As a rule of thumb, I tend to trust people. But I admit, while I’ve managed to retain my “glass is ½ full” outlook, I’ve lost much of my innocence and gained more skepticism.

Greater thinkers than I have said that good judgment comes from bad experience, and most of that comes from bad judgment.

I tend to agree – adding only that the trouble with using experience as a guide is that the final exam often comes before the lesson.

So, how can anyone learn the lessons of life while minimizing the pain and trauma in doing so?

One of the best tools I’ve found and adopted is the “trust, but verify” concept. It works in dealing with people and situations in general.

I first became aware of this phrase when I heard U.S. President Ronald Reagan use it over twenty-five years ago.

“Trust, but verify” was good advice when I first heard it; and I only wish I had taken to heart at that time. It recommends that while someone may be considered reliable, you should also do what you can to verify that his or her information is trustworthy.

By a large percentage, not everyone you run into will have the characteristics described below in this article. But take my word for it; if you do run into one of these characters and don’t recognize it, this fact alone can cause untold trouble to your life, your family and your career.

The personality trait I’m referring to, is the individual who plays fast and loose with the truth. Yes,we’ve all done this on occasion, if only to maintain the social calm and not unnecessarily upset things.

But, I’m talking someone with a somewhat more sinister attribute: the chronic liar.

Such people rely on the basic goodness of the rest of us to get away with dishonesty, deceit and manipulation as a way of life. It’s hard to face and much easier to dismiss such aberrant behavior as “a bad childhood” or “they mean well.”

But still, not to call them on it when you have the chance, only allows them to use the same con on others.

So, toward this end, I’ve compiled a list of one-liners to expose what these personalities are really up to.

I sincerely believe your life and career will become smoother and easier to navigate by using this simple tool: trust, but verify.

Below are some of my thoughts on the subject. They may differ from your own. But at least you may be forewarned by my own personal experiences.

If something feels wrong, it is wrong.

Not everyone is a liar, but anyone can be.

Don’t believe everything you hear or see; trust, but verify.

Learn to perceive what they’re not saying.

If someone is trying to manipulate you, they’re lying to you.

In negotiations, never tell everything you know. They aren’t.

Chronic liars don’t ever think they’re lying.

If it sounds “too good to be true,” it is.

False assumptions can be hazardous to your wealth.

A chronic liar will betray you, eventually.

All people lie some of the time, some people lie all of the time.

Chronic liars are hiding something disreputable, dishonorable and dishonest.

People can justify anything. Chronic liars justify everything.

Liars are looking out for their own self-interest, no matter what they’re saying.

Trust your instincts, intuition, and perception or you won’t have them.

If you are only hearing what you want to hear, run – don’t walk; you’re being set up.

If they’re lying about small ways, they’re lying about big things.

If someone tries to rush you to make a decision, they’re hiding something.

An accident happens once, a coincidence happens twice. Three times, and something is very wrong. Someone is not being truthful.

All liars are cowards. All cowards are liars.

daniel w. jacobs
© 2005 – 2030, all rights reserved


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