“If it walks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.”
Speaking of ducks. It would have been good to be a duck in Atlanta this morning. The morning commute in Atlanta is usually bad; when it rains, the traffic gets worse. When it storms, like today, the roads virtually shut down! Today’s long commute found me listening to a popular morning show. The DJ’s were talking about how scams are becoming more and more difficult to detect. We have all received the email from the Saudi Prince who needs you to deposit his $15M in your bank account and in return he will give you 10% of his money for your trouble. They laughed and said that anyone who responded to one of those emails deserved to be scammed.
They then started talking about other phishing emails. I know I received one a few weeks ago from “PeyPal” asking me to click their link and enter my account information. No thanks! The fact that they couldn’t even spell “PayPal” correctly was certainly a not-so-subtle hint that this was a fraud.
I received another email just last week from my “bank” asking me to click on the link and enter my account information. It certainly looked legitimate. It had the right brand, the right feel, the right logo … but then I noticed a few things that made me start to hesitate. Little clues here and there just didn’t feel right. There was the sentence that ended in a preposition. There was the use of the word “a lot” instead of the more professional “frequently.” There was the sentence that didn’t begin with a capital letter. I knew I couldn’t avoid these “hunches” that something wasn’t right. Delete!
This got me thinking. Don’t we frequently do the same thing with relationships? Sometimes the scammers are obvious and it’s easy to say no to the first date, or certainly to the second date. Picture the antithesis of your perfect date, and this is what shows up at your door or tries to get your number at the bar. Easy to identify. Easy to say no. This is the “Saudi Prince” version. It’s so obvious that this is wrong. You are crazy if you actually consider the date.
Then there are the other potential dates or relationships. They may initially look “right.” They may say the right things, dress the right way, drive the right car, and have the right job, but there’s still that little voice in the back of your head that says, ‘Hmm… ???” They may say they are “Paypal,” but in reality they are “Peypal.”
We need to pay attention to the warning signs that present themselves. Too often, we are so focused on the dream, our vision of what is perfect, that we allow ourselves to be sucked into that situation when all it will lead to is a nightmare. We want it to be right. We want him (or her) to be “the one” and so we ignore the obvious and the not-so-obvious clues that start to appear. Pay attention to the signals you are receiving. Pay attention to the voice in your head that processes something as odd or unusual.
There was my friend who was dating “the one” but started to wonder why she was never invited to his house. Turns out he had a good reason. He didn’t want her to meet his wife, of course! There was the guy whose date always showed up a bit tipsy and explained it away as “we had a special happy hour after work,” or “We went out and celebrated my friend’s promotion.” After several of these “tipsy” meetings, he decided this wasn’t a one-off event, but rather there was a drinking problem lurking. As the DJ’s said this morning, we all need to be mindful of being scammed. We need to pay attention to our intuition. We need to not ignore the clues. Better said, we need to remember that “If it walks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.”
What about you? Have you met someone who turned out to be a duck? What were the clues?
About the Author:
Author Monique A. Honaman wrote “The High Road Has Less Traffic: honest advice on the path through love and divorce” (2010) in response to a need for a book that provided honest, real, and raw advice about how to survive and thrive through one of life’s toughest journeys, and “The High Road Has Less Traffic … and a better view” (2013) to provide perspectives on love, marriage, divorce and everything in between. The books are available on Amazon.com. Learn more at www.HighRoadLessTraffic.com.