We have a reader question from Karthick

What should I do when

  • When someone is trying to cheat or lie to me or manipulate me
  • When someone unknown is trying to cheat/manipulate an unknown and I am seeing it.

I get angry when I deal with these people. Most of the time I intervene and try to fix the situation, but my friends and family suggest it’s better to just ignore and let go. I am not sure what is the right method to act in these situations. At the end I loose my mental peace for sometime.

There is no full proof method which anyone can prescribe you to deal with wrong acts. It greatly depends on that specific circumstance, the subject(s) and their perspectives of a given situation. The definition of right and wrong is very subjective which creates a situation of disagreement between two subjects, leading to the possibility of a conflict.

The primary reason of conflict is failure of alignment. When two subjects do not align on a plane, friction is produced.

There are billions of subjects and each one has his own reasons, perspectives, principles and way of doing something. You cannot align with each perspective, just like other subjects will not align with yours. The best you can do is identify your perspective and communicate the idea of your perspective to another subject. That is the best you can do from your side, rest is upto the listener on whether he is able to absorb your perspective or chooses to ignore.

When you observe that someone is trying to cheat you, the first thing you should do is identify why the subject is doing that. You are the “Object” here and the Subject is trying to do something with “You”.

Since you do not agree with that “Kriya”, it is upto you to figure out why he is doing it. If you do not know the why and start inspecting or form perceptions, nothing will come out of it. You must understand why the subject is trying to cheat you.

Let’s take an example.

Suppose you are travelling in a bus and someone tries to pickpocket your wallet but fails. What do you do instantly? You attack that person and shout that this guy tried to pickpocket you, right? Wrong.

That’s not the right way to react to this situation. It will only create a scene, the public will beat up the “subject” and he will go home. The next time, he will improve his skills and repeat it with someone else.

What you should do is take the subject into confidence and understand why he tried to pickpocket you. Take him to the side, question him his needs, his problems. There must be a burning need which has forced this guy to steal money from someone else. Identify that and if possible, fix it for him. Show him how to earn livelihood or help him get a job somewhere. That way, you are fixing the problem once and for all, which will in turn improve his life and the quality of society will improve.

Whether that guy takes your help or rejects it is not your concern, your concern should be to identify why somebody tried to cheat you and fix the problem for him, so that he is not compelled to repeat it in future. That’s your primary dharma as an individual.

Violence is not an option. No big problem in this earth can be ever solved if you take the violet route. War creates more problems and never fixes the original issue. No war has been able to fix the “original” problem, rather, “Violence” creates more problems as it tries to fix something.

If you see that the subject is repeatedly trying to manipulate you or deceive you, your dharma is to repeatedly educate him. If he tries 1000 times, you should try 1000 times as well. This means, there is some mistake in your way of communicating and the subject is not getting what you are trying to communicate. If you communicate well enough, the subject will understand and the issue will be resolved once and for all.

Never lose patience. Anger, discrimination, agony are the signature of a weak personality. Do not let anger control your behaviour and how you respond or react in any situation. Anger is everyone’s enemy.

The same rule applies to the second part – when someone unknown is trying to cheat/manipulate an unknown and you are seeing it. Then your responsibility grows many folds

  • First, you have to educate the subject – the person who is trying to manipulate the other.
  • Second, you have to educate the object  – the person who was being manipulated.
  • Third, you will have to resolve any conflict and make the two subjects understand each other’s perspective, align them in one plane.

Treat the offender with love, chances are that he is the one who needs it the most. There must be a reason why he is doing something. It is possible that it is his habit, that doesn’t mean he is not worthy of judgement which leads to improvement. If you don’t show him the right path, he will always remain in dark.

Hate the sin, not the sinner.

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