Anybody can make a mistake, and when we do, the thing to do is fess up, tell the truth to the best of our ability and get on with it.
But the bullsh*t artist doesn’t do that. Instead, he continues to mislead, misdirect and lie out of both sides of his mouth. In the worst case, a BS artist may even be dating you while married with children. He may be poor, posing as a billionaire or fill your life with drama and trauma that you don’t really need.
Learning to cut through the BS makes all the difference.
The four kinds of BS artists are:
Bull in a China Shop.
Bulls eat hay, grass and grain. When they relieve themselves, out comes the bullsh*t. You clean it up, use it for fertilizer and, above all, make sure that the bull is kept well fenced away from your petunias, best laid plans and emotions.
When they get too close, they make a mess. Don’t let them into your life! They don’t intentionally lie, but they quickly become so sure of themselves that they are often wrong and never in doubt.
The bull will have you know that his gout is related to the weather, that he hasn’t ever really cheated on you and the stock market is up because Donald is president. You can show him examples of when it was summer, or snowing in the middle of winter, and his gout was still hurting like hell. His weather story doesn’t hold water, but is still true for him.
You can remind him of the time that he smooched with his secretary, texted his ex and had sex with a co-worker, but he still maintains that he isn’t the sort of guy that cheats. You can point out that the stock market is influenced by all sorts of things, but he is still sure that Donald did it.
While we all enjoy a bit of certainty, we can fall into the trap of correcting them. Don’t do that, because that is a road with no end. Never correct them, because that just gives them the attention they seek. Don’t argue with them, just don’t put yourself in a position where you need to depend upon them.
Enjoy their company when you must, but use them as a reminder that nobody really knows the truth. Watch yourself want to fall for their simplistic BS, but then catch yourself: remember that anyone so certain in an ever-changing world is simply too rigid and not ready to be a confident, lover or best friend.
Weak people are the worst, because they change like the weather. When they are talking with you. they are Red Sox fans, but when they talk to their boss they surely want the Cubbies to win.
This sort of BS artist is a Changeable Charlie, a chameleon who takes on a color to match their surroundings.
Weak people are to be avoided because they are the ones who form mobs, but they are important because, at least according to the Bible, they will inherit the Earth.
Knowing a person is weak is the key here. Because when you do, then you can ask their opinion rather than telling them yours. You can seek the kernel of truth and self-love in them, encouraging them to speak up, take a stand and step into their power.
When you assist them in valuing themselves you will have a strong, powerful friend for life. Don’t seek out weak people, but when you find one nurture them, offer them unconditional love and affection and watch them bloom.
Foes of Reality.
This sort of BS artist simply doesn’t like the way that things are, so they embellish or complain.
I was happily married to such a Pollyanna who put a positive spin on everything. She wasn’t interested in reality. She wanted everyone to be a saint or an angel, everything to be perfect and all to be peace and love.
Foes of reality live in a world of illusion. They have a hard time learning, because learning occurs when illusion meets reality. They repeat their mistakes, living in a make believe world where all men are tall, strong and honest, and all women are good looking, successful and sexy.
Foes of reality need to look at their bank account balance rather than imagining that they have plenty of money. They need to discover how many calories are in a donut, and ironically, they need to be given more responsibility not less. Because being responsible is the only way they will cut through their BS.
The positive foes of reality inspire us, and turn us on because we want them to be right. But maintaining their illusions is hard work.
The negative foe of reality is Eeyore, always looking on the dark side of things. This sort of BS artist is harder to take, but also needs to be continually reminded that things aren’t as bad as they seem. Putting on a pound isn’t the end of the world, and they aren’t likely to contract Zika from their cat.
Foes of reality aren’t intentionally misleading anyone, their calibration is just a little bit off. The new living room set they bought when you are at work needs to be returned when you get home.
They need to look in the mirror and see themselves for who they are. It is so tempting, when they are talking us up, to cross our fingers and hope they are right—but it is essential to instead remind them that reality bites those who don’t befriend it.
Jim was a criminal. I met him when I was a stock broker and it was only a matter of time before he was fired for making illegal trades in his Mother’s account.
His resumé read like a rap sheet.
Criminals know better, but can’t do better. They know that the car has a bad transmission, but will sell it anyway. They range from spinning white lies to being compulsive law breakers and thieves.
Criminals are best left to consort with other criminals. Because when they get a taste of their own medicine, they are sometimes scared straight.
Criminals remind us that we are glad we aren’t them, and don’t have to associate with them. It is better to let your lawyer deal with a criminal.
When you discover that you have a criminal in your life, get your locks changed, don’t let them any closer, dial 911 or befriend the local lawman.
It Takes all Kinds.
At times in our lives, we may find ourselves steeped in our own BS, or the BS of others.
In a new job or relationship we may be out of our league, a bull in a china shop, and then we need to do the least damage possible, learning the ropes before they bind.
If we are wishy-washy, we need to find our backbone, stick up for ourselves or support the weak people around us in doing so.
In a difficult situation, we may need to temporarily become a foe of reality by turning up our optimism to make it through. But we don’t get stuck there.
Very few of us are criminals and just knowing that we aren’t lends credibility to our thoughts and actions.
Keep the bulls contained and away from your heart and life. Encourage the weak people to discover their power, offer the foes of reality responsibly and avoid the criminals.
While we are all occasional BS artists, we are also growing and evolving. If we get stuck, it is useful to know the four kinds of BS artists.
Author: Jerry Stocking
Editor: Travis May