Fool You Once, Shame on Them. Fool You Twice, Shame on You


There are tons of people on this planet that are very good at fooling others. Whether it be social engineering, influence, or manipulation, some of us get fooled and learn the hard way to not be involved with those type of people.

It can be difficult to deal with these types of individuals because some that do the fooling do it to their own loved ones. So they are given constant chances to redeem themselves but continually betray the trust of those that give them a second, third, or multiple chances.

When it gets to that many chances given, it is at a point where the one doing the fooling is taking advantage of the individual's or community's kindness. Then who is doing the fooling? The one taking advantage or, is it the individual or community fooling themselves.

“There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again.”

Many of us have come across this type of people. That will play the role of a nice guy to earn your trust and then doing some things such as lie to get out of a situation or not look bad. The type of selfish person that will play the cards as best as they can for personal gain and not have concern for the better interest of others.

This type of person can be a negative influence or dangerously manipulative where it could have a substantial impact on an individual and to those around them.


the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself.


We see many different types of influence and the effects it can have on an individual or a group. There can be a good and bad influence depending if a group or individuals are aware and have the right intentions.

  • Reciprocity - Known as the "golden rule" is to treat others as you would like to be treated. The feeling of being indebted that in turn triggers reciprocity.
  • Obligation - Similar to reciprocity, instead of feeling indebted, the emotion is generated from a moral, societal, or legal standpoint.
  • Concession - Also know as the Door-in-the-face technique, is giving the appearance of giving up something so the other target ends up giving up something themselves.
  • Scarcity - Using this as a tactic to make the appearance of time, resources, and availability is limited.
  • Authority - Positioning one's self as an authority to gain influence over another.
  • Commitment & Consistency - Having an individual agree to multiple requests to create a form of commitment and consistency to be influenced to continually agree.
  • Liking - Doing something such as a kind act or going out of the way to show an individual that they are liked.
  • Social Proof - This could also be considered as social conformity where a group or an individual can influence another individual to agree based on a form of peer pressure or the feeling to "fit in".


control or influence (a person or situation) cleverly, unfairly, or unscrupulously.


Influence and manipulation can be closely related but the difference is with manipulation, an individual uses their influence over another for their own advantage in an unethical manner.

  • Increasing Susceptibility - An individual that likes to manipulate others will increase the stress level and create fear and anger.
  • Environmental Control - Manipulating the environment so an individual or group to act in a way they normally wouldn't.
  • Forced Reevaluation - Presenting information that will contradict one's beliefs, rules, or instructions received to reevaluate their stance.
  • Removing Their Power - Removing an individual's control by allowing them to make decisions without thinking to increase compliance.
  • Punishment - Actual punishment or the threat of punishment can be used to manipulate a group or an individual.
  • Intimidation - Being aggressive and preying on the one's fear to give the perception of having authority or control over another.

There are many forms of manipulation and not being aware of this happening to you is letting someone that understands how to manipulate to do this to you. You may be in denial that you are being fooled but you're only fooling yourself.

Image Sources: 1,2,3,4

Comments 1