Sunday was April Fool's Day, my least favorite day of the year.
Why? Because I am a very gullible person.
Although I prefer to say I'm trusting.
It's frustrating to me that, if someone is trying to pull a prank on you or joke around with you, you "win" if you don't fall for it. This means you decide to doubt what they're saying to you, even if it's someone you normally trust, or you suspiciously pay close attention to everywhere you're walking and sitting and everything you're eating.
But I don't want to be that way. I prefer to put faith in other people as a general rule and to trust that they're not going to purposely lie to my face.
I mean, I get that it's a good idea to have a healthy skepticism if people say things that are totally nonsensical. I am a big proponent of fact-checking and all that. But I'm talking about people saying things to me that sound somewhat plausible, and then it's turns out they're just "pulling my leg."
The worst is when I'm in a new situation, like at a new place with people I don't know very well, like maybe at a coworker's party or visiting a friend's extended family or trying some experience for the very first time.
If someone says something that seems odd, I have to quickly decide if it's worse to make a Type I or Type II error. (Forgive the statistics talk -- it will make sense in a second.)
For example, here's the kind of conversation that happens all the time in movies:
Character 1: "So next we're going to [do this strange thing]."That's being overly skeptical.
Character 2: "Hahahahaha that's funny... wait, you're serious."
Whereas I'm more likely to find myself in one of these situations:
Person I Just Met: "So next we're going to [do this strange thing]."That's me. The gullible one.
Me: "Oh... OK."
Person I Just Met: "Hahahahaha I'm just kidding! Hahahahaha!"
When did being trusting or agreeable become something to mock?
The other problem is that when I do make the first kind of error -- let's say I'm talking with someone who I know jokes around a lot and they suggest something that sounds like a joke -- I don't usually respond by laughing. If I think they're pulling my leg, I usually make a sarcastic comment like, "Oh yeah, that would go over really well." And then I look like an idiot when I have to backpedal because I realize they weren't joking.
So I prefer to just trust people and get laughed at when I take them seriously. Maybe this makes me a gullible loser, but I like that version of myself better than the distrustful, sarcastic skeptic.
Where do you fall on the gullible-skeptical spectrum?