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BOOK REVIEW: The 48 Laws of Power

 

By Ox Drover

Many times on Lovefraud, bloggers have joked with me that a particular phrase or behavior “came out of the ”˜Psychopath’s play book,’“ the kind of book in which a football team would write all their usual plays.

I recently bought a book entitled, The 48 Laws of Power, by Robert Greene, because it sounded like an interesting book. But the more I got into it, I realized that the heretofore-thought-mythical “Psychopathic Play book” does exist, and this is it!

Robert Greene, by the way, also wrote The Art of Seduction.

Here’s what the jacket blurb on the back of The 48 Laws of Power says about its content:

The best-selling book for those who want POWER, watch POWER, or want to arm themselves against POWER. Amoral, cunning, ruthless and instructive, this piercing work distills three thousand years of the history of power into forty-eight well explicated laws. As attention-grabbing in its design as in its content, this bold volume outlines the laws of power in their unvarnished essence, synthesizing the philosophies of Machiavelli, Sun Tzu, Carol Von Clausewitz and other great thinkers. Some laws require prudence, some stealth, some total absence of mercy, but like it or not, all have applications in real-life situations. Illustrated through the tactics of Queen Elizabeth I, Henry Kissinger, P. T. Barnum, and other famous figures who have wielded, or been victimized by power, these laws will fascinate any reader interested in gaining, observing, or defending against ultimate control.

The 48 laws are listed in the contents

Law 1: Never outshine the master

Law 2: Never put too much trust in friends, learn how to use enemies

Law 3: Conceal your intentions

Law 4: Always say less than necessary

Law 5: So much depends on reputation—guard it with your life

Law 6: Court attention at all cost

Law 7: Get others to do the work for you, but always take the credit

Law 8: Make other people come to you—use bait if necessary

Law 9: Win through your actions, never through argument

Law 10: Infection: avoid the unhappy and unlucky

Law 11: Learn to keep people dependent on you

Law 12: Use selective honesty and generosity to disarm your victim

Law 13: When asking for help, appeal to people’s self-interest, never to their mercy or gratitude

Law 14: Pose as a friend, work as a spy

Law 15: Crush your enemy totally

Law 16: Use absence to increase respect and honor

Law 17: Cultivate an air of unpredictability

Law 18: Do not built fortresses to protect yourself, isolation is dangerous

Law 19: Know who you’re dealing with—do not offend the wrong person

Law 20: Do not commit to anyone

Law 21: Play a sucker to catch a sucker—seem dumber than your mark

Law 22: Use the surrender tactic: Transform weakness into power

Law 23: Concentrate your forces

Law 24: Play the perfect courtier

Law 25: Re-create yourself

Law 26: Keep your hands clean

Law 27: Play on people’s need to believe to create a cult-like following

Law 28: Enter action with boldness

Law 29: Play all the way to the end

Law 30: Make your accomplishments seem effortless

Law 31: Control the options: Get others to play with the cards you deal

Law 32: Play to people’s fantasies

Law 33: Discover each man’s thumb screw

Law 34:Be royal in your own fashion: Act like a king to be treated like a king

Law 35: Master the art of timing

Law 36: Disdain things you cannot have: Ignoring them is the best revenge

Law 37: Create compelling spectacles

Law 38: Think as you like but behave like others

Law 39: Stir up waters to catch fish

Law 40: Despise the free lunch

Law 41: Avoid stepping into a great man’s shoes

Law 42 Strike the shepherd and the sheep will scatter

Law 43: Work on the hearts and minds of others

Law 44: Disarm and infuriate with the mirror effect

Law 45: Preach the need for change, but never reform too much at once

Law 46: Never appear too perfect

Law 47: Do not go past the mark you aimed for; in victory, learn when to stop

Law 48: Assume formlessness

Perfect advice for psychopaths

The preface of the book gets right down to business:

No one wants less power, everyone wants more ”¦ in the world today,  however, it is dangerous to seem too power hungry, to be overt with your power moves. We have to seem fair and decent. So we need to be subtle—congenial yet cunning, democratic, yet devious.

This game of constant duplicity most resembles the power dynamic that existed in the scheming world of the old aristocratic court(s).

The author, Greene, then goes on to perfectly describe the psychopath’s ways, without naming him such “”¦those who make a show or display of innocence are the least innocent of all.” What else but a psychopath could “recognize”¦by the way they flaunt their moral qualities, their piety, their exquisite sense of justice ”¦ but (they) are merely throwing dust in our eyes distracting us from their power plays with their air of moral superiority”¦.you will see they are often the ones most skillful at indirect manipulation, …and they greatly resent any publicizing of the tactics they use.”

Emotions

In directing his readers how to master the most important skills in acquiring power, Greene tells them that the most important foundation is to “master your emotions.” He states that an emotional response is the single greatest barrier to gaining power. In this particular thing, I totally agree with him, because if we are emotional about a situation, we lose sight of the ultimate goal, and as he says, “cannot prepare for and respond to it with any degree of control.”

Greene goes on to say that anger is the most destructive of emotional responses, and “clouds your vision the most.” Again, I totally agree with Greene in this statement, but then he goes on to add what I would think is directed more toward the vengeful psychopath than to less pathological people, “If you are trying to destroy an enemy who has hurt you, far better to keep him off-guard by feigning friendliness than showing your anger.”

The mask

Psychopaths have been described by many writers as “wearing a mask” or even “the mask of sanity.” Greene seems to be very aware of this “masking” when he advises his readers that, “You cannot succeed at deception unless you take a somewhat distanced approach to yourself—unless you can be many different people, wearing the mask that the day and moment require.”

Psychopaths tend to project blame for their behavior on to other people, to refuse to assume responsibility for any of the things they have done. They lie “when the truth would fit better.” Greene says, “Power requires the ability to play with appearances. To this end you must learn to wear many masks and keep a bag full of deceptive tricks.” He goes on to say, “Playing with appearances and mastering arts of deception are among the aesthetic pleasures of life. They are also the key components in the acquisition of power.”

Green does not seem to view deception or the acquisition of power as anything immoral, and he actually says, “Power is essentially amoral”¦power is a game”¦and in games you do not judge your opponents by their intentions but by the effect of their actions.” He goes on to advise the reader to not be caught by assuming that someone has good intentions, or that their good intentions matter. Greene advises his readers that some sets of moral judgments are “really an excuse for the accumulation of power.” I can definitely agree with that last statement. Frequently, religion and moral judgments are used as justification for a power stance that has no other legitimacy, and does great harm to the victims.

