The Pleader: one of the 52 types of difficult people I’ve documented.
Welcome to the 41st blog in the series “52 blogs in 52 weeks with each blog being about one of my 52 types of people who are poorly behaved and at times downright difficult”. This blog is about Type 45: The Pleader.
#45: The Pleader.
My parents, the M1 and Andre Rieu.
The M1 is busy and at times a little scary.
The M1 Pacific Motorway is one of the busiest roads in New South Wales. It links Sydney to the Central Coast and Newcastle. And it carries more than 75,000 cars and 7,000 heavy vehicles every day.
I know the M1 well. I know its long stretches and dangerous curves. And I know its steep descents and long winding hills. For more than three years I drove the M1 six times a week – three times in one direction and three times in the other. It was because I live in Sydney and was spending a few nights every week on the Central Coast helping to look after my elderly parents.
My parents pleaded for me to stay an extra night.
One night when I was ready to drive home from my parents, down came the rain. And I mean it bucketed down. My parents knew the road would be slippery. And they knew there’d be plenty of drivers who wouldn’t slow down. They were worried. And perhaps a little scared as well.
So my parents pleaded for me not to go. They didn’t get down on their hands and knees. They didn’t cry and carry on. But nonetheless, they pleaded.
My parents made their case and made it well.
My parents were successful. I agreed with them and so I stayed the night. Not only did I not have to ‘risk it’ as my parents called it, I got to watch yet another episode of Heartbeat and another DVD of Andre Rieu. Yayyyy! Sometimes life is very rich indeed.
The Pleader is only interested in themselves.
They only want what’s good for them.
What my parents did was put forward their point of view and hoped I’d agree with them. They made their case, told me of the dangers and told me they were concerned for my safety. They were clear and upfront. And they were polite and caring. But my parents’ behaviour and intentions were in sharp contrast to those of someone I call The Pleader.
The Pleader doesn’t just want us to do something or agree to something. The Pleader wants us to agree to something which is of benefit to them but of little or no benefit to us. And in fact, can often do us harm.
The Pleader is not interested in us or our welfare. They’re only interested in what’s good for them. All they want to do is get their own way and win. To put it mildly, they’re selfish.
The Pleader begs.
Now before we go any further, let me just say this, we’ve all asked for things. And we’ve asked for things a second time. We’ve all said things like: “Hi. I know I asked you yesterday about the finances for the project, but I’m just wondering if there’s been a change.”
But The Pleader doesn’t ask. The Pleader begs.
“I know we talked about this yesterday but please can you just reconsider. It’d be great if you could. Go on.”
“But I thought we were friends. Please, just do us this little favour. This is what friends are for. Be a sport. Come on.”
“Oh please. Don’t let me down. I’ll never ask for something again. It’d be wonderful if you could say yes.”
Someone even told me they had a person come to their office and plead by saying: “Please. Pretty please with sugar on top.”
So there’s nothing inherently wrong with asking and there’s nothing inherently wrong with asking a second time. The issue is how how ask, what you’re asking and how many times you ask despite being told ‘no’.
The Pleader plays on our emotions.
The pleader is someone who plays on our emotions and they try to wear us down.
“Oh come on. Oh come on, please. Come on, I’m not going to ask for anything more. You look like a nice person. Do the right thing please. Do me a good turn. I’d do the same for you. Help me out won’t you? Come on.”
The Pleader’s behaviour is bad behaviour.
The Pleader’s behaviour is bad behaviour. Let’s not pretend otherwsie. They cross the line from stating their case like my parents did to begging, playing on our emotions and repeatedly asking despite being clearly told the answer is ‘no’. The Pleader tries to wear us down and hopes we’ll say ‘yes’ just to make them go away. And unfortunately, it sometimes works – which of course, only serves to reinforce their bad behaviour.
How to deal with The Pleader.
There are a few different ways to deal with The Pleader. And they’re all covered in my List of Top Strategies. One is to ‘get away from them’. You don’t need to spend your life listening to these people. You’ve got better things to do with your life.
But the reality is very often you can’t simply walk away from them. So another thing you can do, if you feel the correct answer to give them is ‘no’, is to stick to your guns.
That is, make it clear – using what I call diplomatic assertiveness – the answer is ‘n’o and Take Control of the Conversation by turning it to what you want to, or need to talk about.
For example, in a workshop I was running for frontline staff of Housing NSW , I gave them a simple script that helped them first say ‘no’ and then second, using words, their body movements, their gestures and their eye movements, turn the customer’s attention to the issues the staff needed to discuss. And it worked!
If you’d like to know more, please go to the contact page of my website. You’ll find lots of ways of getting in contact with me there. So let’s have a chat.
Anyway, in the meantime, whatever you’re doing, look after yourselves, your family and your friends. And I hope to chat to you soon. All the very best.
Until next time, all the very best.