Truth & Honesty- Episode 59

“Truth is not what you want it to be; it is what it is.
And you must bend to its power or live a lie.” ― Miyamoto Musashi

A pseudo-follow-up to last week's episode (episode 58) on conspiracy theories, today I want to explore deeper the concepts of truth and honesty as they pertain to being a Next Level Human. I believe it to be important to question things in the world from a sense of fairness, justice, and certainty. More specifically, how do we know these things to be true or false? And how do we distinguish truth while also being honest with ourselves?

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Jade:    [01:17] What’s up, everybody? Welcome to this week’s show. This week we’re going to be talking about a follow up from last episode. So, last episode was episode 58 and we were talking about conspiracy theories, and man, did that one sort of blow up. I guess it was the perfect episode for the time. People kind of blew up over it on social media. Lots of hate, and actually, I don’t even like to think of it as hate, I like to think of it as just good debate. So, for me, I love the idea of just getting people thinking, but it definitely triggered a lot of people’s emotions. For me, that’s not really the point, to get people angry, but I do think it’s very important that as next level humans or people who are seeking truth that we do sort of point out some of the things that are going on, and question our own beliefs first, and then, obviously, question what other people are doing with information. We humans, we crave certainty above all else. We’ve talked about these key needs of the human brain – we like status, we like certainty, we like autonomy, we like relatedness, we want fairness and justice, we want novelty – but certainty is a big one. Whenever we have something new, something unexplained, something with knowledge gaps, we humans, all of us – me, you, everybody – tend to want to fill in those gaps and take what’s uncertain and make it more certain. Now, that becomes a problem because we often times, when we do that – and I won’t even say often times – almost always when we do that, we turn what could be something that might be true into something that is obviously not and most likely distorted.


            [03:06] Which brings me to the topic that we’re going to talk about today to follow up on this, is how do we know it’s true? If you haven’t listened to episode 58 on conspiracy theories and the psychology of conspiracy theories, please do that, and keep in mind that that is a deep dive in the psychology. That was not my opinion, that was me pulling out the psychology research. But, of course, it begs the question, well then, how do we know it’s true or not true? How do we know that something’s true or not? It brings us to another sort of side question there about honesty, so I’m going to talk about both. How do we know what’s true, and how to distinguish truth, and how to understand and be honest ourselves. Let’s talk about this first. The first thing we need to understand is what are our key value systems? When we’re talking about the idea of being a next level human, one of the things that we talk about is this idea that we call it next level and not higher level because we understand that each of us has our own signature strengths, and life experience, and wisdom to bring to the world. It’s a very horizontal hierarchical arrangement and let me explain what I mean by that real quick if you’ve never heard this term. Most people, when they think of different personality types, or success in general, they tend to think about it as a vertical hierarchy. They tend to think, well, let’s say Jade has money and I don’t, so he’s higher than me; or I have money and Jade doesn’t, so he’s higher than me; Jade has more friends or more followers or whatever, so he’s higher up on the ladder than me; or I have more friends and followers, so I’m higher up on the ladder then him. So, especially when we look at success in life, there’s these certain things that people measure themselves against and believe they’re better than – more money, better house, fancier cars, etc. – and of course, in the social media world now we have this idea of whoever’s got the most likes and followers. It’s like one big high school and it’s a very vertical hierarchy type of situation, thinking of one person higher on the ladder and another person lower down on the ladder. That’s a very base level or culture level way of thinking about humans. As a next level human, the next level human mindset is really that we are in a horizontal relationship with other people, not a vertical relationship. And what that means is that I might be good at one thing and suck at something else. So, to use the sports analogy that I like to use, I may be a great football player, I know that game, I can play it, I’m really good at it, I’m an expert and a master at American football. However, if you put me on the soccer field, or the volleyball court, I’m going to be horrible at those things. I’m not going to be able to perform. I’m going to need someone else to teach me how to be in that particular setting.