Chapter One

For each of the 48 laws of power, Green has a short chapter that consists of the name of the law, the first being, “Never Outshine the Master.”  Then he has a section called “Judgment,” in which he explains more fully the named law of power. The first law is reasonably self-explanatory and makes sense, really, because if you show your boss you are superior to him/her, then he/she will resent you.

After giving several good examples of using this law, or failing to use this law, Greene finishes up Chapter One by saying, “You cannot worry about upsetting every person you come across, but you must be selectively cruel. If your superior is a falling star, there is nothing to fear in outshining him. Do not be merciful—your master had no such scruples in his own cold-blooded climb to the top. Gauge his strength. If he is weak, discreetly hasten his downfall: Outdo, outcharm, outsmart him at key moments.”

While this book seems aimed at the “amoral-wannabe-politician on the way up,” rather than the psychopathic “wannabe-gang-banger thug” on the corner who is illiterate, I think that those of us who have had or even will have associations with psychopaths, or “Snakes in Suits” (to highjack the name of the book as a noun), should read this to learn how to discern when we are being played by the power-seeker. If we can recognize the masks for their deceptive cover, we can avoid the consequences of being played, or possibly turn the play back on to the player.

Disturbing, but necessary, reading

Frankly, this book made me uncomfortable while I was reading it, I think possibly by showing me “red flags” of power plays that I had experienced in the past, but had not quite recognized at the time I was being played. However, I do think the knowledge I gained by reading this book is well worth the slight discomfort. It isn’t a book that you can “zip through” quickly, but one that must, like the textbook that it is, read and ponder, and even re-read, and ponder again.

The most personally disturbing part of the book was one in which he was discussing the siege of Troy, and he said, “Image: The Trojan Horse. Your guile is hidden inside a magnificent gift that proves irresistible to your opponent. The walls open. Once inside, wreak havoc.”

We must learn to protect ourselves from those power-players who have no conscience, the power players who will use calculated acts of kindness or proffered gifts to earn our trust. Selective kindness can be the biggest part of the arsenal of deception. “Aimed for the heart, it corrodes the will to fight back.”

The 48 Laws of Power is available on Amazon.com.


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215 Comments on "BOOK REVIEW: The 48 Laws of Power"

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Thanks Donna,

It really outlines what we are up against. I think we can ALL relate to # 43 – “work on the hearts and minds of others”.

We must learn from # 19 “know who you’re dealing with – do not offend the wrong person”. We must become that WRONG PERSON.

MiLo

MiLo – Actually, Ox Drover wrote this article. I’m so glad she did.

Thanks guys, I’m still actually re-reading parts of this book, it is one that I will STUDY not just “read” or even “read and underline” there is just so much information here. I had intended to loan it to a young man that is a friend of my son D’s but have decided instead to order him one as I don’t want to give up my copy. There is just SO much information in this book…it combined with “Snakes in Suits” should be a 2 semester course in a good college.

Oh, sorry Oxy, I missed your name at the top. I was so busy getting right to the list…..

I got a book store gift card for Christmas, I think this is one I will order. Unreal, a “how to” book.

Ox,

This is utterly fascinating and informative. Is the book rather large in content? Or more philosophical in that it requires a lot of thought?

While reading this, I felt uncomfortable as well, as the wording creates outlines, to me, evil and how evil thinks and works.

Thank you so much for writing this. I hope you share more insights soon!

I SO agree with you about teaching a course like this in college!! I WISH Psych classes in college would offer something like this.

I’m taking Psychology this next term. I’d like to bring this subject up eventually with the Professor. May I ask how much the book was and where you got it?

The sociopath that I have the misfortune of knowing has used many of the listed laws to get what he thinks he wants, walking over others in the process, and since he lacks a conscience, he’s not bothered by all the pain that he has caused. I think the mental health professionals would do everyone a favor by teaching the public about sociopaths, enabling the average person to recognize these low-lifes, thus avoiding being used and abused by any of them. They leave a trail of destruction.

Think we need a national spath register?

I order USED BOOKS off of either Barnes and Noble or Amazon. I have given as much business to B&N or others because of the stance that Amazon took over the Pedophile HOW TO SEDUCE a child and get away with it—they finally quit publishing it (e book) but at first defended it as “free speech”—-NO WAY!!!! The guy that wrote it got arrested, but I don’;t think the charges will stick but they SHOULD. Anyway, because of my limited budget and my book-a-holism I order Used books and they are VERY cheap usually with only about $3.99 shipping, some books are actually one CENT plus shipping. I just ordered a cook book on low sodium that is GREAT for One cent plus shipping. You can find just about any book in the world on there used. A great service and improvement from the days when you had to haunt used book stores for out of print books and try to physically FIND the book.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

Well Oxy, It sure as hell was the playbook for my con!! I am having little flashbacks (not a problem) as I read.

Weehew, she’s ALL over these!

Law 2: Never put too much trust in friends, learn how to use enemies
She would use them to focus her ‘freinds’ on the enemies bad actions….smoke and mirrors deflecting us from her bad actions.

Law 3: Conceal your intentions
Always, in almost everything she did.

Law 4: Always say less than necessary
omfg”.arggh errrr grrrrrr”that way the dupes fill in the blanks with their desires. I sooo did this.

Law 5: So much depends on reputation—guard it with your life
She’d use both nasty and nice sock puppets to create and sustain the rep of the main character. Ad naseum. She started to get really ugly when I challenged the rep/ integrity of a couple of the characters.

Law 6: Court attention at all cost
INTENSELEY LOAYL FOLLOWING BECAUSE OF THIS ”“ why it’s so hard for so many of the duped to accept WHO AND WHAT she really is ”“ a year 58 female spath”not the band of young characters she pretends to be.

Law 7: Get others to do the work for you, but always take the credit
She tried to use me to get others to do/ not do things. She was only successful on a few occasions, but the manipulation left a deep mark on me; it made it hard to speak out when I first realized that things were terribly wrong and not what was presented to me as truth”.to the point that I was unable to speak about it AT ALL, when someone contacted me and said, ’I don’t think he died’. I remember it so well ”“ the mental dissonance was acute, my heart raced, my skin burned, and all I could say was, ’I can’t speak to that.’ Trying so hard to let her know that I knew things were not as presented, but I was so confused, and LOYAL, that I couldn’t say a damn thing.

Law 8: Make other people come to you—use bait if necessary
OHH ERGGGH, GRRRRR”. ’He’ was nothing if not bait. Poor little BS fake ’prey’ boy. GRRRRRRR.

