Evelyn Ryan, Yourlifelifter
People lie to achieve a goal: “We lie if honesty won’t work,” says researcher Tim Levine. Well, lying is a very effective defense mechanism we humans use to, in a nutshell, get others to believe what we want and need them to believe to benefit ourselves. We all have different needs and compete for resources and must be creative on how we acquire what we need and want and, for some, what they believe they are entitled to.
Some lies are pretty harmless but dishonesty in the wrong hands can quickly get out of hand. Anyone whose identity has been stolen or has been a target of fraud including scammers, a lying job applicant, an incompetent boss, a narcissist posing as a healer, or an unfaithful boyfriend or girlfriend well knows the extent of the harm that pathological liars can inflict.
Why Should We Care More than We Do
Lying is normal. So is wanting to trust someone. However, the ability to distinguish a lie from truth is not. These abilities need to be learned to be able to distinguish a fib from a lie, a lie from a bigger lie, a fake from a fraud, a potential loving mate from an emotional predator.
Studies show that about 45% of all lies are for self-promotion. And guess what? The numbers of self-promoters and those vulnerable to their lies are rising daily. Now more than ever our need to be able to separate truth from lies is being tested. While we have a natural desire to trust others, researchers are learning that social media is mucking with this ability as we are lie bombed and memed to death every day with fake information from frauds all for false self-promotion and to exploit others. We are becoming increasingly gullible and vulnerable and are increasingly believing lies even when we are presented with clear contradictory evidence.
We are surrounded daily by pathological liars as well as cheaters and gaslighters and professional con artists who bombard us with lies, manipulation, and deception. Before social media, we were not exposed to this very high level of toxicity but now we can be exposed 100’s and even 1000’s of times a day. Gosh, we even have narcissists who are posing as healers who continue to exploit and prey on their victims seeking recovery from the harm they inflicted.
We can easily become confused in discerning truth from a fib, lie, fraud, or an attack from rings of Nigerian and Russian scam artists on dating sites and friending us on social media. Oh, the scam artists are slick and have infiltrated women’s support groups on social media where vulnerable people seeking help and solace expose tons of personal information on their emotional states and health of their relationships.
Yes. These are trying times where being gullible and exposing too much personal information can put you and your families at heightened risk to attack from toxic moochers who have no moral compass and who view other humans as prey.
What Can We Do to Protect Ourselves
Here are some simple effective tips and tools to consider that will keep you and your children safer and better protected from these predators.
1. Always and first and foremost remember the Time, Distance, and Shielding (TDS) Rule. Minimizing time with, maximizing distance from, and shielding yourself from anything toxic or potentially toxic will keep you out of harm’s way.
2. Anything that appears too good to be true, 99.9% of the time is a lie, a distortion, to steal something from you to benefit someone else.
3. Less is more. Minimize your and your children’s time on social media. Less here is better and safer because it exposes you to less risk. Find a group or site that you know is well monitored and protected that will provide you a safe haven for you to share your voice and to heal, relate, and connect. Be careful especially of groups with tens of thousands and in some cases hundred of thousands of members that are harder to securely manage. Note that there is an added benefit as well from less impersonal connections that will tip the scales back in the favor of personal ones that are healthier choices to meet our needs for authentic personal human connection, love, meaning, purpose, acceptance, worthiness, and belonging.
4. DO NOT intentionally share intimate pictures and extreme personal details on your mental and physical state, sex life, body, private parts, medical conditions, level of suffering, home address, place of employment, financial status, and loneliness in public.
I have seen people on sites like Red Table Talk detail entire decades of personal history. Just my presence on the Page (I do not share personal information) has resulted in 2 to 5 Nigerian scammers with false identities friending me. Use even private messaging carefully and sparingly with trusted friends and Page, Site and Group owners. If you must, the much wiser and less risky option is to pose a question like. “does anyone have any advice on how to handle XYZ.”
5. Check out the group or site security protocols and if lacking, request it improve its criteria for identifying scammers posing as concerned group members. If unresponsive, leave the group or site.
6. BLOCK< BLOCK<BLOCK, REPORT and REPEAT WITH NO EXPLANATION. If someone sneaks under your scammer and liar radar, and they will, IMMEDIATELY BLOCK from your page or site. No explanations are required to anyone violating your personal boundaries or rules of mutual respect, respectful discourse, and trust that are normal human rights you do not have to defend to anyone. I would expect no less from anyone else who I treated disrespectfully or dishonorably and if I violated the site’s or group’s rules of engagement.
7. Work on your emotional health and learn to identify the signs of toxic people versus authentic ones. There are many more tips in this article that will help you to make wiser and safer choices that will not expose who to unnecessary harm from toxic moochers in your interactions on or off social media.