Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Cassandra gripes

I have a sense of people who will be more trouble than they are worth. I’m not quite certain how I do it, though someone who knows about such things has suggested that in early life, I found it necessary to be able to learn a lot about someone’s mood quickly.

I can’t quite apply this knack to my own life consistently, though my general principal that how someone is in bed is very significant to their character has never been disproved. But when a friend tells me about a new friend or a new significant other, I can often get a sense of them very quickly.

Quite often, I will tell a person that their new significant other is a poor choice and a year later, they will be heartbroken and I will have been right, but feel bad.

Most dramatically, this happened with a close friend who knew a woman who was divorcing. Upon meeting this lady, I instantly had a bad feeling about her. She said “cooking is my therapy” and anyone who talks about therapy casually at great length is trouble, and said a few other things that were mild red flags, but the sum of the slightly odd things she said did not add up to the feeling of dread she gave me.

She invited my friend to be on the board of a small charity she worked for. I said then that I felt she was doing it to give herself greater power to manipulate the charity.

My friend ignored me, joined the board and had been on it about a year when the woman ran off with tens of thousands of dollars from the charity.

This is not the first time this has happened. This is like the billionth time it has happened and it is irritating to be in the position of someone who knows what's going to happen, yet isn't believed, over and over again.

Some of it in common sense. Someone will basically treat you the way they treat other people. Hard to believe that the great guy who invents insulting nicknames for his ex-wife will someday invent some for you, but it's almost certainly true. The sense I can get for someone from casual interactions seems to be beyond this. (For another sign, people who are very kind to non-relative kids of the opposite gender tend to be very good people. I don't know how I got this idea, but it's usually correct.)

I guess what gets me the most is that I don’t have any proof. There’s nothing I can point to that is actual evidence, but sometimes I just know. That my subconscious is good at telling when people are shifty and can see things I don’t is as good an explanation as any. But I can’t quite say “I have an intuitive sense that your new boyfriend is really insecure and is going to break your heart just because he can” or “Fire your accountant, just trust me, do it.”

I can’t give my friends a rational reason why they should listen to me, but I’m always a bit irritated when they come to me with broken hearts after the fact.

Does anyone else have this problem?



Rev. Sean said...

What's funny, CC, is that I just had a conversation about this with my son, who is fifteen. He was also complaining that he could "read" people and no one ever listened, and he was very frustrated and angry at the whole thing.

I know where he gets it because I am usually able to get an accurate sense of people quite quickly too. We chalk it up to being observant and intuitive, and for the most part it's a good thing, though it definitely gets frustrating because it's hard to communicate and usually even harder not to say "I told you so."

Kim said...

Yeah, Joyce (my SO) is good at this, but she also runs to paranoia, so it's hard to tell which is talking.