Law 9: Win through your actions, never through argument. ”“
She was SUCH a manipulator! Of course ’actions’ in this case were constant and consistent communication (trust setting); a pretense of kindness (trust setting); a pretense of humor (releasing all kinds of happy hormones); and each of the characters backing up the others when one couldn’t do something as promised. Grrrrr.

Law 10: Infection: avoid the unhappy and unlucky
Naw, she picks them to dupe.

Law 11: Learn to keep people dependent on you
See Law 9; and add offers of help and support in ways that really mattered. Then create plausible reasons for those things not working out. Promise them again. Jerk the football again.

Law 12: Use selective honesty and generosity to disarm your victim
This is a really good one! I had an n boss two years ago ”“ HE was alllll over this one.

Law 13: When asking for help, appeal to people’s self-interest, never to their mercy or gratitude
See Law 11. @#WE$%^&*()(*&^%$#

Law 14: Pose as a friend, work as a spy
Sigh.

Law 15: Crush your enemy totally
HAHA ”“ you lose loser! *I* will rise again. (not true for others she has hurt over the years)

Law 16: Use absence to increase respect and honor
The story line is too long, but she used this like a master.

Law 17: Cultivate an air of unpredictability
How many times can you fake have surgery, fake almost die, fake almost suicide and fake die in one year? The answer is 10. How many times can you get on a plane and change your local? The answer is 6.

Law 20: Do not commit to anyone
I was so played. And so were others at exactly the same time. I could smell it, and I confronted”and finally, I know what she was doing, even if I don’t have the details.

Law 21: Play a sucker to catch a sucker—seem dumber than your mark
’niaive’ was the word used. I’d add, seem less powerful than you prey, also. Pretend to be prey!

Law 22: Use the surrender tactic: Transform weakness into power
Grrrrrr.

Law 23: Concentrate your forces
6 peeps at a time ”“ one big lie and work hard daily to fuck them all!

Law 24: Play the perfect courtier
Erggh AND sigh.

Law 25: Re-create yourself
BWAHAAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAHHHAHAAHAHAHAHAHA

Law 26: Keep your hands clean
She hides and lies. Even when caught she lies and hides. Her characters are all lies, but she has ’truths (lies) they reveal when pushed. And then there are the lies she spins when she’s caught. She’s just chock full of lies”.it’s quite amazing.

Law 27: Play on people’s need to believe to create a cult-like following
See Law 6.

Law 28: Enter action with boldness
Boldest fake prey ever! Everything she does is bold, grandiose.

Law 29: Play all the way to the end
Unfortunately waaaaay past the end. Kill off the fake characters, resurrect them, wash and repeat.

Law 30: Make your accomplishments seem effortless
Yup, yup, yup. And superhuman. It’s easy to do when THEY ARE [email protected]#$%^& LIES.

Law 31: Control the options: Get others to play with the cards you deal
Again, a master at this. She deals almost half a deck with each con ”“ and the dupes pick up the hands and run with them. Just as dangerous as scissors.

Law 32: Play to people’s fantasies
See Law 6. This one is hard for me in healing ”“ I want to believe in some of my dreams, but”.

Law 33: Discover each man’s thumb screw
Oh, yes she played this one immediately after I knew too much. She played it well, it still haunts me.

Law 34:Be royal in your own fashion: Act like a king to be treated like a king
Noble. Another of the words I used to describe the fake boy.

Law 35: Master the art of timing
Bitch.

Law 36: Disdain things you cannot have: Ignoring them is the best revenge
Oh ergggh ”“ all the time. But so sweetly done as the main character, and overtly done with the nasty characters.

Law 37: Create compelling spectacles
Bloody hell, she was ALL over that. Won’t list them. But they were big!

Law 38: Think as you like but behave like others
Sigh.

Law 39: Stir up waters to catch fish
B**ch.

Law 40: Despise the free lunch
Part of the pity ploy.

Law 43: Work on the hearts and minds of others
Sigh. Erggghhh

Law 44: Disarm and infuriate with the mirror effect
The nasty characters doing the infuriation, the fake boy doing the disarming. Love my own desires!

Law 45: Preach the need for change, but never reform too much at once
Yup. Over and over.

Law 46: Never appear too perfect
She had some characters create the idea of perfection of the main fake boy character, but feign ignorance of ’his’ own ’perfection.’ Sigh.

Law 47: Do not go past the mark you aimed for; in victory, learn when to stop
Don’t think she actually knows how to stop. Even When caught she will con anyone left interested.

Law 48: Assume formlessness
She always was. ’They’ always were. There were photos of everything and everyone, to set up the semblance of form, but there was formlessness at every turn ”“ things never coming together, other things turning to dust. I have a deep deep would related to this.

Well, I only deleted about 4 laws that didn’t seem immediately applicable.

Thanks Oxy! 🙂

Dear One Step,

Gosh, I think this book hit home for you. It did for me, for sure. I still have been rereading and pondering each of the laws in depth, and I still shake my head.

One of D son’s friends is a sweet boy age 22, and I want him to have this book so I am buying him his own copy rather than loan him mine. I think EVERY young person should have a hole drilled in their skull and the information in this book POURED INSIDE THEIR HEADS! It will either make them psychopaths delux or it will enable them to defend themselves from psychopaths.

If Ever I saw “the psychopath’s play book” THIS IS IT. The guy also quotes heavily from the ART OF WAR and from historical philosophy and war. I am interested in his book, the ART OF SEDUCTION, but I have about 12 books in my stack of “books to read” on my table by my chair so I am not going to order any more for a while, but that will be one of the ones I do order. If I am not careful though, my house will collapse under the weight of the books even though I AM trying to de-clutter and cut down on the number of possessions. Books seem to be the one thing I am really having a difficult time doing so with. And I DO re-read them so it isn’t just hoarding. I also reference them frequently.

I read fairly well and fast and though my memory isn’t what it was, I retain more than I did after the crash, but I have to read this book, word by word, sentence by sentence and small chapter by small chapter, and then re-read it. THERE IS SO MUCH packed into this book, and it is a BIG BOOK, that it is something you don’t just READ but you have to STUDY it to get the most out of it. Then compare each law to things in your own past, people you have known who have used this tactic on you, and so on. Compare it to things you are doing TODAY that you might ought to change. It is a book that will make you examine yourself, those you have known in the past and to measure future relationships by. It is wisdom, philosophy, psychology, and tactics all rolled into one—and just like a weapon, this book can be used for offense or defense, for killing others or protecting yourself. But I think ALL knowledge can be used for good or for evil, just depends on who is using it and how.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

oxy – i can imagine that it is a book to be studied. it’s kind of creepy that it was written as a resource for those seeking power – it’s all about ‘power over’ (as per the jacket blurb: ‘Amoral, cunning, ruthless’) and not power from within.

i think de cluttering brings us smack up against our attachments. when i moved 7 years ago, some things were easy to let go of, and other’s made it to the hallway and back a few times before i let them go. we find out our true loves/ greatest attachments, and yours is books. mine is probably tools: artist’s, carpenter’s, cook’s. most of my books fall into that category also.

