Breaking the Deception Habit
I recently found myself wondering (again) “How in the world could they do this to me?” Using this sentence always involves being cheated on, deceived or scammed on a huge scale. It almost always describes acts that are so incredibly selfish, cruel, thoughtless and appalling that most of us can merely stand there with our jaws dropping, wondering what in the world just happened, and knowing that we will probably be somewhat scarred for life now. The worst part is that we would then wonder if we brought this situation upon us, deserved it—or, if we saw it coming, feeling even worse. A friend of mine added an interesting insight that never really occurred to me. It’s something so obvious that most of us probably never even noticed it!
The reason that most of us would never do these horrible things to another is that we simply wouldn’t put ourselves into the position to begin with! Think about that for a moment!
How often have I been dirt poor, wondering how in the world I’d ever get out of the hole I was in? But my pride prevented me from asking for help. I would rather take on a second job or sell something dear to me to pay my bills than ask anyone for help. I have never once asked anyone for a large sum of money, for co-signing a loan, putting something in their name, and so on. I did ask my friend Ute for a loan of $100 about 14 years ago, because my car had been broken into and I had no money to pay for a new window. Needless to say, I paid Ute back within a month.
The people who constantly ask others for money or “favors” tend to have one huge thing in common: they’re the only ones who keep finding themselves in situations where they have to ask for such huge “favors” to begin with. How many responsible people do you know who keep defaulting on loans, have horrible credit, keep being evicted or have other judgments against them? The key word here is “keep!” All of us may have had bad luck at one point or another in our lives. But I’m talking about individuals who year after year after year keep living above their means, never learn responsibility and keep blaming and pointing fingers. Irresponsible people usually claim to be victims, have zero accountability and a huge arsenal of excuses. If they can’t be honest with themselves, how honest do you think they’ll be with another?
In crimes and scams, there are only two types of people. There are the scammers/criminals/takers and the victims/givers. What sucks for those of us who have been taken is that in many cases we should have seen it coming, and probably did. To others, there seems to be something severely wrong with us victims too, because we know on some level that what walks like a duck and quacks like one is, in fact, a duck, but yet we keep yelling “NO! It’s a friggin’ kangaroo!” Unfortunately, this is what lies and deception are built upon: our unwillingness to see someone or something for whom and what they truly are.
We all do it, male and female! We think that “this thing” could never happen to us. We arrogantly judge those who are scammed and we scold them by saying “well, I tried to warn you.” The thing is that most of us are actually good people. We want to believe that others are also good, and we want to give the benefit of the doubt. We don’t want to go through life jaded or suspicious, and sometimes it will take us a second or even third time to “get it.” It doesn’t make us stupid or weak—unless of course, we never get it.
When my friend told me the correlation between those asking for a certain type of help being the only ones who would need that kind of help, I figured I needed to share the love. While I have discarded the last Muppet out of my life and live a “Muppet free” existence now, I know that it isn’t so for others. Some keep giving and giving in hopes that they can turn the turd into a golden nugget. For those I say, look at who is asking you all the time for help, and then decide if you are helping or enabling. If they have lied to you before, they will probably do it again. If they have screwed over others, have cheated on everyone else or been abusive to those before you, they will do the same to you. Keep a good eye out for their past behaviors and continuous track record! It isn’t a kangaroo, my dear, it’s a duck!
Just food for thought.