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The ostrich syndrome or Why do we allow others to deceive us?

Nobody chooses to be deceived. Unfortunately, it is part of our human behaviour. So what to do about it?


Photo by Jeremy Perkins on Unsplash

I decided to start a new series of articles about some of my favourite quotes and explain what they mean to me.


This week it will be about Nicollo Machiavelli. I have a few of him since I discovered how powerful and valuable his book «The Prince» is.

So here is the first one:


«One who deceives will always find those who allow themselves to be deceived.»


That one quote says all about the misery we put ourselves in sometimes when being blindly kind to others.


There are obviously three kinds of people in our world.


First, the deceivers. They are always chasing new prey like hunters. They are about 20% of the population.


They are good talkers. They are willing to go as far as possible to reach their goal.


Most of us have or will encounter at least one deceiver along our path. They know how to speak to reach us. Their purpose is only to gain something from you for their benefit.


They do not care about you. How you feel doesn’t bother them soon as they reach their goals.


They are like monkeys; they never let a rope go until they reached another one!


The second is the deceived — the other 80% of the population.


Almost every one of us was tricked one day or another by someone, most of the time close to us. We all have bad memories of those episodes.


And here comes the third group; the ones who learned and remembered. As part of the 80% of the once deceived, we learned to detect the deceivers.


We were so severely shocked and, for some, still have scars with which we have to deal with and from which we will never forget.


It is challenging to spot the good grains from the bad.


People are changing along with their lives, and yes, sometimes, we indeed have been deceivers toward others.


For sure, we have deceived someone one day or another. Does it make us bad people? Real deceivers? I don’t think so if we have learned from our behaviour.


That is the difference between deceivers and good people who deceive by mistake. Deceivers have agendas.


The deceivers I talk about here are the bad grains. Like parasites, they are always searching for their next victim.


It could be about anything, not only money.


They, most of the time will deceive you about:


Your knowledge;

Your relationships;

Your time;


These three parts of your life are where you are the most vulnerable, but your time is probably the aspect of your life where you have been the more often deceived by someone.


Never met someone who always needs you, but there are plenty of reasons not to be available when you are in need? Does it ring a bell?


We have to be wiser. Unfortunately, it is much easier to say than to become as the deceivers evolve too.


The ostrich syndrome


Photo by Jeremy Bezanger on Unsplash

If you stick your head in the sand like an ostrich, pretending everything is OK, so do not be surprised when you will find that still being deceived by someone!


You have to act to stop being deceived all the time. Stop giving everyone the benefit of the doubt at every opportunity. I know what I’m talking about here!

Each of us has a purpose when we relate to someone else. I will never forget that anymore.


When someone comes, ask yourself: What does this person want from me exactly?


I am not telling you to freak about everyone. No, keep your eyes open to seek people’s “behind the scene” agenda.


Here are some tips I learned along the road:


Take great care of who you accept inside your bubble. There is nothing bad in goggling someone.


Inform yourself before all decision-making. Do your “due diligence.”


Stop referring to others’ decisions. Make your own; trust your gut feeling. It is not because it is suitable for your friend; it has to be for you.


Try to always take a step back before taking any decision of importance;


I invite you to take a moment to think about today’s life; are there any deceivers in your relationships that you have to get rid of?


If yes, you know what needs to be done!



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