ONE!!

Beautiful! Amusing at times in the way you spell it out, but also so sad!!

Blessings, Chica!

Dear One, Yea, THAT TOO!!!!! LOL

“Storage is where we keep stuff for 10 years before we throw it away.”

I’ve been there too, though my storage is “neatly arranged” I realize that most of it I have not used (except for building materials or plumbing parts etc as needed for repairs on the farm) since my husband died. I’m tempted sometimes to just call in an estate auctioneer and sell it all off—but would be about 7 cents on the dollar and I’m too cheap to do that but if I have to move I probably will.

Well, I’m putting up and freezing veggies in my new vacuum sealer thingie and it is really fun. Bought celery and carrots on sale and can’t find carrots except fresh witihout added salt, so this way I can put them up and use as needed with NO SALT.

Got some resistence bands yesterday too and so am doing some additional strength training to my exercise routines, so got lots to do and Son D gets back today from visiting his bio family, and our beef butchering is off this weekend (too warm) so will do other things! See you guys later.

I tried to read this book but was repulsed by it. Made me physically sick. I know it has good info, but I almost barfed.
I guess it just hit to close to home, it was too much like my life for 25 years.
The problem with this book is that it can be used by the budding spath to perfect their skills.
I can only imagine my retarded spath sister reading it and being mesmerized by “the wisdom” in it.
It should be called, “how to behave like a fucking infant for the rest of your life” and it should come with a diaper.
I hate that book.

Skylar,

I understand your revulsion for the book, it sort of made me sick in a way to read it too….but at the same time, sometimes UNCOMFORTABLE TRUTHS do that to us, and it did make me see some things about myself that I had left myself OPEN TO ATTACK from the psychopaths.

I hated finding out that the swelling in my feet and legs was due to the amount of sodium I was eating (because I LOVE ham and other salty foods) but it was ONLY BY FINDING OUT what was causing the problem that I could fix it. I sure did NOT want to find out I couldn’t have all the salt I wanted, but in the end, while it was an uncomfortable truth, it allows me to FIX THE PROBLEM by changing my diet and the way I choose foods. Ditto with the weight problem, I didn’t really want to admit to myself that I had gained an unholy amount of weight, but It was the truth, and the SEDUCTION of the foods I wanted lured me into denial about the results. So—uncomfortable truths, I’m too fat, and can’t tolerate a high salt diet any more—but the GOOD NEWS IS I CAN COUNTER ACT IT BY MAKING BETTER CHOICES. I think as uncomfortable as the book made me in some ways, it is better to know those tactics so I can counter them by changing my own habits and behaviors.

So I hate the book, but at the same time, it is USEFUL INFORMATION.

I saw this book… I thought it was quite triggering/off putting at first, when looking through it. But I do think if you go into it reading it with the perspective you mentioned, there’s probably a good deal to be learned. I think it’s best read in small increments though, so it isn’t too overwhelming- but I guess that’s just me.

I will say it is jarring because it’s actually kind of give these things as pseudo advice.. I think reading in the way you mentioned would be useful, but i can’t imagine the real reason people tend to buy this book, it kind of scares me.

Reading the description of that book made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. The scary thing about my ex spath’s and my recent breakup is that I knew all along, but didn’t trust my instincts. I had even read the books by Stout and Hare. In trying to figure out what was wrong with my exH who definitely D and D’s me at the end, I have read about BPD, Passisve Aggressive, most recently covert aggressive, but when I realized that my recent BF was a spath, I told myself “No Way. I can’t be meeting all of these crazy people.” Besides he didn’t seem to require that much. Although we broke up several times the reason I gave was that I just didn’t want to be in a relationship right now. I could see the potential for disaster.

Last Friday, Christmas Eve, I believe he actually took his mask off. Even though I knew (couldn’t prove it) that he had stolen from me, manipulated me, for what? a place to hang out on the weekend and a cell phone plan. ( His previous girlfriend had him on her’s). This time he hurt me. He actually hurt me because he called me a bitch from hell. That doesn’t seem like much since my ex husband was a master of verbal abuse. It hurt me because I had shared with him what my ex Husband had done to me and he did the same thing,

His anger would have been full blown rage if we would have been in person. I believe it is because of #19 Know who you’re dealing with—do not offend the wrong person.

I was smarter than this. I knew it all along. I am one of those people who talk and talk and talk. Cell phone plan a good thing. I needed someone who would listen. My husband also listened to me and then betrayed me later. I could have gotten the same thing had I just filled up several journals.

This time is different. spath was angry that I caught him drinking when he had promised not to drink again. I had not asked him to promise that as I knew it was a promise that he couldn’t keep. When I did catch him drinking and wanted to at least talk about our relationship, and he kept hanging up on me, he got the most angry when he found out I had again un-friended him on Facebook. As silly as this seems, he was going to gift me a special creature that he bought with fishbucks on Christmas. Before he had given me a Teddy Bear that was supposed to represent him. The last time, which I thought was the final time, I broke up with him, I dropped Teddy off at a bus bench. Does any of this make sense? I have been had. I got caught in his web. I know he underestimated me because I pulled the plug, but I also underestimated him, because I hurt and he doesn’t.

I posted right after Skylar because I want to ask you about your comment about your life for 25 years. Was the spath your husband? If so, were you taken in for a long time, or did you know and didn’t know what to do about it?

True-to-Self

Dear Dancingnancies,

I CAN ONLY read this book in SMALL PORTIONS because it is triggering, and because it does bring up memories of “Oh, wow, that was what X did to me, and how they ambushed me.” But at the same time, FOREWARNED IS FOREARMED. If you don’t know what your enemies’ tactics are or how many of them there are or who they are you will end up like General Custer! Very arrogant and very dead. I heard a good interview on NPR yesterday from a historian who had written a new book about that era and Crazy Horse and it discussed WHY Custer lost. Narcissism and arrogance and LACK OF INFORMATION ABOUT THE ENEMY. So I think it behooves us to LEARN about the psychopaths and to know the tactics.

Most SALES PRESENTATIONS are manipulations, to get the person to WANT and purchase what you are selling.

