NTs being hypocritical and manipulative - or are we all the same?

One of the things I hate about being autistic is not always seeing when I am being manipulated by another person.

I am not usually in favour of the 'us and them' type debates when it comes to NTs and ND, but does anyone else get sick and tired of NTs being hypocritical or manipulating situations or persons to save their own skin or create an advantage for themselves?

Being older means I am now wiser to most tricks, but I still miss when those close to me are trying to pull the wool over my eyes, probably because I trust them more and let my guard down a little.

The same can be said when it comes to exploiting vulnerabilities and weaknesses.  I can run out of fingers counting the number of incidents where family have been completely hypocritical over the festive period and I don't think they even do it intentionally, they just can't help themselves!  I can't imagine what it must be like to live like this, to feel you have to twist every situation to your advantage.  I once had an internal debate around masking and whether that classed as manipulation as I was fraught with the ethics attached to it.  I came to the conclusion that although it was technically dishonest in relation to who I was, it was also done in self-defense to help me keep my head down and out of the way of those that like to exploit.  But could the same be said of NTs?  Do they see their actions as a form of self-preservation, but to the extent that the end game is to be in a better position than where they started? 

If that is the case are we merely as bad as one another, where only our perception of the what is right and wrong with the components of deception, actually differ?  We mask to survive, so our end game is to be in a safe and comfortable situation (no threats), whereas for NTs it might be to get a promotion in a job, gain respect from others etc.

I would like to think my intentions around masking are innocent and only done to survive in a world that demands it - it is never done with the intention to hurt others.  But could NTs also be doing the same, they mask and manipulate because the same world demands it - it's the intentions and damage caused from said actions I struggle to understand. Are they always aware the consequences of their actions, or do they go about this intuitively without thought?  This is something that has been buzzing round my head for most of the day.

  • No, neither have I ~ got it all figured out that is. I used to enjoy my job, in fact I enjoyed it very much, but it used to burn me out after a while and so did every other job I did, so I decided I wasn’t going to do it anymore and instead I’m  going to work in a way that doesn’t  burn me out and which gives me all the money I need to do all the things I love to do as well as all the time I need to actually do these things. 

    My needs and interests don’t come cheap but that’s not a problem because I value what I do (work wise) and I also know people only pay what they think a service/product is worth to them so I have no problem with charging what fees work for me. I know how much money I need to earn each week, I’m learning how many hours a week I can devote to work so when I’m ready, I’ll know what to charge. But that’s not something I’m concerning myself with just now. That side of life will come together at the right time. And yeah, one step at a time :) 

  • I'm fortunate that work is actually a positive thing for me (most of the time). It gives me enough interaction with people without the social pressures and I do really enjoy what I do. I actually find it more difficult when I'm not in work although I am aware I do need the rest.

    I'm not overly bothered by money but it would be nice to be able to afford to do some of the things that I really enjoy.

    I'm learning about my limits. I don't think I've quite got it figured out yet but like you say. One step at a time.

  • Yeah, I tend to keep my friends in their relevant places and rarely meet people outside of the activity. That’s perfect for me and if I’m not feeling great, I don’t even go to my activity. I put my  health and wellbeing before everything because I’ve learned that when I don’t, I can easily have a melt down which I tend try to avoid these days. I know my limits. 

    I’m also fortunate to have had a severe burn out which made it impossible for me to work, or even rarely get out of bed, for one year. I did a bit more than get out of bed in my second year (that’s just coming to a close) and I’ve learned an awful lot. 

    I also refuse to even think about working again until I’ve minimalised and organised my home life, got my routine sorted in a way that serves me, including social activities etc, because I know when I work it’s easy to loose the work life balance. I also don’t know yet how many hours I want to work or exactly what I’m going to do. I’ve got lots of exciting ideas but I’m taking my time and I’m not at the stage where I am thinking seriously about work yet. 

    Not having money doesn’t bother me. It’s been a blessing in so many ways, and I wouldn’t put my need to get money before my health and wellbeing so I can wait to make money, until I’m ready. So it’s all one step at a time :) 

  • I can certainly see what you mean about enjoying people's company during an activity. The few friends I do have are through a special interest but I find it difficult in a social occasion that is separate from the interest as that is literally the only thing we have in common.

    There are other activities I would enjoy but at the moment the idea of taking the plunge and meeting new people sends my anxiety way too high. One day maybe. Unfortunately the activities I enjoy also seem to be expensive ones which doesn't help.

    I think I'm finding it harder at the moment because I'm off work for a couple of weeks. I'm out of routine and it throws me off.

    You sound like you are doing well with the balancing act.

