The purpose of catching lies

The purpose of catching the lies of the past is to stop the untruths of the future.

That quote is from Jordan Peterson’s recent “On Calculating Depth of Betrayal” which deals with the issue of how you respond to lies and disappointments, for instance as a parent.

Now we tend to produce negative emotion in precise proportion to the hierarchical level of our error. It is much worse to be accused by someone of being an unreliable and dishonest person than to be taken to task for a single, precisely specified untruth: “You are a liar,” said to your teenager, is not as effective, except in special circumstances, as “You told me you were going to your friend John’s last night to study, and I found out you went to a movie” or even “Look, kiddo: You usually tell me the truth, and that makes our relationship a lot easier. Thank God for that, because enough lies and we’re sunk. But I just found out that you went to a movie last night, instead of going to your friend John’s to study. What’s up with that?” And it’s even more helpful if the question is genuine, instead of merely rhetorical and accusatory.










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