Rule #8: Tell the truth – or, at least, don’t lie.

This chapter begins with a personal anecdote from Peterson’s time in
school studying clinical psychology when a young schizophrenic patient asked him a question he didn’t want to answer.

Facing several awkward possibilities – including hurting the patient’s
feelings – Peterson was tempted to tell a “little white lie” instead of being truthful with her.

But though the truth was not particularly kind, Peterson concluded – and maintains throughout the chapter – that even small lies have unintended consequences and can be outright dangerous.

He goes on to explain that most people lie to themselves and others in small ways all the time.

Most of the time, we probably don’t even
realize or acknowledge we’re doing it.

We’ve been taught to “manipulate the world into delivering what [we]
want”.
But the worst of all lies, Peterson maintains, are “life-lies.” (A term
coined by Austrian psychologist Alfred Adler, a world-renowned
philosopher and psychiatrist from the early 20th century.)

Life lies are life-framing lies and/or naive visions that people believe and
spend their energy trying to force into existence. Peterson writes –
“I have seen people define their utopia and then bend their lives into knots trying to make it
a reality.” – Jordan Peterson

Dishonesty is deeply harmful to ourselves and others. We weaken our
character when we lie. And the first place we must learn to identify,
acknowledge and speak the truth is to ourselves.

After all, don’t we listen to ourselves more than we listen to anyone else?
Rule #8 Summary:
“See the truth. Tell the truth.” – Jordan Peterson

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