Very few people in your life–probably less than you can count on one hand–truly have your best interest at heart. You don’t get points for being too trusting. You don’t get points for not trusting enough. Because there are no points, no one around to issue points if there were. It comes down to you and your ability to know what’s what. In the words of Ernest Hemingway, you need a very finely tuned “bullshit detector,” but no one else can tune it for you.
Quickest way to fine tune your BS detector? Be honest. Totally, 100% honest. Because people who lie–and most of us tell at least small “white lies” on a daily basis–come to believe their own lies over time. How many times have you had this conversation?
“Where do you want to eat tonight?”
“Oh, it doesn’t matter to me. Whatever’s fine.”
This may be polite, but it probably isn’t true. If you want to eat Mexican food, at least recognize you want to eat Mexican food. Go along cheerfully to the Italian place, but at least know what your first preference was.
No one ever really fools you. You fool yourself. “Seeing the best” in someone isn’t a virtue any more than is “seeing the worst.” The idea is to see the whole person. Doing so requires that you see you–with all your wonderful and not so wonderful qualities–as you really are. No judgment, no pride. Just seeing, observing. Truth is drawn to truth, just as dishonesty is drawn to dishonesty. If you are surrounded by insincere or deceitful people in your life, what does that say about you?
About the Author: James Robbins is a licensed professional counselor, published author and co-owner of Dallas Whole Life Counseling. He has over 15 years of experience helping people in various life stages that come from a wide variety of cultural, economic and family backgrounds. Learn more about his background by clicking here.