            [06:06] There’s going to be other people who dominate in that arena. When you look at it from that way, we are really horizontal hierarchical beings, not vertically hierarchical beings. In other words, you might be great at something that you can teach me, I might be great at something that I can teach you, and of course, someone else, a third person might bring to the table something neither one of us are good at. And this goes down to even the lowest arena or the highest arena in society. Let’s take someone, a homeless person living off the street; if you somehow became homeless, they are going to dominate you in that horizontal hierarchy. You’ll need them to teach you how to go find food, to manage what you’re going to do to sleep a night in the streets, or whatever. Likewise, you have someone even further up the chain, all the way up, let’s say a Bill Gates or someone like that – they are going to need help in certain arenas. Maybe he’s going to come to me for workout advice, or nutrition advice. So, we have to look at people this way. We are not better than, we are different than. The thing about next level humans is they don’t see people with different beliefs from them as threatening, they see people with different beliefs from them as inspiring, as interesting. They want to learn from your different beliefs. It’s not to say my beliefs are better than your beliefs. It’s actually to say let’s learn from each other. Now, when it comes to conspiracy theories, there is this sort of continuum and area gray, isn’t there? Where some of them are feasible and perhaps true, some of them are ridiculous and impossible, and we should be able to hopefully distinguish between which of them makes some sense and might be true, and which of them don’t. And we also need to, as humans, understand that just because politicians lie on occasion, and people in corporations cheat on occasion, doesn’t mean that all politicians are involved in conspiracy theories, doesn’t mean that all corporations are bad; and we humans like to paint these broad brush strokes, right? The question then about this is, how do we know what’s true then? Think about it this way, whenever you think something, think about when you make something up or you insinuate, because often times when you talk to someone about conspiracy theories they’ll be like, I’m just questioning, we need to question, you shouldn’t be a sheep, let’s all question – and my whole thing is questioning and insinuating are two different things. When you question in a way that insinuates someone is being nefarious in some way, that’s very different than just questioning and be like, well, how do we know that? Shouldn’t we check that? Shouldn’t someone fact check this? Where did this come from?


[09:00] So, our biases, we can take one little piece of questioning and not get a satisfactory answer, and our bias can turn that into a whole thing that is not necessarily true that we think is. Now, bias is a key thing here with truth. The way I like to describe bias is it’s kind of like driving to a traffic circle, and you’re so biased and you’re so convinced that there’s going to be a left turn at some point that you never look right. So, what happens is you just keep circling this traffic circle again and again, refusing to look right, always looking left; of course, the left turn never comes, and you forget to see and ignore completely the right turn, so you get spun in your own ideas, and you just go ‘round and ‘round and ‘round in a circle of your own bias. Bias is destructive that way. Not only that, when we talk about morality and ethics, we need to kind of look at this and essentially say, isn’t it unethical – and this is a question, by the way; I’m not saying it is, I’m asking the question – do you think it is unethical and immoral to make things up, especially if making those things up scares people or makes other people believe something that is wrong. Do you think that taking some little piece of truth and spinning it to fit your biases or your dogma, do you think that is moral and ethical? We all have different questions here, but think about the idea that conspiracy theories, especially if you are someone who is talking about things that you do not know are 1000% true, we have to question is that moral and ethical. Think about it this way, if we have someone in our justice system who gets arrested for murder and all we have is conjecture and hearsay and circumstantial evidence, we can’t in good faith convict that person. We don’t have the evidence. We can think what we want, we may or may not like the way the person dressed, the way they look, but our ethics, our moral say truth must win, the burden of proof has to be that we have evidence that conclusively demonstrates that this person indeed committed the crime before we can throw them in jail. Our whole entire society is built off of that. So, shouldn’t we – and this is again a question – shouldn’t we hold ourselves to the same account whenever we have ideas that may or may not be true? And let’s face it, most of the ideas we humans have are not going to be entirely true. So, now we get into the idea of ok Jade, I get kind of what you’re saying; we don’t want to make things up, we also have to be very careful about taking what we do know and adding our bias and dogma on to it to such a extent that we distort it.


