Forget the buzz around rude people.

Their distasteful behavior lives on the surface and it makes them uncomplicated.

It's like looking at the answer sheet for the test. They're showing you who they are and it's easy to turn away from people like that.

That's called preventing damage, and it's a wise choice to not stick around folks who dole out negative energy so freely.

So, it's not really these people you have to watch out for, since their difficult and reprehensible nature exists in plain view.

The folks you really want to be careful of are the wolves in sheep's clothing.

The ones who act all warm and friendly while masking sinister intentions.

Those who treat certain people with kindness and others with contempt.

To one a friend, and to another a bully and a foe.

Two Snakes in the Hand Are Worth One in the Bush

I made my own spin on the adage: "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush."

Two rude people staring you in the face are worth one of these sneaky saboteurs, hiding in plain sight.

In fact, the ratio might even be more skewed, because you don't always know which team these guys are playing for.

For all we know, they could be playing you too. They could be your friend today, but then backstab you and leave you for dead tomorrow.

This is why I wrote an article about treating first impressions like a double-edged sword – when you meet someone for the first time, you don't know if you're creating a bridge to an ally or to a foe.

You need to balance trust with skepticism.

Don't be afraid of meeting new people, but don't fall in love with them immediately either.

Observe people carefully and over time. Especially pay attention to how they interact with others, because if you think they're nice just because they're nice to you, you could be dead wrong.

I've personally had my fair share of run-ins with people who acted nice to others and cruelly and disrespectfully towards me. People like them made my social life at school quite rocky, to say the least.

Fake and two-faced people create problems for everyone, whether you're on the receiving end of nice or cruel treatment because you don't even know if their kindness towards you is genuine.


That's how you want your meaningful relationships to be.

You shouldn't have to:

  • Overthink your way through healthy relationships.
  • Second guess the other person's intentions.
  • Translate what they're saying into what they're really saying.
  • Feel the need to protect yourself around them.
  • Question their inconsistent behavior towards you and others.

If you notice someone treats you well but then goes around to other people and treats them like dirt, that's a glaring red flag. Unless you're also a dick to other people and watching them be a nuisance turns you on, you'd be smart to separate yourself from that person.

They say you're the average of the five people you spend the most time with.

So if you do the math, spending time around this person, whether a little or a lot, can slowly and secretly influence your behavior to match theirs.

This is why their sabotage is two-fold – they make people second-guess their intentions and behaviors and they can also take otherwise well-natured people and turn them into saboteurs themselves.

You should also be aware that the way we treat other people serves as motivation or discouragement toward certain behaviors.

Giving a two-faced person the time of day, knowing that they could be playing you too, is like giving them a pat on the back. Not shutting them out of your life is encouraging that kind of behavior to persist, because, in their mind, their sabotage is working.

Make it uncomplicated. Stay away from them, and watch your social life improve.

Like I said earlier, it's your healthy relationships with people that are uncomplicated. People you have to second-guess or question are those who complicate things.

And if you've ever been around someone like that:

  • It stresses you out.
  • It lowers the quality of your social life.
  • It can even ruin your relationships with other people.
  • It can take a toll on your own health if and when they turn on you.

Keep the snakes out of your hands and get some flowers instead.