Don’t Speak With Authority About Your Nature and Behavior

“I’m not biased.”
“I’m not into game playing.”
“I’m not a liar.”
“I have integrity.”
“Don’t tell me how I feel!”
“Trust me…”
“Believe me…”

Self-complimenting claims like these backfire when delivered to anyone paying attention. They’re meant to put a question about our nature and behavior to rest. They deserve the opposite response. They show a disrespect for the challenge of self-knowledge.

I call it Talkiswalkism, the false assumption that you are the final authority on your nature, that what you say about your behavior must be true because you said it. It’s the opposite of integrity and it’s a form of game playing that raises big red flags for me.

How do we come to the assumption that we’re not into game-playing or lying? By not liking when others gameplay or lie with us. That’s not evidence that we don’t game-play or lie. We’re all quite naturally better at dishing it out than taking it in. We like benefits more than costs. To say we’re not into game-playing because we don’t like being played is like concluding that we don’t dish it out because we hate taking it in.

And being emphatic about it doesn’t help our case. You really hate game playing? A lot? That doesn’t mean you don’t play them. I call this move Exempt by contempt, assuming you must be exempt from a trait because you have great contempt for it in others.

If you’re not the authority on how you are, who is? Outside observers? Nope, no one is the…

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