    The place where I was diagnosed has an autism group but unfortunately it runs at a time when I am in work so I can't attend.

  • That can happen. Isolation I mean, beyond what is good for us, if we're not careful. 

    But I've figured out that it's not so much people per se, that I don't like being around or that I feel vulnerable being around all people. It's more complex than that. So I'm building my social life around things that I enjoy. For example, I enjoy going to this singing group called the quirky choir, for several reasons. And now I've won my pip appeal, I'll be able to pay the small weekly fee and I will enjoy the singing but also enjoy the company. I've also got my autism group and I recently started a pottery group and because I'm more in control of these situations (because I know myself better) I have more confidence so I'm less vulnerable and over time, I'm finding that I'm building friendships with people in a way that I like, in a way that suits me. For example, I enjoy people's company while I'm doing the activity, whatever it is. I rarely contact any of these people or see them outside of the groups, and that's how I like it. Although I do sometimes see a couple of my autistic friends outside of the group. 

    I'm just at the beginning of building my new life. I only got my diagnosis last October, so I think, with reference to that, I'm doing pretty well.

    For me it's all about getting the balance between being alone and spending time with other people and somehow along the way, I'll be building my working life onto it. 

    My alone time is important to me but I've realised, that so is being around other people some times as well. So I'm building it up gently and learning how to deal with the autism stuff as I go, for example, not being able to read people etc etc, other people not being able to understand me and all that stuff and I'm finding that if I look after myself well, I can handle those situations better and easier. It's all a learning curve for me just now. A time of discovery. 

  • Yes I think I have done similar. Sadly sometimes I think it means I sometimes distance myself too much from people. It makes me less vulnerable but I guess it may also make me miss out on good things too. But it is certainly better than always second guessing others behaviours and wondering whether what they did was deliberate or not. And it has definitely allowed me to see what I enjoy and am comfortable with rather than what I will do in an attempt to fit in. Time for me is definitely good but I do worry sometimes I will isolate myself completely.

  • Absolutely and at the end of the day, the only people we can take responsibility for is ourselves. I know I'm extremely vulnerable to manipulation therefore I keep my distance from people and spend most of my time by myself and I make sure I keep my side of the street clean. And it turns out, that having lots of time by myself, is really good for me, whether I like it or not, so realising I was vulnerable was a really great thing for me. It gave me my alone time and time to work out just how I do fit into the world or what it is I do actually enjoy doing, which makes me less vulnerable to manipulation. 

  • We can try being ourselves. That's what I'm doing and so far, despite it not being easy, it's working out well. 

    I don't actually fit in to the 'normal' way of things so I don't try to fit in, so they don't ostracise me, I simply choose not to participate. That doesn't mean I'm saying they're wrong, I'm just saying their ways are not for me. So I'm finding out what is for me and I feel eternally blessed and fortunate to live in a country that enables me the time and space to figure that out, by proving me with food and shelter and a few support workers to boot! 

    My sense of worth doesn't come from somebody else's thoughts or opinions about me, which are usually wrong anyway. So in that sense, they can't do any of the above things to me. 

  • Who has the power to forgive another person? And how would their forgiveness affect another person anyway? Most people who do 'bad' things, aren't looking for forgiveness, they're just like everybody else, they just want what they want. If they feel bad about what they've done to the degree they want to try and make up for whatever they did, they might ask for forgiveness but the forgiveness has to come from them. They have to live with themselves. We can't give forgiveness to another person or get it from another person, it comes from within ourselves. 

  • I think people with autism are often easier to manipulate due to their way of thinking. But I think NTs are often manipulated too. It is also not all NTs that manipulate. I have also met a number of people with autism that are very manipulative. 

    I think some manipulative behaviour is innocent and like with masking the person may not even be aware they are doing. I'm not sure I'd consider masking actual manipulation though. I wonder whether any of this counts as manipulation if it is not deliberate. Some manipulation is simply to get what that person wants. Other manipulation can be sinister and calculated and this is far more harmful.

    Perhaps the effects of manipulation is worse if you have autism because of the difficulties over reading people's intentions. 

    I think in short this is very complicated and I think it goes much further than just whether people are ND or NT.

  • No, not at all. What I'm trying to say, is that there is always more than one point of view. I see and experience the world very differently to most people, therefore, when I'm aware of somebody's behaviour, you can pretty much guarantee that I'm not going to see it in the same way most other people will ~ because I see the world differently. Not because I've got different opinions or beliefs or whatever, it's just the way I genuinely see the world, which is always, or nearly always, different from the way other people do.