Dale Carnagie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People” (book and sales course) is exactly a HOW TO MANUAL to get sales men to use the power of persuasion to convince people to buy from YOU and not someone else. It is A HOW TO MANIPULATE MANUAL. Of course it is all about “manipulating them for a GOOD CAUSE” (YOUR SALES FIGURES) DUH! so it is okay to use those tactics.

That is all this is as well, how to manipulate others so that you can get what YOU want.

We all do manipulation, we MANIPULATE our two year old to get him to cooperate with us and put his shoes on so we can get out the door to day care and work. We manipulate our lover by giving them a massage so they will want to have sex. We manipulate the dog by petting him when he fetches the ball or shaming him when he poos on the floor. So manipulation isn’t “all bad” or all about a “power trip” but there are limits.

When my oldest son was little my husband and I had a friend who sold life insurance, and for kids as well as adults. I remember him trying to manipulate me into buying some for my child, by telling me a story about some people whose baby had died of SIDS. Like somehow if I bought the insurance policy it would keep my BABY SAFE and if I didn’t buy it, my baby’s life would be at risk. Of course I bought the policy! LOL But looking back, I can even feel the emotion I felt that day as he was giving me his sales pitch.

Life insurance pays money if someone dies. It does NOT assure that they will not die. LOL The thing is it doesn’t protect against anything for an infant except protecting the parents from not having the cost of a funeral.

True to Self,
All the signs were there. GLARING signs. But I didn’t know that’s what they were. my exP was my BF for 25 years because although we lived together, he didn’t want to get married – THANK GOD!
I didn’t know he was poisoning me, cheating on me, devaluing me, purposely trying to drive me crazy, gaslighting, slandering and sabotaging everything in my life.
I saw that he lied, but let it go into the WTF? bucket. lots of stuff that didn’t add up. So many stories of pity and persecution… you know the drill.
If I had read that book 25 years ago, I would have been really impressed by it, and if I had noticed that the exP was doing all the things in the book, I would have thought, “how amazingly smart he is because he does this to everyone else”. I never would’ve thought HE WAS DOING THEM TO ME TOO.
Oxy,
yes the book is good information for self-protection, but it just isn’t presented right. It makes it seem like it’s a GOOD thing to do. I think that’s where the revulsion comes in. I can only imagine stupid people, like my previous-self, thinking, “I’m going to do these things, because I’m so smart and I read the book.”
The books by Stout and Hotchkiss are better in that they present the REAL thinking of the spath and the evil that it represents. I didn’t feel repulsed reading them even tho I could relate to although I was familiar with the descriptions.

Oxy,
I had a great discussion with my daughter over that word “manipulate”. I decided that I “persuade” and “empower”.

Manipulate is when you get someone to do something that is DESTRUCTIVE by not revealing what you know the outcome will be or do to them.

Skylar,

My Ex H left me one week before our 25th Wedding Anniversary, and a very serious surgery that my autistic daughter was facing. I saw it coming as we had been fighting for weeks, make that about 4 months. The surface issue was that he was a hoarder and we were in credit card debt living on half of our income because of the debt. He would buy things to resell but got to the point where he would get rid of nothing. My argument was obvious. Lets sell some stuff at consignment shops work together and get out of debt. We would then have twice as much money. The final straw was when I threw away some of his moldy books. It all sounds so stupid now.

I was distracted for years because of raising and autistic daughter, by a previous marriage. He was very good to her. He met me when she was 10 years old. Of course I carried baggage in from first marriage.

Gaslighting could be the number 1 thing that he did. Devaluing me was the other. Rather than make this a long story, fast forward to the last three years of our marriage. I started taking a lot more initiative. I didn’t ask his opinion on everything. He had the house before we were married. Even though he was never married before as he was younger than me, he tried to make me feel as if he was doing me a huge favor by bring me and daughter into “his” home.

One day I woke up and said to myself “Wait just a darn minute here.” This is my house too and I can darn well do what I want with it.” I would decorate it. He would sabotage it. In fact he sabotaged a lot of what I did, including trying to lose weight. My mother was very critical so I spent a lot of time venting about her. When the end finally came and he walked out. He told me when I was on the phone to my mother “Why don’t you tell her what you really think about her? He also told me that “I will quit my job before you get spousal support, and I will burn the house down before I let you have it.

I got a good lawyer, I bought him out of his half of the house with my so-called inheritance from mother, and got spousal support. For some reason I didn’t feel good about that. I needed it for survival though, because of raising autistic daughter I didn’t work a lot. I worked but didn’t have a career or even enough social security points of my own. “You are worthless” seemed to be his mantra. Me trying to explain to him why I wasn’t was what I spent my time doing.

While I am working on me, I have to do one of two things regarding the house. Either get this house once and for all to reflect my total personality, or get it in resale condition so I can get rid of it and buy a small house without a basement. There is a lot of wasted space in the house that is hard for me to take care of. The basement was pretty much stripped of its carpet, etc because of mold and his hoarding. The upstairs is good.

I know he was more than just passive aggressive. PA explains gaslighting. What was it he wanted from me? When his shopping and hoarding addiction took over he wanted me gone so he could be alone with his addictions. He thought though that I might inherit some money from my Narcissistic mother. Once he called me a gold digger (projection). I think working through recent break up with BF is ultimately going to help me deal with issues of ex husband. I thought his personality had changed and that wasn’t really him. I think that unfortunately that was really him. One of the things I did to my disadvantage was feel sorry for him. Because he wasn’t a physical abuser, I thought my reasoning with him would help. It just made things worse.

TTS

Sky, “different strokes for different folks” that’s why some things give some folks “ah ha” moments and don’t others. I gained from Stout’s book, from Hare’s and many others, and also from this one. Yes, it is sort of ODD book, and there is almost a TONE of “approval,” or at least NOT DISAPPROVAL, of using these tactics to gain power and control over others (to the detriment of the other) but by knowing (for me) HOW people can use my own thinking and desires to control me, I have some advance knowledge when I see someone doing this and I can say “Ohhhh, you are trying to control me.” Maybe I wouldn’t have seen that earlier on in my healing journey but I do NOW. I don’t think we can ever learn too much, but we can sure be too ignorant for our own good. So any chance to educate myself I am taking, even if I have to take it in SMALL doses a few paragraphs at a time.

Dear True to self,

Yea, “manipulation” and “control” are words that we can say have BOTH a positive and a negative connotation so it depends on “whose ox is gored” which is the bad manipulation and which is the good.

