A wolf in sheep’s clothing is hard to spot

Anesha Wheaton, Courier Staff

Wolves are obviously the bad guy in children’s stories. Stay away from the big bad wolf that will eat you, the grandmother says, and the stupid kids go out exploring the danger because they have no sense of what will harm them. We give kids a pass because they do not know any better, and we can excuse their behavior. When they get older, we expect them to recognize the dangers surrounding them and to not get into the creepy man’s car that is promising them candy. Hopefully, they kick the man in the groin and call out for help if the creep gets too close to them.

When people grow up and reach adulthood, we see them as stupid if they do not recognize the danger in front of them, but some dangers are hard to see. They aren’t so black and white as they once were in childhood. The bad guy isn’t twirling his moustache and the bad lady isn’t the evil stepmother. They are people you see in everyday life that are dangerous, but they look just like you and me.

A wolf is someone who is deceiving, just as you were told from your bedtime stories. But as you get older and more experienced, so does the wolf. They learn to hide and blend in with society, pretending to be a sheep when they are anything but.

They can come from any area in life. Some of your family members or friends fall into this category and it is hard to see because you have been around them so often. If you need to justify someone’s behavior with, “That’s just so and so,” there should usually be a cause for concern. You might be dealing with a wolf and may not even realize it.

The areas where people have the hardest time seeing wolves is in romantic relationships. You might be wishing for a boyfriend or girlfriend, and you find someone who fits your criteria. They might be kind and gentle and attractive and have all the same interests as you. They sweep you off your feet unexpectedly. You go on several dates in the course of two weeks. They might text you every morning and night, seeing how you are and keeping in contact throughout the day. You might be extremely flattered, but feel as if things are progressing too fast. They quickly want to declare you two as dating and say they love you within the first three weeks of knowing each other.

That isn’t love. When things start off as 100 straight off the bat, expect it to go to 0 real soon. Young people who aren’t experienced in love or in lots of other areas of life get taken advantage of by wolves frequently, not knowing what happens when it ends. The whole relationship was a whirlwind from start to finish and people get hurt in the process.