I believe you the first time

When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.
— Maya Angelou

This is a timeless quote. I wholeheartedly believe in it.

I sometimes have interactions with potential partners, submissive men, natch, who do something egregious early on in our correspondence.

And that’s it, I’m out.

I know it sounds harsh, and it is.

If someone lies to me, is disrespectful, is mean, ignores my boundaries, expresses some offensive view, is shitty in some way, I believe it is exactly what it is. There’s no ‘there’ there, no secret to uncover. It is what it is.

Ditto if their response to me behaving in a way they don’t like is some passive-aggressive (or aggressive-aggressive) version of ‘No, little lady, not like that’ (that’s the point, normally, where I turn from someone ‘ah-mazing’ into ‘a wrong ‘un’).

I don’t subscribe to the idea that it was a mistake, or a lapse of judgement.

I genuinely believe that I am getting a glimpse into ‘who they are’. I see it, and I believe them.

If I say nothing about their behaviour, they’ve drawn a line in the sand about how they can treat me.

If I say something, often they double-down.

Sometimes they say they are sorry, have an excuse, an explanation.

99.9% of the time in the latter case, what they say to defend their behaviour is some version of ‘That’s not who I am, I’m not really like that’, and that’s… not credible to me.

0.1% of the time, there is a genuine misunderstanding, but it’s not the norm.

There is no better time to get the measure of a man than early on when he isn’t really invested, is still gauging his interest, when he’s getting my measure.

If he behaves poorly towards me, it’s because he thinks he can, and THAT’S 100% who he is.

You’ve shown me who you are, and you better bet I’m going to believe you the first time.

Loves: 17
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15 Comments

  1. Ah yes, this.
    Something I haven’t really mastered in my personal life. You tried to get me there :)

    Thankfully Mack showed me the positive things and still does – I haven’t had to spend time convincing myself they mean something else. It’s a tough lesson.

    1. I tend to think kind and nice people have a lot more tolerance because they want to believe the best of people, so they will brush things aside or make up their own excuses for someone else’s poor behaviour.

      Me though: I’m nor kind OR nice, so ‘Nah’.

      I’m so glad it’s still going so well with Mack :).

      Ferns

  2. I am *SO* with you here! I’ve been called ‘judgemental’ and ‘harsh’ but the truth is that I just to eliminate as many potential negative influences as I can.

  3. I also use this with incompatibility issues early on. I believe them if they say “Well what I really want is X”.

    I don’t second guess, badger, harass or nitpick wording. We’re incompatible in that way and that’s cool. Let’s move on to people we’re compatible with

  4. By all means, save yourself wasted time dealing with people who are never going to get there, but you could also be missing opportunities by taking this attitude too far. People contain multitudes. It is the essence of Buddhism that it is possible to train to suppress the negative and enhance the positive. It is one of your advantages as dominant that you can shape your partner’s behaviours to be those that you want. As your submissive, I would love to have you guide me in that way. There is incredible romance in opening up to being shaped to be a better person, more loving, more giving, more pleasing to my partner.

    1. “…you could also be missing opportunities by taking this attitude too far”

      Nope.

      Any man who is disrespectful, mean, ignores my boundaries, expresses some offensive view, is shitty, passive/aggressive-aggressive in some way is out. That’s it.

      There’s no ‘too far’ in any of that and I have zero interest in shaping THAT guy into anything.

      Ferns

  5. Plus, in the context of he was rude, thoughtless, abrasive etc

    .. No women is responsible for “educating” a guy into being a civilized, decent human being. Dominant or not, the responsibility for that stuff lands squarely on the guys head. We’re not required to rescue, teach, educate coax or otherwise “bring it out” of him. That’s one of the mentalities that have kept women trapped in abusive relationships for decades. It’s somehow, according to some segments of society, *her* job to help him learn the error of his ways.

    Nope.

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