I agree with KatyDid that teaching a child to make decisions is a good thing, but at age 2 sometimes they are NOT going to learn to do it because it is against their entire developmental stage…we were talking the other day and One I think it was posted the attributes of a 2 year old and decision making was NOT one of them. LOL Actually ROTFLMAO hee hee

But defending ourselves against an onslaught of a power play from a psychopath or an enemy of any kind we tend to think of as “all is fair in love and war” so it is okay. They of course think it is UNfair because they want the upper hand.

So I think the best thing for us to do is to look into our own hearts and minds and see what our intentions are. ARe we in it to just control them or are we involved in the situation in order to protect ourselves from aggression? What is our intention? Sometimes I know I am NOT the best judge of what my own intentions are even, because I am prejudiced FOR MYSELF. LOL

This book is the recipe for the BACKSPATH.

If your divorcing a spath……LEARN these ‘rules’, along with getting to ‘know’ how your spath ticks by his past with you and others…..study it….it’s the key to a successful divorce of a spath.

For a ‘normal’ healthy thinker, these behaviors/actions/thoughts are hard to digest. But it’s like a snowball…..if you can keep a balance and use these ‘laws’ to gain power over the spath…..and jump back into your normal self otherwise…..you’ll gain speed, throw spath off balance and this is where we need spath to be, to counter control him.
A spath thinks he’s got us cornered. He has trained us and groomed us to predictable behaviors….he counts on this.
Throwing this wrench into his game throws them off balance…big time. When they are off balance, their mask slips….they get desperate, they don’t back away…..and rethink things….they keep pushing…..THAT is the behaviors a judge needs to see. (others too) for exposure.
These laws are brilliant…..but NOT for public consumption and use. Only to counter control a spath.

It’s DOES count as the spaths handbook……but i’m not even sure a SPATH knows this.

Erin

LOL!!! BACKSPATH! I SO LOVE IT!

I BACKSPATHED MY EX SPATH!! BIG TIME!!! SO BUSTED! Had no idea what to do and his true colors came flying out because he was NOT prepared for what he effed around with!!!!

It doesn’t get rid of the pain I’m feeling, and it won’t stop him from victimizing other women, but at least for the big fish he thought he caught that was a challenge on multiple levels, it was a SAVE for her and BACKSPATH for me!! DELIGHTFUL!

EB, How are you doing? Did you get more snow? Looks like california is going to wash away though. We got 3 inches of rain here, today and it was steady all day, and we NEEDED it, so no complaints at all.

Did your bear come back yet?

Yea, that book is something for sure, and is CREEPY as it seems really to “glory” in the tactics rather than condemn them, but it is good information if you are dealing with Ps. I tihink if there was ONE and ONLY one book I could pour in to a young person’s head, it would be the information in this one. If they were a P it would make them worse, and if they were Not a P it would PROTECT THEM.

Just watching Criminal Minds and the perp mentioned the 48 laws of power, kind of funny how it happened right when I read this article.

This is very instructive, Oxy!

I didn’t read the jacket blurb to start with, since the font comes out rather faded, and I plunged straight into the 48 Laws instead. But it struck me right away that Robert Greene seems to be playing the part of a modern day Niccolo Machiavelli by documenting for a wider audience “How To Gain Power.” So when I returned to the blurb it came as no surprise to see Machiavelli’s name there as a major inspiration for Greene’s dissertation.

I was also reminded that about the same year Machiavelli was penning his own work (1513), Sir Thomas More was making this observation in his History of King Richard the Third:

Hee was close and secrete, a deepe dissimuler, lowlye, of counteynaunce, arrogant of heart, outwardly coumpinable where he inwardely hated, not letting to kisse whome hee thoughte to kyll: dispitious and cruell, not for euill will alway, but after for ambicion, and either for the suretie or encrease of his estate. Frende and foo was muche what indifferent, where his advauntage grew, he spared no man deathe, whose life withstoode his purpose.

That’s quite a reflection on the ruthless cunning of a king who sounds very much like a psychopath, and could well have been one.

Hi Oxy….yep….another 18 inches last night…..been cleaning up all day.
GF came over for our coffee and chat this am….got stuck at the top of driveway.
Kids dug her out.

This has really provoked some thought in me today. How I took each thing I realized (after the fact) that spath did….and reversed it back and used it against him. I had many interesting convo’s with my therapist about doing this…and after I explained my aproach…..after he watched the downhill journey keep sliding, when I was ‘playing’ nice…..he agreed….this is what is required. Actually, I was quite surprised, as he was the only one I shared my aproach with….that he wasn’t scared begeebers of me. thinking I was wacked……but after 1.5 years of me bleeding in front of him….and then sharing how I made the spath bleed…..and how it empowered me…..all we worked on then was…..the reminder of keeping ‘who’ I was near and remaining balanced.
This was helpful….because I did have to ‘deal’ wiht normal peeps in life…..but NOW…..if I sense spath…..I DIG my heals right in and counter control…..however minute it is…..just dig those heals right in.

We are due more and more snow…..so the horizon is looking wet here.
I’m just trying to come to terms and grasp (ie Talk myself into) this move…..however it comes about….foreclosure/shortsale….I’m moving. When…..not sure…..I’m hoping I can list shortsale and buy myself another 120 days….have time to clean out here, sell some stuff…..paint rental, make it homey rather than rentalish…..move the furniture out of there……and not be rushed out……but as we allknow…..things don’t always go our way. I just hate the thought of moving into a storage unit…..and then transitioning again. Maybe lightening the load substantially will be a good thing!!!!! Yeah….that’s it!!!!!

Jr said last night….Mom….isn’t it time you ask for help?????
WTF? HELP……as if in the past 2.5 years that never crossed my mind?
Then he sets dibs on my bedroom……UH, yeah……I said….um…..at 18, I really don’t have to include you in this move whatsoever…..so don’t be telling ME which bedroom your going to get and cop an attitude with me!!!!!!

I’ts ME time……i’m tired of salvaging others.

Or maybe i’ve just eaten too much rum nut cake today!

The bear has not been back since I started throwing rocks at him like Babe Ruth……shoulda been a pro bear rock thrower…..maybe it’s not too late!!!!

one/joy_step_at_a_time

moving the spath stuff OFF my computer should be done by the time i am finished this post. I know there are dregs here and there, but i have the major amount of it.

i also spent some time deleting photos that make me feel upset – either related to the spath or the n ex. i don’t have as much time as i want right now to CLEAR OUT, but these bits DO help.

looking at some of the images i collected post spath – ouuu DARK place. maybe someday i will forgive my friends for abandoning me.

