I have been studying the excuses people make to avoid things.
One of my all time favorites comes from someone who openly admits he wants everyone to love him and like him. He does this by lying to them. He won’t tell them something he believes they don’t want to hear so he makes something up. He once told me, “I have no trouble lying to people.”
I smiled because I suddenly found myself on the Island of Liars where one of the inhabitants walks up to you and says “Everything I tell you is a lie.”
What is the proper response? Basically, if you want to be involved with this person, you have to continue the relationship knowing that he can be trusted to deceive you.
But what an incredible excuse for lying. “I want people to like me.”
And when those who trusted you discover you’ve lied? Hmm…Crazy making behavior, that.
I’m reminded of the fable about the frog and the scorpion. The scorpion wants to get across some water but can only do it by riding on the back of a frog. The frog says he won’t do it because the scorpion will sting him. The scorpion promises the frog it won’t sting it, gets the ride and stings the frog half way across the water. The frog cries out “But you promised,” and the scorpion replies, “What did you expect? It’s in my nature” and both frog and scorpion drown.
I’ve also been told that someone could only take on jobs that interested them because they’d get bored otherwise.
I’ve got that interesting-bored thing pretty well figured out. Given my options I’d rather do things that interest me, too. What an excellent excuse for for being habitually unemployed, though! I can’t work if I’m bored, sorry. I won’t pay attention, patients will die, things won’t get done and what gets done will only get done to the point where I lose interest.
Whoa! There’s a person you want on your payroll, yes?
Better than a year ago I asked someone for their research data, something they’ve released a product on. They’d love to send it to me, they’re simply too busy to do so.
“Is it close by?” I asked during one phone call.
“The file’s right here on my drive.”
“Do you have your email open?”
“Sure I do.”
“Then zip up the research data file and email it to me. I can walk you through how to zip the file and email it, if you’d like.”
“Oh, gosh. I’d love to but I have to get to a meeting right now.”
It’s amazing how many meetings that person has.
There are lots of valid excuses. Life, for example, often gets in the way and we need to disqualify ourselves from taking part in something. The kids need to be picked up or dropped off. This is the only time I could get a dentist or doctor appointment. Tonight’s my bowling night.
But I do wonder sometimes…
Saddest of all is that excuse-making falls into the “if I am a thief then you must steal” category of interpersonal relationships. People who lie automatically believe others lie to them. People who make excuses automatically assume others are making excuses.
I was going to write more on this. I’ve got great, earth-shaking ideas on it, you know.
But someone told me there’s air outside and I really need to investigate that right now.
And I have a bone in my arm.
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