The Costs Of Beliefs, Stereotypes, Assumptions And Ego

The "Crazy-Making", Narcissistic, generally abusive behavior coming from men does LOOK different on the outside from abusive behavior from women, but when we look under the hood, it becomes clear that it's the same engine that drives the vehicle.
The reason the behaviors themselves are different is not some kind of scientific biological process, as so many would like to think. The REAL reason is simple:
Manipulators, abusers, and controllers TAILOR their behavior to what WORKS FOR THEM as an individual.
Even if they don't KNOW they're doing it, they learn by trial, error, and mimicry what other people will ALLOW them to get away with. They learn what other people EXPECT from girls and women, and from boys and men. It's not about who THEY REALLY ARE, it's about what OTHER PEOPLE THINK THEY ARE.
So if Sharon believes that all men are naturally good at fixing things, and women are NOT, she's already opening the door to the next male manipulator who's playing on that belief.
If Sharon believes that all (or most) women are natural caregivers and men are NOT, she's again already opening the door to the next female manipulator who's playing on that belief.
That looks like:
(Sharon is going to have a rough year~ good thing she's not real).

Sharon has an 8 year old daughter, Missy. Her mother is elderly and is thinking about going into a "home". A new neighbor, Mike, moves in nearby.

Sharon and her Mom visit several elderly-living places in the area. They speak to staff and take facility tours. They both agree on one of the places, the staff was very friendly to them, and seemed very caring.... After a couple of weeks there, Sharon's Mom begins to seem withdrawn. When Sharon speaks to staff, they assure her that everything is fine, that this is to be expected. Then Sharon's Mom starts to seem spacey, and is not caring for herself like she usually does. They assure her it's "age". Then Sharon notices a bruise on her Mom's arm, they assure her that her Mom did that to herself. One day Sharon comes in one day before visiting hours and finds her Mom tied to a chair all by herself, crying, calling for a nurse. She overhears staff complaining about her, "o.m.g. that whiny old lady, I wish she'd just SHUT UP!" "I KNOW! Did you give her an extra dose? If you didn't, I'm gonna. She pissed herself again, I'm not cleaning it up."
When they hear Sharon's footsteps, they both immediately stand up straight, smile sweetly and scurry around, pretending to be very concerned about Sharon's Mom's needs and comfort, and go on to Sharon about how "stubborn" she's been.

Yes, Sharon gets her out of there and brings her home, but she had no concern before that about how her Mom was being treated. Her conditioned belief in gender stereotypes "Females Are Naturally Compassionate Caregivers" had her TRUSTING them, ASSUMING that they were what she expected them to be. She also bought into the "Super-Responsible-Capable" act that certain staff members put on. When they acted friendly and kind, it solidified her TRUST in them personally. When they flattered her, she trusted them MORE. When they acted BRUSQUE , "VERY BUSY" and RUDE , she believed it conveyed CAPABILITY, EXPERIENCE and EXPERTISE. She actually had passed over the facility that would have treated her Mom very well because they didn't behave in this manner, they were very polite and genuinely kind, not bossy or condescending, which Sharon misinterpreted as lack of experience and capability.
Sharon needs a babysitter for her 8 year old daughter. She looks around to area families to hire a young person for the job. She decides on a 15 year old girl from the neighborhood. Sharon doesn't realize it, but she chose this girl because she appears older than another friend's daughter, not for any other reason. Also, she chose a girl instead of a boy, because of her gender beliefs (like in the nursing home.) In reality, outside of Sharon's presumptions based on superficial appearance, the friend's daughter with the younger appearance is actually MUCH more responsible than the girl she chose, and much better with kids. Her other friend's son, who also wanted the job, is a very responsible boy who babysits his own little sister, very well.

Again, Sharon made the decision based on nothing other than her own stereotypes and assumptions. Sharon calls it her "gut feeling", so she thinks she's accurate. Unfortunately, the girl Sharon hired wants the money so she can buy marijuana... from the kids she invites to Sharon's house while she's babysitting... who all smoke in the bathroom out the window and ignore the child... in order to keep her secret, she threatens Sharon's daughter...

