Thursday, April 21, 2011

Trust Your Spidey Senses

I believe the “sixth sense” is the ability to suppress social and political correctness and make judgments based on all the information at hand.  It’s not all that complicated.
While drinking coffee with a herd of experienced detectives, it was remarked that friends and family often comment on our skills in spotting crooks, smooth talkers, liars, thieves, psychos and flakes and then culling them from those who are worth knowing.  While much of it is learned, the vast majority of observation skills are very natural but we suppress them because we’re taught that judging others is sinful and we are to give the benefit of the doubt to everyone who crosses our path.  Cops are lied to more than dentists.  It’s all about attention to detail and there are a few “red flags” I’ve learned to watch for:
“Religion on a sleeve” is where someone drops religion on you very quickly.  “We’re good Christian people” is the battle cry.  Misquoted or generalized scripture follows.  This is usually an attempt to make you believe they have high standards of ethics (without any proof) and can therefore be trusted.  The most genuinely devout people I’ve known are very respectful to their faith and don’t speak about it in that manner.  Actual religious people see their God as a deity, not an imaginary friend who agrees with them all the time.
Beware the instant crier.   The better ones can produce some tears on occasion, but the crying can filp on and off like a switch.  Most people can learn to produce visible tears but getting the snot to flow is an art form.
Do you have a “Close personal friend?”  This is never said unless a person is attempting to align themselves with some positive figure.  “Yeah, the police chief is a close personal friend.”  The actual friend will say something like, “The chief and I play golf a few times a year” or maybe “I’ve known him since high school.”  The next time someone drops a close personal friend’s name, tell him you really need to call the friend but your phone was stolen and ask for the number.  I'll buy you a beer if they can produce it.
Is the person listening to you or pausing to formulate the next thing they’re going  to say about himself?  This one is important because you’re not having a conversation if the latter is happening.  This one’s tougher to articulate, but you all know someone who does this frequently.  We all do it on occasion but the black-belt flake will live by it.
These are all signs that something may be amiss.  Judging others is a matter of observing actions and responding accordingly.  The judgement we're taught about in the bible is about unjustified condemnation.  Trust your Spidey senses.  They really work and can save you time and money. 

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