Updated: Nov 7, 2020

The Monsters we fear: The rapists. The child molestors. The addicts and alcoholics. The greedy. The violent abusers. The power hungry. The narcissists. The traffickers. The murderers. We all have perceptions in our heads, shaping our view of these “monsters”. And yet, they are actually very difficult to spot. Why? Because they are all around us. They are the person who smiled as they passed you on the street. They are the friendly person who picked up the $20 bill you dropped and ran to give it back to you. They are the attorney, who helped you win your case against your nasty ex. They are the pastor, who helped you through your father’s passing. They are the repair man, who volunteered his time to fix your emergency leak. Our black and white thinking about “bad” people has not served us well. It keeps our heads in the sand, when someone tells us they have been taken advantage of by our friend because they aren’t the “monster” we imagined. It keeps us blind when a loved one shares abuse at home because that doesn’t match the image of the person we had in our minds. “They’re just being overly dramatic.” “Every relationship has its problems.” “He is such a nice person though.” “It just doesn’t add up.” “There’s no way he could be in the position of power he’s in, if that were true.” “Look at the person who’s saying that. They’re probably lying.” All of this shadow behavior is allowed to continue when we rely on our rosy perceptions of people, instead of acknowledging the candid and complex