When someone shows their TRUE colors...

When someone shows you their true colors, never try to paint a different picture.

Many of us like giving others the benefit of the doubt. We see the glass as half full. We're optimists by nature rather than cynics. We like to see the best in people even in the face of evidence to the contrary.

Unfortunately, having such a romantic view of human nature doesn't always pay off.

Looking at someone through rose-colored glasses even when they've shown themselves to be unreliable, dishonest, manipulative, or opportunistic, can come back to bite us in a bad way.

We've all been in situations where people -- friends, relatives, significant others -- have wronged us. We accept what we construe as their heartfelt apology and forgive them, steadfast in our belief that they won't do it again.

Then, they do it again. And again. And again.

I can't help but repeat that trite expression you've likely heard a million times by now:

"Fool me once -- shame on you. Fool me twice -- shame on me."

If people see that they can get away with something repeatedly (e.g., run a red light, make an illegal turn, steal tips from a box at a restaurant) without any consequences, they're going to continue doing it.

As long as they know that you'll continue to forgive them no matter what they do, they'll persist in milking the relationship for all it's worth. They try to exploit the individual's kind nature as much as they possibly can.

Whether you're on the receiving end of such behavior -- or observe others being taken advantage of -- keep this in mind: If they strike once, they're likely to do it again.

Don't ever let your guard down completely when you're around such people. More importantly, don't paint an idealized version of them in your head.

While it's true anyone can change for the better, one act of deceit should be sufficient to convince you that the person won't always have your best interests at heart.

Don't dispense your trust so easily, as some people are quick to trample on it. Those who betray your trust don't deserve to regain it unless they can demonstrate -- convincingly -- that they're intent on changing their ways.

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