Do you know anyone who is unable to make up his or her mind? You don't know exactly what it is they like or hate because it's possible that their preferences can change with the mood? Do you know someone who is two-faced? Who may be Ms. Popular or Mr. Nice Guy around a group of people but is just intimidating, critical, or a downright grouch at home or when you're one-on-one?
Have you developed trust issues as a result? Even if you haven't, there may at least be confusion when dealing with a fickle or two-faced person in your life. Some amount of dread is likely to hang over your head because you never know how this individual will react to anything. You don't know which face will be on.
Monday mornings for sure are difficult for everyone. What can add to that difficulty is having to work with a two-faced co-worker who has expressed dislike having to work with me. I can't wait until the check-out person comes in because then, she acts all outgoing and has her "I love everyone" attitude.
Even if she is nice to me, even when she gives me a high five and says we make a good team, I don't buy it. She was telling me that same thing shortly before trying to convince me to find another job and quit the deli because nobody wants me around and I was only hired as a charity case.
At first, I thought I deserved the harsh words for my lack of patience and irritability with her as well as my awkwardness in dealing with customers but constructive criticism is not supposed to make you feel worthless and unwanted.
Maybe she didn't mean it? If she didn't mean it, wouldn't there have been an apology? I never got an apology and I was too scared to ask for one because I have no idea which face I'm going to get. Will it be Mrs. Popular who only said it because she was stressed out and really thinks we make a great team or Mrs. B****, who might have said "Apologize for what? You deserved it."
It makes communication hard when you don't know how this individual will react. People's emotions are normally unpredictable but leave it to someone two-faced to leave you in the dark about what they think.
My mom had a zealous phase when she suddenly got stricter. Our family was invited to a quinceñera party I thought would be fun but she RSVP'd no. She heard the music in the background while talking on the phone with the girl's mom (the host) and she decided it was going to be too wild.
"I'm just doing what my conscience is telling me to do. I won't agree with the way the people there will behave or dress. The dance practice I saw...that is sinful dancing! That is why I stopped listening to Bachata and all that junk. It's vulgar!"
She stopped listening to her favorite Latin music and only listened to Classical for a while. (She would turn the volume on high if we were fighting to "drive out our demons." It was so annoying!) That turned out to be only a phase because now, Bachata is her jam again. It turned out that the quinceñera party did get a little wild though (or so I heard).
Once, there was a festival in town and before we set off that Friday night, my mom told my sisters, brother, and me, "Remember, it's Friday. Don't eat any meat or sweets at the festival!" (It's a religious thing.) But the Friday our dad forgot and made steak on Friday for dinner and I called it out, she told me off for being so rigid and said, "It's not Lent. Just eat it."
That wasn't the only time she brushed it off either. At the same time, she has reprimanded us for either cooking or eating meat on an ordinary Friday. We just never know when certain rules will apply and when they won't.
Consistency is a good thing to have in our lives. It saves us from confusion. Some of us only want to do the right thing but when those in authority fluctuate from rigid to letting things slide and their expectations are no longer clear, we end up like spies trying to avoid the alarm-triggering lasers.
A similar message goes out to the two-faced people. I don't know if you are on my side or not. I don't know if I'm a trusty teammate or someone the company and the world is better off without. I'll avoid you, thinking that you are my enemy just to offend a friend or I will approach you as a friend, and find that I'm just a pebble in your shoe.
Maybe I'm not simply "a brat." Maybe my defenses are up because I don't know what you will think or who you will act like today.