You just keep on using me, until you use me up.” – Bill Withers

A hustler used to be considered a swindler, a crook, a two-bit wheel, and dealer setting his sights on keeping his and getting yours too.  The term, hustler has been associated with drug dealers, cars salesperson, pool sharks, and anyone looking to earn a quick dime.  An expert hustler is one who gets you to comply with something until you realize later of being hoodwinked and paid a high price you did not intend to pay.

Nowadays, Hustler has taken on a more positive voice.  Entrepreneurs use the word “hustling” to catch leads and funnel traffic to websites to make money.  There is nothing wrong with making money through entrepreneurship; the harm is when you earn money the dishonest way and or use people to get what you want and have no regard for the person involved.

Therefore, how do you identify the average Joe you work with or the family member who is always seeking to borrow a dime as a hustler?  In my experience, I have identified the three hustler ways to get something for nothing and may help you the next time you are about to get duped:

1)  Foot in the door method technique has been around for years.  For example, I will ask to borrow twenty dollars today, and if you agree, may request to borrow a hundred dollars next week.  This technique is to test how far I can go with my demands.  Once a person knows you have caught onto his or her “foot in the door” ways, he or she will move onto the next victim.  The kind of person that falls prey to this sort of hustler is usually a stranger who does not know the person well or someone who is naive and idealistic and cannot see through the hustler’s façade until the person has lost several dollars without receiving a dime back.

2)  I have $20,000 in the bank, but I want yours too method.  Some people will pretend they do not have a lot of money.  Most of the time these conservatives have more money in the bank than you, and I combine, but they will use miser ways to take from you and keep theirs too.  For example, I may tell people I live on a small income and look like making ends meet, and just enough to lead you to think I need more.  Once again, this type of hustler is conservative, plays the “I am less fortunate than you” card and has money in the bank to pay for whatever he or she needs.  This person will take donations, freebies, and contribute minimal monetary in relationships.  They give a little and seem to get more in return.  By charming people into believing he or she is less fortunate is the trademark of this hustler.  Individuals who are hoodwinked by this hustler are probably friends and loved ones who are in denial about the individual’s hustling ways.  Acquaintances and strangers may fall victim because they have limited history with the hustler.

3)  Oop’s I forget my wallet, could you pay method?   The first red flag you are dealing with a user is every time you go out to eat, to a department store, or any situation that involves money, he or she has conveniently left his or her wallet or credit card at home.  Like the first two methods, this person is not honest and will not inform the person they are low or have no cash.  Most of the time, they want the benefits of what you have but not willing to work to get it.  You are dealing with someone who is unmotivated and uses people to get what they want.  Keep in mind, if this is a person you just met and are romantically interested in, you will soon find out he or she has had several jobs and probably their fair share of relationships because eventually their using ways are found out, and so they move onto the next.  People who fall prey to this type of hustler have low self-esteem, people-pleaser issue and difficulty setting boundaries.

Closing Thoughts

If you have been hurt or fell victim of someone who uses people, you are not alone.  Even though I have chosen three hustler methods to write about, there are several more hustler ways to be made aware of and sign to recognize.  One thing is sure, once you have fallen prey and learned your lesson, you will recognize it quicker and avoid falling prey to a hustler/user.

Regardless if it is a family member, a romantic partner, friend or co-worker, people are to be loved and appreciated for who they are and not what you can get out of them.  I would like to think the user cares about the people they use and discard, but they care about the hustle, not the person.  So, the truth is you must care enough about yourself to not continue to be used or remain in a relationship with a user.



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