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Spotting 'nastiness'


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Old 21st February 2019, 9:36 PM   #1
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Spotting 'nastiness'

As an Aspie, posting and reading on LS has hugely helped me fine-tune how to read people's intentions better, and how to spot what I would consider deliberately nasty behaviour - purposefully misreading what someone says to make a point out of spite, 'pack' mentality, passive aggressive behaviour, using someone's vulnerabilities against them, trying to get a raise for fun, etc.


It's easier to spot in the written form, but not so much in real life. I like to think I'm fairly intuitive and a good reader of a situation, but reading people in real life is not my strong suit at all. It takes me a while before I realise that someone isn't as they appear to be, especially at work.

I deal with it well once I realise it (I don't have a problem speaking my mind, sometimes without a filter, which is less ideal but hasn't caused me any real issues in my life so far), but ideally I need to find better ways to spot and deal with it as it happens rather than down the line when the penny drops and it's too late, so I'm looking for handy tips for those of you who feel they are good judges of character.

Is there a way to settle quickly whether someone is not as nice as they appear to be?
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Old 21st February 2019, 9:58 PM   #2
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Always read their eye contact with you. If someone is speaking to you and looking behind you or peeking at their phone, beware. They most likely are only talking to you to be nice or because they feel they have to.

When someone looks you in the eye and shows enthusiasm they generally do like you and what you have to say.
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Old 21st February 2019, 9:59 PM   #3
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You might try the Golden Rule: Treat people as you would want to be treated. The inverse of that is reject people who don't treat you like you would treat others. The common mistake that lets some bad ones into our lives is that a lot of people won't swipe "next" or kick them to the curb when they do something small that is disrespectful and crosses a boundary. Because they are thinking, Well, it was nasty, but in the end, it was over something that just didn't matter. My example is how a friend of mine's bf would sit in the car and criticize the way she pumped gas into the car! Very petty, but she didn't consider drawing the line on him because it was over something that just didn't matter.

It does matter. They start small and see if you'll put up with it and then it gets worse and worse if they're a jerk. So don't overlook the pink flags either!
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Old 22nd February 2019, 4:57 AM   #4
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When someone looks you in the eye and shows enthusiasm they generally do like you and what you have to say.
Thanks. Eye-contact may be a bit problematic for me, though. I dislike it immensely. But I see your point, I guess that's a good gauge for NTs.

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They start small and see if you'll put up with it and then it gets worse and worse if they're a jerk. So don't overlook the pink flags either!
That's a great point. I normally either treat people the way I want to be treated, or give them a taste of their own medicine when I see they cross line and act like nothing's happened. It's not always easy to take the high road, especially when you feel cornered a little.

But I'm really poor at noticing the little signs at the beginning. I'm trying to be alert to that.

Last edited by littleblackheart; 22nd February 2019 at 5:02 AM..
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Old 22nd February 2019, 5:20 AM   #5
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What kind of nasty? People are nasty in all kinds of ways.

I usually don’t worry about avoiding them as much as I try on my end to deal with them. It’s kind of like an ongoing social experiment I have with myself.

I wouldn’t go so far to label people as nasty either. Sure they may be in a foul mood more than other people are but we all have some nastiness in us. And we all have some good too.
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Old 22nd February 2019, 5:40 AM   #6
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My eye contact is not good, so I relate to you there. I also don't follow the manta of 'treat others how you want to be treated' as we don't all want the same thing. I prefer to treat others how they want to be treated.

I watch how people treat others in general to get an idea. Do they do road rage? Are they rude to wait staff? Do they overly enunciate when talking with someone who's disabled or has their language as a second language. Are they overly judgemental towards those who are different? Do they say nasty things about their acquaintances? Are they never wrong? After 2-3 months with a person, you should be able to see these red flags if they are around.
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Old 22nd February 2019, 6:00 AM   #7
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I wouldn’t go so far to label people as nasty either.
I take your point but that's not what I'm doing. It's more about spotting it when it's consistent yet sublte. At work, it would be someone being pleasant to your face and undermining you without you knowing.

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I prefer to treat others how they want to be treated.
Agreed. I guess the problem comes when people want to be treated a certain way themselves, but don't give others the same courtesy (they can give it but not take it kind of thing).

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I watch how people treat others in general to get an idea. Do they do road rage? Are they rude to wait staff? Do they overly enunciate when talking with someone who's disabled or has their language as a second language. Are they overly judgemental towards those who are different? Do they say nasty things about their acquaintances? Are they never wrong? After 2-3 months with a person, you should be able to see these red flags if they are around.
All good points - I think I have that covered in everyday life. At work seems to be where I struggle most - there's so much underhandedness, and so much of it seems to be tolerated or shrugged off.
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Old 22nd February 2019, 6:13 AM   #8
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At work seems to be where I struggle most - there's so much underhandedness, and so much of it seems to be tolerated or shrugged off.
I have no answers there - I am the same as you
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Old 22nd February 2019, 6:24 AM   #9
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I have no answers there - I am the same as you
Ah well at least I know it's not just a 'me' problem
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Old 22nd February 2019, 7:19 AM   #10
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Work places can be cut throat. My mantra there is don’t trust people with any personal details you wouldn’t want everyone to know. And always cover yourself with something in writing if it seems odd.
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Old 22nd February 2019, 7:19 AM   #11
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what I personally watch for is too-nice behaviour, as it is a trick.



