Sunday, January 11, 2009

When People Show You Who They Are, Believe Them

When People Show You Who They Are, Believe Them

"When people show you who they are, believe them." - Maya Angelou

It seems simple, yes? Judge people by their behavior. The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. Simple.


In my experience, people will continuously ignore evidence that they personally witness in order to preserve their illusions. Hell, I'm guilty of this myself - learning this lesson on a permanent basis has been one of the great challenges of my life.

Consider these examples:
  • A woman is dating a man who is nice to her, but consistently treats service people like shit. The most likely cause? He's a dick. But the woman won't believe that - she'll make excuses.
  • A man's mother consistently cuts him down and makes him feel small and worthless. The most likely cause? She's a critical harpy. But the man won't believe that - he'll make excuses.
  • A man occasionally gets drunk and smacks his wife around, but is otherwise a "decent guy." The most likely cause? He's a wife-beater. But his wife won't believe that - she'll make excuses.
  • A work-mate never seems able to perform their own work, and is constantly asking their co-workers to do their work, or help them because it's an emergency, or bail them out. The most likely cause? She's incompetent, or lazy, or both. But the co-worker doesn't believe that - he'll make excuses.
Why do we refuse to see the evidence of our eyes? Are we so easily swayed by good intentions that we'll ignore months or years of bad behavior on the simple word of the perpetrator that they're really not like that or that they're really trying to do better? NEWSFLASH! These people really are dicks, or critical harpies, or wife-beaters, or lazy incompetents. If someone treats you unkindly, the most likely reason is because they're unkind. If someone tells a lie, the most likely reason is because they're a liar. If someone refuses to do their fair share of the work, the most likely reason is because they're a lazy git. They're not going to change because they say they are. They'll change when they're damn good and ready, and not before. And they may not change at all. I have a tendency to give people the benefit of the doubt. I give the benefit of the doubt long past the time when there is no more doubt. Maybe because I want to trust, I want to believe people are trying to do the right thing, I want to believe people are basically good. Seems a bit strange for a cynic like me. But it's true. I'm reminded of a quote from Batman Begins: "'s not who you are underneath, it's what you do that defines you." Posted by Janiece Murphy from Kimmy ~ Creating a path between the present course of events and a new course, leading to new outcomes.

Hi all!

I know I have been posting less, and sharing light from others more. There is a reason for this. We all need to be recharged, as well as get opinions from others. I am the first person to tell you that a true master of light, will always be a student thirsting for more knowledge.

I found Janiece Murphy's site while looking for one of my favorite quotes.

People might doubt what you say, but will always believe what you do.

Even I can get fooled thinking that someone that I considered a close friend, wasn't who I thought they were.

Please enjoy Janiece's post, and give her site a visit too here!


Love, and plenty of light,

Do you like my blog pictures? Feel free to copy them into a book for yourself via INSTAGRAM!


  1. wow i love your writing style. Please post more!

  2. Given that nobody is perfect, how in the hell do you deal with these people.....the liar is among us....the harpie is at holiday dinners, the wifebeater is your best friend's husband!

    How do you deal?

  3. I got tired of having to "fake" being nice. More and more people are standing up, without apology and letting people know that even if we have to be at the same function, stay on the other side of the room. So far, in my husbands family, I stood up to his brother. Basically called him a narcissistic ass, and told him to go away. He decided that he was too GOOD for any family, and went away. One problem solved. I saved a lot of people from the wrath of this guy. Last month, same family, my sister in law told her aunt, "Listen, I am trying to be civil to you, so turn around and walk away." Sometimes the truth, in statements is so much better than tolerating. The aunt walked away, and the party continued. Toxic people will be everywhere. For me, I chose to walk away, but not before making a statement that I am done pretending. If they walk away first, good. You got your point across. As for wife beaters, you are there for your friend. How often do you actually have to see and interact with HIM?

  4. Have you met the religious type lady who praises God, talks about her church going, etc,etc but lies, lies, lies.....but this is no ordinary lady...this is your son's mother in law....a mother in law who has made herself totally indespensable to him and his family!
    If you say one thing, you are the bad guy. She, afterall is soooo saintlike! If you stay away, you don't see your grandkids...grandkids that this woman is trying to mind poison as regards YOU!
    There are times when you just have to suck it

  5. This is a difficult situation, no doubt. There might a point that you get to where you cannot take this woman anymore. Saying something could cost you your son.

    I tolerated my brother in law's hateful and poison glares and sharp tongue for about 14 years. I tolerated him when it was just me he was a bastard to. He pushed me too far when he started belittling my daughter. When I spoke up against my husband's brother, I knew there was a risk that I could lose my husband. But at that point, I put my foot down.

    It might take an action or a comment from her toward one of your grandkids for you to speak out. You have the right to tolerate up to a point too. Not everything has to be a war to be won.

    I knew in my heart that it was time to stand up for myself and daughter. This brother in law could have surprised us all and apologized. He showed us who he was. And he wasn't changing. I had to.

  6. Good for you! You sound like a very together person.

    I have decided to treat the situation with humor, feeling it is all that I can do.

    From now on, lies will be handled with a smile and "Sure you do!", but staying away is what I really plan on.
    No more holiday dinners listening to hypocritical bullshit....Ishall spend my holidays at the homeless shelter, serving people with real problems.
    Indispensable or not, the woman will eventually be recognized for what she is. I think her own daughter already knows...she doesn't go to church at all,...

    As for the grandkids, all I can do is be their friend and have as much fun as I can with them,.

  7. How do you deal with toxic people at your Job? I work where there are all woman and some are in a click and they single one person out to pick on or cut down behind there back or report some petty bullshit thing....Oh, and the boss feeds right into some of her favorites gossip about others and picks on them till they either quit or snap and then she fires them! How can you stand up to these people or remove them from your presence without risking all the reprocussion?

  8. The best thing to do is to realize you are in a much better mindset to remove yourself from this drama. You are seeking a higher purpose, and you do not have time to feed into the chatty cathies of this world.

    As a seeker, you are looking to separate yourself from the people miserable enough to be so petty. They are not happy people. You are getting to another level in your life. It's good to recognize this, and to accept that you are done with it.

    Once I was at work, walking outside to smoke a cigarette. As I passed a group of women, I heard they were gossiping, I walked away, and said, "I don't want to hear it" And I meant it. A few months later, I was promoted.

    YEARS later, at the corporate office, I was told who recommended me. It was one of the directors, that was also a smoker. She told the group of managers that one day she was witnessing gossip at the back door, and I walked out, and what I did. I was rewarded for something that I never even knew was observed.

    I was not a "popular" or "cliquey" person. But I was respected for not even being a part of it.

    There is always something to be said, to be able to separate yourself, be content inside your own head. I never had to worry about anyone ever thinking I said something about them.

    All we can do, is SHARE the goodness about ourselves, even with non words. Or with our actions.