[12:04] Sometimes we just know a small piece and that’s all we can know, and we need to be comfortable with that. So, how do we adjust this, or rather, address this conundrum? Well, I put together another acronym - you know I kind of like to teach in acronyms - to guide myself in these two arenas. And the two arenas I’m going to be talking about is 1.) how do I know something is true or not; and also, how do I remain true and honest myself? Many of you who know my story know that I had, in my past, some very dishonest behavior. I had an affair, I was living sort of a dual life, I went through some really tough times in finding myself in that regard. Me and my ex-wife are still super close friends. Part of the reason we are though is because we both in that time developed a ironclad, sort of extreme relationship with honesty. So, I really kind of made a complete right turn into a very honest life, and it’s become one of my core values now; so I want to talk a little bit about how I’ve done that. So, I’m going to talk about both. First, I’m going to talk about how do we take information that is incomplete or unknown and figure out whether it’s true or not. The first acronym I’m going to teach you is the acronym TRUTHSS, and it’s TRUTHSS with two S’s. T-R-U-T-H-S-S. The first T stands for tested, the R is for reproducible, the U is for universal, the T is for does is trigger my emotions, the H is am I remaining humble, the first S is am I smart enough to understand this topic, and that last S is what are the stories that I have been telling myself my whole life that are keeping me stuck into recognizing the truth. Let’s go through this each in detail. Actually, the first 3 aspects of this acronym are really about how we test something. The T-R-U, tested, reproducible, universal, essentially what this means is if I know or have some information, think that I know some information, what I need to do or should do, if I really am concerned with the truth and not just about being right, if I really want to be next level – and next level humans value truth over being right – they would rather be wrong and suffer the status hit, and they’d rather be wrong and become uncertain than miss the truth. Truth is their core value. They want to grow, they want the truth, they are seekers, they don’t mind being wrong, losing some status, they don’t mind being in uncertainty if it’s in pursuit of the truth. So, the first thing we want to do in this acronym is we want to see, is this thing that I believe or am thinking, is it been tested.


[15:05] Is there a way to test it? Has someone actually looked at it, has someone questioned it from all angles? In the scientific world this is very easy. It’s like, well, testing means questioning, questioning again and again and again, and testing also means that the burden of proof is on your hypothesis. If you think, let’s say that this virus, coronavirus right now is going around, the SARS-COVID-2 virus was made in some lab in China, you need to test that. The burden is on you. Is it even testable? How can you test that? How can you confirm or deny that? Where’s your proof? So, you question and essentially say, well, where did it come from? They say it came from bats. How do they know that? You go down into that story. You start learning oh, well actually, there’s virus hunters that go around and they look for viruses in certain animals, and these viruses are sometimes know to jump to humans, and there’s some people that actually have this job of going around and anesthetizing bats, and anesthetizing rats, drawing their blood, looking for viruses so that we can essentially chart the genetics of these viruses. Does it make more sense that this virus jumped from a bat into a human, or does it make more sense that some human made this in lab, and you ask the question. Is there science that would tell us that this was built in a lab? Yes, actually there is science. We can look at genetics and see oh, this looks like this may not be naturally derived genetics in this area. So, we can test, we can question. If we’re in the area of study, by the way, we can have a hypothesis, and then we have to have a burden of proof. We have to test it and see is this true or not. Now, once we’ve done that, that’s not enough, and sometimes those questions lead to dead ends. But, let’s say we are able to test it. Then, once we test it, we need to be able to reproduce it. So, we say, well, Jade tested it, but did Jeff test it, and did Sarah test it, and did Mike test it, and were these results reproducible? So, first, is it testable; second, just because Jade found a positive conclusion, you know, shouldn’t I look to see if it’s reproducible elsewhere, ask questions in different environments, see other people’s perspectives, see if they can retest this. Then, the other thing we want to say is we want to know is it universal. For example, maybe Jeff and Sarah and Mike and Jade are all in a particular company doing the testing, and maybe the company has some bias, so is there a company somewhere else that has done similar tests and come up with similar results, and is there a company somewhere else that’s done it?


