Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree of Separation.
Iâ€™m disgusted. Iâ€™m tired of being an idealist. Iâ€™m tired of believing in people. Iâ€™m tired of being disappointed.
But on the up side, hey, my intuitionâ€™s dead-on.
I think I liked it better when I couldnâ€™t tell that people were lying to me.
I hate it when a man mentions another woman to me and I know immediately that heâ€™s sleeping with her. No matter how innocently (or honestly) he sings her praises, I can feel it all around him. My intuition on this matter has been proven true too many times, and I resent it every time, even when itâ€™s just a friend Â recommending Â a Â colleagueâ€™s Â services. Â It Â would Â be Â so much easier for my intuition to fail me on these matters.
Just today, between meetings, I sat at my desk and actually thought, â€œI wonder if my intuitionâ€™s cranking like it should. Thereâ€™s been Â nothing new recently to confirm it. Am I losing my touch?â€
Crap. You know what that means? Thatâ€™s right. I get shown. Very, very quickly.
Actually, the emails arrive within two minutes of each other, each from someone Iâ€™ve not heard from in many months. One, I Â immediately Â suspect wants something. Itâ€™s not clear by the superficiality of the email, but I know itâ€™s something. I never hear from her unless she wants Â something. Not even a Hi! or How are you? unless itâ€™s to preface something big that she wants. Itâ€™s personal, but she treats it like business. I donâ€™t expect perfection in her, but I do expect her to be straight with me. Since thereâ€™s pretense, I skip the email and go to the next one. I deal with this one later when I havenâ€™t just gotten home from yet more overtime and want something sweet and soothing.
The other is business, but sheâ€™s pretending itâ€™s personal. Someone Â reneging on a business deal Iâ€™ve invested way too much time into. We have a contractâ€”which she doesnâ€™t seem to understand. She canâ€™t just shrug and say, â€œSo sorry,â€ and skip away. The thing is, I would let her out of the contract if she had come to me and been truthful with me. Iâ€™ve done the same for others, not for the best of business reasons but because it was the right thing to do. But even the email contradicts itself several times, and Iâ€™m just not believing what Iâ€™m reading.
My intuition Â told Â me Â a Â year Â ago Â that Â she Â was Â doing something to deceive me but I didnâ€™t need to act on it right then and I was too tied up in divorce recovery. I didnâ€™t want to see it. I admired her,Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â respected her.Â I liked her.
Later, she asked me to work on a new project with her that Â would have required a substantial investment, both time and money. She was downright pushy about it, promising a sizable investment of her own. My intuition screamed at me not to do it, no matter how intrigued I was Â or Â how much my heart wanted to. The planning wasnâ€™t well-thought-out and the timing was incredibly bad. In hindsight, my intuition was dead-on. The kind of partnership we were talking about would probably have cost me my publishing company and a huge chunk of personal savings.
So out of the blue, she decides to renege on the deal and for reasons that just donâ€™t quite mesh. My intuitionâ€™s been telling me she would Â try to ditch the deal in favor of a new partner who hadnâ€™t invested anything in this project. Well, that, and the fact that sheâ€™d told me all about her new partner last year. And so had several friends of hers. Plus, sheâ€™d Â blogged about it. Okay, that all adds up to pulling the deal with me and handing it over to her new partner.
But instead of being honest about wanting to switch partners, Â she gave me several different stories, none of them ever Â matching Â up, Â some Â of Â them Â presented Â as Â doing Â me Â a â€œfavorâ€ by reneging. My own kids were reading over my shoulders and saying, â€œGeez, what a liar.â€
So Iâ€™m disgusted. I canâ€™t be friends with people I donâ€™t respect, Iâ€™ve discovered. Itâ€™s incredibly important to me. Integrity is vital to me, Â both for myself and in my friendships and love relationships. But itâ€™s so hard to find.
Iâ€™ve been told my sense of integrity is out of whack, that nobody follows the rules of ethics all the time. Maybe not, but making excuses for it sure does make it easy to ignore. There are always extenuating Â circumstances and different levels of ethics in different professions and different cultures. I accept that. But I respect people who do their best to be ethical and understand the concept of integrity.
Iâ€™ve been told I expect too much of people. Why is it too much Â to expect the truth? Flaws and fuck-ups I can deal with. Being human, I can deal with. Lies, I canâ€™t. I donâ€™t think thereâ€™s anything that canâ€™t be worked out, and Iâ€™ll go a long, long way to meet someone half-way and Iâ€™ll Â wait a long time for something or someone thatâ€™s worthwhile, but it takes two people coming together in sincerity and enough respect for each other to be honest in their feelings and intentions.
I was shaking my head over it tonight while chatting with Dorothy Morrison, an author I very much respect. She gave me aÂ Â littleÂ Â talking-toÂ Â aboutÂ Â myÂ Â distress,Â Â thenÂ Â added,Â Â â€œAnd Lorna…your expectations of people are not too high. The problem is that itâ€™s human nature to judge other people by yourself, and no one is going to handle themselves, their business dealings, or their lives precisely as you do. There are still Â honest folks with good work ethics out there. Sometimes, you just have to pick through…to find them.â€
Dorothyâ€™s right. There are honest folks out there. And days like today make me appreciate them even more.