Seeing through Other’s Motives

Brad G. Philbrick
4 min readDec 16, 2020

How many times have others duped you? You felt betrayed, exploited, humiliated, belittled, or swindled. They left you feeling ostracized and hurt.

Think of those past events where relatives, friends, or work colleagues manipulate or mislead you. These people stole your money, infringed upon your time, destroyed your happiness, and shook your confidence. Studying and being observant of human ways can provide you the insight to prevent individuals from having power over you.

Have you ever had that deep down inside gut feeling that something is wrong with a particular person? Your suspicions run rampant. You think this person is a fake or a scam artist, or only thinking of themselves. Even the supposed generous, kind, and wholesome person makes you wary. It’s incredible how many times your inklings are correct!

Let’s face it, and it is a sad fact; many people don’t care if they get you into trouble; they only want a reward for themselves. Then too, we know some who enjoy causing grief to others; to them, it is an absurd maniacal thrill. But again, you sensed these feelings about others all along. Do not labor over the bitterness or hurt, which will only start from moving on to greener pastures and higher ground.

You can learn to see through people. Find out all you can about wrong intended people. Delusion is dangerous. See things as they are. When one wishes or desires something to be that is not, that is a delusion. Do not feel guilty about seeing through others. Instead, be jubilant knowing what high-minded and happy people know. Gaining insight into quacks and swindlers is a massive step toward living a higher and more rewarding life.

One simple method of gaining insight into another is studying faces. Lawyers know this. Most healthcare providers know this also, and sales representatives examine the actions of their customers. Look closely, and you will notice suppressed anger, boredom, or their pretending to be happy.

When someone asks you a question or has a request, it is imperative to find out what they want. When the little boy asks his mother if she will stay in her craft room to continue to sew, what is the actual motive? The little boy then asks his mom if she is going to the kitchen, and his mom replies no. What the boy wants is a clear shot of the cookie jar.

Realize that others whom you meet study you carefully. While your friend or colleague may appear relaxed and caring, he or she is seeking to discover a particular fact or trait of you. Chances are, they want to find a weak point. Are you easily bullied and intimidated? Are you gullible and naïve? Are you easily flattered and placated? What do you do? Watch him watch you! Find out what is going on, and you will now be in charge of the game.

Do you want to know what your colleague is genuinely like? It never matters when things are going well in the office. Sales are up, quotas met, projects completed, those are positive results. But what is your team member like when the organization is facing tough times, or your co-worker is given a bad review, or somebody else gets what she wanted. Watch her then! See the childish behavior, blaming others; life is not fair, leadership is stupid, she has shown her cards, and you see it.

As human beings, we all tend to be impatient. We want it now, and often without realizing the potential consequences. Unfortunately, the world is full of people who love to take advantage of intolerant people who suffer from this weakness. They offer immediate pain relief, fast money, and spontaneous pleasure. Of course, obtaining these instant offers requires you to pay. Think about it, will you still find value in the product or person a few months from now? Ignore, do not fall prey to impulse buying. You will never lose anything that has real value.

Then there is one trap that we all see, arguably the most common ploy of all. When you turned down your friend, colleague, or even the boss, your receive a hurtful disappointed look. The puppy dog look bowed head, or the slow shaking of their head, the attempts to make you feel guilty. Don’t ever fall for it! They employ attempts to pressure you into thinking you owe them something. Be assured; you don’t. Always remember you are never responsible for someone’s disappointment. Their disappointment is their problem. That is the way to leave it.

Be watchful and be mindful. In many ways, life is a game. Enjoy it, relish it, and always be observant.



Brad G. Philbrick

Brad earned a B.S. degree in Pharmacy from North Dakota State University in Fargo, ND.