get to the truth

can't lie

Everyone lies. Everyone. Almost every form of life on Earth has a means of camouflaging itself, most often for self-preservation. The chameleon. The worm. The house cat. The grasshopper. Even plants lie, for goodness sake.

We cannot escape lying, nor would we ever want to, really. Society would cease to function. Marriages would fall apart. Fights would break out in grocery store checkout lines. Santa Claus would fall from the sky. You get the picture. There are good reasons to lie to people.

Given that we tend to love Santa and peaceful shopping excursions, we will never aim to bust all lies. What we need instead is a way to quickly sort the healthy lies from the toxic ones. Learning to spot the clear-cut differences takes a period of focused training . . .

. . . Practiced liars are uniquely able to distort reality and make us feel like the floor is shifting underneath us, that something odd is afoot, but we just can’t put our finger on it. This particular manipulation is called “gaslighting.”

Gaslighting is a kind of psychological abuse used to keep you feeling off-kilter and at a manipulator’s mercy. The term originated from the 1944 movie Gaslight, in which an abusive husband steadily messes with his wife’s mind, trying to convince her that she’s gone crazy–partly by flickering the gaslights while pretending to be a ghost–in order to find some hidden jewels. Eventually she triumphs! But not before being almost convinced of her own insanity.

Read the book; you will be surprised and informed.

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