Wheoa…..lost post….
One…..welcome 2011 in with a clear head and open arms baby!!!!
Kudo’s……
D-E-L-E-T-E………

one/joy_step_at_a_time

right back at cha EB – you have taken some huge strides.

really appreciate your above post. that paired with oxy’s laws article today – well, no i need to move on with my life (not healed, not saying that, but i gotta MOVE on to heal), and start putting these things into action in my life, with other peeps. the spath is gone forever. but there are other situations and people t deal with…and a life to get together.

One,
TOWANDA!!! Delete!!!! Delete!!! Delete!!!!

EB.
Sounds like you have your handsfull right now. Did you decide where you are moving to? Glad your Babe Ruth arm ran the bear off!!! Although, I have to say,,,,,, that visual of scratching his crotch and looking for food and peeking in on you is still making me laugh!!!
Soimnotthecrazee1!

Good call onestep, soon you’ll forget what he even looked like. 🙂

One,
Where’d ya go? Are ya stuck on the delete button?

One,
we can’t blame our friends for getting tired of our pictures from our “trip”. They’ve never been there, they don’t get it.
I hate to think that you will lose good friends because of the spath. Judge them on other merits, but not on their stamina for spaths.
I’m here for you, they don’t need to be.
Love you.
(hugs)

NCz:
Yes….I have a rental, we’ll move over there. I’m lucky to have that, as most people don’t have that option. I feel stupid complaining. It’s all about perspective.
Part of the upset is I fought so hard for this property in divorce…..got both. I have a ton of equity in this property that was part of my ‘health plan’…..get the house out of foreclosure……sell it, take my equity in leiu of him cancelling my health insurance. With my C diagnosis…..I won’t be able to get h.ins.for 10 years cancer free…..got a while to go.
So….I’m losing my equity with this house and hence my health money if I get sick again.
BUT….I am a firm believer and have preached, EVERYTHING happens for a reason…..so it tells me something is around my corner that I can’t have if I have this house……
I don’t know…..
I DO know that my bills will be minimal…..Iwon’t have to work as hard, less stress……and more free time…..I can fix up the rental and make it home.
This house is very great for me to run my business from…..lot’s of storage, room for the kids, an apt. to rent out here(income)……but with that comes the money side….tax’s are triple, mortgage is $3k, insurance is 5K…..blah, blah, blah….and then the maintenance.
I have a garage here…..none at the rental. that alone means lifestyle change….big time.
This property is a stones throw from the police dept……the rental is NOT. I feel safer here with my neighbors knowing the deal…..there….it’s mostly vacation peeps.
I was hoping the modification would put the back payments on the end of the loan, extend the terms to 40 years and lower my payment substantially and include tax’s and ins.

I never really liked the rental….I bought it 20 years ago….when first starting out, lived there only a few years…. got pushed down the stairs there when pregers with first, spath lived there when separated, spath sold drugs out of there to hide from me and entertained young girls there…..it’s creepy.
BUT…..I only owe 20K on that property…..so I wouldn’t be in jeopardy of losing that!
It’s much smaller…..1200sq ft vs 4000sq ft.
Scale down is in the cards, on a MAJOR level.
Again…..how can I biatch….others aren’t as fortunate. I’m not homeless. I’m just pissed!!!

I don’t think i’ll ever forget that sight of the bear…..one leg dangleing off the rail as he just scratches away, looking at the view.

EB,
I’m sorry you are going through this.
You need to go to the rental and get it painted and floors done, new curtains and make it a completely new place for you before you move in. Like you have never been there before.
Take the bear with you to make you laugh. Leave him a trail of nog to follow.
I know how you feel about being greateful and not homeless. I wound up in my childhood home and OMG,,,,, I have regurgitated my whole childhood here. I fled from the xspath to here and didn’t have time to do anything before I came back. So I’ve had all of mom’s stuff to get rid of and all of the family things to go through on top of having PTSD and trying to work full time and manage 100 people and being perimenopausal. WHEW!!! I wonder why I feel like I’ve lost my mind at times????
Anyway, get a storage unit and get in your comfy new home and make it another new adventure. Plan a neat comfy home office with a view out.(gotta be able to watch the bears).
I know about taxes and ins 3K each here a year, that’s 6k, that goes up from mom paying 1500.00 a year for both not each!!
They are robbing the hell out of us down here in Fl.

Sky,
somewhere you said goodnight. back at ya! sweet dreams

Dear EB,

Junior better be grateful if you let him sleep on the couch! LOL “Dibs” on anything! LOL ROTFLMAO choke, snort, snarf!!!!!

Son C is coming over tomorrow evening to pick up a box of his stuff that I have collected over the months as I came across it, and some mail he got here that he needs….it will be the first time I have seen him in over a year, and we have traded maybe an e mail a month about various things we needed to talk about (nothing emotional or anything like that just business about the parole hearing, and once I answered some medical questions for him and interpreted a radiology reading of an MRI on his ankle. I’m really not all that anxious about seeing him, or in any way stressed about it…actually, I really don’t care one way or the other. I’m Sort of resigned I guess that he isn’t in my life and I don’t “miss” him—and actually, the first 3 years he was married to the P-DIL I didn’t see him ore than once or twice a year and even after they moved out here to the farm I still didn’t see him much unless he wanted to borrow something. He didn’t come over and “hang out” any with D and me, or do anything with us, or socialize with us, so actually, I realize he hasn’t been IN MY LIFE MUCH for the past 10 years really. So I guess I have just gone back to that time period where I did adjust to not having him in my life, so maybe that had some influence on the fact I dont’ “miss him” like I did when I first asked him to leave.

Oh, well, it will be a relief to get rid of his stuff and if he wants his mail he better have it addressed to where he lives, as any more that comes I am chunking out or sending back “addressee unknown.”

After this I don’t think he will have any need to come back here at all….I’ll e mail him when I find out about the parole hearing.

EB, maybe the bear was a sign?
Chasing you away from the house.
Is there any meaning to this incident?
I don’t know, but the bear’s timing
is interesting. Just a coincidence?
Why did I just think of this?
I sound like a nut case.

SC,
You have a valid point there. You don’t sound like a nut case to me. LOLOL!

