Never judge a book by it’s cover

The saying, “Never judge a book by it’s cover”, has been around longer than I know. When phrases become “cliche'” and “an old saying”, folks tend to put them on the back burner, viewing them as old, worn out ideals, that don’t apply to ‘modern’ times. We ignore them, much of the time. This particular one has become another one of the ‘cliche’s’ but is, non-the-less, very true. In the realm of a new relationship, or potential there-of, it’s  imperative to listen.

Unfortunately, there are some of us who put too much stock in “first impressions”. We do it when meeting someone new. We do it when someone is ‘handsome’ or ‘pretty’. “Awww… he seems nice.” or “Man, what an ASS!”. When we get an impression of someone’s character or whether that person is nice or not, we cling to that ideal. We think it, therefore we are right. Right? Many times, we find out we couldn’t have been more WRONG! As it pertains to a new romance or friendship, giving things time to pan out is very important.

When we first meet ANYONE, that person is usually on their best behavior, especially when its a cordial meeting. Not so much with a chance meeting of your husband’s mistress. When it’s a cordial ‘meet and greet’ session, we smile, shake hands, exchange pleasant banter and move on. If there is some sort of ‘connection’, we may even exchange phone numbers. Unfortunately, some place a measure of trust in that person, right then and THERE. I can’t begin to tell you just how DANGEROUS THIS IS!

I used to trust everyone, until they proved they couldn’t or shouldn’t be trusted. Even then, I still explained and ‘poo-poo’d’ away certain unpleasantries, like; if someone was angry or spiteful toward me, with no perceivable reason, I attributed it to, “he/she is just having a bad day.”. Most times I was right, but there were times I was wrong. I always, ALWAYS believed the best about others. The last 2 years, looking back, I can clearly see subtleties that should have alerted me to a looming threat or even danger, when dealing with some of  those people I trusted. I was too busy ‘trusting‘ and ‘believing’ to see it.

Time went on, trusting these people with my secrets, dreams and even my family. These people talked with me, asking questions about this or that, or even joining me when I was discontent or angry with someone who had “done me wrong”. They would say, “I would hurt him if he ever came around you again” or “What a bitch”. They ALWAYS agree with you!!!! These same people are ‘johnny on the spot’ if you need or want anything. Even if you don’t want them to drive 2 hours to be by your side during an emotional time, they are there for you. They will sit and have coffee with you, and buy you surprise “thinking of you” gifts. They are ALWAYS, ALWAYS full of complements about how ‘beautiful’ you are, nice you are, and so on. Those of us who enjoy the attention, affection and smiles, are quick to think “best friend” or even, “soul-mate”.

Some people are sincere in SOME of the gestures. Others are trying to woo you into believing they are “wonderful”, “friend” and even, “soul-mate” on the outside, while inside they are plotting…something. Thieves will do this, to gain access into your home, or to gain information about whatever they want to defile. Narcissists and Psychopaths do this, to insure their newly found meal will stick around a while… It’s easier to conquer a kingdom from the inside. After all, the guards are watching outside the perimeter. Most wouldn’t think to watch those “friends” on the inside, with our families.

This is a rule I used to follow, and for whatever reason, it got put on the back-burner. If someone is OVERLY COMPLEMENTARY, IT IS BEST TO AVOID THAT PERSON… Nine times out of 10, that person is someone you shouldn’t trust. They are trying to woo you into trusting them, for another reason. The same applies, if someone agrees with you about EVERYTHING, be cautious or even just walk away entirely. NO 2 PEOPLE HAVE THE EXACT SAME VIEWS ON EVERYTHING!

I knew a man, once, who was exactly like this. He was constantly telling me just how wonderful I was to help by watching his daughter, and so on. He would complement my looks, my home, everything. It wasn’t the nice, heartfelt, occasional complement. It was to the point that I thought within myself, “God, would you STOP already?!”. It made me uncomfortable, and not because I was embarrassed. My skin literally crawled. One day, after 2 weeks of watching his daughter and not hearing from him at all, he finally showed up at my apartment to pick her up. I was cleaning my bathroom when he showed up and, as usual, I had taken my wedding ring off and placed it on the cabinet. He rang the doorbell, and I answered. He asked to use my bathroom and, without waiting for the ‘ok’, he dove in. After a considerable amount of time, he finally came out and left in a hurry… never to be seen again. It didn’t take me long to realize, “I didn’t hear anything… NOTHING”. I didn’t hear the usual sounds that came from a bathroom, when you are only 10-15 feet away. No ‘tinkle’, no flush, no running water. I felt very uneasy about my ring, but he didn’t give me any time to retrieve it before he dove in. Sure enough, my ring was gone… 

You can meet people dressed in designer clothes, complete with perfectly pasted smiles. He could  be a banker or a sales professional, full of smiles, and charismatic charm. He could also be the poor single dad who is fighting to stay afloat, for his childrens’ sake, doing what it takes to get by. He’s dirty and doesn’t smell very good, due to working in the heat. Lets pretend that you don’t know any details about either…

Enter the charismatic well dressed person. He might be a business professional. You have never met this person, but you like their suit very much. This person greets you with sincerity, shaking your hand and smiling a smile that would melt polar ice-caps. Directly behind the first, comes a very dirty man whose eyes never leave the floor’s sight. He is missing an incisor or two, never speaking a word. As he comes into the room, he quietly finds a seat, still never speaking to anyone, and comes to rest sitting away from others…

Here’s your chance to choose who you can trust… You only have a minute or two, to decide. Business-man? Or unkempt man? If you are like most people, you would choose to trust the one who is more visually appealing, or who appeals to your base human need to be addressed and noticed. The business person. Here’s the name of the Business man:

Ted Bundy

English: Ted Bundy in custody, Florida, 1978 o...

