The Built-In Bullshit Detector
There is a negative and a positive to everything… and I mean, EVERYTHING. If you’re born rich, you have the advantage of wealth, but you also have a lot of pressures that poor people know nothing about. If you’re born beautiful, you have the advantage of being chased by scores of people who want to love you, but there is always the danger of being used as a trophy.
Being large has a lot of negatives, but it also has some positives that may surprise you. Most notably, we large people have built-in bullshit detectors. We’re so used to being disrespected, undermined, and criticized, that we have a highly-developed ability to spot that propensity in whomever we meet. We can spot superficiality a mile off. We can smell a fool at a hundred paces.
Have you ever met someone who gave you the creeps right off the bat? They might have smiled at you and said all the right things, but you had the undeniable sense that underneath their welcoming grin was a whole host of judgments and criticisms.
Or how about going out on a first date with someone? Did you ever just know the instant that you were in the presence of a guy or girl that something was off? Something inexplicable told you that it just wasn’t going to work, and it didn’t.
I remember going out on a date with a guy many years ago. This guy was actually my next-door neighbor. We were roughly around the same age, though he was a little older — very athletic and a nice-looking face. But although we eyed each other across the fence several times, he never really spoke to me.
His uncle visited several times, and he was very friendly and chatted with me quite often. One day, he asked me, “Why don’t you two go out together?” He must have spoken to his nephew because either that day or the next, this guy actually asked me if I wanted to go out with him. I had my reservations at his sudden interest, but I said okay. I have to admit one of the main reasons I wanted to go out with him was that I couldn’t wait to tell one of my girlfriends about it. We’d ogled him and shared speculations about him several times.
Anyway, we drove to some bar nearby for a drink. My reservations increased when our conversation during the ride wasn’t exactly stellar; he seemed kind of boring and didn’t have much to say. Didn’t ask much about me. He definitely didn’t seem interested. I started wondering why he’d asked me out in the first place.
The real tip-off came when we got to the bar. He walked in front of me, opened the door, and let it close in my face. I stood there for a second thinking, “What the hell?” I felt like saying “Fuck this” and leaving, but thought, “Oh well, I’m here” (plus I needed a ride home), so I went in and had a drink with him. Conversation was, once again, extremely boring and non-existent. We had nothing in common. He seemed preoccupied. I knew it was going nowhere and I couldn’t wait to leave.
After our date, I avoided him. Whenever I saw him next door in his backyard, I’d avoid going outside so I wouldn’t have to talk to him. Sure enough, one day he caught me and said, “Where have you been? How come you’ve been avoiding me?” I denied that I was, but of course we both knew it was bullshit. But I was wondering … he acts like he cares. Why? Shortly after that, he hit on my best friend right in front of me, and that’s when I totally cut him off. I kicked myself in the ass for agreeing to go out with him in the first place because that first instinct of mine had been right all along.
I also remember a job I had some years ago. I was working as a proofreader for a legal publisher. The morning I started there, my supervisor, a young woman, came out to get me in the lobby area where I was waiting. She smiled and shook my hand when she met me, like any other normal co-worker would, but right off the bat I sensed an ickiness about her, an instant dislike, and I knew we would never get along.
I was right.
I worked alongside her for about five years, and although we were generally civil to each other (because we had to be), we barely exchanged ten words of personal conversation. I avoided contact with her whenever possible because she totally creeped me out. I could never understand why she was so stuffy and snobby to me, until I found out from other co-workers that she was pretty much like that with every woman who worked under her.
She was a very jealous person, very uptight, but whenever a higher-up in the company crossed her path, she was as sweet as pie. She was so fake and phony. I couldn’t stand her. I knew my tenure there would end badly because of her, and I was right again. It was as if from that first moment she met me, she’d decided to get rid of me. It took her five years to do it, but she’d accomplished her goal.
That’s what I mean. I knew this woman was trouble as soon as I set eyes on her, and I was right. Likewise, in my school days, when I was growing up, I could always sense who was a genuinely good prospect for a friend, and who to avoid like the plague. I could never stand the really popular, cheerleader types because they were usually full of themselves and snobby as hell. I gravitated toward the more “regular” girls, girls who I knew were genuinely nice and fun-loving, rather than the social-climbing egomaniacs everyone fought to be friends with.
I was also able to spot the boys who were genuinely sweet and admiring underneath the artifice of bravado they demonstrated around their friends, and which guys were truly repulsive in character. I could easily spot the ones who went along with their friends in teasing someone, but genuinely felt bad about it. I knew who the secret fat lovers were, and it saddened me at times that they never blew their cover.
We large people have a highly-attuned instinct for reading character. We should use it to our advantage at all times, and never, ever disregard it. It is always right.