Detecting a Relationship Fake


Here’s an article from Best Dating Sites that I was asked to consider mentioning. This one is a great classroom discussion generator and concerns the signs of a “fake gentleman”. Here are the signs—see the original article for more on these signs:

  • He always knows exactly what to say
  • He’s never ruffled or agitated
  • He always has an excuse
  • He’s evasive about his past
  • You’ve caught him in a few lies
  • He’s surgically attached to his cellphone
  • He steers the subject away from commitment
  • You’ve never met his friends
  • He’s a little bit too smooth
  • He assumes that you’ll be available on very short notice

Some of these are no doubt accurate as the guests on Maury and the Jerry Springer Show regularly demonstrate.  One problem with lists like this, as I see it, is that it’s often male bashing. I don’t notice a comparable post on the “fake woman”. And, again, if Maury’s and Jerry’s guests are any indication there are fakes in both genders.

Another problem with this is that is encourages a suspicious attitude and approach in relationships which, I suspect, is not always healthy. I’m sure there are many examples where people regret not having been suspicious enough but there are likely to be people whose suspicions ruined a potentially great relationship.  This type of thing also advises the person to assume a deception bias—an assumption that the other person is lying. Assuming a deception bias may be useful to the police officer interrogating a probable suspect but it may not be so useful or productive in interpersonal relationships, especially in the beginning stages of those relationships. It seems we’re programmed to assume a truth bias—we assume that the person we’re talking with is telling the truth; it’s one of the assumptions that make conversation possible and satisfying.

I suspect this type of post will generate lots of ideas, different points of view, and great classroom discussion of gender differences in relationships, the changing landscape of interpersonal relationships, and a variety of other topics we focus on in interpersonal communication.


Changing Behavior

I was asked to participate in a “blog tour” of the book, Changing Behavior: Immediately Transform Your Relationships with Easy to Learn, Proven Communication Skills, by Georgianna Donadio and published by SoulWork Press of Boston. I was asked to do whatever I wished—which is always nice. So, I thought I would simply mention the book and its connection with communication.

The book ranges widely in its coverage of various suggestions “to enhance and enrich your own personal relationships”—the book’s overarching aim. Not surprisingly, there’s a great deal that focuses on communication skills (as its subtitle notes). And, again not surprisingly, the skills are similar to those we teach in interpersonal communication—listening, emotional expression, mindfulness, equality, self-awareness and self-assessment (with lots of personal reflection questions), and relationship improvement (as its subtitle also notes).

This book is a not a textbook (it’s 8 ½ x 11, 142 pages, and larger type than we find in our texts) but a kind of self-help manual and will appeal to those who enjoy lots of anecdotes, an informal (not textbookish) style of presenting research, and a focus on transforming oneself and one’s relationships.

It’s interesting to note that the reviews on Amazon are extremely positive. On May 31, 2012 there were 68 reviews with an average review rating of 5 stars (the highest rating) and a rank of 10,846, indicating considerable popularity. Today (June 6, 2012), the Amazon rank was 66,523 (not sure why there’s such a large difference); there were 73 reviews with an average rating of 5 stars.


Confidence Building

Here's a neat little list of suggesstions for building confidence in children. As you'll see there is much here on communication, probably the single most important ingredient in any confidence building program.


Here's a brief list of suggestions for the child who gets teased by other children for having gay parents, probably because they have homophobic parents or teachers. The suggestions are, however, useful for any type of teasing. Interestingly enough, we don't talk about teasing in our communication texts and yet it's an extremely important and often hurtful form of communication.