Sometimes it is obvious when a person is trying to get information out of you. Sometimes it is less obvious. This article will provide a series of steps so you can figure out if someone is trying to get information out of you or using your for information.
- Determine what information they are after. The first thing you need to do is to determine what information you think people are trying to get from you. Once you decide what the information is, you can take steps to conceal it, or you can share it with them if you determine no harm can come from it. Consider this article to discover what types of information manipulative people are looking for.
- Ask Why – Now you need to figure out a motive. This helps you with identifying any hidden agendas. Hidden agendas could include jealousy or envy, money, social attention, competitiveness, wanting something you have, or more.
- Grab And Dash – A useful way to see if people are just using you for information is to watch how they act after you give them the information. Do they grab the information and then leave right after you give it to them? This might mean they only want to be around you for the information. If they don’t maybe they are just curious. Additionally you can try the other tactic. Don’t give them the information and see how they act. Do they get angry or irritated? Do they stop coming to see you? Look up this article on dodging if you want to know how to avoid answering a question.
- Check Alternative Explanations – Often people are just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Try coming up with alternative stories for their behavior. Pretend to be an attorney. Think of all the holes in your case. Attack the evidence.
- Watch The Tactics – Another way to find out if someone is prying information from you or has an alternative agenda, is to keep track of the tactics they use. Study manipulative or information digging tactics. Write down in a journal each day what they did. Review the journal and repeat step 4. Keep in mind that some people do certain tactics on accident. They might not even know what they are doing. For situations like this, see the next step.
- Tell Them To Stop – If you have determined that someone has an ulterior motive, tell them to stop. Tell them that topic isn’t one you want to talk about. You set your boundaries and determine what you do and don’t talk about. No one else does. If you tell them to stop and they don’t, you are either being unrealistic or they are refusing to respect your boundaries. Don’t spend time with people who don’t respect your boundaries. See the next section to figure out if you are being unrealistic.
Caution This Reason Might Be Painful
Another reason you might think that someone is trying to get information from you is because of the wiring of the brain. Personality science tells us that neuroticism, openness, and disagreeableness can all contribute in various ways to creating or magnifying a problem. In other words, how do you know you aren’t making this up or exaggerating a smaller problem?
There are two ways to know for sure. First get a psychologist and talk to them about the situation. Certain psychologists can help you get a more objective viewpoint by teaching you better reasoning patterns. See this article for the basics of how this works.
The second way is to remove yourself from the situation and put yourself in a new one. If you continually have the same problems over and over again, consider changing your actions. You might either be attracting bad personality types by displaying vulnerabilities they like to prey on, or you might be exaggerating the problems.