Beware of Charlatans

Charlatans. Basically another word for fraud.

Scammer. The type of person you want to avoid being close to. 

I feel like the past couple of years have exposed some charlatans in my life. Sometimes I'm unsure if it is my own fault for not knowing better or should I solely place blame on them for being frauds? Mix of both, I guess. 

A big issue of mine is that I want to accept that people mean as much good as I do. That they come into your life and want to be a positive part of it. You'd think at 30 years old I would know better but being an optimist clearly has its repercussions.

At one point I had a close friend of many MANY years that I was completely inseparable from. My mom always said she thought this wasn't the 'right type' of friend for me but I didn't listen. In my head, this was going to be my best friend forever and that was that. Wrong. My loving naiveté steered me the wrong way. All those years there were definitely signs of who the more caring and involved friend was, but I ignored them. Shitty thing about hindsight, you swear you were a genius who was blindfolded the whole time. The friendship dissolved immediately when I stopped being the first to reach out. Shocker.

Do I think the person was playing me this whole time? I don't think so. Are you really being played if you were privy to the game? You willfully participated in being 90% of a friendship that the other person only gave 10% to. You were an active participant in being taken for granted. Sucks right? Sure does. 

I don't know about the rest of you, but I think we have our guards up much higher for when it is a romantic relationship instead of a friendship. Like people who want to be with us intimately must have ulterior motives while those who want to be friends should be pretty straightforward. Wrong. Both can be charlatans. Both can pretend to be someone they are not in hopes of gaining access to something you have. 

The first story I told you was about seven years ago, but I thought that was the end of my overlooking of flaws and hoping for the best in people. Again, WRONG. 

In the past three years I managed to be wrong two more times. One time romantically, and the other time with a friendship. The romantic one, well, if we are being real, I definitely overlooked some BIG red flags about. But I guess people who are on the rebound after long relationships aren't always the best decision makers. One day you're cool with being single, next day this person proclaims love for you, following day you're like 'oh shit this seems real!', and finally - yep the person disappears with your shorts. Romantic charlatan. 

Then there is the unfortunate circumstance of having a friend in your life that you praised to others, only to find out they were shit the entire time you knew them. A person you knew for many years, had in your home, introduced to several of their love interests and even attended a monumental celebration with their entire family. Only to be completely discarded and referred to as, 'a Twitter person' - alluding to the fact that you are just another person from social media that never really mattered. Friendship charlatan.

Perhaps I'm a slow learner? 

I try really hard to see all the good in people and try to encourage them in their academic, career and personal endeavors. Heck, I do that for complete strangers on Twitter all the damn time - so for people that are actually close to me? Of course. However the three aforementioned examples make me nervous. As someone who always considered myself a sound judge of character, that is three times I clearly missed the mark. I don't think anyone is perfect in their judgments of everyone, but I know we all wish we were. 

There is something to be said for people changing and their lifestyles changing - but does that mean you can suddenly be a shitty person as well? OR were you a charlatan hiding that side the entire time? That is the kind of thinking that will keep you up some nights. Wondering if all the people in your life are truly awesome or if they are temporarily faking it. Am I currently keeping charlatan #4 in my life? Am I ignoring fuckery instead of just completely removing it? I hope not. 

If there's anything I want people to take away from this post (minus, being paranoid);

1) Don't EVER be the 90% in a friendship or relationship. You'd be surprised how many people you will never hear from again if YOU stop messaging them first. 

2) Charlatans come in all shapes, sizes, genders, interests. 

3) Trust when your mom says she doesn't have a good feeling about someone.

 

- Mirna