When the Truth is a Lie

When the Truth is a LieWhat do you make of the following fun facts?[i]

  1. You could live the rest of your life without eating or drinking anything.
  2. Most people have more than the average number of legs.
  3. I’ve won as many Oscars as Glenn Close.

They feel a bit fishy, don’t they? And yet, every one of those statements is 100% true.

Technically.

You could live the rest of your life without eating or drinking. You just wouldn’t live long. And most people have two legs, but some people have fewer. So the average is lower than two. Finally, Glenn Close has been nominated for an Academy Award numerous times. But she hasn’t won any.

Welcome to the subtle art of being deceptive and truthful at the same time. It’s called “paltering,” and it’s alarmingly common.

Paltering is easier to stomach than lying. You can mislead with a clean conscience, or so the thinking goes. Plus, we tell ourselves others won’t be offended by paltering. I mean, you are speaking the literal truth, right?

Well, I have some bad news about that. A recent study found that people react just as negatively to paltering as they do to lying.[ii]

In other words, deception, even if it’s technically the truth, hurts trust. If you want a healthy, fulfilling relationship, honesty isn’t just the best policy. It’s the only policy.

But what do you do when being honest means telling him something he may not want to hear? Or something you simply don’t want to share?

The following strategy will help you be as honest as a cherry-tree-chopping George Washington while minimizing any negative impact on your relationship.

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Their Secret Obsession: 5 Famous Men Who Were Romantically Obsessed with a Woman

Obsessing is a natural part of being human.

It’s literally built into your genetic code. You see, we all have a “loop” in our brain that regulates obsession.

Here’s how it works. An obsessions is like a drug. Thinking about an obsession releases dopamine. And that gives you pleasure. Which makes you want to keep thinking about it.

Imagine a volleyball going back and forth over the net. Or a tennis ball. It’s like that. Pleasure, fascination. Pleasure, fascination. It’s the obsession loop.

Now, there are all kinds of obsessions. And everyone gets obsessed from time to time. And that’s a good thing. Because obsessions are responsible for many of mankind’s technological breakthroughs, masterpieces of art, and brilliant musical scores.

Take any historic figure who accomplished something remarkable. You can pretty much guarantee their secret obsession played a part in their success. Because obsessions allow us to work long and hard without feeling drained by the effort.

That’s what it takes to move things forward. Focus. Drive. Obsession. Continue reading

The Value in Harboring a Secret Obsession

a secret obsession - speed trapYou’re driving a bit over the speed limit. Nothing out of the ordinary. Nothing you’d ever think about.

But this time a cop pulls you over. He gives you a speeding ticket.

It’s surprising. Frustrating. Scary. And for the whole next week, you can’t stop thinking about it.

You wonder what you could have done differently. Said differently. If you can fight the ticket. What it’s going to do to your insurance. And your driving actually gets worse. Because you keep watching for cops in your rearview mirror.

You can’t stop obsessing. But why? Continue reading