After graduating from UW in 1972[42] Bundy joined Governor Daniel J. Evans‘s reelection campaign.[43] Posing as a college student, he shadowed Evans’s opponent, former governor Albert Rosellini, recording his stump speeches for analysis by Evans’s team.[44][45] After Evans’s reelection he was hired as an assistant to Ross Davis, Chairman of the Washington State Republican Party. Davis thought well of Bundy, describing him as “smart, aggressive … and a believer in the system.”[46] In early 1973, despite mediocre Law School Admission Test scores, Bundy was accepted into the law schools of UPS and the University of Utah on the strength of letters of recommendation from Evans, Davis, and several UW psychology professors.[47][48] 

… Theodore Robert “Ted” Bundy (born Theodore Robert Cowell; November 24, 1946 – January 24, 1989) was an American serial killer, rapist, kidnapper, and necrophile who assaulted and murdered numerous young women and girls during the 1970s and possibly earlier. After more than a decade of denials, he confessed shortly before his execution to 30 homicides committed in seven states between 1974 and 1978; the true total remains unknown, and could be much higher. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_Bundy)

You could meet 2 people from 2 very different walks of life. One, dressed in all black, sporting a full head of dread-locks…the other in a suit and tie, who drives a very nice car. One is kept to himself, and won’t look you in the eye… while the other pranced around as though everyone already knows and loves him. Due to appearances, we might gravitate toward the one who is friendly and charismatic, over the one who has dingy black clothes, and dread-locks. Why? One is more socially appealing. The other causes you to question his motives, by his dropped gaze. One of the two is a threat to your well-being. The other is not. Who would you choose to be the one you should trust?

It’s important to give ourselves time to get to know ANYONE we meet, no matter who that person is. A first impression has no business being the final impression. You never know who wrongfully deserves and gains your trust, while the person you were meant to meet is walking out the back door… We are too busy being “coddled” and pleased by what our eyes perceive, to give any thought to what really matters during the coming days and months. Give it time. If the person is sporting a fake facade, they won’t be able to hold the false face for long. Most begin to show true nature within the first 6 months. Some within a matter of a week, others might take longer. Patience…

You deserve to be patient. You’re worth it…

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6 thoughts on “Never judge a book by it’s cover

  1. My folks will always choose the good looking person. It’s taken a lot of practice to learn to be patient and not jump into any friendship with both feet. I still make mistakes, but I’m improving.

    1. My Dad, especially, would make snide comments about other people, if they didn’t measure up to his standards of an “upright” citizen. He would make fun of my friends, because they were overweight, or came from a poor family. Of course, he would make fun of them, to ME! I never countered, however. He was my Dad, and you just don’t stand up to your dad when you are not yet an adult. I remember how it made me feel… like I was “bad” for hanging out with them or talking to them.

      I struggle with the “jumping into anything” with both feet, too. I still tend to lean toward trusting first, though with a hint of suspicion now. When I like someone as a friend, it’s really hurtful to see them turn-coat on me, by snubbing me or refusing to make eye-contact. I suppose part of the reason it bothers me, is it makes me feel like I’m being unjustly judged (which I am), and I scramble to maintain that friendship. It is born out of insecurity. I knowingly admit this. It’s another page that needs to be dealt with, in order to become whole or better.

  2. Exactly right! My favourite mantra of the moment is, ‘When someone shows you who they are, believe them.’ Even the most seasoned illusionists and manipulators have ‘tells’ – and I try not to judge people by the image they want people to see but by what they actually do.

    1. Exactly! I’ve heard that quote before, and yes there is a TON of wisdom behind it. We know what we know, yet to implement it while in the moment, is truly difficult. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to some key red-flags, first. Such as; overly complementary (for anyone), Johny on the spotism, and for the potential relationship…exclaiming “soul mate”, “you need to move in, get married, leave your dive of a house…” Proclaiming love WAY too quickly! If the person seems to hit every one of your “love me” buttons, it’s best to back away. I mean, mirroring. There is an excellent article that talks about how and why the Narc/Psychopath uses mirroring. The author goes into detail about how they know just the right things to say, to win you over quickly.

      http://datingasociopath.com/2013/03/27/the-importance-of-i-love-you-in-the-sociopath-dating-game-and-why-the-sociopath-really-cant/

      She does a wonderful job, spelling out the hows of mirroring.

      There’s a balance to be found, in cautiously approaching a new friend and outright paranoia. I’m currently trying to find that balance. I think, first of all, I need to strictly trust myself! If I see any of the key red-flags, no amount of “waiting”, or excusing is going to change the obvious. I don’t like to incorrectly judge, so I have an insatiable need to be sure of the person before ending any dating or friendship. By the time I’m satisfied that a spade is really a spade, there has already been emotional or psychological abuse. Then I feel guilty that I didn’t give them a chance to change… You get the picture. I feel guilty if my thoughts aren’t positive about them, especially if I haven’t known them very long. A red flag is a red flag. it sways in the breeze, and doesn’t change color. Got on a rant. Sorry 🙂

  3. Pingback: Never judge a book by it’s cover | My Blog

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