Why is it so easy to be wrong about someone you’re dating?

Hey all, long time no see. Hope you enjoyed your holiday if you celebrated. I took the week off to be with family, introduce my girlfriend to everyone over Thanksgiving, and most importantly, introduce her to soul-food style greens. All in all, a successful holiday if I do so say myself. While I was away, I scheduled a bunch of tweets to auto-posts, and one of the things I shared was a post was from two months ago called Why do we take rejections so personally?

Don’t worry, I’m getting to my point.

In that post, I focused  on why we take rejections personally, and how to move on. I got two responses on twitter with similar themes that I wanted to touch on because they inspired me. Instead of focusing on why we take rejections personally and rehashing what I’ve already said, I wanted focus on the reason why it’s so easy to be wrong about someone you’re dating.

If you’ll let me generalize a bit here, I think that reason that it’s so easy to be wrong about someone is because it’s easy to believe a lie. Whether that lie is big or small, purposeful or not, doesn’t matter. We all make mistakes and all it takes is something as simple as believing someone you have no reason to doubt. If you think that believing someone you have no reason to doubt reflects poorly on you, you’re wrong. You’re being too hard on yourself.

We’ve all make mistakes by readings things wrong. Sometimes it’s going left when someone is walking directly toward you when you should have gone right. Sometimes it’s assuming someone wants something romantically that they haven’t explicitly said. And sometimes, you’re wrong about someone because you believed what didn’t seem like a lie.

If you ever feel foolish for believing someone, understand that it happens to the best of us. When we believe what someone tells us and then get proven wrong, it hurts, but don’t think it’s some sort of sign of your value as a person. We all have moments of naiveté, even me. It’s remarkably easy to believe a lie, especially when the person doing the lying believes it too.

I think that a lot of people believe the lies that they tell about themselves, even in the face of overwhelming evidence that proves the contrary. (Purely conjecture based on anecdotal experience of course, don’t cite me or anything) When you meet a person, and they tell you that they’re a nice person, they probably believe it, even if they just ghosted someone. When you meet someone that tells you what they want in a relationship, they probably believe what they’re saying even if their actions contradict what they say. If you’re feeling hurt by being fooled by someone don’t be, because they’re probably fooling themselves too. The easiest way to tell a convincing lie is to convince yourself you’re telling the truth.

If you’re wondering, “How could I fall for another person’s bullshit?”, that’s why. If someone is lying and knows they’re lying, there might be tells. If some feels like they’re telling the truth, there might not be. Someone who genuinely believes they’re a good person is going to sound believable because they believe themselves. Don’t beat yourself up about not being able to detect a lie because, fun fact, you’re not a lie detector*.

People will tell you what they think they are, what they want to be, or what they think you want them to be. Sometimes you’ll be fooled, sometimes you wont. The best thing you can do is judge someone based on their actions. People can tell you all manner of things about themselves, but if you really want to know what someone is at their core, what they value, pay attention to their actions.

People can tell you what they think they are, but they’ll show you who they are.

Good Luck Out There.

*Another fun fact, lie detectors can be tricked using very simple tricks, so seriously, don’t feel bad that you can’t guess with 100% accuracy when someone is lying. Nothing and no one can. Another fun fact, the creator of Wonder Woman invented an early prototype of the lie detector.

Also published on Medium.