Recently, my teenage son was trying to pull a fast one over on me. Nothing big – the whole thing kinda made me laugh, but I started to call him out on it about half way through, but it was entertaining to watch, so I let him get finished. He expectantly waited for my response as it was obvious he had worked this scenario out in his head to get what he wanted. I looked at him for a moment, peered over my reading glasses at him, smiled and said, “I call bullshit”. He looked back at me, his face got red, he dropped his head and muttered something only a teenager would understand and walked into his room. I chuckled to myself for a moment and went back to what I was doing; about five minutes later, he popped back out of his room came and sat beside me and looked at me intently. “HOW do you ALWAYS know Mom????”
I won’t go into the entire conversation that followed, but I’ll just sum it up for you. It’s really all about how well you know someone and whether or not you’ve bothered to pay attention to their normal everyday behaviors. By everyday behaviors – I’m talking about how they treat other people as well as yourself, how they handle repeated situations with other people versus how they handle situations with you.
When they stray from their normal behavior regarding a topic or situation, if you’ve paid close enough attention, you see the patterns change, you know something is off kilter. If you know them well enough, you feel it in your gut. There are times, when we speak much louder with our body language and handling of different situations than we ever do with our mouths and the spoken language.
Humans – by nature – are creatures of habit. Whether it’s the cup of coffee first thing in the morning regardless of whether it’s a work day or not, the way we get dressed, the order in which we put groceries away – we have habits for it all – even when those habits aren’t realized. But someone watching – someone paying attention – sees them – recognizes them and picks up on it when we deviate from them.
It doesn’t really make any different the excuse we may give for the deviation – someone who knows you well and pays attention knows exactly when to call bullshit on it. Maybe it’s something little like a child pulling a fast one over on mom to get an extra Microsoft Points card – or maybe, it’s someone who’s done in a relationship but lacks the intestinal fortitude to point out call it quits – so they deviate from their normal behavior to push their partner away. They can make all the excuses in the world why it’s not what you think it is – noooo, they aren’t really pushing you away – but look closely – look at the things you know have changed – how quickly did they change? What outside incidents occurred at the same time of the changes. Go ahead – call it what it is – call it bullshit. Doesn’t matter how you dress it, what excuses you surround it with it – it’s still bullshit.
And then, when you’ve had the guts to do that…. Just move the hell on –chances are, if they didn’t have the balls to be upfront about it in the first place, they aren’t going to have the balls to take responsibility for it and fix it.