You start by trying to find out what's in it for them. No one does anything without the expectation of return, in some form or another. Then you look at who gets hurt, if anyone. A truly good motive seeks to harm no one. Lastly, ask them, flat out "why are you doing this?" Then make your determination from their response.
Good question. If you know the person than you probably know the motive. If you don’t know the person, than you have to go with your gut instinct. Trust your instinct.
Hey Kari, I was able to answer this question for myself after I read these books: "Never Be Lied To Again" by David J. Lieberman, "Reading People" by Jo-Ellen Dimitrius and "The Definitive Book of Body Language" by Allan and Barbara Pease.
Getting to the answer required me to interact with the person by interpreting facial expressions, body movements and vocal inflections followed by discussion and questions that successfully unlocked the motive to my satisfaction.
I was then able to make a comfortable decision on the future of our relationship. But first I had to research and practice some of the techniques. This was not a quickie solution.
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