Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life Rule 8: Tell the Truth, or at Least Don’t Lie

“If your life is not what it could be, try telling the truth. If you cling desperately to an ideology, or wallow in nihilism, try telling the truth. If you feel weak and rejected, and desperate, and confused, try telling the truth.”

Jordan Peterson

It’s the human default to manipulate the world into delivering what you want – to act politically. We all too often see people who are trying to “get ahead” in life. They trample over others, they take credit for others’ work, they want to look competent and be right all the time.

We can also see the same trait in the people-pleaser, always saying yes to the requests that are thrown their way by their boss, family and friends. They cannot say no, and they cannot communicate authentically. So they suffer. But what if they could tell the truth? What if they declined their boss’ request for them to work overtime that evening? Maybe they would feel a little lighter. Maybe they would be living a life that is actually true to themselves. Maybe they could share their problems and concerns and find a happy resolution. Maybe they could have the power to say no to all the other things they don’t want to do anymore.

To live a truthful life is not perfect, but it is far better than living a dishonest life. Instead of thinking of the answer that you think the other person wants to hear, why not just say the first answer that comes to your head? But if they don’t agree with you they might not want to be friends with you anymore. Well, do you want to be friends with someone that doesn’t like your true character anyway?

What’s more, the ones that do like you when you are being truthful like the REAL version of you. What could be more fulfilling, meaningful and authentic than that?

I’ve seen plenty of assholes that are relatively well-liked because they embrace their assholery, while the ones that are assholes but pretend they’re not assholes end up with fake, superficial bonds with their peers (at best). At worst they’re ostracized. People are generally very good and quick at judging the authenticity of others. If something doesn’t sit right with them, they tend to keep them at arm’s length.

Unless you are a clinical psychopath, your body will tell you exactly when you are breaching this rule.

Tell the truth, or at least don’t lie.

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British-born Chinese guy who wants to inspire and help others by sharing wisdom and learning through one's own experiences. Main interests are health and fitness, psychology, sales and sports.

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