My friend was talking about a man who had stalked, restrained and physically attacked a woman we knew when she said, “But he’s basically a good guy.” Shocked, I clarified: “No, he’s a nice guy. Definitely not a good guy.”
A nice guy, or a good guy?
We both knew this person. He had been a guest in both of our homes. He was attractive, charming, likable and a great conversationalist, making him very pleasant company. However, beneath the surface, his niceness paled in comparison to his aggression, threatening behavior and willingness to put others at risk.
Yes, we all have bad days. We all have triggers that can cause us to behave unlike our better selves. But someone who deliberately intimidates, terrorizes or attacks another person? That’s not a good person.
When someone shows you who he is, believe him the first time. Don’t wait for him to show you again. If we’d all actually believe our eyes and ears and listen to our gut feelings, we’d avoid a lot of pain and heartache. From business relationships to dating, and from online communications to in-person meetings, you can believe what people tell you…if you know how to listen.
I met someone recently I liked and felt comfortable with almost instantly. This is rare for me, and was almost a “red flag” in and of itself. However, when I considered what I knew about this person, that added context increased my comfort level, as did his willingness to answer questions directly and share relevant historical, professional and personal information. We discussed appropriate topics, he respected my personal space, and allowed me to set the pace of our meeting.
What’s the context? How long have you known this person? How did you meet? Do you have shared business associates or friends, or did you simply meet by chance or through a shared activity or common location? Continue reading →