Archive for the ‘Difficult people’


December 27th, 2007

Exploiters and users

Exploitation (to take advantage of someone, unethically or unjustly, for one’s own ends) is a way of life for some people. They live by the motto, “What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine too.” They will make use of your assets, finances, property, time, labour, ideas, creativity, information and talents, as though they were their own, without request, permission or giving anything in return. They are takers who need givers in order to survive. They want to get what they need from you without giving you what you want from them, which is more or less the definition of a parasite (or an Exploiter or User).

These self-centred people see others as tools, objects, inferiors put on earth to fulfill their wishes and demands, or as sources of the things they need. And if others don’t readily offer up what they want, they will exploit and manipulate them to get it. They might be heavy handed or use a light touch to get what they want. They may bully or they may us charm and persuasion. But to a romantic partner, users behave like greedy babies, forever demanding, forever consuming.

They use the word “love” to lure a partner into loving them and giving them the care and attention needed to boost their ego. But they want to receive love without having to give it in return. They have no moral commitment to reciprocity. They “use” people in general and their partner in particular. Once someone falls for an Exploiter, they are only important to the extent that they give what is required. The User has little time for them except when there is no attention available from others or there is no one better around.

Kyle is a User. His girlfriend happens to be a hairdresser so he invites family, friends, and friends of friends around to their flat on the weekends for free haircuts. He never bothers to ask if she minds, nor does he tell her they are coming but takes her compliance as a given. When she complained once, after having worked Friday night and Saturday and being expected to spend all Sunday afternoon cutting hair for free, Kyle was indignant and implied she was not only selfish but lazy as well.

Exploiters use deceit and misrepresentation, (or charm) to “win people over”, to get others to do things for them because they know people will refuse them if they let it be known what they really want. The User pretends to be incompetent so that his “efficient” partner will take over and do the things he prefers not to. Like a child, he pushes the limits of what you will do for him and when you give an inch, he takes a mile.

Like royalty, he feels no compunction at making unreasonable demands, doesn’t care if he inconveniences, or even if his request requires great sacrifice. He believes that either people enjoy giving to him, or they are stupid, weak or gullible, and so deserve to be taken advantage of by someone superior. As long as he gets what he wants, he doesn’t care if others are unhappy.

Users expect to be the centre of their partner’s life, to be more important to him or her than the partner is to himself or herself. They expect a partner to meet their every need. They expect to possess every aspect of their partner for their own convenience. They expect total devotion and to be found utterly enthralling at all times, (although they have scant interest in their partner’s job, family, or friends). They take over a partner’s life so that the partner does everything for the User. Exploiters will deflate your ego to boost their own, and set people against each other to dilute their bond so that they remain the centre of interest.

His superiority makes him supremely selfish and inconsiderate. He invades privacy, disregards others’ needs, and violates boundaries. He might for example, arrive at the house of a distant relative or friend of a friend for a lengthy visit, uninvited, unannounced, without it ever entering his head that he may be putting them out. He is sure they enjoy looking after him, enjoy his presence as a treat and so would never dream of “insulting” their hospitality by offering to pay his way.

She assesses people for their potential to meet her needs, and flatters and courts those who she judges most likely to be useful or most likely to boost her ego. If they turn out not to suit her purpose she rejects, ignores or devalues them. People are mostly interchangeable to a User. As long as they get what they want, they don’t much care who gives it.

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