Thursday, April 30, 2015

Mind Games

Art: Mike Worrall

The Baal Shem Tov said : "The world is a mirror. The defects you see in others are really your own."

That solves one problem: if we see a defect in someone else, we can rest assured that defect exists in us too, otherwise we wouldn't have noticed it.

But what happens when that defect does not exist in you, and therefore you don't notice it in someone else........ ?

That's how simple, naive, innocent people fall for con-artists [and narcissists]. These innocent people don't possess a sneaky or manipulative trait: for them, it would be unthinkable to deceive someone else or use a friend to further their own agenda.... and therefore they do not realize when they are being taken for a ride, being used and manipulated.

They didn't see it, because they don't have that quality themselves.

When the truth finally hits, that they have actually been deceived, they are in a state of shock. It's hard to believe, how could this happen? Sometimes the victim may turn nasty and try to shoot the messenger, but ultimately, once they have given the matter a lot of thought, they should realize that the "messenger" was the one they should be thanking for waking them up and ensuring that they will be on their guard in future relationships.

It's no crime to be innocent and naive, in fact it's a virtue, but these days the world is a very dangerous place, and we need to be on the alert for anyone who's messing with our minds.

Geneivat da'at - Theft of the Mind - is the worst theft of all.

Geneivat da'at is not limited to con-artists..... it's practised all the time by abusers and manipulators.  They do the crime, but they won't admit it, or accept responsibility for it.  Instead, they'll blame you, the victim, for everything, and bring attention to your defects in order to take the heat off themselves.   They will try to discredit you in every way possible in order to ensure that no-one will listen to a word you're saying.

Be aware that this is how abusers behave, and be on your guard in the future. Get as far away from these people as you can, and don't go back. 


Leah said...

Excellent post. Yes, it's interesting how it mentions narcissism. Manipulators who try to blame others for their lack of responsibility. So true. I didn't.realize this is also an example of gneivas da''s eye opening.
.I have been told by my rav to steer clear.of a particular person who is like this. Very difficult person, yet I can see.this element of gneivas da'as, too.

Neshama said...

It also applies to nations that use deceit and lies in their negotiations and PR stunts, I.e. Iran and other Arab terrorist entities.

Leah said...

How true, Neshama.

Dassie said...

This is a brilliant insight, Devorah.
As many times as I'd heard about our defects being mirrored in others, never once did I consider it in the reverse. It's so true!
Kol hakavod.