When an answer or story is vague, antennas should be tuning in because vagueness is often based in hiding something. There are some good reasons to hide something – like a surprise, staying out of drama, or even just dancing around an answer to the question about what you are doing a particular evening if you don’t know if the person asking was invited to the event you are going to.
More often than not though, vagueness is usually a warning sign to pay attention. If we pay attention we would know when to dig deeper. And if we really reallypaid attention; we might be able to even tell on a subtle level if there cause of vagueness is for a positive or negative reason. It’s not difficult, it just takes some awareness and tuning in.
Most of us want to believe what we would like in order to keep our worlds as we would like them to be. We ignore the vague nagging in our guts that is signaling something isn’t right. The answers that don’t add up but we don’t seem to have time to prod. The person we love and want to trust so we don’t question. The sales pitch that doesn’t quite sit right but the evidence to the contrary is showing all peaches and roses.
I’ve been duped many times in my life. When I look back at the lies I’ve been told or the hidden truths I’ve discovered, I know that at some point there was a very quiet alarm bell that I had ignored. In hindsight I recognize that I knew it, but at the time I wanted to believe what I wanted to believe. Sometimes it’s easier to keep going by ignoring the unpleasant. But it often makes things worse in the long run. Perhaps recognizing the feeling and asking just another question or two could really prevent future harm.
We could be saving battered women and children. Hearing a real cry for help from a depressed loved one. Finding out an employee isn’t really all he or she is cracked up to be after all. Learning that your spouse is an adulterer. Recognizing your child is using drugs. Unearthing who the real culprit is when you are in the midst of drama. Saving a trafficked human. Preventing a diploma getting into the hands of someone who hasn’t worked for it.
I know I’ve recognized the feeling before that arose out of vagueness. Have you felt that alarm bell too? Was it mostly good or bad? Do you wish you paid attention earlier? What could you have prevented?