    If somebody is doing something that the majority of the population say is manipulation, like I said, you can pretty much guarantee I won't see if like that because I see and experience the world differently to most people. I rarely even see a person's face or what colour hair they have etc, which can be a bit of a bother if I let it as I often don't recognise people I know.

    It could be that instead of seeing manipulation, I see a frightened person. They might be carrying a huge amount of emotion around loss with them and maybe they see their partner slipping through their fingers. What they are thinking might not be true but it's true to them based on an old but very alive and active wound. So that person might do something that appears to most people to be 'manipulative' but that is only one single view point. Maybe the person is dying inside, thinking they're going to be left all alone, again. I don't know. I see different things in different people of course but rarely do I label a person's actions as simply 'manipulation' because I usually see something very different. It's like I read or communicate on an energetic level rather than a physical and that's probably why I don't see what other people see.

    I can't help how I see things. I've never seen things the same way as other people, even as a little kid.

    And the prayer isn't anything to do with religion or 'god' it's more about changing my mind set from a rigid one sided view, to seeing them more as a person. It's a way of making me humble so I don't harden my heart and judge people. Whether a person is guilty or not, it's not my job to judge them and sentence them to some punishment, such as labelling them a manipulator.

  • Not to go too much on a tangent, but I agree with what you are saying that we are indeed the minority and as such have the smaller voice.  The sad thing is you could apply the above 5 statements to any marginalised group, which would include race, gender, sexuality etc.

    This is where I struggle when my thoughts go down the route of 'us and them'.  The reason we have discrimination and oppression is because we fail to acknowledge all as equals and human beings despite our differences.  I have sat through many a heated debate with my brother, on the verge of ripping my hair out because he has taken the 'us and them' mentality with regards to race.  I can't stomach the fact that my brother is a blatant racist and despite my attempted counter arguments of how we are all human beings, it is only our morale compass and actions that cause fractions, he still continues with his illogical mindset.

    When we face individuals such as my brother, then we will come up against stigma and oppression - all because they created a final opinion on a group of people, possibly from ill-sourced information or an individual incident.

  • There are definitely people in the world that will continue to hurt others, despite being granted forgiveness and compassion - if anything there are a minority that will probably to see this as a free pass to continue their behaviour.

  • It's not compassion for others that I'm looking for ~ it's compassion for myself. It doesn't hurt the other person if I think badly of them. It hurts me. I'm the one believing and thinking bad thoughts. It can also take over my life if I believe somebody has manipulated me. The way I see it, it's like self harm. I have to find within me the reason why I'm feeling the way I am and why I'm believing what I'm believing and look at how I'm reacting to the beliefs as opposed to just thinking 'that person is manipulating me' because that belief would hurt me whether it was true or not.  The only reaction I could have to that would be to keep away from that person and for many reasons, that's not always the best course of action. 

    Once I've found the truth within me, I am no longer hurt etc and I can make better decisions. I can look at the situation and decide if it is helpful to me or not. Does it bring peace into my life? Joy? Love? Freedom? Etc etc 

    Compassion to me, has no connection with the other person and it certainly has no connection with second chances etc. If I did give somebody a 'second chance' I would question what that even means. For example, is it a type of manipulation to try and make sure that the other person thinks, behaves and believes etc in ways that I want them to? Is it a way to try and 'change them'? 

    Radical forgiveness is a process (it's free online) that takes you through a process by which you arrive at the truth. And without exception, you ALWAYS find that there is no need to forgive the other person. It's not called 'radical' for the sake of it and the results are always astonishing. 

    If somebody manipulates me once, and I become aware of it, and if I decide to continue in a relationship with them, then I only have myself to blame if they do it again. Only I don't see things that way. I wouldn't see any blame. Just a beautiful lesson that I'm not great in relationships, that I lose myself and become whatever the person wants me to be or what I found from my time in a relationship with a narcissist, was that I didn't love myself as much as I thought I did and I had a deeply held subconscious belief that I wasn't good enough, which cracked me up when I discovered that one! So I will be eternally grateful to that guy. Through him, I found out a lot about myself, including that I was autistic. So although it appeared to everybody else that he was manipulating me etc etc, to me he was the greatest gift I'd ever had and it's a shame, because he'll never know that because I also learned that the best way to deal with someone like that is to go no contact, so I did. 

    I got raped several times when I was younger. I didn't blame or hate the rapists, I simply learned to keep my distance from men and to be more careful at looking after myself. I can understand now why people use blame etc but it doesn't get to the truth and it really is only the truth that sets us free. 

    I know, I've got a weird way of looking at and experiencing the world and I don't always explain myself well. 

