Over time, you kind of hone a sixth sense about people. Some nagging feeling somewhere in your body tells you that all the pieces do not match up. Sometimes it takes a while to figure out exactly what’s missing – but the sense is there if you are aware/listening.
Maybe “listening” (externally and internally) is the key. I am not sure most people know how to listen; am not sure people stop, slow down and have a long enough attention span to tune in to what they should be listening for internally. It’s strange. Mostly listening to these alarm bells (faint though they sometimes are) keeps me out of harm’s way or at least away from people I shouldn’t spend time with.
Curiosity, though, sometimes does lead one (me) down the wrong path… a least a few steps down that path. Briefly following someone even when the instinct whispers and then screams, “Something is amiss” is almost always a matter of being curious about what it is that’s amiss rather than blindly following and being disappointed. In fact it’s almost an achievement when I do find out what has not fit together.
It’s not really a way to live though – or to spend time. There are so many other pursuits and people who are worth the effort.
I, however, imperfect being that I am, have to learn that lesson now and again – repeatedly.