You hear what they say about Bob when he is not around, and then the contrary way in which they talk to Bob about Bob. This clearly gives Bob a skewered perception of how they perceive him, but Bob doesn’t have to take it, though he does. He gobbles it up. Bob takes the skewered perception they give him because he trusts. He trusts that they are being honest with him. He trusts that others trust him enough not to do the same thing to him he has surely seen them do to others so many times.
Bob is naive because he trusts. Because he takes it on faith that things are what they seem.
To be suspicious, to smell conspiracy, would be a step towards the truth for Bob. Though perhaps the lies would make him more comfortable, is it comfort he really wants and needs?
If others were to be honest with Bob — perhaps not now, but certainly if they had been so initially — they may find the reason behind whatever they don’t like about him and that understanding might just snuff out the annoyance. Or they might find that he stops it, finding he only did it because they always seemed to reinforce it.
And then fear strikes you. You realize that for all you know, you could be in Bob’s position at this very moment.