July 8, 2009 at 3:00 pm | Posted in Mind, People, Society, Threats | 12 Comments
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It only takes one …

Your literal approach to truth could hurt you two ways.

By treating each new person as a ‘clean slate’ and according them full trust, you leave yourself open to abuse.

When you realise a person has lied to you (alas, everyone does, sooner or later) you’ll be shocked, hurt, angry or all three.

Once someone has proved themself deceitful, you’ll have no way of telling whether everything else they said/say/will say is also a lie.

You may be sorely tempted to ‘burn‘ them. Though this is an option, it must be used sparingly, lest you end up alone.

However attractive a world of truth may seem, it simply doesn’t exist.

This is a hard, sad thing to accept. But the sooner you get your head around it, the better.


Brought to you by The Feisty Empire.


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  1. In a human context, it’s easy to become disillusioned by the deceitful nature of our fellow man; in particular our religious and political leaders.

    By no means am I claiming to be as pure as the driven snow, indeed I’ve told my share of porky pies. That said, in public life truth is am imperative we must not only expect, but demand.

    We live in an age of deception where we’ve accepted lies as a way of life, particularly public life. We excuse leaders of our religious or partisan persuasion, and freely slander those we don’t agree with.

    You can’t tell me we are comfortable with this state of the nation. Indeed, we have to rouse ourselves, and make an effort to fight for truth.

    I don’t wish to sound like a rousing evangelist, but we need to cut through the miasma of rumor, conspiracy theories, and slander at every level of society.

    That takes leadership and a willingness to step outside our own agendas and prejudices.


    • Wow, Catherine! You sure are a value-add contributor! I love how you take this to a broader context. It’s so nice to realise there are folk like you out there in the world. I suppose you only tell … ‘White’ lies. 🙂 So few people use the word ‘miasma’. You really are the full package: genuine content with fab wrapping. I’m deeply grateful you presented your views here today. Best regards, P. 🙂

      • That’s too funny Paul.

        I just re-read my comment. Groan… I do sound like a nut on the Glen Beck Show.

        I guess the 2012 US election took political spin to an all time low. I’m so fed up with it; like the hand bag hitting old lady in Laugh In, I’m slapping facts and figures on all mocking posts (from both sides of the divide) spreading their own brand of bias and prejudice. It’s a wonder I have any friends left. LOL….

      • Well, Catherine, you’re a jolly good friend to this blog and I’ll always welcome your thoughts – be they left or right. 🙂 And from what I see online, you’re held in VERY high esteem by your friends. So please keep those comments coming! 🙂

  2. THe best response to lying in a repeated prisoner dilemma’s is “tit for tat” Immediate reciprocal retaliation. How is that for an obscure comment :). Its part of game theory. I do use it. Works for me for the big lies.

  3. Personally I find lying too complex. I just can’t do it well. Certainly not over time. It requires probably too much “central coherence.” I define a lie here as saying the opposite of what you already know is not true . At the same time i’m quite comfortable holding multiple contradictory truths in my head. I’m used to not knowing all the facts, e.g. on climate change. Which is the best way I have learned to tell white lies and stories: by limiting my fact base. I don’t want to know every white lie i have been told. It could upset me. I don’t need to research every potential weakness of causes I support, e.g.on fund raising efforts by researchers. Limiting my own access to information is of course a form of lying. But its sufficiently indirect to work.

  4. Many thanks for your comments, Peter. I get the strong impression you’re rather more advanced than I am on this topic. But that’s great, as I’m sure there are other readers who’ll understand and appreciate precisely what you’re saying. Best regards, P. 🙂

  5. Last week I had a great email chat with Penelope Trunk about lying. She has kindly consented to my reproducing it here:

    Penelope: Do you think it’s a tendency of people with aspergers to think people lie? i think it is. wait. no. here’s my theory: either lie all the time or never lie. aspergers people approach the world one way or the other. so i think you think people lie. i trust everyone. to a fault.

    Paul: Actually, I don’t think our theories are so far apart. I’ve thought a LOT about lying during my life. Here’s my brief theory. (BTW, I’m not trying to make you read all my shit. This just happens to address your question.) In short, I too trust everyone until they lie. Then it’s all over, red rover. I guess you could say I also trust everyone to a fault. But only the one fault. Theirs!

    Penelope: oh. that’s interesting. i think i’m that way too. very well put.

    Paul: Cool! I believe you. 🙂

  6. Wow. This is me to a tee! I struggle SO MUCH with people lying, even little white lies, or even just accidentally changing minor details in a story is enough for me to distrust. I hate it. Definitely something I need to get my head around, it’s hard when it’s been ingrained from when I was a child. 😞

    • Welcome to the blog! And thank you for commenting. Yes, it’s a bittersweet recognition. Sometimes, what we do find out can hurt us. It’s a bugger having to adapt. But there’s more of ‘them’ than ‘us’ – so we kind of have to if we’re going to get anywhere in life. I really value your readership and hope these posts bring information, if not comfort. Kind regards, P.

      • Thank you, glad I stumbled across it! “Adaption” is a good summary for Aspie life in general I think, more so for those diagnosed as adults, as a coping mechanism to control our world. Currently trying to relearn life on my own terms with this knowledge 😊. Informative and comforting – yes and yes, thank you!

        • Good on you; that’s the shot! The monsters past my letterbox just get bigger if I stay home. All power to you in your quest. It’s a mighty one – which is the best kind if you must have one. 🙂

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