What’s Good about Lying?
By Jeremy Adam Smith | February 8, 2017
New research reveals how we learn to lie for the benefit of other people.
Do you teach children to lie?
I do. All the time. And you do, too! If you’re like most American parents, you point to presents under the Christmas tree and claim that a man named Santa Claus put them there. Or, you insinuate that a creature called the Tooth Fairy swapped out your child’s fallen tooth for a dollar. Those are false statements, deliberately made to people who trust us adults.
But your lying probably goes beyond these benign deceptions. How many of us tell our kids (or students) that everything is fine when, in fact, everything is totally wrong, in order to preserve their sense of security? Have you been honest about everything having to do with, say, your love life, or what happens at work? We don’t […]
How would it be helpful to you and your relationship if you were able to stand in the face of a disagreement and still feel safe and ok? To just be aware of your negative emotions present instead of being that emotion and acting from within that negative emotion?
Great satisfaction comes for me when working to help each person in a relationship come to be able to do just that–to listen with the ears of their heart with curiosity toward their spouse or partner, and know about their negative emotions at the same time and speak for them, and not from them.
A greater degree of connectedness, compassion, and openness to change occurs, and creative solutions to the present conflict are found when couples practice this stance with each other in the present moment, and over time.
Researchers at the Universities of Wyoming and Oregon have science based findings on […]
In his Ted Talk, Robert Waldinger expresses so eloquently the reasons to invest in the work to make a marriage more fulfilling. No relationship is easy and does take a lot of work. But if you know how to focus your time and energy in ways that are not just connecting, but bonding and uplifting, you will feel so filled up by the relationship your love will just grow broader and deeper on a daily basis.
My belief is that we as a culture have been so focused in ways that Mr. Waldinger reports from the 75-year study he draws his knowledge from, that we haven’t really known how to create good relationships. And it’s more than using tools that create lasting and fulfilling relationships, it’s also how to repair things when they go awry.
Learning to enjoy and invest emotionally in each other is part of it, yes, but also knowing […]
At the beginning of 2015, I thought it ludicrous to come up with New Years Resolutions as I usually wind up beating up on myself for not following through after about the second week in January! However, I’d heard about adopting a “word of the year” as a substitute for resolutions. Words, I thought, are just words, and seemingly much less intimidating to follow than resolutions.
The truth? I found that in some ways following the word of the year was easier than resolutions, and in some ways harder.
Following the word of the year seemed to demand that I call forth something from within myself, and follow an overarching “word theme” that permeated my being. Thoughts, feelings, and actions were affected by the word. Whereas with resolutions there are actions on which one must carry forward–lose weight (“yeah, right”), exercise (“where’s the drill sergeant?”), and less computer time (“unplug from the […]
I want to share a true story. I’ll call them Rob and Amy for confidentiality purposes.
Rob is a public speaker in his field; he’s highly successful and effective as well with clients. This gives him a lot of personal power. Many women are attracted to Rob–a charismatic, good looking person of substance.
Rob’s wife, Amy, is a beautiful and equally smart woman of substance. Amy was often left home to be the one to do most chores, get the kids off to school, and work, too. Some of her basic emotional needs were not getting met in the relationship.
Amy came in my office about to leave the marriage due to Rob’s need for attention and confirmation from other women. No affair had taken place, but Amy didn’t feel she was important to Rob, and was jealous of all the female attention he received, and liked. It felt to her […]