I keep running into people I would describe as "pushy". Importantly, I'm interested in pushy people who are also loose with the facts and will say anything to get what they want.
I've run into these people so often in my adult life that I have to accept that a good chunk of humanity is going to act this way constantly. So I need to learn how to deal.
Being rational doesn't work on them. They're immune to pointing out some inconsistent thing they've said. I think that they see it as a weakness, as though they can keep overstepping and I won't do anything about it. They just have to outlast me.
Being polite or kind seems to make their mouth water! The behavior gets worse.
Another descriptor I can offer is that they always watch intensely to read people's reactions and try to prevent time for thought.
When I fail at dealing with these people, my wife loses patience and gets angry and confrontational to make them quit their sh*t. We call it the "beast mode". Needless to say the rapport is gone after that!
Is there any other way? Do I really have to scold other adults regularly to be treated decently? I want to be able to handle this myself, but if possible, avoid the need for beast mode.
Below is an example if you need it:
On every term of the lease, our landlord tried something sneaky: saying a utility was included, but writing it down differently. Trying to get 60 days notice instead of 30. It was exhausting correcting him.
On the day we moved in, he was just hanging out in the place and floated the idea that we should come back tomorrow instead if it was all the same to us. (Whaat?) He hadn't cleaned it as agreed, so we moved into a dirty place.
For a month after moving in, he showed up unexpectedly and made as if to come in the place. I could tell he was testing us here to see if we knew he wasn't supposed to and to see if we would wear down.
At our move-out inspection, he blatantly lied about various "damages" and melodramatically appeared shocked about things that were already there when we moved in that HE had told us not to worry about. The behavior suddenly stopped when my wife said "You know we took pictures, right?". He didn't seem at all ashamed and was pretty cheerful about it.