I need some advice.
EB, maybe you could help, since it is about a rental house and possible tenants.
I have the cabin in the woods which I lived in but is now in a total state of disrepair. I don’t have the money to fix it and when I go there I get depressed so I can’t even clean it up.
What I have done, half-heartedly, is look for people on Craigslist who offer to trade remodelling skills for rent. In 4 months, I’ve met with 3 really shady characters and passed.
Then last September, an old couple who call themselves “dream tenants” advertised that they wanted to find a place to fix up. They have a website, he is an engineer and she is an artist. They seemed great, but we could never arrange a time to meet and I forgot all about them. It did bother me that they asked for the home address and suggested I leave a key outside so they could go in…but I ignored the request.
Now they have contacted me again and asked the same. I told them my policy is to meet people before giving the address. His reply was “oh, yes, you can never be too careful, and better not put it in an email since you never know who is eavesdropping”
I thought WTF?
Then I was supposed to meet them later today to take them to the cabin. But he emailed me this morning:
skylar:

“If you are apprehensive regarding us or our level of care when caretaking a property, you may wish to check out the page on our web site. You will need a user name **** and ****is the password. The page illustrates the types of property we have either owned or leased and how we cared for each. We can also provide a list of long term personal references if you like but first we would like to meet you and see the property. With no interior photos, we don’t even know if we could make it work.

I am curious what has changed your mind. After viewing our web site, you commented that it would be an honor just to meet us and now it seems you are afraid to even give us an address so we could meet you there and take a look at the property. If you doubt our trustworthiness or sincerity to this extent, it probably makes no sense to continue. Let me know what you want to do.”

I replied:
“Please don’t misunderstand, I still think it will be an honor to meet you and your wife.
The way I do business is just standard policy. Nothing more.”

So the next reply to me says:
“Hi again:

Unfortunately the business we had planned for the afternoon has been moved up to forenoon. Perhaps we can arrange to meet another time.

Thank you for your interest,”

All of this seems like I drew a boundary and it made him mad. Previously, I had noticed that he would email me and expect a reply within a day or 2 but when I emailed him, he would take a week or more to reply to me.
Am I dealing with a narcissist who is testing my boundaries and N-supplyability?

How do I go about finding a renter who wants to live for free but will do remodeling work, without dredging through manipulitive losers?
Any comments are appreciated.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

Sky – let them go. they are playing games, don’t care why, but they are.

THEY ARE CONTROLLING. Want to run the show and set all of the parameters. ummm, NO.

Anything you have to work this hard for is false.

I don’t know that their is an easy way to do what you are describing – truly, many of the folks who are attracted to this arrangement are going to be people who find it hard to keep a job in the first place.

there is a program within the public school board here where the students learn to build and repair, and take on projects. is there anything like that around? a group like rotary or civitans who might be able to help you find the help you need to fix it – where it would be on the up and up? Could habitat for humanity point you in the right direction?

ohhh, good ideas. thanks One, you are priceless.

Chic….no,not a nut case!!! 🙂
This year, I haven’t had ONE bear here…..I thought it was Holly keeping them away. Until this chunkalunk showed up…..and during heavy storms?!?! Go figure?

Oxy….Breath today…..and put away those damn cookies….. 🙂
It’s just so wrong that we have to harden up in regards to the kids……
I understand……you can’t keep banging that wall……but it’s a thought I just never pondered……creating distance with my kids!!!!!
I look forward to the time I can say…..He’s gone……he’s on his own and it’s all his problems….

As a parent, I envisioned……sending him joyfully off to college, trial and errors…….and off into a successful productive, helpful to others life…….it’s not looking this way at this point.

It’s sucky to realize, all the love and caring you poured into your child……is for not.

Good luck with the ‘visit’ today darlen!!! Your in my thoughts!

Dear Skylar,

I have been in this same position a couple of times, as well as having rental property, and I have had BAD experiences EVERY time I got into a “work for rent” situation….first off. If someone is allowed tomove in to your property and WORKS on it. How much is their work “worth” in $ and cents? AS MUCH AS THEY SAY IT IS. So they can say they are charging you $25 an hour and they keep the amount of hours that they work (you have no way of knowing how many hours they work or what their rates should be) so they do a crappy job on fixing something—you say It is no good—they say YOU OWE ME $3,000 for my work. So the thing is you can NEVER GET RID OF THEM even if they do no work or if they do crappy work. And they can have a MECHANIC’S LIEN LEVIED ON YOUR PROPERTY by simply filing one. This is so that if you hire someone to work on your vehicle or your house, and you don’t pay, they can actually CLAIM TITLE TO THE PROPERTY UNTIL YOU DO PAY.

I have done that on airplanes my husband worked on when the person wouldn’t pay the bill. It is a matter of a $25 filing fee and a MECHANIC’S LIEN for work is PAID FIRST even if the property or the car is sold and there is a mortgage on it.

So you are getting yourself in to a LOSE LOSE situation with letting someone move into your property to fix it up for rent, and if you had a person you could trust, might be one thing, but you dont’ even know these people and it sounds to me like their web site could be a con, if someone is wanting to move into a house in major disrepair to fix it up (which is hard work and some expenses for parts) I smell a rat there somewhere….

I think your chances of finding someone off the internet are about like internet dating! ZIP ZERO ZILCH NADA NOT A CHANCE

excellent thoughts Oxy,
I will be more careful, thank you.
My spidey sense which I acquired here on LF, has proven to be invaluable. I knew something was up, just wasn’t sure what.

Skylar:
I’d steer clear of this deal.
We know there are cons in every knook.
As I read your post, my former con tenent came to mind…..he’d SOOOOOO do something like this.
I don’t know how much you care about this property and I don’t know the tenent/landlord laws in your state……but this is a chance i’d not take.
Remember the preface…..nothing comes for free.
Even in todays world….with the economy so tough for most…..i don’t think even now with so many losing homes….that you’d find that right couple willing to treasure a home for exchange of fix up.
Tenents have entitlement issues….this is my home, look what I did…..FOR YOU. You never paid for xx or yy, we did this because we loved the home.
People don’t love a home they don’t own.

If you in a position to just sit on it……and let it go for however many years you need to……maybe one day you’ll be in a postition to move back there and lovingly fix it up.

Another point to remember, is……..when you ‘rent’ to someone with no assets or money……when they cause you harm…..there is very little recourse. Do you want/need that frustration?

I think Ones options are great options for you to explore…..
Stay off the craigslist cesspool…….it’s a haven for cons.

Anyone who describes themselves as the perfect tenents….(and let me tell you….they ALL do!) is like a wealthy person telling you how rich they are.
If they are, they are……but why convince.

These peeps in particular sound like cons…..trying to hook you, using time inbetween…….and if you come back……they’ve ‘hooked’ you…..it’s all a bait.
RUN!

yep, EB, I felt it, real people don’t pump themselves up so much. I really need to do something with it because I do owe property taxes on it and I’m not making enough to cover that.
Will be very careful from now on. God just seems to cover my ass all the time, I have sidestepped several losers already. These were the most conniving though.

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