[18:07] One good example here would be as it pertains to vaccines. There are individual scientists from different countries, different universities, different independent organizations all over the world who have studied the vaccine controversy as it pertains to autism. All I’m speaking about is vaccines – the MMR vaccine – related to autism. And they have tested it, they have reproduced those tests with thousands now, tens of thousands of individuals, and it’s universal. It’s been done in lots of different independent areas. When you’re looking at truth and trying to test something, you want to go, is it testable, is it reproducible, and is it universal? So, that’s the first part of that TRUTHSS acronym; and if it’s not testable, reproducible and universal – now, this doesn’t mean it’s not true, but it means you haven’t developed the burden of truth to go around saying the thing that you think is true, and by you doing it, I think we should all consider that’s very much like pointing out someone and saying this a murderer when you don’t actually know for sure. I think we would all find that kind of behavior absolutely immoral and irresponsible. Well, when it comes to ideas, especially ideas that scare people, especially ideas that are unproven, and especially when we’re dealing with a pandemic that is actually killing people, and we have ideas that keep people from getting the right help, or cause people to hoard things, or not believe the government or whatever it is, that potentially also has moral and ethical ramifications; so, we have to understand this is my mind. Now, the rest of this acronym, the T-H-S-S, the first part is really about testing, questioning, being analytical in our thought process, and it sort of tests are we reasoned, rational, analytical individuals, and are we making sure we’re looking at our analytical thinking sides of the brain. Now, on the other side, we also want to check against emotion, because we know that when we get emotional about something, it hijacks our rational, analytical side and makes us not be able to think clearly or rationally or analytical, and causes us to be biased and dogmatic. So, the rest of this acronym checks against our emotions. The first part is does this trigger me, T for triggered. Does this emotionally trigger me? Is it something that emotionally triggers me? Am I someone who is being economically stressed out by the current pandemic and made at government in general for whatever reason? Am I someone who believes their child has been harmed by a vaccine? Am I someone who basically has some emotional attachment to this idea?


[21:06] If I’m triggered, again, it doesn’t mean that I am wrong, but it does mean I’m more likely to fall prey to bias and dogma. So, I ask myself, am I triggered? If I am and I’m honest about that, then I say, let me put those emotions aside and make sure my bias and dogma doesn’t keep me away from the truth. The other thing is am I humble. Am I humble, meaning I want to take my arrogance out. I have to essentially say is it possible that there’s something I don’t know. Is it possible I’m far too emotional and so I won’t be able to be unbiased, and that I am incredibly dogmatic? Now again, this doesn’t mean I would be wrong, but if I can’t be humble, if I can’t say, you know what, I really don’t know, let me go look, let me not think I’m the smartest person in the room, let me assume the other, the reverse, let me assume I don’t know much about this; let me assume that my emotions can get in the way, let me assume and be humble and say well, you know, I haven’t really looked at this in an analytical way, maybe I should do that before jumping to conclusions. Now we get to the two S’s. The first S is very much like humble. It’s basically like hey, am I smart enough? In other words, if we’re talking about virology and I’m not a virologist, and I’ve never studied viruses, and I’m not even a science person, maybe what I need to do is say maybe I should go learn a little bit more about this. Is it even possible for a virus to be built in a lab? If it is possible for a virus to be built in a lab, is there a way to tell if it is was built in a lab? You can start seeing really quickly that this can get you in trouble. I mean, for me, if I think I’m smart enough, and I know engines in my car, and I never check my oil, and I never do any of the things I need to, I might end up stuck on the road pretty frequently, because I think I’m smarter than the mechanic who actually knows a car. So, I have to be honest and say am I smart enough, is this actually a good domain of expertise of mine? This is where that vertical/horizontal hierarchy sort of comes in. Then, the final S is what are my stories, and this one is very, very important. For example, I grew up in a household that sort of leaned toward my mother anyway, not my father; luckily, they were a good balance to each other. Because my dad is very, you know, a little more conservative; my mom is a little bit more sort of liberal, progressive, and I kind of sit right in the middle of them, which isn’t surprising. They definitely impacted me, but I know that on my mom’s side, she always had the idea that big business was simply profit driven, and was going to take advantage, and was trying to poison people and was out to get people.


