I am always relieved when I hear psychologists, psychiatrists, speaking wisdom I have come to understand. It helps confirm my thinking, as healthy.
I’ve been listening to a well known psychiatrist, speaking about not viewing new people either positively, or negatively. Because neither are wise. It is wise to be cautious and gather facts about people and not ignore any red flags, inconsistencies, odd behaviours, or issues.
It was a relief to hear the words ‘no you should not always give everyone the benefit of the doubt’. It is not the wise choice. No matter who claims it is. Even church people who claim it is the Christian way. It’s not. And it isn’t wise.
I’ve made these mistakes, many times. Viewing people as all positive when I first meet them. And then over time, some of them have proven to be people who use, abuse and exploit others. But, I had ignored the red flags I saw. I didn’t want to believe they were in fact, what these red flags were indicating – toxic, dangerous, manipulative, fake, liars etc.
Gathering facts, carefully, is needed. And not trusting people, until you know the person a lot more. Often people who have the worst intentions, disguise themselves as the most attentive, most charming, caring people. But, it is all an act. A front. I’ve seen this too often. the reason I have seen this too often, is because I was the perfect victim/prey. I didn’t carefully and slowly get to know people. I ignored the red flags. I wanted to believe all the charm and nice things they said.
Unhealthy, toxic and abusive people, often have the same patterns, and they were the kinds of people I was so used to. They were my ‘normal’ due to having such toxic and dangerous people surrounding me, during the first 20 years of my life. So, they did affect my life.
I notice as I am writing this blog, I am stating my unwise behaviours and vulnerabilities, as past tense.
Because, now, I do not ignore the red flags. I will tolerate them for a short while, but now I can discern people more effectively, in a quicker and more wise manner. I am thankful my hyper vigilance, is now healthy discernment.
Now, I am increasingly careful around new people. My own old soft boundaries are gone and now far more healthy. I can work dodgy people out far quicker, as was noted by my counsellor.
I don’t believe in just ‘seeing the best in people’ – because I’ve learned from past experience, how unwise this is. I see quotes saying unwise statements like ‘beautiful people see the best in others’. It’s a nice sentiment, but very unwise. As my Christian counsellor also confirmed is unwise.
People do have to earn my trust, earn my respect. And I accept others may also wisely require this from me.
I don’t view new people negatively either. I just view them in a neutral way, until I have gathered enough info/data about people and understanding of who they are, from their words, action, behaviours, attitudes, patterns, motivations etc. And I do know, this is the wise way to approach all new people in your life.
As was confirmed by this psychiatrist. He also went on to explain all the different types of people who exploit others, and it was clear he was speaking of personality disordered types – with psychopath, sociopath, narcissist etc traits.
He also spoke about healthy boundaries and having no contact when the issues of the toxic person, are clearly not going to change.
He explained people in his life, have to behave in a rational, healthy way. This is wise.
These toxic types are highly exploitative and as he stated, they have no remorse, no conscience, no empathy.
And they are in every area of life – families, workplaces, churches, social media etc. And in far greater numbers, than the average person would know/realise/understand.
It was good to have confirmation, of all I have already worked on, through my own research and in counselling.