  • So what you are saying then is that you accept that all people (NT and ND) manipulate whether for self-preservation or gain, but you only analyse it when it has caused you to act in a way you did not intend to (i.e. attend the pictures when you did not want to).

    I'm afraid I hold an agnostic viewpoint so prayer serves no purpose for me personally and I do not believe/accept it will help others.  However, I can accept prayer for you is me taking pity on others and only hoping they will find a greater cause to battle for, rather than shallow achievements.  This however, does not make me any better or worse than them and I won't judge as such (unless is it clear causing intentional harm to someone) I just struggle to understand it.

  • Ok, I'll try and explain my weird mind and the weird way I experience the world as best I can. Let's say for example, you thought you were nice and slim and you felt that being slim was important to you. If somebody came up to you and called you fat, it wouldn't bother you because you thought you were slim.

    If, however, you thought you were fat, while still holding the belief that it's important to you to be slim and the same person called you fat. You'd likely be offended. Not because they thought you were fat because you thought you were fat and they simply brought it to your attention. They didn't insult you. You became aware of your own judgemental and unfavourable beliefs about yourself.

    Sorry, we're talking about how it's not possible for someone to manipulate me. So, let's say, somebody wants me to go to the pictures with them and I don't want to go. The person might use manipulation to get me to go. If they work, they have simply highlighted to me, that I lost sight of what I wanted and in doing so, I put somebody else's needs before mine, before even taking the time to consider the situation.

    The person may have used manipulation tactics which may have worked, but to me, I don't see that as manipulation at all. I see it as a sign for me to look at why I did something I didn't want to do. Why didn't I take some time to consider the situation or why didn't I just say no?

    So if I don't think that I've been manipulated, have I been? Also, the manipulator may not have thought they were manipulating me. They may have genuinely thought they were doing me a favour. So who is it that is saying it's manipulation? Yes, it is one way of looking at it but there are many other ways to look at it also which could be equally valid.

    I'm not sure that I have the ability to see through lies, deceit or manipulation. It's more that I seek the truth and if it appeared that I had been manipulated, and I could find no alternative explanation, then I would have to ask myself, could I say, without any shadow of a doubt, that that person, purposefully and thoughtfully, manipulated me for their own benefit? Can I honestly say that, that's the truth and nothing but the truth? And even then, if I could say yes, what does it matter anyway? I'm not a judge, nor am I a jury and as I said, I'm quite sure they were acting out of some kind of desperation or self preservation or whatever. I've done it so I won't judge another for doing it to me or anybody else. And even if I had never done it, I'm still not without sin so I can't pass such a judgement on somebody. And there's always more to a story. There is never just one view point.

    And if a Christian came out with
    'Homosexuality is an abomination against God, and homosexuals should be stoned to death'? ~ no, I most definitely would not let that annoy me. When I'm annoyed, I can't think clearly or act clearly, I act and think from a place of annoyance, which rarely turns out well, so if I were to feel any annoyance, I would deal with that first, and then maybe try and talk to the person.

    I would first of all though, hear them. I mean really hear them. If they said that about homosexuals I would want them to feel comfortable about talking about it. If they feel judged or threatened in any way, they will fight tooth and nail to defend their beliefs, instead of engaging in a non threatening conversation about it.

    Often you find that people are simply carrying on a belief they adopted from their parents or somebody else they looked up to. And they've often never had the opportunity to actually explore it. They have either been met by people who agree with them or people who are against them. So they may have defended their belief, in anger, triggered by somebody else's anger who didn't agree with them. But often times, people let go of such a belief, after they have looked into it and they often feel foolish for ever thinking it in the first place. And I've rarely seen an angry person change another person's beliefs by judging them and being angry towards them.

    And no, it's none of my business what somebody else thinks or believes. I'll leave that to the thought police or the people who think we all need to believe the same things. I have a full time job looking into my own beliefs and thoughts, and getting them right. I don't see how me judging another person and getting annoyed, helps me, them or anybody else, so I don't bother ~ or I at least work towards finding out where my anger is coming from.

  • So I try to remember to have compassion for people using those tactics and the prayer really helps with that. I sometimes use other tools, such as radical forgiveness, and sometimes it takes weeks to resolve the conflict within me, but I don't give in because I know there is no value in me suffering for somebody else's suffering.

    However, sometimes compassion does not work, or second, third, forth chances, or even radical forgiveness ... and  they keep on manipulating and hurting whatever humanity and tolerance you muster :( 

  • For a start, in the way I view or experience the world, it's not possible for anybody to manipulate me and it's none of my business if somebody is being hypocritical, so I'm not going to allow myself to feel annoyance or anger over something which isn't my business.