[24:03] Now, my dad, on the other side, he was more skeptical of government, so he was more like the government is out to get you, the politicians, none of them are honest, etc. So, these two stories, you can see – you probably know people like this in your life – the more conservative types are, they tend to think or be paranoid about the government; the more liberal, progressive types tend to be more paranoid about capitalism and big business – so these stories about money and greedy bankers and thinks like this can shade how you see things. Vice versa, this stories about these politicians who don’t care about the constituents and are just trying to make money and kill everyone else, you know, that can shade this. So, this TRUTHSS acronym helps, right? First, T – can you test it, what are the questions, did you ask the answer, is it testable? R – is it reproducible? Is it once? Did you get answers, are those same answers reproducible? For example, we throw an apple up in the air, almost every time, right, every time – unless you’re in space – but every time you’re here, that apple’s going to come back down to the ground. That’s tested over and over and over again. It’s also reproducible, and it’s universal too. It happens anywhere in the world, therefore we can pretty much say gravity is a testable, reproducible, universal thing. So, we want to make sure that we T for testable, R for reproducible, U for universal. Those are the analytical aspects of looking for truth. Then, we want to go down the rest of the acronym; T – does it trigger me, H – am I staying humble, S – am I even smart enough to understand this topic, and S – what are the stories keeping me from truth. What are the stories that are keeping me stuck in my bias or keeping me dogmatic? Then, you essentially go through this particular process with the first part of the acronym being your analytical brain and your rational side, and the other side your more emotional side, and you want to integrate these two sides. This is, in my mind, how every human should be checking against these things. This is how you come up with a more reliable way than just listening to your friend or your favorite media source. And here’s an interesting thing, we humans – by the way, I’m like this too – I know when we have these discussions it can seem like I’m lecturing to you. I’m just like you, probably more biased and more dogmatic than a lot of you. I’m just essentially relaying this information to you, but here’s what we do – and by we, I mean me as well. We humans tend to be very lazy thinkers. We see something come out – let’s say, you know, the Mueller report in politicians, with the whole Trump/Russian collusion thing.


[27:03] Well, how many of us, ask yourself honestly, how many have actually gone and read that vs. listen to our favorite media sources? A lot of us decry the media, and we tend to think there’s conspiracy theories going on in the media, that the media’s trying to control us, the media’s trying to scare the shit out of us, and all this kind of stuff, yet we’re looking at the media to give us the truth instead of actually going and looking at these things. Part of this acronym, is it testable, means can you find the actual documentation and are you actually reading it. If you’re not and you’re ranting and raving on social media about this, that says something very clearly about you. Really, if you go down this thing you should be like, well, it’s not testable, reproducible, or universal, I didn’t even look at the actual material. So, when you’re reading articles secondhand, this is what all of us humans do. I do it too. Just so you don’t feel left out, I didn’t read that report. Did you? But that’s not the issue. The issue is am I relying on some other media figure to give me the information, and at the same time, then blaming that media source for scaring me, and not giving me good quality information. This is what we humans do. We’re a little bit weird like this. I do it, you do it, a lot of us do it. This is why this is important to have this discussion if we’re trying to become next level humans. Now, to wrap this up, I want to very briefly go into the second acronym and the second thing here, and this is really about honesty, and should we be honest, and how honest should we be. Of course, everyone’s first sort of thing is well, of course, we should be honest; but what if your significant other asks you hey, do I look fat in this shirt, or does my butt look big in these pants? Are you going to be honest? Is that an appropriate time to lie, or to shade the truth to protect someone’s feelings? Are white lies ok or not? Let’s use an example for this. Let’s say – and this is the example I always like to use, and you may have heard it before because it’s not my example – but let’s say you’re walking down the street, you see your best friend or very close friend’s spouse with another person, and you see them, let’s say maybe you’re in, for some reason, you’re in the lobby of a hotel room, or lobby of a hotel, and you see your best friend’s spouse and another person of the opposite sex walk in holding hands, or at least staying close to each other – let’s say they’re not holding hands, but they’re staying close to each other – and they get in the elevator and go wherever. Would you tell your best friend? Is it appropriate to be honest there? Now, some people are going to say several different answers. Some people are going to be like absolutely, I’m going to tell them right away.


