Hidden Messages

I abhor the back-door trickery and witchcraft of people who are attempting to guide you to see something that they see.  It’s a menacing and damaging practice.  If you got something to say, you should say it at the risk of sounding like a complete idiot or, at the risk of having your view shot down.   Why oh why can’t people just say what they mean??

Deciphering The Code 

Lately, I’ve been courted by a sorry few who–to me–have no sense of morals.  At.  All.  The approach, the wording is the same: tellme, tellme, tellme.  They go on and on in their plan to court my loves and compliment me in order to pick my brain or stroke my ego.  This is how a calculating person believes that they are winning my trust. Then, they hit you with their ideologies, their opinions, and their judgments as though they were sitting atop Mount Olympus, placing the figurine of Persius in The Colliseum just for ha-has.

It Takes One To Know One

I see through all of it, though.  It’s so damn transparent! I often wonder why people have to be calculating at all (except when solving mathematical problems); but the truth is, I already know.  You sometimes have to be that which you despise in order to better understand the reason behind people’s behaviors.  I have been known to calculate in my day, but I soon learned that this methodology is completely flawed.  The main problem is that as important as it is to preserve one’s livelihood, the end really doesn’t justify the means here.  It is a choice to be a better person and not to be seduced by ulterior motives because it is a lousy way of gaining confidences, friendships, and success.  The alternative is a harder but more fulfilling means of attaining those things.  It is also the most human and soulful.  Society rewards calculating people but those people often are distrusted and I hardly think that the world could run without trust.   Period.

I Know You Are But What Am I? 

The best way to handle these people are through traditional diversionary tactics that have been going on since Time Immemorial.  It’s almost like swatting a fly.  Your eye searches and traces the route of the annoying fly and you travel with it, alongside it until you find the opportune moment…and then…SWAT!  You kill it.  Dead.  Here are a few ways to go about swatting the flies.

  1. Tell Them A Complete Un-Truth – There’s nothing like padding a lie within a lie in order to throw The Calculator off the scent.  The more outrageous the lie, the better the result because the fly will follow your words as if they were written on a tablet.
  2. Say Something Non-Sensical You almost have to be a storyteller here.  The point is that you are trying to see how long and how far the fly is willing to follow the trail you’ve set them on.  If they bite, it’s great because you’ve led them so far off, they won’t know how to deal further with you.  Have a little fun.  The best result is to have them give up on you altogether which is good because you really don’t need damaging friends around you anyway.
  3. Don’t Reveal Your True Feelings – This goes along with Rule # 1 but it imperative.  The Calculator’s wily ways will attempt to ensnare you with your own words even so don’t fall into the trap.  When in doubt, flail your arms and act like a chicken. 
  4. Yes Them To Death – If none of the above tactics are working, just add the word, “Yes” to the end and the beginning of every sentence.  The Calculator will go mad with frustration over this because they will sense that they have been made. 
  5. Don’t Say Anything At All – This is the hardest thing to do because most of us want to fill in the empty void of verbal space with words, words and more words.  Don’t do it.  Just smile as the person goes on and on about some kind of random point that they are trying to make or bore you to tears with their anecdotes.  When they ask you what’s wrong, just say: “Nothing.  I was just listening to you.”  When they continue to ask you questions to see if you’re paying attention respond with: “I was just thinking about that point you just made,” or, “That was really interesting.  Can you please elaborate?”  Gets ’em every time.
  6. Bail When They See Your Failure to Respond– There will come a time when you have drifted into your own thoughts so far that they will notice you stopped paying attention.  At that time, bail.  Say things like, “I gotta go…that was really interesting, though” or “I didn’t realize what time it was but maybe we can continue this talk later?”  Then, run like you’ve never run away before.
  7. Find Out Why They’re Like This – Sometimes one conversation can lead into another.  If you really like this person but see them going down a forbidden road, ask them why.  Some people may not notice that they are like this and your awareness could spark a change.  Some people may have been burned in the past and use calculation as a defense mechanism.  Either way, getting to the bottom of it can potentially alter both of your lives.  Maybe.
  8. Be Abrupt Even If It Results In Them Hating You – Here’s the bottom line: They Already Hate You.  If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be studying you and your habits and your likes and dislikes just to shoot them down.  They also wouldn’t be showing you things that they feel “relate” to you, your situation, your life.  That’s what the phrase “hating on you” is all about.   The person envies something about you enough that they see fit to judge you.  That judgment (direct or indirect) results in them attempting to condescend you with over-praise on an underachievement.  Tell them that they are wrong for you and tell them that you don’t appreciate their judgments.

Smoke And Mirrors

The biggest trouble comes from identifying who The Calculator is.  Most of the time, you like the person.  They may be related to you.  They may be your friend.  That’s the hardest part.  You may have already let your guard down in allowing that person into some details of your personal life already, in essence, providing the very material for them to hit you with.  It’s like you are America and you’re selling arms to a foreign country only to have the country turn around and wage war on you with the very weapons you provided.  Get it?!  That’s why one has to be so cautious with The Calculator.  They may already have inside information that they will use against you if they feel defensive.  Be careful.  Sometimes the result is the loss of something precious.

Not Everyone’s Against You

Rule # 7 is telling because it is the very essence of truth and honesty.  Don’t always believe that a longtime friendship should be thrown away or a family bond should be permanently removed.  No one has to be ex-communicated or disowned because of calculting behavior.  How then, would it get any better?  If people hadn’t taken a chance on me and my calculting ways, then I’d have no friends or family.  The only way to release the demon is to confront it and call it out.  Now if the person is worth investing a friendship / relationship with, then you keep on calling them out until they are free, released from the trappings of bad behavior.  It doesn’t always happen overnight and it takes a long time for people to curve their ways, but a little patience and understanding go a long way.  However, if you are unwilling to take that journey with The Calculator, then it’s probably best to count your blessings and go your separate ways.  And did I just include one of my favorite bands and one of their songs in the same sentence?  Yes, I did.  That’s why I rule and am worth the extra effort.

So okay stop it with the hidden messages and the innuendos and the winks and nudges.  If I’m the butt of an inside joke, then at the very least let me know so I can laugh heartily and long with you.  Or, I can laugh at you when I knock your block off.  Surely we can all have a good ‘remember-that-time-when-you-stuck-a-knife-in-back’ stories that’ll last a lifetime…or at least until you heal.

About Lisa Perez

Lisa M. Perez is a published poet, editor, copywriter, public speaker and artist. The co-creator of the first ever ArtSpace in Jersey City, member of IUOMA (International Union of Mail Artists), and administrator for an online Mail Art group, Lisa supports the arts and advocates for creativity. Her successful, Art Journal and "Notes from my Brain" series are ongoing projects that evolve with the artist. In addition to being an active blogger since 2005, Lisa scripts and edits copy for various online articles and videos. In September 2017, she was a guest-speaker and virtually chaired a YOGA Recovery meeting. In her spare time, Lisa studies, reads, and creates while maintaining a day job in a STEM field and being a full-time fur-mommy to her shih-tzu, Cher.
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