”
  • “You’re going to hate me for saying this, but…”

People get away with this sneaky tactic for two reasons. First, it disguises the goal: if the aim was to ingratiate, we expect people to focus on making us feel good, not bad. Second, it portrays us in a positive light: We think we’re viewed as modest.

2. Framing flattery as advice-seeking

Executives reported couching compliments in advice requests. Rather than saying “I really admire your success,” one executive asked an influential colleague, “How were you able to pull off that strategy so successfully?”

This makes it seem as if others are trying to learn from us, not ingratiate. As Jack Herbert put it, “We all admire the wisdom of people who come to us for advice.” Let’s face it: They have really good taste.

3. Complimenting us to our friends

When people compliment us directly, one manager noted, it’s “kind of obvious brown-nosing.” Instead, if they say nice things about us to our friends, “we will almost always find out about it eventually, and it will mean a lot more.”

When people speak glowingly about us behind our backs, we’re often pleasantly surprised that they were talking about us, let alone praising us. It also appears more genuine, because they’re putting their reputations on the line by telling others that they think highly of us.

Article continues here:  Sneaky Tactics

The Manipulative Power of Reciprocity Reply

By Chris Simmons

One of the many tools of persuasion is reciprocity. This simple technique works because when someone does a favor for us, it triggers a psychological need to “return the favor.”

It is why organizations send gifts in their fundraising appeals. Even though you didn’t ask for the item, you now own it and feel indebted to the other party. And remember, the favor received need not be a physical object. Anything provided by another, such as their time, information, or service, is enough to create a sense of obligation. To not reciprocate actually makes many people feel uncomfortable.

The psychological pressure of reciprocity is real. For example, I regularly take road trips with family members. When we stop for gas, many of my relatives that go into the Mini-Mart to use the rest room will buy something on their way out of the convenience store. In their experience, the fact that I just bought gas from the vendor is irrelevant. They made eye contact and/or spoke to the clerk on the way to the rest room and in doing so, became personally obligated to him/her because that’s the person who has to clean the bathroom. Their small purchase – an act of reciprocity – cancels their debt.

10 Signs Your Man Is A Psychopath Reply

Written by Kiri Blakeley on CafeMom’s blog, The Stir.

Are you in a relationship with a psychopath? You might think that’s something you’d know right away by the red tint of evil in the person’s eyes, the swastika tat on the forehead, or the insistence on discussing serial killers over dinner. But nope! Psychopaths can be extremely charming and come across like Prince Charming at first. So unless you know the signs, you’d probably get sucked into the life of a psychopath and not know who he or she really was until you are completely sucker punched. Here are 10 signs you should look out for to quickly identify a psychopath.

1. Flattery like you’ve never heard before.

Psychopaths move extremely quickly. On the first date, he’ll probably tell you that you are stunningly beautiful, unbelievably intelligent, and uproariously witty. He will play into every fantasy and insecurity you have. If you think you’re fat, he will tell you how much he loves your body. If you think you’re shy, he will laugh at every lame attempt at a joke and tell you you should have been a comedian. This is called “love bombing.” It’s the idealization phase he gets you hooked on, and it’s the phase you will spend the next however-many months or years trying to get back once he abruptly shuts it off.

2. He is just like you.

Psychopaths will try to convince you that you are soul mates, just alike. He loves all the things you love and you have all of the same interests. If you had a tough childhood, he will say something like, “We both had it rough. That’s why we understand each other.” If there’s an obscure book you love, he will make sure he loves it too. What he’s doing is called “mirroring.” He has no real identity, so he sucks yours up and mirrors it back to you.

3. Pity plays.

Pay careful attention to what a psychopath says on the first few dates about his exes and other people in his life. Is his ex girlfriend crazy and stalking him? Did another girlfriend rob him blind? Is his mother controlling and horrible? Does he seem like he’s had a tough time with people, who always use and abandon him? Whatever he says about the other people in his life is pretty much exactly what he’ll be saying about you at some point, so listen carefully.