[30:01] But then the question is, well, what if those two have an arrangement? What if they have an open relationship that you don’t know about? Is that your business? What if too, those two are madly in love, and this is just the spouse one kind of time out on their own, and they figure out they love their wife, and then they end up living – or husband – and they end up living happily ever after from that moment forward, and you interjecting destroy that? Is that any of your business? So, there’s a lot of moral and dilemmas here, ethical dilemmas here. Some people would be like no, I absolutely wouldn’t tell my best friend, but I would go to the spouse and say I saw you, what’s going on, if you don’t tell them I’m going to tell them. At the same time, a lot of those same questions then come up. You can interject yourself into something that may or may not be your business and cause all kinds of havoc and strife for your best friend not knowing the whole story. For example, you don’t know what they’re doing. They could’ve been going up to the 3rd floor where the meeting rooms are. You know, you might be assuming that they’re going up to the 10th floor to have sex and have an affair. So, you don’t actually know what’s going on there. Other people say, and this is actually where I come down, and it doesn’t mean I’m right, but I’ll explain to you how I come to this, I would not tell my best friend – and my best friends know this, by the way – nor would I approach the spouse, To me, I would see that as not my business at all and I would stay away from it. Now, if my best friend came to me and said, hey Jade, listen, I think my significant other is cheating on me, something’s going on, do you know anything, then at that point in time, then I would tell them hey look, here’s what I saw. And you might say, well Jade, I don’t understand why are you, you know, I disagree with you; you might be getting mad about this. Well, I’m going to suggest to you an acronym that I use. I’m coming from a place where I had to go through this myself about like, how to be honest. Obviously, it’s pretty clear cut that if you’re having an affair like I was, and living a separate life, you need to come clean about that, and I eventually did. However, what about white lies? I wanted to , after that experience, I wanted to be the most honest person I knew, I never wanted any friend of mine, especially someone I loved, ever again to doubt my sincerity about the way I felt, so I constructed an honor code; and part of that honor code I came up with this particular acronym. It’s called the TRUE acronym, T-R-U-E, and it guides me in how I tell the truth. So, this is the second way in how I look at honesty. The T is – is it true? So, T for truth. R for responsibility. Is it my responsibility? U is useful. Is it useful? And E is – is it exact?


[33:03] So, it is true, responsible, useful, exact. When I go through this process of seeing my best friend’s significant other with someone else, I go through this thing and I say, well, is it true? What’s the truth? Do I know the truth? Well, I know that I saw them with another person. They were close together. I’ve had an affair, I’ve gone to hotels, maybe I’m assuming they’re doing the same thing, but I don’t know. Once they got into the elevator, I didn’t see them. They could’ve gone to the 3rd floor, they could’ve gone downstairs to the spa, she could’ve gotten off on the 4th floor, he could’ve gotten off on the 10th floor, I don’t know. I don’t know. All I know is what I saw. So, that’s the truth. The truth is I saw them in the lobby of a hotel room. I don’t know anything else. I have to take all of my other assumptions that I placed on that and essentially consider that there may be other things going on here. Now, the second part of this is am I responsible? Am I the one who is responsible for telling this truth, or for carrying this truth or this information? And in this case, I would say I am not responsible for my best friend’s relationship, or for his spouse’s – you know, his spouse or her spouse – sort of behavior. I don’t know. That’s not my responsibility in the way that I see it, unless I have made a promise to my best friend, and I have given my word that if I ever saw something. I would say it’s not my responsibility. I would see more my responsibility being to uphold the integrity of that relationship, especially now with some background, I understand that relationships are really interesting, that some relationships can recover from things like this. People can go through affairs and stay in love. I know there’s some nuance here, so I’m not going to take it upon myself and be so arrogant – and by the way, this is my opinion. Doesn’t mean I’m right – but I see it as arrogant to think that I am responsible for that, that it’s my job to police other people’s relationships. That’s not my job. My job and my responsibility is to police myself and to stand up to my word if I gave it to somebody. So, I wouldn’t see that as being responsible. Now, is it useful? This one’s a tougher one, right? Is it useful, it is helpful? Is it useful for me to tell my friend what I saw? Is it helpful or is it hurtful? Well, I suppose you can make an argument either way here. Maybe it’s helpful because they move on a find a better person. Maybe it’s hurtful because it’s not a real affair, or they are still in love and they never get over this thing. To me, I would err on to the side as well, it’s not – I don’t know the truth. All I know is this truth. It’s not my responsibility, and I would err on the side of it’s actually hurtful, it’s not helpful.


