As a longtime freelance writer, Bev loves to write about human relationships.
It's Time to Change
Once upon a time, you commanded respect. You were the star of your own life. Problem is, times have changed and your particular flavor of personality disorders has been attracting negative attention lately, what with all the TV shows and 99 cent thrillers (they always have blue covers, have you noticed?).
Therefore, it’s important that people don’t catch on to the fact that you are one. I mean, how tacky to be a caricature!
Having been married to someone like you, I want to help you avoid being lumped into the generic stereotypes of stalkers and manipulators. Let your Alpha status take a back seat, it’s time for you to become a nice guy.
Here are some techniques and tricks to ensure people think you are an ordinary Joe, like me.
1. Stop telling us how clever you are
It’s difficult, especially when you know you are more intelligent than all us normies. But it puts the minions’ backs up for some reason. Everyone likes to think they are clever. Don’t they?
2. Foster a sense of humility
I know, I know. It goes against the grain, doesn’t it? But like the old ‘sincerity’ quote goes, if you can fake it, the plebs will feel sorry for you. If you downplay your achievements, they will rush in with reassurance. Win-win.
"The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that you’ve got it made."
Jean Giraudoux (Often attributed to George Burns by people not so clever as us).
3. Pretend you're slightly depressed or anxious
Drop a few hints that your mental health is a bit wobbly. Your FaceBook friends will come flocking with advice, at which you can secretly laugh. It will give you loads of future ammunition too, especially when they confess their own mental challenges.
4. Keep your success and control fantasies to yourself
People don’t want to hear them. Really. We are all too busy constructing our own world-domination dreams.
5. Stay away from the center of attention
I know it is your natural habitat, but try to remain on the sidelines now and then. You’ll find the center of attention will gravitate back to you soon enough. It can’t be otherwise, can it?
6. Rein in your superiority
Yes, yes, of course you are superior in every way, and it goes without saying, you are unutterably unique. Honestly, there’s no one else like you, apart from me. However, it’s better that you don’t push it onto others.
7. Limit your self-entitlement
I know you deserve all the good things in life, yet the popular view is that the world owes you nothing. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take what you want. Just do it sneakily.
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8. Cultivate empathy
Look, the proles need understanding. Yes, they do. They want to feel your sympathy and your empathy. I suggest spending some time watching sad, cute puppy videos. Reach into your center (yeah, I know, bullshit, right?) and look for the tiniest kernel of gooey emotion. Can you find it? That’s what those miserable sods want, a font of meaningless platitudes. You will have to adjust your facial expression accordingly. Practice, practice.
9. Welcome the gray rock
When your ex ‘gray rocks’ you, have a little internal party. It’s working . . . they are literally on a knife-edge, hyper-vigilant to your every word, gesture, and glance. Sure they are pretending to ignore you and acting uninterested, but know the opposite is true. Inside they are trembling. Don’t get angry, be more you. Let the charm flow forth.
10. Hold back on the blame game
This next one is hard. Stop blaming others. Of course it’s their fault; we can all see it. But if you turn it around and defend them, console them, dismiss their behavior as a mere human mistake, they will be so grateful. And, in effect, you have blamed them anyway. You know it and, most importantly, so do they. They’ll feel diminished but they will love you more.
11. Hide your disdain
The way to do this is to replace it with false praise. Make it up as you go along. You really hate that ignorant little guy and his slobby wife next door, but you need your neighbors to like you. Otherwise, they won’t take your Amazon deliveries in and keep an eye on your property when you go on those long vacations you enjoy so much. Tell him you admire his wife’s taste in drapes. Express your genuine envy at his well-kept front lawn. I’ll bet he’ll do yours while you are away.
12. Manipulate by not manipulating
It comes easily to you, doesn’t it? However, here’s a thought: why not do the opposite? For example, drawing your boss’s attention to your hard-working, but less attractive colleague. The one you’d normally shove out of the way for your own benefit, and rightly so; they are pretty wet, aren’t they?. Why not nominate them for a promotion? Why? Because your boss will appreciate your ‘honesty’. And you’ll get a better promotion. Have a little think about it.
13. Adopt feelings
More faking required. I know you don’t think emotions are a real thing and you are probably right. Goodness knows what’s going on with all these snowflakes who keep going on about their ‘feelings’. However, it’s a good idea to acquire some feelings yourself.
This will involve a mirror — yep, your best friend. Make a list of emotions and feelings. You can probably get away with about 10. Here’s an example list and how to act. You are a great actor after all. Look at your face in the mirror as you try them out. Practice and remember to use them at the appropriate times.
- Sadness: Imagine a poor, lost kitten crying for its mama. Stick your bottom lip out a tiny wee bit. There you go.
- Guilt: Pretend you have been caught out in a lie. Slump your shoulders, drop your head, open your eyes wide. Guilty as charged.
- Empathy: Tricky one, this, you are supposed to feel what they are feeling. A bit like those double rainbows. The best way, I’ve found, is to nod sagely and put your hand on their arm. No more than that, mind, Think of poor Geoffrey. If you are on the phone, say, “I’m so sorry, you must feel awful.” Use a quiet voice.
- Joy at someone’s achievement: Yes, you can do this. Smile, making sure to crinkle your cold, dead eyes, and tell them congratulations. Horrible for you, but you’ll make them so happy. You can take them down later.
- Embarrassment: Wait, I don’t have to tell you about this one, do I? You know what embarrassment feels like. It burns. It’s the one feeling that cuts you to the quick. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to make you feel it. Oh no, look at your little face in the mirror! OK, get over it.
See if you can find another five. Consider it homework.
14. Curb that anger
One last tip: Control your rage. Yep, sure you want to throttle me, kill me, bury me, rip my arm off and hit me with the soggy end. But if you really want to trick people into thinking you are as far from being a crazy psychopath as it is possible to be, then you must constrain your natural tendency to beat the shit out of those who disagree with you. You remember what happened last time you lost it. May I suggest an anger management course? No?
OK, I’m leaving.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2021 Bev G