Why do we always act so shocked and dismayed when people do exactly like they always have? When people say who they are believe them. When they show you who they are believe them. I am not referring to the manipulative words and actions that comes with courting and habitual liars. I am referring to the real unguarded moments of revelation and honesty.

The point of this piece isn’t to judge the actions of others but reflect on the accountability that we must make in our interactions. To whatever extent that people may grow or change, they are fundamentally consistent in their behavior; both good and bad.

If people are predictable, even transparent, in their behavior why are we always so shocked and disappointed by their actions? When you have notice of someone’s character or traits, it is difficult to feign incredulousness for perceived wrongs, particularly if you have signed up as a participant.

Clearly I am not talking about being deceived. I am not referring to people who have run the long con in subjugating their character and intentions to play you. I am talking about familiarity that lends itself to contempt.

This concept works so much better in theory than it does in reality. We know better than to believe people that we know have an adversarial relationship with the truth. We know better than to expect timeliness from those that cannot even spell punctuality. We know better than to reveal secrets or personal information to those that think gossiping is an actual constitutional amendment (somewhere after free speech).

People are interesting. People are flawed. Sometimes people are actually complex, yet, even then their actual behavior is most often predictable. Our focus should not be in lamenting the flaws of others’ nature, but in understanding that we have more control than often realized in limiting the effects of other people’s behavior.

This is not about excusing bad behavior, it is about self realization and self empowerment. There are so any elements of our lives that are largely out of the bounds of our control. Our interactions with people generally fall outside of that quandary.

We are not victims for actions that generally require our permission for participation. We have the power to say no to interactions that we have notice or reason to believe will be hurtful to us. Saying no to loved ones or those close is never easy. Sometimes we are compelled to help those closest to us. Whatever the reasons, (and as a confirmed admitted enabler) I understand that we often put ourselves in a position to be let down by others.

I just simply argue, that when voluntarily and when we have had notice of a persons past actions or character, despite human nature, we cannot truly allow ourselves to experience any significant disappointment in the predictable and consistent behavior of others.

Chalk it up as another lesson learned. It’s the old analogy of someone repeatedly putting their hand in fire and always being surprised at being burned. Sometimes the answers really are so simple. Stop putting ourselves in the position to let others hurt and disappoint when we know (or reasonably should know) the outcomes.

#humannature, #predictability, #people, #disappointment


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