[36:02] It’s not useful to my friend for this information unless I know that my friend is having a really difficult time in their relationship, is in a negative pattern with this person, is being taken advantage of or manipulated. I don’t know any of that, so to me, I would say it’s not – not only is it not useful, it’s actually the reverse of that; it could be harmful. Then, the final part of this TRUE acronym, the E is exact. Do I need to tell the exact truth? Do I need to tell the exact truth? What is required for that person to get the whole truth so that their reality is not being bent, so they have all the information they need without any extra cruelty on top of that? Here’s an example of this. I had a friend that I coached through this that was essentially – he wasn’t married, but he basically was having a relationship, and he ended up hooking up with this other person while he was in the relationship. Now, for me, this kind of triggered me, but I also have to say I had been there done that, so it’s me being hypocritical as hell when I had done that before to look down on my friend – but he was asking me for advice in this particular information; he’s like, what do I say? And I’m like, well, in my mind, if it were me, I would come out and essentially say the whole truth. However, all that’s really required in this is to essentially say ,I am with other people, and have started to date other people, I no longer want to be in this relationship, this monogamous relationship, and I’ve kind of been seeing this other person, started to see this other person. He doesn’t have to say I slept with this other person. He doesn’t have to do that unless, of course, he was being unsafe and putting this person at risk, which he wasn’t. He doesn’t need to say all of that. Now, me, the way I counseled this, I would’ve said all that, but I also was also helping him understand look, you don’t want to be extra cruel. If she asks you did you sleep with this person, that is up to you whether you want to tell the truth. I would, but he opted not to, and this is where we get into this gray zone of like, do I need to tell you exactly the truth. Can I tell you the truth in such a way that you get the point, that you understand I’m seeing other people now and I don’t have to rub salt in the wound, so to speak. So, this is how I triage honesty, and this is also how I triage truth when I’m dealing with these things, and I think this is important. It’s incomplete and maybe somewhat unsatisfactory, but think about this, how important this is – we don’t often times have as humans any sort of strategy that we operate from when we’re dealing with these very tricky situations.


[39:07] If we’re dealing with a conspiracy theory and we’re trying to evaluate the truth of it, if we’re dealing with an idea and we’re trying to evaluate the truth of it, if we’re confronted with truth around lying and that kind of stuff, and how honest to be, and the balance between honesty and cruelty – often times you’ve heard that saying, honesty without compassion is cruelty. Some people believe, perhaps rightly so, that being too honest is not really a helpful thing either. For me, I was dishonest, and I think I moved way too far to the extreme, sort of where it was like brutal honesty, and now I’ve developed this acronym T-R-U-E. Is it true, is it my responsibility, is it useful, and do I have to tell the exact thing in order to help them get the reality? I think for me, when it comes to lying, to me, I want to make sure that their reality lines up with my reality without necessarily hurting them. I don’t want to lie, but I don’t want to add extra wound shopping material either. So, this is how I manage that. I’ve been rambling on for a little while. I hope that this is helpful for you to go along with episode 58. How to tell what’s true in your own sort of life honesty-wise, and also how to triage conspiracy theories and truths that might be floating out there, so that we don’t get into this base level and culture level situation where we’re making things up and muddling the water, and making things worse for everybody. Thanks for hanging out with me for this episode, and I’ll see you on the


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