Sharon's daughter tells her Mom that she doesn't like the babysitter, but Sharon's response to her is "You'll just have to get used to it." The babysitter reports to Sharon that her daughter "acts up" and doesn't want to follow the rules... Sharon believes the babysitter, and keeps her on for another year. In the meantime, Sharon's daughter shows changes in her behavior, acting out and seeming despondent, to which Sharon blames on her daughter's "moody personality". Luckily, the babysitter gets a job at a fast food restaurant and can no longer babysit. But damage has been done.
Sharon needs some household repairs done. Her friend Molly has been doing carpentry and remodeling for years, so she asks her advice about the repair work. Molly offers to do it for free if Sharon buys the material. Oddly, Sharon does not say "great, thank you!". Instead, she implies that she doesn't want to do it "right now", maybe next month, and she doesn't thank Molly for the offer, either, she just changes the subject.
Sharon met her new neighbor Mike a week ago, and invited him in for coffee. Mike works as a sales rep. at an electronics store, but also works for his male friend doing remodeling. Sharon asks Mike about the repairs she needs done around her home. He doesn't really know how to do them, but he pretends he does to save face, kind of making guesses and using appropriate words and phrases. Sharon falls for his smoke screen because of her conditioned belief that men automatically know about such things, and know better than women. She asks Mike to schedule the repair work with his friend's business.
Mike says "Oh sure, we'll TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOU." This is a phrase he learned many years ago that he knows most people, especially women, tend to respond to, especially coming from men. (Men respond well to it also, especially coming from women. It invokes a cradling, care-taking feeling, sincerity notwithstanding.)
Sharon feels a little excited at the prospect of having men in her home doing repair work. She really doesn't want Molly to do it because she's secretly envious of her and doesn't want Molly to get the credit for it. Also, she was conditioned as a child that men are naturally good at carpentry and repair, and women are not, and she has built this belief into her OWN identity and life, as well as projecting it onto others.

In other words, she TRUSTS MIKE AND HIS MALE FRIEND, and she wants to trust them. Not because she has any REAL reason to trust them, she has never dealt with either of them before, she doesn't know them well personally, or in business. She has no real reason to trust them, and yet she does, because of her own conditioned beliefs, assumptions, and emotions.

Mike and his friend charge Sharon full price but tell her they're giving her a discount... because she's a friend... which she believes and does not check up on... not only because she TRUSTS them, but because she LIKES trusting them. While Mike is in her house, he takes a few things he thinks she won't notice missing. She doesn't pay attention because she likes trusting them. Mike's friend tells Sharon she also needs some other work done, most of which she immediately agrees to even though it's a strain on her budget. Mike's friend "cuts corners" and "takes shortcuts" on much of the work, but Sharon doesn't pay attention, or even notice. One of the repairs isn't even done, it's just covered over.

The jobs take several weeks, because Mike's friend has put Sharon low on the priority list. Her behavior has shown him that she's easy to manipulate, she'll believe whatever he tells her.

Part of Sharon's gender belief conditioning was also "Do Not Question Men" and "Ignore My Suspicions About The Motives And Actions Of Others". Her subconscious fears consequences that she might get if she questions their prices, the time they're taking, and even the missing items in her home, so she just DOESN'T question them.

In the meantime, Mike has ensconced himself into Sharon's personal life, and is slowly finding out more and more about her and her finances.

Sharon no longer calls Molly, she feels shame about the way she treated her but can't let go of her ego enough to admit it and apologize. She's still envious of Molly and doesn't like that Molly does things that she herself can't do. If she had simply treated her friend with respect, she would have saved not only a huge amount of money, but the repairs would have all been done correctly and well. There would not have been an opportunity for Mike to get so close to her personally or steal things, the friendship with Molly would have grown stronger instead of getting ruined. It would have also helped Molly's business reputation, which would have improved both of their lives materially.

So Sharon's beliefs, conditioning, and ego cost her quite a bit, in many ways, and also cost Molly.

Avoiding all mistakes is not actually possible, we can't know what we don't know, and manipulators purposely hide things from our view, and purposely present their 'best face'. But we do have control over our own beliefs and assumptions about people, both ourselves and others, and how quickly we "let others in" before we get to know them for real. We also have the ability to observe our own ego-driven behaviors (like rejecting and diminishing others due to our own resentment or envy) from the privacy of our own eyes and ears. 

No one else has to know we're watching others, or watching ourselves.