    How is it not possible for anybody to manipulate you, BlueRay?  How have you developed an ability to see through lies, deceit, manipulation?

    And what if, say, a Christian starts coming out with 'Homosexuality is an abomination against God, and homosexuals should be stoned to death'?  Does that not annoy you?  Is it really none of your business?

  • Forgive me for repeating a comment I made on another thread yesterday...

    1) We're in a small minority, and therefore have a small voice in comparison to the majority.  The majority voice, therefore, will always drown ours out.

    2) The majority oppresses us by stigmatising us, stereotyping us, discriminating against us, refusing to listen to us, refusing to accept our demands, accusing us of using our minority status and condition as an excuse for our behaviour - basically, denying us our sense of common humanity.  In many senses, they pay little more than lip service to trying to 'support' us.

    3) We are given little choice but to try our hardest to copy the majority in order to survive in what is effectively their world, their hegemony.  This copying - this denial of our essential selves - does us untold psychological damage.

    4) We are pushed into ghettos, where we can at least find some sense of commonality and solace through proper acknowledgement and understanding of our true status as functioning humans, sharing a portion of the world that we increasingly feel crowded out of otherwise.

    5) In respect of all of the above, we feel disempowered, disenfranchised, disowned... dehumanised.  Many of us see struggle as exhausting and/or futile.  Many of us, through exhaustion and associated mental health issues, are consigned to lives on the margins - on welfare or low incomes.  Many of us become too sick to function properly at all.  Many of us take our lives rather than endure it any longer.

    Is this all we can hope for?  Do we just give up and go along with what they want, in the hope they'll leave us alone?  Do we continue to stand for this oppression?

    What other choice do we seem to have?

  • In answer to your first question (paragraph 2), my answer is no, I don't get sick and tired of nt's for being hypocritical and manipulative etc.

    For a start, in the way I view or experience the world, it's not possible for anybody to manipulate me and it's none of my business if somebody is being hypocritical, so I'm not going to allow myself to feel annoyance or anger over something which isn't my business.

    If somebody uses manipulation tactics on me, I see it as simply a way in which they are cheating and fooling themselves. And if their tactics work on me then it is a lesson for me to learn; to learn to stand strong myself in the face of adversity and not to give away anything I don't want to give away.

    If I have to manipulate somebody to get my own way, it tells me that I have no faith in what I'm trying to achieve and it's probably not wholesome, loving and pure. In which case, I have no business being involved in it. I would question my motives.

    Likewise therefore, because I see the world through my eyes, I see that the person using those tactics is simply harming themselves, not me, and if I can help them, I will. I won't judge them, because who am I to judge? Besides which, I have used manipulation tactics many times in my life, as a form of survival or self defence because I didn't know what else to do. And to be honest, I don't think I've ever met a person who hasn't been manipulative at some point in their lives. And if we spot it, we have definitely got it, otherwise we could never spot it in the first place. Manipulation might not be a great tactic to employ, but sometimes, through lack of awareness or whatever, it's the best we've got.

    Instead of getting angry at people who employ these tactics, which as you said, must be soul destroying to live that way, you could pray for them. It's not a religious type prayer. They taught me this in AA and it works every time. Sometimes it takes longer to work than others, but sometimes it's instant.

    You simply ask, or hope and pray, that they receive in life, everything you want for yourself and more. Pray that they may find peace in their hearts and minds, faith in what they're trying to achieve and happiness, love and joy in their lives.

    I know when I've used those tactics, I haven't been in a good place, either mentally or in my heart. So I try to remember to have compassion for people using those tactics and the prayer really helps with that. I sometimes use other tools, such as radical forgiveness, and sometimes it takes weeks to resolve the conflict within me, but I don't give in because I know there is no value in me suffering for somebody else's suffering.

    The world is but a reflection of who we are. That's something else I learned in AA. They taught me that when we have one finger pointing outwards at someone else or something else, there is always three pointing back. And they told me. If I want to know what the problem is, I need only to look in the mirror.

    I don't think I am bad for using manipulation tactics. It was the best I could do at the time. It was self preservation. Likewise, I don't think anybody else is bad for using such tactics either. Like me, they're doing their best to survive also, with their own reasons.

    We all act differently in different situations. Sometimes we know what we're doing and sometimes we seem to act intuitively, or maybe blindly!

    But if we feel anger or any other emotion, then the feeling is always within us, therefore the solution is also within us. We can't control how others act or react and often times we can't control our first thoughts. But we can learn to pause and reflect and see what's really going on here.

    And are people really hypocrites anyway? Don't we a have blinkered vision? That's why it's good to talk, and listen, and it's listening I need to do more of! Lol!

    Great question. Thanks.