Picture is of Bali, April 2019
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Warm and fuzzy on the outside and Attila the Hun on the inside. Everyone knows a person like this but sometimes they are very hard to spot. Let me tell you about who I am not talking about. I am not talking about when you get into your emotional Sunday best to try to impress. When you are on a first date, job interview, meeting your lovers family and friends for the first time. There is a little pretender in all of us. No I am talking about the most scary of the Pretenders.
They usually have great social skills, can be charming, affable, will do all of the right things. They can be so purrrrfectly nice that you want to help them continue purrrring. Be careful, all is not what it seems. Fortunately, there are not a lot of this class of pretender in the world.
There is something about someone soooo purrrrfect that makes me very suspicious. They make my hair go up on my neck. I need more than an emotional fence to distance myself from this type of individual. I was working with this family and all of my instincts told me that I was dealing with this class of pretender. Now their secret is that they don't think anyone sees them. If they suspect that you see them, the hatchet comes out and their real selves come rapidly to the table. Well back to my story, I had a foster parent that made me cautious. Everything was purrrfect in her house, in her life, with the kids in home. But something just did not feel right.
I can be like radar for this class of pretender. They want people to buy into their act and when your behavior indicates to them that you are not buying their routine they can get hostile quickly. Well she started complaining about me to my supervisor. I wasn't being nice enough to her and various other complaints. Eventually, the truth came out. She was making the children in her care kneel on rice, stand in the corner for extreme periods of time. She finally left evidence. She took one of the children and burned her arms on both sides. Yes she left a mark.
Once the children were removed from her care all of the things that she was doing to them came out. She had most people fooled because sometimes we buy style. My seeing her made her nervous and anxious and she couldn't keep her "act" up. That is why she made a mistake.
You often see Pretenders in the workforce. They are the ones that will climb over your dead, if necessary, body to get to the next promotion. They will say anything and do anything to anyone. They breed mistrust because at some point, people don't buy their act anymore and that makes them angry. Especially if it keeps them from getting a promotion.
Pretenders are great seducers but when all is said and done they are just empty souls, filling their lives with manure. So when you spot this class of Pretender, run. The easy way to figure this all out is to ask yourself, "Do I feel that this is all fake?" They may be more like the witch in Sleeping Beauty with a poison apple offered with a smile.
This was orignally Posted on January 14, 2010
What was I thinking then and What am I thinking now 2019.
Pretenders have not disappeared from life. It is easy to spot one as my evolution as a human as continued. When I originally wrote this post I was working and observing the pretenders at my place of employment. The thing that I realized then is that because I may see someone as a pretender does not mean that they see themselves as pretenders. I realized that at the time of writing the post the pretenders viewed themselves as "doing what was necessary".
My current thoughts are that people often create a narrative that allows them to maximize the behavior which allows them to feel safe. Whether their behavior impacts others sometimes is not at the fore front of their mind. Living in fear is where many pretenders reside. The fear of being seen for who and what they are is one of the nightmares. The fear of failure, the fear of being an imposter and not sure whether others know their secret. All pretenders are not dangerous except to themselves. However, some pretenders who have mastered the art of pretending and are now manipulating others can be dangerous. Intentions and impact are different sides of what and how pretending can hurt others.
It is hard to know what to do with a pretender. Do you confront, ignore, hope they don't see you. So, question? Can you spot a pretender if you can what do you do?
Thank you for listening to Conversation With Katherine. Please feel free to visit my website conversationwithkatherine.com and leave a comment about the podcast. Have a great day and a great conversation in your life about. Pretenders