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Avoiding People Who Like To Take Advantage of Others
Some days it would nice to wake up in the morning and look at our crystal ball. We could ask our crystal ball questions, such as who to watch out for and what should we do to avoid bad people and things. Unfortunately, dealing with deceitful people is a part of life. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell who we should steer clear of. Turns out that studies have been conducted about such people, and how people who take advantage of others tend to be selfish. At Wesley Financial, we’ve heard about countless timeshare representatives that take advantage of people. Our clients at Wesley Financial have had to deal with these unscrupulous characters, and it is unfortunate that these characters still continue to carry on. What is it about them that makes them do it?
How People With Selfish Brains Like Taking Advantage of Others
Lori Chandler, in an article written for BigThink.com, explores a study of such people. The article begins, “Everyone wants to get ahead, but how we do that and to what extent says a lot about us. A recent study by the University of Pécs in Hungary shows the neuroscience behind people who are opportunistic, exploitative, and suspicious. Called “Machiavellians” by psychologists and “politicians” by most, this personality type is naturally bad at playing with others. Like Reese Witherspoon in the movie Election, these people will do anything to get ahead and have a callous disregard for other people’s feelings. The study shows in startling detail the inner workings of Machiavellians brains.” (Chandler, n.d.)
“In the study, a group of people both low and high on the Machiavellian scale played a game with, unbeknownst to them, a computer. The computer sometimes played fairly and sometimes did not, but when it was playing fairly, the Machiavellian brain lit up in key areas. Researchers say as soon as someone demonstrates fairness — in this case, a confederate computer — Machiavellians start finding ways to exploit it.” (Chandler, n.d.) Here, we can see the parallels between those Machiavellians that were trying to find a way to exploit the computer, with the ways in which such Machiavellian-types in the timeshare industry try to prey on the unwitting consumer. It seems atrocious that some people like to take advantage of others and are willing to do anything to get their way. Chandler’s article continues to discuss how the brains of these people work:
“Machiavellians, however, tend to see the worst in people, presuming that everyone acts purely out of self-interest. What is interesting, then, is that when you show calculating people what they expect — that you are ready to exploit their vulnerabilities for self-gain — there is no sign of surprise. When you respond to their selfish behavior with kindness, their brains immediately start planning how to best take advantage of you. ” (Chandler, n.d.)
It’s sad to see that some people are built this way, and that there is seemingly no way around it. As timeshare advocates, Wesley Financial has seen a slew of people like this in the timeshare industry. We’ve heard countless stories of people being taken advantage of by timeshare companies.
Another reason some people take advantage of others although they know it is wrong might be due to willful blindness. In an article from Medium.com, Thomas Oppong looks at willful blindness by opinions from Margaret Heffernan and Cognitive Psychologist Albert Bandura:
“In her book, Willful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious at Our Peril, Margaret Heffernan, examines the cognitive mechanisms by which we choose, sometimes consciously but mostly not, to remain unseeing in situations where “we could know, and should know, but don’t know because it makes us feel better not to know.” Heffernan argues that the biggest threats and dangers we face are the ones we don’t see — not because they’re secret or invisible, but because we’re willfully blind.” (Oppong, n.d.). We know that timeshare representatives that lie and deceive must be aware of what they are doing, yet they still do it. Could willful blindness be one of the reasons they go ahead to mistreat others?
The article continues to explore willful blindness, “The concept of “willful blindness,” Heffernan explains, comes from the law and originates from legislature passed in the 19th century. It refers to a situation where — if an individual could have and should have known something, then the law treats it as if he knew it. The claim of not knowing isn’t a sufficient defense. Heffernan notes: “The law doesn’t care why you remain ignorant, only that you do.” Heffernan notes that “people are about twice as likely to seek information that supports their own point of view as they are to consider an opposing idea.”” (Oppong, n.d.)
When we take a look at timeshare companies and their representatives that deceive people, it makes us wonder why. Hearing the description of willful blindness is not an excuse to their behavior, but a possible reason why they think they can get away with defrauding consumers. “They’re particularly “resistant to changing what they know how to do, what they have expertise in and certainly what they have economic investment in.” Cognitive psychologist, Albert Bandura, argues “People are highly driven to do things that build self-worth; you can’t transgress and think of yourself as bad. So, people transform harmful practices into worthy ones, coming up with social justification, distancing themselves with euphemisms and numbers, ignoring the long-term consequences of their actions.” (Oppong, n.d.).
“Cases of willful blindness aren’t about hindsight. They feature contemporaneous information that was available but ignored. We mostly admit the information that makes us feel great about ourselves, while conveniently filtering whatever unsettles our egos. A challenge to our big ideas feels life-threatening.” (Oppong, n.d.). So, does this mean that timeshare fraudsters may try to justify their deceitful acts in their minds? Maybe it does. As we said earlier, this is not an excuse to their behavior, but a possible reason as to why they do it. If you’ve been the victim of one of these tricksters, it’s time to take a look at what you can do.
What To Do If You’ve Been Taken Advantage of By a Timeshare Company
If you found that you have been the victim of timeshare fraud, don’t fret. There’s no need to think that you don’t have an option out of your timeshare dilemma. At Wesley Financial, we’re here to help you cancel your timeshare or reduce your level of ownership. When it comes to being the victim of fraud, it can make you feel like you can’t trust the world anymore. You begin to wonder who you can trust. It would be nice to have a crystal ball to look at every morning to see what bad people we could avoid, and we have yet to hear of a crystal ball for sale that can do that.
Our clients at Wesley Financial have faced numerous timeshare scams, so your story probably won’t be unique to us based on what we’ve heard through the years. Wesley Financial has been helping consumers fight the timeshare industry since 1989. We have heard quite a few stories along the way, and most of them deal with someone who is like the person described in the articles above – selfish.
Contact our offices at Wesley Financial so that you can talk to one of the members of our team about your timeshare problem. Once you’ve told us your story, we’re be able to determine whether or not we can help you. If we don’t think that we can help you based on the information that you have provided to us, then we will let you know as soon as possible. Integrity is a strong suit in our company, and we want to assure you that we won’t string you along. We have a 100% success rate. Reach out to Wesley Financial today.
Chandler, Lori. (n.d.). Study: Brains of Selfish People Immediately Seek to Exploit Others. www.bigthink.com, http://bigthink.com/ideafeed/study-some-peoples-brains-are-wired-to-be-selfish
Oppong, Thomas. (n.d.) The Psychology of Willful Ignorance: Margaret Heffernan on Why We Ignore The Obvious. www.medium.com, https://medium.com/the-mission/margaret-heffernan-on-the-phenomenon-of-willful-blindness-why-we-ignore-the-obvious-95df1398c8bc