Once I had an interaction with a broken man that I thought I was doing him a favor by attempting to build him up and grow his business. I often witnessed him verbally tear down the people that he loved and deemed as true friends like they were change for a nickel when they weren’t around. But sing their praises publicly. He was loyal to no one. Once we argued because I pointed out that he was unethical, he justified his behavior, and I bought it.
Although he saw immediate results of what I brought to him and his life, he showed me no appreciation and often devalued who I was. I finally had enough and politely walked away. After he realized I wasn’t coming back because I had left and returned in the past, I became the focus of his inconsistency, lack of integrity and his attempt of my character assassination. Then, I learned that he had bad-mouthed me from jump-street. I really thought I was exempt from his venom because I freely gave him my time, talents and money, even though he never rendered reciprocity. I contemplated retaliation, but my integrity wouldn’t allow it.
The moral of the story is, recognize people for who they are, not who you wish them to be. When a person spews hatred, negativity, and accusations about others, rest assured they are doing the same thing to you when you’re not around. Ask yourself, what are the motives behind what you are being told? Before you past judgment or defend a person you believe has been wronged, get the whole story, not just the pieces they choose to disclose. A snake is a snake no matter how much you love it, take care of it, or try to restore it, just listen to the hiss in their lips.