Too-nice is not the same as pleasant and friendly. Too-nice means they force themselves on you, so you are caught in their fake-nice net. The culprit moves bizarrely fast in order to do the catching. Veteran victims have learned to call this bizarre behaviour "love-bombing", and that the culprit is tricking you because once they have you in they get to know you beyond your job, they get to know your personal business, and that knowledge is the foundation of ...


"purposefully misreading what someone says to make a point out of spite, 'pack' mentality, passive aggressive behaviour, using someone's vulnerabilities against them, trying to get a raise for fun, etc"


Tip? Just smile at them and communicate through your work, not through your personal business. Give strangers a few months of watching them treat others, then assess, to see if they are good to befriend. That is my lil story of avoiding narcissists.

Last edited by darkmoon; 22nd February 2019 at 7:56 AM..
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Old 22nd February 2019, 8:04 AM   #12
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And always cover yourself with something in writing if it seems odd.
Very good point. I tend to compartmentalise very easily bc I don't like overlaps between personal and professional life, so for me personally TMI is not an issue.

But the 'cut-throat' thing seems to be institurionalised as sort of how you do business. I think you can still be professional, straightforward and efficient and not be underhanded or passive aggressive in order to get what you want.
It's not great (and totally pointless, to me) to have to watch your back at work.

It doesn't have to be that way, but trying to change this mentality is revealing a bit fruitless.


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Originally Posted by darkmoon View Post
what I personally watch for is too-nice behaviour, as it is a trick.

Too-nice is not the same as pleasant and friendly. Too-nice means they force themselves on you, so you are caught in their fake-nice net.
I don't have to deal with that but I definitely see what you mean. I've seen it happen in action many a time at work.

I do try to remain professional but I invariably end up speaking up when I feel something is off. The good thing is that I'm well respected by my bosses as a straight shooter, the bad thing is that it seems to get under other people's skin.

Maybe it's just the environment I work in?
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Old 22nd February 2019, 8:12 AM   #13
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i think i have a disabled heart because nastiness,ridicule or pack bullying makes me feel really really slow.....my tongue swells up and my mouth goes dry...and my brain goes foggy and my brain shakes......i think it must be the stoning i copped as a kid......a pack of teenage boys surrounded me...stoned me...ridiculed me...threw bait and fish guts in my hair...... when i was about ten....ptsd.....so i know exactly when someone is being nasty to others or myself....in fact i could possibly be hyper vigilant.....or one of my personalities is hyper vigilant........:0)...yep i am a messed up person......

for your question...

not as nice as they appear to be.....hmmm....i feel that people deserve the benefit of the doubt.....allowed to have a few chances.....and forgiven when they make mistakes.......when you feel disturbed by someone.....when you feel unsafe......listen......to your heart......


be honest when someone says something that makes you feel small or hurt or you think they are trying to hurt another.....and give them a chance to clarify....by simply asking...

what do you mean by that..or

can you clarify that for me..or

im not sure of what you are trying to say...

good peoples...will always want you to understand what they are trying to say to you or about you or about others.......bad peeps or nasty peeps ...would rather leave you in confusion(males(freudian slip) i meant makes them feel smarter than you...bigger than you..better than you hence they fob you off..) and they actively avoid actual simple clarification or honest easy explanations and or answers to the questions you ask......i wish you well....deb.....
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Old 22nd February 2019, 8:32 AM   #14
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ptsd.....so i know exactly when someone is being nasty to others or myself....in fact i could possibly be hyper vigilant.
I can see why that awful experience would have scarred you. I hope you are now surrounded with good people.

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be honest when someone says something that makes you feel small or hurt or you think they are trying to hurt another.....and give them a chance to clarify....by simply asking...

what do you mean by that..or

can you clarify that for me..or

im not sure of what you are trying to say..
In the past I've been guilty of giving too much benefit of the doubt by accepting words and not taking heed of actions. Lesson learned on that front.

I don't want to become paranoid at work and for the most part, I'm not really personally too affected by it. I just carry on doing my thing.

It's just about having tips to spot these types of behaviour quicker than I normally would (it can take months for me when it just takes minutes for others to see it coming).

So really I'm asking for easy short-cuts to identify the behaviour, not the actual people - if that makes sense.

Quote:
bad peeps or nasty peeps ...would rather leave you in confusion(males(freudian slip) i meant makes them feel smarter than you...bigger than you..better than you hence they fob you off..) and they actively avoid actual simple clarification or honest easy explanations and or answers to the questions you ask......i wish you well....deb.....
All true. I wish you well too!

Last edited by littleblackheart; 22nd February 2019 at 8:35 AM..
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Old 22nd February 2019, 8:53 AM   #15
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Thanks all - I think I've just clocked my problem through reading your posts!

I clearly have an issue differenciating between 'too-nice' and plain nice. Something to work on!
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