Besides knowing how to identify a predator, it also helps to understand what makes a person more vulnerable to psychological attacks. Simply put, there are sitting ducks that are closer to the line of fire than others. However, we now know that brainwashing is just one of the ways through which people are manipulated. So, what makes a person vulnerable to mind control and manipulation that exist?
1- Are you Intelligent?
Intelligent people like to use logic to aid their decision-making process. Logic is easier to manipulate. Hence, intelligent people are more likely to manipulated when you corner them with logical arguments. Less intelligent people are harder to convince with logic and tend to be more stubborn in the face of facts and scientific arguments. It is no wonder that a whole lot of people who have been scammed by con artists and Ponzi schemes happen to be people who are relatively smart and who you’d not expect to be easily fooled. The reason why this is often the case is that scammers know to appeal to this kind of people with facts and statistics. People who are less smart will be easily dismissive of anything that sounds like hullabaloo because they do not understand it.
2- You are trusting and like to believe the best about everyone
Believe it or not, there are bad people in this world. There are people who leave their homes every morning with the intention of harming others. There are people who have no qualms about inflicting heartache and turmoil upon others. While you may be seated in your house worrying about mega-rich corporations who steal from the poor, there is a boardroom full of corporate big shots who are about to steal from the very poor that you are worried about. Simply put, not everybody shares in your conscience and your empathy. People are wired differently. People on the dark triad are wired even more differently than you could ever imagine. When you meet a new person, it is noble to want to believe the best of them, but it is wise to expect to be surprised in a not-so-great way. Keeping your expectations of people to a minimum is a great way to protect yourself against everyone that is trying to get a piece of you.
3- You are constantly seeking external validation
When it comes to manipulation, a person that is constantly seeking validation from others is akin to a sheep walking inside a lion’s den. It is only a matter of minutes before the sheep are completely annihilated from the face of the earth. Manipulators are highly capable of noticing loopholes and exploiting them to their benefit. A big, glaring loophole for a manipulator is a lonely or insecure person who wants some companionship at whatever cost.
Everybody is prone to feeling lonely every once in a while. We are social beings, and in the absence of a company, we can often feel unloved and dejected. Do not seek external validation to the point where you make yourself a sitting duck for validation. It is okay for people to like you, and it is also okay if they do not like you. Liking yourself is good enough. When you have put on the armor of self-love and acceptance, you make it a little bit harder for predators to creep through your defenses. This is not to mean that any person who has been manipulated does not love themselves enough. However, in romantic relationships, you can really protect yourself if you have already internally validated yourself before going out there to the wolves.
4- You have isolated yourself from family or friends
You’ve probably heard this story before–an elderly person who lives alone meets a charming young man on the Internet. This online acquaintance quickly becomes a romantic interest. A few months down the line, the young man is saying all the right things and getting money wired into their bank account every month. A year down the line, the elderly woman or man has exhausted all their retirement savings and reeling from the discovery that their online love interest was just a con. While the victim wallows in embarrassment and wiped out finances, you can only wonder how the con managed to pull off a scam that is so simple and obvious that it is laughable. How can a person be so gullible, you wonder? It really is simple. It is easier to fool one person than it is to fool many.
One person who obviously had some wisdom in him put it this way: You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time. This is a fact that predators know–it is much easier to hunt the lone antelope as it wanders in the savannah, alone and unprotected against all the dangers of the world. When you are surrounded by loving friends and family, you have a wall around you that keeps the predators out.
Even when you are certain that you are in love and your partner is the best thing that happened to you, there will be that one person in your circle whose critical thinking has not been impaired by the passion of a new relationship. That one person will be your buffer against manipulation. It is no surprise that many people who manipulate and abuse their partners try to keep them away from their families. These manipulators and abusers know that if another party comes into the mix, their entire gig will be up.
5- You do not educate yourself
You do not need to go back to school to learn all the ways that people are trying to take advantage of you. A good thing about living in today’s world is that information is freely available right at the fingertips. You only need to be willing to learn. A whole lot of people are taken advantage of because they do not know the tactics employed by manipulators. If you do not know that manipulators have a thing known as the mirroring technique, you might think that you and your date simply have amazing chemistry when this is definitely not the case.
A good thing about manipulators is that most of their techniques are already in the books and all you need to do is grab yourself a book and get to reading. This way, you will be able to stop any predator in his tracks before he gets too close to cause you any harm. In the same breath, the free availability of information means that you can always look up someone so that you authenticate their identity before they get a chance to grab anything from you. Gone are the days when you had to hire a private investigator to carry out a background check on someone.
In today’s world, it is possible to run a background check on someone on the Internet and have the results ready within minutes. This could either be a paid background check or a quick cursory check of their social media pages. Fortunately, almost the entire world is on social media nowadays, and a majority of us love to overshare.
6- You are highly emotional
Emotions are great. The ability to experience happiness, joy, surprise, love, sadness and every emotion of the human experience is a gift. For some people, this gift was given in spades. If you are the kind of person who goes through life feeling things more than thinking things, you are highly vulnerable to manipulation. Manipulators are able to fake emotions while saying and doing everything you need to hear. They do not even have to make sense–they just need to verbalize the things that you long for, and you are sold. Now, if you are highly emotional, there is not a whole lot of things you can do to change yourself. You are born that way, and you can only learn how to cope with being so highly emotional. That being said, you can always make sure that you stay conscious of your emotions so that they are not always dictating your decisions for you.