Trust. Woof. It’s a beast.
I’m probably the most trusting person in the world. If you tell me you rescue penguins in Antartica for a living, I will believe you. That exact line was used on me in a bar once, and I fully fell for it. Perhaps that’s more “gullible,” not so much “trusting”, but you get the gist.
I will tell anyone anything. Not my social security number or anything stupid like that, but if you seem normal, I’ll absolutely tell you that thing I did when I was in high school that can never, ever become public knowledge.
Kidding. The worst thing I did in high school was secretly kiss the son of one of the elders from church. Fun fact: He (the son) ended up playing guitar at my wedding! Life.
What I’m trying to say is that I think people are generally “good,” so I act accordingly. I open up. I tear down walls. I assume that they’ll do the things they say they’ll do, whether it’s to not post that ugly picture of me on Facebook, or help me in a certain aspect of my career. In the rare occurrence that they do post the ugly picture, or they are trying to take advantage of me instead of help in my blogging career, then I’m pretty taken aback.
It’s so weird to me that people might scam others or use them for personal gain. Heck, it even surprises me that someone would cut in line at Starbucks! What is this, the Chinatown bus stop in Manhattan?? That’s literally the only time I’m not surprised when people push and shove in line. Or at airports. Just so all of you out there know, you WILL get on the airplane, no matter what boarding group you’re in. No need to push. The airline attendant can see you. You’ll get on, and be in the same seat you’d be in no matter what. And your bag will find a spot in the overhead compartment, too. IT’LL ALL BE OKAY I PROMISE.
Wait, sorry, let me get back on track here.
Recently, I met a real life scam artist. Not only did I meet him, but I trusted him to help me with something. Obviously, I’m not going to say with what, because if he happens to somehow find me on Facebook and read this, I don’t want him to come to my home and murder me. If you can scam someone, you can murder someone. That’s how I see it. Thus, I shall keep him very anonymous. I’m sorry if he scams you because I didn’t warn you appropriately, but hey, I value my life.
Luckily, I figured out what was happening before I lost any money or anything, but I’m still scared I didn’t tie up all my loose ends appropriately. What if I missed something?? What if he can still do something?? I guess I’ll find out.
The lesson here is to understand how to successfully walk the line of liking and trusting mankind (as you know, I think it’s very important to have a generally positive outlook on our fellow Homo sapiens), while being aware of outliers. Outliers=bad guys.
Trusting strangers immediately, or after just a short amount of time, can be a wonderful thing. I’ve built some amazing friendships with people that I trusted right off the bat. Honest people not only exist, but they’re everywhere. So despite the occasional rift in the results of my openness, I won’t let a few untrustworthy people alter my entire take on the world.
But it is a huge pain in the butt when you accidentally trust the wrong person.
Scam artists are basically just extreme liars. I’ve encountered a few pathological liars in my life, one or two whom I still see regularly. I don’t particularly like interacting with them, but sometimes you can’t avoid running into people in social settings. In those cases, I simply don’t listen to anything those people say, knowing that it’s truly a psychological condition that alters their take on things that happen. I don’t even know if pathological liars know they’re lying– they arbitrarily create a narrative in their heads, then convince their mind that it’s true. They say they ate chocolate, even though they ate vanilla, because their brains are so convoluted. It’s very odd, but if I know someone is a liar, it doesn’t bother me much, since I won’t let anything that comes out of their mouth affect me.
The worst part about liars is when you don’t know they lie. I mean, we all lie once in a while about little stuff. But I’m talking about the people who lie about the big stuff, and make a habit of reporting misinformation. And then you end up in a bad situation because you took action or formed an opinion based off of the false things they said.
I guess that’s why they say it’s important to take time in figuring out “who you’re dealing with,” be it a person you’re dating, the plumber, or the new girl at work. For me, I assume everyone is always telling the truth, or that their intentions are pure. I’m not going to change that positive outlook, because it has benefited me far more often than it’s hurt me, but I do think I can adjust how much weight I give to newcomers’ advice, help, or friendship until a solid period of time has past. I can enjoy them, and maybe even work together in some capacity, but handing over the whole enchilada of my heart, valuables, or important information should be done with a little more caution.
Good thing I spent every waking second with my husband for the two entire months we dated before getting engaged. We pretty much shoved 1 year worth of activity into a 8 weeks, so that quick-to-trust ordeal turned out just fine….which could lead me into a rant about always seeking second and third opinions about the party in question. With my husband, I met his longtime friends, talked to our mutual friends, and requested insight from my friends who met him. All outside parties gave the thumbs up, which is a good sign. Liars and scam artists tend to get less than stellar reviews, so it never hurts to casually get the scoop!
Here’s to staying open and trusting in the goodness of people around us, all the while being wise. It’s a tough balancing act to manage (speaking of balance beams, anyone else stoked for the 2016 Olympics? Please God, let Rio posts remove politics from my timeline for at least 2 weeks), but balancing is better than labeling everyone guilty until proven innocent, or on the flip side, constantly having the wool pulled over your eyes.