Man, it’s good to let some steam off. At least, from time to time. Every time you deal with aggressive or frustrated people, the energy between you is curbed. This is how it works, their actions or words are dislocating large chunks of energy that you have to process somehow. Pressure builds up. Most of the time, that pressure and aggressiveness can be recycled. But sometimes, it can’t. So you let the steam out and this is how you deal with aggressive and frustrated people.
But as I looked over the other day post and its reactions on Twitter and Facebook, something interesting stroke me. You know, aggressive people are easy to spot. They’re loud and somehow visible. They yell at you and they even become physically violent. But they’re not the only species that can hurt you. Not even remotely. In a way, they’re easier to deal with because they’re honest and easy to spot.
But there are a few types of people who are even worse than them. I call those “false positive people”. It’s coming from a programming concept, in which you create an algorithm and then start feeding it with data, but at some point, the algorithm is bypassed by a piece of data that it normally shouldn’t. That event is called “a false positive”. It looks like it’s ok, but it’s not.
False positive people are difficult to spot. They’re not yelling at you. They’re not trying to hurt you openly. At least not from the beginning. They build a sugary image used to get close to you and then, when they’re close enough, they start their own hurting game. In my experience, there are at least 5 types of false positive people.
1. The Empowerer
This is what I call “the vampire”.Â Their sugary line is: “I get out the best of people.” And most of the time, you fall for that. Who doesn’t want to get out the best of themselves? But beyond that sugary line lies a bunch of frustration and lack of attention.
The “empowerer” doesn’t really want to get anything out of you. What he wants is to be listened continuously and taken care of. The subtle mechanic of his game is: “You see, I get out the best of you, now you should do the same for me. Or at least thank me in some way”.
That was my very first false positive and I fought for a long time with it, almost 8-9 years. It went on an on with an imbalanced relationship until I realized that I’m the only one that can get out the best of me. At that point, the energy exchange game stopped.
2. The Surviving Victim
This is a disguised abuser. Their sugary line is: “Everybody treated me so bad, you’re the only one that understands me.”. Of course, nobody treated them bad. As a matter of fact, the “surviving victims” are getting the best treatment they can dream of. Only they never admit it.
Most of the time they’re looking around to tell their sad stories to whoever is willing to listen. The moment you start to express some mild interest, (not to mention the tiniest compassion) they’re ready to “surrender” to your powerful hands. Only they’re not really surrendering, they’re taking over your life.
That’s the second type I met and lived with for a long time. Around 5 years of endless back and forth of “everybody treated me so bad, you’re the only one that I trust. As long as you’re going to do exactly how I say to you, right?”.
3. The Cheerleader
This is a disguised manipulator. He’s the one that give pats on the back but never really care about you. Ready to take your place anytime. Talking behind your back. Bragging around with your successes. The happy-go-lucky pal that will always be ready to take your girlfriend out “to a movie”.
They don’t have a sugary line, but most likely a sugary approach. Their apparent joy and availability is in fact a facade for a very clear purpose. Once you immersed in their enthusiastic vibration, you’re going to obey to their small and almost impossible to refuse requests.
This type is very often found in business relationships. The social norm in these circles is to smile and be available. On top of this game, it’s very easy to construct a more sophisticated behavior with the only goal of obtaining influence or manipulate other people. Took me a few years to learn to isolate them from the genuinely enthusiastic business partners I had.
4. The Yesman
This is a disguised con. Their sugary line is: “You’re awesome, man, everything you do is just amazing!”. Other variations include: “You know I am your friend.” or “Whatever you say.”. Behind this line there is, of course, a simple intention to get something from you.
It wasn’t until recently that I was confronted with yesmen. Partly because I never showed myself as a powerful or resourceful person, choosing a much humbler approach. That way, I wasn’t useful, since they allegedly didn’t have anything to take from me.
But in the end, I had to have this infamous conversation myself:Â “I am your friend, can you lend me some money?”, “But of course, when are you getting to pay it back?”, “In two weeks. Top.”. Never seen that money again, of course.
5. The Savior
This is a disguised dominator. Their sugary line is: “I know how to save you. Just let yourself in my power and I’ll take care of you.” Most of the time, the savior did have some psychological knowledge (acquired or instinctual). Meaning that he will prove to some point that he can be useful.
But once you take off some of your shields, he will become your worst nightmare. The most unpleasant part of a relationship with a “savior” it’s their constant need to be in control, to watch your moves and to be sure you’re following their instructions.
I found my “savior” a few times, most of the time by willingly investing them with my own power, hoping that things will turn out well. It never did, of course. The problem wasn’t that they were all becoming dominating at some point, but the fact that I thought I had a problem in the first place.
One thing that you should be aware of, when dealing with other people, being them openly aggressive or disguised as false positive, is that they’re just tools for your destiny. They’re looking and acting in a certain way to you because you filter them in that specific way. They’re like this for you and for you only. In other words, the problem they’re pointing at is inside you.
Every man is true to himself. Deep down, everybody wants to be happy. We just choose different paths on this road. And these paths can hurt or empower other people. For some, we may come out as true and balanced individuals. But for others, we may be their empowerer, their surviving victim, their cheerleader, their yesman or their savior. Provided that they’re allowing us to perform like this for them.
So, apart from getting your distance and protect yourself from the false positive people in your life, take the time to always remember that they’re nothing but tools in your destiny.
In the end, what needs to be worked out is inside you.
Running For My Life - from zero to ultramarathoner
The spooky thing about depression is that it sneaks in. There aren’t really trumpets and loud voices announcing: “Hail, hail, this is depression entering the room, all rise!” Nope. It’s slow, silent, creepy. It doesn’t even look like depression. It starts with small isolation thoughts like: “Maybe I shouldn’t get out today, I just don’t feel like going out”. And then it does the same next day. And then the day after that and so on. And then it starts to whisper louder and louder in your ears: “Why would you go outside, you loser? Didn’t have enough yet? Want more people to make fun of how much of a big, fat loser you are?”
And then you start to breath in guilt and shame, instead of air. Every breathe you take is putting more dark thoughts into your body.
Until you get stuck. You can’t move anymore. At all.
If you want to know how I got out of this space, eventually, check out my latest book on Amazon and Kindle.