Reaction to deception


Reaction to deception

Sunday, October 11, 2020

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And thus I clothe my naked villainy

With odd old ends,

Stol'n out of holy writ;

And seem a saint,

When most I play the devil.

— Shakespeare

AND seem a saint, when most I play the devil. That applies to so many people who act as if they can't mash ants, yet dem bad nuh yaws. They say that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. At least the scientists say so as it applies to the laws of physics, which are specific. What is not said though, is that in affairs of the heart there is also a reaction to the action, but that reaction is not necessarily equal. It can be cataclysmic.

In science the laws are not flexible, as molecules, atoms, gravity, the speed of light are all absolute. Not so with humans though, who are as varied as the winds and blow soft and hard depending on how they feel. No one can predict how someone will react given different circumstances.

One of the worst deceptions a person can experience is that carried out by someone who they really care for. As Shakespeare said,“That can be the most unkindest cut of all.” This deception usually comes in the form of cheating, where one partner steps out on the other, decides to dance with a dilettante, have a dalliance with a dandy, go kissing and a hugging with Fred, who just won't keep his eyes on the road.

People react to deception in different ways, as we'll find out right after these responses to 'Opportunistic men'.

Hey Tony,

Have you ever done a scientific study to determine which of the genders is opportunistic and which is not? If yes, when did you commission the study? I have only seen the conclusion in your most recent article, and no reference to the study or the data that was collected. Please update me.

Courtney A

Hi Tony,

There is a medical situation called 'opportunistic infection'. It is an infection caused by bacteria, viruses and other pathogens that take advantage of an opportunity not normally available, such as a host with a weakened immune system. I see parallels here with women who take in an infection called an opportunistic man when the woman is in a weakened state. There are, however, other types of opportunities that any gender may recognise and therafter take a leap to improve their position in life or business. When opportunity knocks, be ready to answer.


A few days ago there was a news story here and also a social media video circulating about a man who hanged himself from a tree because he allegedly caught his woman having sex with another man. As his lifeless body swung from the branch, rotating slowly in the gentle breeze, the comments could be heard in the background of the video from onlookers in the yard:

“Lord, him couldn't take it. Poor thing.”

“What a man stupid; look how much women out deh.”

Some comments were sympathetic, others were brutal. The fact is, different people react to deception in different ways, and that guy's reaction was to take his own life. He may be deemed stupid, he may be called weak, for in a few years he'll be forgotten and the woman in question will be living her life, doing much more of what he caught her doing.

I also saw a news report from foreign where this man found text messages on his wife's phone from her lover who also happened to be her co-worker. Ah bwoy, cellphones and co-workers, a deadly combination that always seems to feature in these situations.

Anyway, his first reaction was to beat his wife to a pulp, mashing up her face. Then, pretending to be the wife, he texted the lover from her phone, luring him to a rendezvous somewhere in the woods outside of town. Well, when the lover showed up, the husband shot him and then at gunpoint ordered his wife to cut off the man's head to avoid identification.

Gruesome, grotesque, ghastly, grisly, ghoulish, huh? But that's how some people react to deception — with unspeakable violence. The usual cliché reaction is the old murder/suicide scenario, but there have also been cases of bizarre reactions to deception. To wit, there was this man in the USA who, after finding out that his fiancée was carrying on with his best friend, still went ahead with the wedding ceremony.

Everything went as planned but with a wry twist, for he had the last laugh. At the reception, he asked that all the guests look under their chairs and take out what was there. Beneath each chair was an envelope and inside, instead of wedding souvenirs or memorabilia, were photographs of the bride and her lover stark naked, in a more than compromising position. As the old saying goes, 'A picture is worth a thousand words.'

Well, those pictures spoke volumes with graphic, profane, prurient, pornographic detail that no purple prose could compare with. The guy's reaction to the deception was creative, diabolical and brilliant. And he didn't kill himself or anybody.

There have been cases where men have actually walked in on their wives unexpectedly, caught her and another man 'flagrante delecto' as the Latin phrase says, caught red-handed, with his hand in the cookie jar, but calmly turned around, closed the door and walked out, never to return. Now, that's a classy reaction. He would have shown even more class if he had said, “Oh, pardon me. So sorry to interrupt; do carry on.” But I guess that would have been pushing the boundaries of civility and credulity a bit too far.

But I daresay only a few men could be that cool and collected to react that way, for romantic, or more specifically, sexual deception, is one area that triggers violent reactions of magnanimous proportions in people. It has been known to drive people crazy, making them do things that they normally would not do, leading to irrational actions. As they say, “Mek Christian cuss”.

That's why the French have a category of crime called 'crime of passion'. They know that due to the devastating emotional circumstances the person simply lost his or her cool and went insane, snapped, experienced temporary insanity, head lick, because of the emotional distress.

“Poor man. Him head tek him when him catch him wife in bed with Joe.”

Maybe another reason why some people react so violently is shame. Yes, shame. That's one feeling that is perhaps underrated, underreported, underestimated, but is nevertheless powerful.

Shame can be so overwhelming that a person would rather die, take their own life, than live with the shame of being talked about, laughed at, ridiculed behind his back and worse to his face, because his woman and another man were carrying on sexual relations. Another reaction is rage, and we know what violence that brings.

Ironically, there are some people who seem to have no reaction to deception at all, and act as if it's business as usual. “It's not a shame to be deceived, but it is to stay in the deception,” said a wise person.

Interestingly, there are women who seem to have no reaction to deception, as they remain in the relationship even after knowing that the man has deceived them. For this, she is often commended, “What a good woman, she stay with the man even after him have other woman with her.”

No such praise for the man though, who may have no apparent reaction to his woman's deception and acts as if it's no big thing. “What a damn fool he is, imagine him ketch him wife in bed with Joe and still take her back.”

Some women's reactions are silent and deadly as, after learning of the man's deception, she will appear to have no reaction, but secretly she'll be having sex with all of the man's friends behind his back. That's revenge reaction.

One very strange reaction is awe, as in the case of the man who peeked through his bedroom window and saw his wife and lover going at it like two Olympic wrestlers, or circus contortionists. His response was, “Man, when I saw how the man had her I had to marvel; I could never match him at all.”

People react differently to different scenarios and some will have a knee-jerk reaction and resort to violence, harming those involved. Others will commit suicide. Some will appear to have no reaction at all.

Different strokes cause different reactions in folks, I guess.

More time.

Footnote: Sometimes it pays to listen to the 'little man' who knows the terrain, the environment and the lay of the land. Many years ago there was this TV news story showing a resident in St Thomas warning that a new bridge was not properly built or placed and would not survive the elements. That man was soundly berated by the then prime minister who told him to give the bridge a chance. Shortly after, the first shower of rain washed the bridge away. Fast-forward to the Junction road in St Mary, where roadwork has been going on forever. I was privy to traverse that corridor frequently early this year and every trek that I made, I had concerns. The people in the area expressed the same trepidation. Well, the worst fears were realised, for when the recent heavy showers combined with the river below the road, it all came crashing down. Listen to the little man.

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