4. Illnesses and injuries.

Psychopaths absolutely love pity, so pay attention to how many illnesses and injuries he’s had. Did he miraculously beat cancer but it could come back at any minute? Does he break his foot on your second date and has to cancel? (But strangely is okay for the third date?) Did he lose his first wife in a car accident that left him with brain trauma (yet he talks fine and seems fine)? Try to check out his stories — call hospitals if you need to — but don’t be surprised if he has an excuse for why you can’t find any record of any of his traumas.

Continue with the 5th Sign, “Great Sex:” 10 Signs Your Man Is A Psychopath

Caring or Controlling? The Truth Behind Handshakes Reply

A limp handshake is widely seen as a sign of insecurity, just as a firm handclasp is assumed to express confidence. But there are numerous other types of handshakes, all with very distinct meanings. These include:

  1. The Palm-Down:  In this scenario, an individual either offers his hand with the palm facing down or initiates a handshake normally before twisting his hand so he is on top. This is an aggressive gesture is intended to convey that they will be in control of the forthcoming discussion/negotiation.
  2. The Glove:  The meaning behind clasping someone’s hand with both of your hands varies significantly based on the connection between the two individuals. If the two parties already had an existing relationship, “The Glove,” done sincerely, is an expression of kindness or sympathy. However, if no prior connection existed, this gesture is a power play masquerading as empathy.
  3.  The Double Glove:  In this forceful response to “The Glove,”  the original victim uses his free hand to envelop the offending party’s outside hand. It is a very clear message that you are one to be reckoned with.
  4.  The Catch-And-Release:  A quick grasp and release is a dismissive gesture. This individual has no interest in you or your needs. Protect yourself by allowing this person to say what he/she feels they must say, thank them for their input, and then excuse yourself to attend to an unspecified urgent matter.
  5. The Arm Grab: This is a more refined form of “The Glove” wherein one party takes their free hand and touches or takes hold of the other person’s forearm, elbow, bicep, or shoulder. In an existing relationship – especially paternal ones — this can be a very genuine display of compassion and support. However, this gesture is often “hijacked” by unconnected others so they may appear caring and sincere when they are actually conveying their control over the other party. The higher they place their free hand on your arm, the more aggressive and controlling the intent. Additionally, politicians further distort this gesture by using the “bicep/shoulder grab” as a blocking gesture to ensure they are not caught in an unexpected or embarrassing hug.



How to Know When a Liar Thinks “I’m Going to Get Away With This!” Reply

By Chris Simmons

Every act of communication should be viewed as a distinct performance. This is especially true when a liar seeks to manipulate you with his/her deception. Generally, the deceiver will experience considerable stress and anxiety during their theatrics. However, all of their focus and attention is directed outwards towards their intended victim. As a result, they are rarely aware of all the stress indicators being given off during their act. For example:

  1. Watch for changes in their posture. Did they quickly relax when the subject changed to a new topic? Did their shoulders drop? Did their stance suddenly open-up and their gestures become bigger? If sitting, did they    ease back into their seat? If their arms or legs were crossed, did they uncross them?
  2. Did their emotional state quickly improve? Are they happier now that you’ve moved on to a new subject area? Did their smile broaden? Does their smile now show teeth when they hadn’t before?
  3. Did you notice the flash of an inappropriate smile earlier in the conversation? Known as “duper’s delight,” this is a quick smirk that crosses a deceiver’s face when they think they are “home free.” It’s an involuntary release of their inner satisfaction in believing they won’t get caught. [For an example of this response, watch this segment of the Jodi Arias trial. After answering the prosecutor’s question, she smiles and looks down (00:14-00:15) before returning her attention to the court proceedings] 
  4. If the discussion returns to the issue about which you suspect you’re being deceived, does he/she immediate become more tense, evasive, and uncomfortable? Are they quick to reply and then change topics?

