A few months back I shared how I ended up telling an acquaintance that the man she suspected of telling her porkies was in fact married. I’d met him a few months beforehand with a few other people and when she described him I was like “Well it must be X because the one you’re describing sounds like Y and he’s married”. She kept telling me I’d got them the wrong way round and by the time I realised I actually hadn’t got them mixed up, the truth became very clear. Mor-ti-fi-cation!
Now one of the things that annoyed me at the time was this whole ‘Man Code’ thing (you know the so-called unspoken rules between guys), so he had told her that if she didn’t believe that he wasn’t divorced, she could ask the boyf. Of course he knew she was highly unlikely to follow up.
When someone pulls The Ruse, they tell you that they can show or do something or that you can ask somebody else, so that they can verify their claims knowing damn well that it’s highly likely that you will be reluctant to do it for fear of coming across distrusting or creating conflict. The aim is to silence any queries and allay your fears and ultimately gain your trust. Another aspect of the trick is saying stuff like ‘Just ask X’ or ‘If you don’t believe me ask Y’ or ‘If you don’t believe me, we may as well end it now’.
They make what they’re suggesting sound like a fact, so you take it as the truth and assume that the ‘evidence’ that they point to is there should you decide to avail yourself of it – as it’s supposed to be fact, you assume it’s immovable.
Even if you do say ‘OK then, I will‘ you’ll be guilt tripped, accused of not believing them -‘Is my word not good enough for you?’ or ‘Well this obviously can’t go on if you don’t trust me’ – or they’ll string it out.
Take this married guy. He believes the Man Code is alive and well and assumes that if she called up the boyf that he’d verify the story without him even having to ask him to do it (like hell he frickin would).
They may get melodramatic or just plain mean so that somehow you forget that this is about questionable ‘truths’ and you end up being guilt-tripped. You feel bad that they feel bad and feel guilty for having justifiable concerns which will lead you to question your judgement. If you don’t follow through and clarify, this is an example of a trust point being setup, from then on you will be inclined to take information at face value for fear of reprisals if you question it.