Sometimes we’re confronted with what we know doesn’t ring true. I’m sure all of us have had encounters that caused us to reassess the other party. This typically happens when correspondence tips the scale from complimentary to ingratiating – and many times, for no apparent reason. Ulterior motives are hard to conceal for the clumsy – and for those who are self-serving, but who lack requisite polish.
Communication that’s out of the blue (from someone you haven’t heard from in years) may fall into this class. If you don’t feel the need to respond when they follow-up with rationale for their feigned connection, you’ll know they were deliberately “fishing.” Some things smack of what you know is not real. Do imposters actually think you’re not smart enough to see through their sham? Maybe they think you can’t discern when they’re being a phony. The more intuitive however can smell a scam a mile away.
Funneled information is easy to spot – as when the message comes from one who’s used as conduit. I love what Randy Pausch advises in “The Last Lecture.” Watch what they do, not what they say. Someone who is merely feeding you a line is unlikely to follow up with parallel action. Two dimensional correspondence is the shop front, while behavior is the merchandise.
There is no place in your life for meaningless, manipulative prattle. When confronted with twofaced tales, ignore the messenger – they will likely take their charade elsewhere, or at least not try that tack with you again. Our intuition, or gut instinct, is the best detection mechanism and defense in this regard. How does a person make you feel (apart from their outer appearances?). The problem is that disingenuousness breeds lack of trust, and an unwillingness to engage people in an authentic fashion. Phony at work is the precursor to separate projects.