Remember, a liar seeks to “sell” you on their deception and move on to non-threatening subjects. The sooner they are out of the “danger area” of the lie(s), the happier he/she becomes.

The Importance of ‘I Love You’ in the Sociopath Dating Game and Why the Sociopath Really Can’t! 4

The three words ‘I love you’ are meant to be special, intimate. To the sociopath ‘I love you’ means something entirely different.

When you first meet the sociopath, he spends a lot of time, listening, reflecting, mirroring.

  • Listening to what you say (to discover what your needs and wants are)
  • Reflecting (Offering you back what you need and want)
  • Mirroring (mirroring your body language, repeating back to you what you are saying, ‘active’ listening skills)

Love is a really important game to the sociopath in dating. Without love the sociopath loses their power.

A sociopath will constantly say ‘I love you’….. what this actually means is ‘do you love me’…. he is constantly checking whether you love him. He needs you to love him, as when you do, you are rendered ‘weak’

You are fooled into thinking this is a genuine love connection. The sociopath mirrors all of the reactions that people do when they are genuinely in love.

  • Wants to spend all of their time with you
  • Appears interested in you and your interests
  • Appears to share similar interests, goals, and morals
  • Tells you constantly that they love you
  • Showers you with attention and flattery
  • Fakes that they will help you to fulfill your dreams
  • Is very helpful and useful

With this belief that you have met someone who seems so perfect for you, you feel safe to let down your guard, and fall subsequently in love with the sociopath.

If you have been in a relationship with a sociopath, you will notice that they constantly say ‘I love you’, this leads you to feel some sense of responsibility for the sociopath, and that you should love them back. This is part of the manipulation and control.

The sociopath constantly checks what you are feeling about them, and if you are in love with them. When you are in love, you are rendered ‘weak’. This is in reality how the sociopath sees you.

There is a saying ‘crazy in love’ and being in love, can be a temporary form of ‘madness’ where we can lose ourselves in the moment of ‘love’.

Love is important to most humans, especially women. We all have the need to love, and to be loved.

The sociopath abuses this. This is what can leave victims feeling both confused, and lacking in belief that the person they are in love with is actually a sociopath after all your partner was so:

  • ‘Loving and caring’
  • Helpful
  • Focused on you (giving you the illusion that they were as into you as you were them’
  • Moralistic

The person behind the mask is rarely seen. If you imagine the Wizard of Oz….. you are lured in and left spell bound by what you see in front of the curtain….. but when Dorothy pulled back the curtain, she saw a very different person operating the machine.

This is exactly what the sociopath does. He uses LOVE and fakes love, to

  • Get you to fall in love
  • So that (if you are in love) you feel a responsibility for him, and are weak
  • Manipulate you

Because the sociopath has no conscience, he doesn’t care whether this causes you pain. The sociopath thrives to

  • Be in control
  • To win

Duping others, conning, and winning, obtaining what he wants by deception can give the ultimate high (see also sociopath’s dupers delight and the joy of conning someone). They suffer from boredom, and are not restricted by either

  • Moral compass, responsibility for anyone else
  • Emotions and feelings for anyone else except themselves

Whilst you are going headlong into the relationship with the sociopath, losing your head and falling in love, the sociopath will fake that he is in love. He will fake this so very well, that it will feel like a soul mate connection.

Why victims stay in the relationship with the sociopath

The reason why victims stay with the sociopath, is because of the poker effect. Once the mask begins to slip, the victim has fallen in love with the ‘illusion’ that the sociopath has sold to the victim. Everybody needs ‘closure’ but there can be no closure with the sociopath. You are in love with simply an illusion. The sociopath will give you back niceness, kindness, and fake love again, to lengthen his time with you. This is simply because the sociopath does not want to lose source for supply. This is all that you are to the sociopath, ‘a source for supply’.

Feature continues here:  The importance of ‘I Love you’ in the sociopath dating game and why the sociopath really cant!