Do You Use People?
Have you gotten the message from first dates, exes, ex friends, coworkers, family members—you name it—that you don’t come off as genuine? Maybe that you come off as “networky?” How about “fake”—is that another descriptor you’ve come across from time to time? If you do, it might be because you use people. Those who are always looking to use people are rarely genuine; they only ask themselves how they should behave to get what they want from the other person. Users also strategically align themselves with certain people for their benefit and avoid others. Maybe you were taught through your industry, or your upbringing, that you can only get ahead in life by using people. But that behavior only gets you so far; the people in real power spot the users, and can’t stand them. Are you one of those people?
You feel the need to flatter
When you meet someone you consider powerful, you find yourself searching for compliments to pay them. Users use flattery to get into the good graces of people they want to use.
You manipulate the truth
Users often manipulate the truth to get what they want. They might say they’re friends with someone who they actually just follow on Twitter, or say they vacationed somewhere they just had a layover if it gets them “in” with somebody.
You love gossip
Users love to gossip. It helps them stay ahead of the game! If they have dirt on somebody, they can use it to get what they want, get ahead of the curve, or even slander them, so they stop being competition.
You look for the most powerful person in the room
Everywhere you go, you scan the place to find the most powerful person (for your purposes) in the room. You make sure you sit at their table or drink next to them at the bar. A party isn’t a party; it’s a game you can win if you play your cards right.
You only have high-status friends
You don’t have friends with uninteresting, low-status jobs. You only surround yourself with high profile, successful individuals. And the truth is, you don’t really like all of them.
You research people before befriending them
When you’re interested in befriending somebody, you look them up. You don’t use the old-fashioned tactic of taking someone to coffee and getting to know them. Nope; you need details first. You want to confirm they’re useful to you.
You forget the names of “little” people you’ve met a lot
The same man has made your coffee for the last three years, and you cannot remember his name. Meanwhile, you never forget the name of someone you see as important.
You do favors for people who can do them in return
You find ways to go out of your way to help people who you want something from. You’re always coming up with some scheme to make somebody who you want in your corner to like you.
If someone asks for a favor, you ask what they can do in return
If someone asks you for a favor, you ask them what they can do for you in return. There are no such things as true favors in your life; these are bargaining pieces.
You embellish your accomplishments
You weren’t a teacher’s assistant at a school—oh no, you were a professor. You didn’t lend someone $200 to start their now-successful company—oh no, you’re a part owner.
You have few long-time friends
Users don’t have friends for long. Why? Half of their friends stop being valuable to them, so they ditch them, and the others pick up on the fact that they’re users and leave them in the dust.
You bad talk your competition
If someone else wants what you want, you talk badly about them to anyone who will listen. People are just objects to users, and they don’t see the harm in talking badly about them.
You consider yourself someone who has competition
The mere fact that you think about things like “the competition” shows you’re a user. Non-users just think about doing a good job and holding up their values; they don’t see competition.
You are suspicious of people
Of course, you are! You spend all day with a user (yourself), so you’ve begun to believe that everybody else is one, too.
You are jealous of someone’s new friend
If someone you are using gets a new friend, you hate that new friend. You fear that new friend will realize you’re using the common friend, and point it out.