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How to ostracize a value-taker

Here is the End of the story with nasty social climber A: 

Yesterday, I was at my friend guitarist F's place. Remember how guitarist F's GF was not allowing nasty social climber to come to their place?

It was because how nasty social climber A. dumped his GF. So yesterday I met F's GF and she's actually a really cool girl. So I get to hear the story, (people present: me, cool guitarist F, his GF and cool guy B) here is in brief:

  1. Nasty social climber A had already found another apartment for him before he announced he was dumping her
  2. He said to other people during a week-end where they were both invited and present (before telling her) that he was going to dump her
  3. He dumped her in such a hurtful way that she ran upstairs to cool guy B's apartment for support (he's present yesterday and was nasty social climber neighbour). Cool guy B got really shocked and still is today. It was after 1 year of knowing nasty social climber A
  4. Cool guy B told nasty social climber A that the way he did was not ok
  5. When nasty social climber A had sex a last time with her, he told her: "that was the only good thing with you"
  6. Nasty social climber A got dumped from his job recently
  7. Nasty social climber A actually did not finish his studies (no master diploma).
  8. Guitarist F's GF told me that he even contacted her for a job despite her having ostracized him. He asked her for jobs destined for PhD level. whereas he actually never finished his master. She's aware that he does what is good for him and does not care about other people.
  9. I learned that cool guy B and guitarist F actually stopped to see nasty social climber A months before meeting me. And they started to see him again when nasty social climber A invited me to his place. So actually, I'm the one who invited them and created the group. They were not a close group of friend anymore after what nasty social climber A did. They got away from him.
  10. And some other nasty stuff.


I basically realized how much nasty social climber A lied and I was shocked as well. I did not know he was so selfish and so uncaring. The facts above don't really render the feelings we had around the table about his behavior.


So after cool guy B told me that he took some distance with nasty social climber A. I also shared that I did the same. I said that if he had not brought it up, I would have not. Then in the car, I could tell him about the book I was listening (review coming soon) and tell him about: lack of empathy, lack of guilt, lack of shame, projecting feelings of weaknesses on others. Because I know he could understand what I was talking about. He said that after having consoled nasty social climber A's GF he thought: "for this guy, our friendship is shit" (small red flags are actually big red flags, props to Lucio, see quote below).

Lucio Buffalmano wrote:

You know, sometimes in life you realize people either give, or take. And I decided to be around people who give to others nstead of taking. Sometimes it takes time to recognize it and it's very sad when you do because when you’re not like that, it hits you even harder. It might sound harsh, but I decided some time ago to only choose people who bring others up and not down.
You know, taking or giving are attitude towards others and towards life.Sometimes you see it in the smaller things before you see in the bigger things.
Like I can make a joke about you now for example, but am I teasing, or am I making fun of you? Am I laughing with you, or am I laughing at you? Am I making a joke, or I am hiding a personal attack behind a joke? And today it's a joke, tomorrow it might be something bigger. Maybe they lie to your partner about you cheating, or spread rumors about you to ruin your reputation. Because the value-taker is about the attitude. And I don't need those people. Do you know what I mean?


In the end, I could get the word out about nasty social climber A without looking like I was trash talking him. I was not. I said that the difference is that talking trash is knowingly hurt somebody else reputation. I said that we were sharing our experiences with nasty social climber A. Now I know that people are aware. I don't need to say anything more. I just have to defend from Nasty social climber A' low-ball attacks. I expended the thread the next day in the car (today) and now I don't need to do it anymore. Everything that had to be said was said.


For the people who have a nasty social climber in their social circle, here is what I learned:

  1. Learn to identify them: learn about manipulators, narcissist, personality types and value-taking behavior
  2. Learn how to defend against micro-aggressions: see Power University
  3. Wait for an opportunity: when they f##k up (that means: take value in a nasty way for their own sake), and they will. At this moment, educate people about value-taking and manipulators with a few key words about their behaviors. Note: I never used the words "value-taking" and "manipulators" nor "narcissist". I used key-words about his behavior. So people can understand by themselves who these people are. It's a matter of empowerment.

I hope you guys will learn from my experience.


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Lucio Buffalmano


Awesome, awesome story, John.

Very glad to read.

So in the end everyone knew.

All it took was to start out the conversation, the "spark", and the fire of truth enveloped and burned nasty social climber A.

Which leads us to a good strategy to use in these cases:

  • Ask questions about value-takers and nasty people

How does that help?

  1. You gather intel
  2. People have an opportunity to start sharing bad stuff about him
  3. You thread-expand on his value-taking behavior
  4. Everyone gets on the same page (in case there are some people who don't know)
  5. Ostracization becomes unofficially official (nobody says "he's ostracized" most of the times, but that's what happens)
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Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Great summary and strategy indeed! Could go in PU. Fire of truth indeed. Love is stronger than Fear.

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Lucio Buffalmano

Follow up

We did a board game with him yesterday. Now I know he’s a PoS so I treat him accordingly:

He told me that I’m a thief, referencing the negative stereotype concerning my background. So I turned to him, give him a finger and say “and you’re a fucker.” He was a bit shocked.

Why did I do that? Because now I know that I can use direct aggression back on him. Because now I know that his friends don’t like him so much. I stayed calm but firm and dominant. I was not smiling so he could see I was serious. It did not affect the mood as I was afraid it would. The secret was to move on quickly and not dwell on it.

Then he did again this “it’s John’s pussy” which I deflected against the current winner. It was throwing him under the bus but that was my best option in this case. Also so the current winner could feel what it does. So when in the future I will propose that we don’t use it anymore he’ll be on board.

Then nasty social climber A used the “genius” and “unbearable” insults. I ignored them and so did the others because now I know he’s really immature and I don’t give him so much credit anymore (judge power). It’s like a baby making fun of me.

He also mimicked what I was doing when making people laugh. He basically tried to make me look like a clown. So I threw it back on him with a frame that he trained in front of the TV series in order to become a better actor:  I used my wits and humor to beat him in a battle of wits. He laughed after a couple of back and forth (one-ups) because he had nothing to answer back.

So I tested the grounds and now I know I can be aggressive with him without any consequence on my status.

So I will proceed with the ostracization. How? I will have to replace him in the group with someone of better quality. So my friends have still value from another group member.

What is the next step?

The next step is surfacing the “genius” and “unbearable” in front of the group. Now I know I can use the serious tone because now I have enough social and leadership capital to pull it off. I thought about calling him to say it to him. However I will use this opportunity to make him lose more social capital.

This is my strategy: use his attacks to turn them back against him. Now I know I can turn them back with a little more aggression and nobody cares. Just a little more so he cannot complain that I’m bullying him. It’s a matter of calibration.

Now I will use the leader-like techniques against micro-aggressions because I have enough social and leadership capital to pull it off.

So basically I will gain in status and he will lose in status. I will do this until what he brings to the group is of so little value that he becomes replaceable. And then I will replace him with a member of a higher quality. Long game: it might take a couple of months or faster.

In the mean time I don’t talk about him and organize as many events without him as possible. Just making him disappear.

Machiavellian? Yes indeed.


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