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The Advice Goddess July 2019
Monday, 01 July 2019 23:12

Baptism by liar

By AMY ALKON
Syndicated Columnist



I was talking with this guy whom I’ve known for over six years who lives a plane ride away. It was late at night on a weekend, and he was saying all this mushy sexy stuff and how he wanted to fly me out to his city, blah, blah, blah. Afterward, he never called or texted again. It’s been weeks now. He’s done this before -- come on really hot and heavy and then disappeared. And he doesn’t drink or do drugs, so that isn’t an explanation. Why do men do this?

— Feeling Dumb For Believing... Again

 

Well, on the upside, he isn’t afraid to express his feelings. On the downside, if you’re like many women, you prefer your relationships long-form — more Nicholas Sparks’ “The Notebook” than 3M’s “The Post-it Note.”

 You aren’t the only one on these calls who buys into everything the guy says he has in store for you (and no, I’m not suggesting there’s an FBI agent listening in from a “cable company” van). While this guy is on the phone with you, chances are he believes what he’s telling you — which is to say, deception has a brother, and it’s self-deception.

 Evolutionary biologist Robert Trivers defines self-deception as “the active misrepresentation of reality to the conscious mind.” As for how the self can end up being “both the deceiver and the deceived,” Trivers and fellow evolutionary researcher William von Hippel explain that our mind seems to have “information-processing biases” that “favor welcome over unwelcome information” in a way that reflects our goals. (Think rose-colored horse blinders.)

Trivers and von Hippel note that believing our own hooey helps us sell it to other people: If you aren’t conscious that you’re lying, you won’t be burdened by the mental costs of maintaining “two separate representations of reality” or show physical signs of nervousness at possibly getting caught, such as a higher-pitched voice.

 Understanding all of this, you should probably go easy on yourself for being a bit of a slow learner on the “fool me twice” thing. If this guy was also putting one over on himself in these phone conversations, that probably made it much more believable to you. 

Mark him as emotionally toxic and come up with a plan in case he calls again. 

Options include blocking his number, not picking up, or figuring out how to control the conversation if he veers off into Sweetnothingsville. 

On a positive note, it does seem he’s accidentally telling the truth in one area: You do seem to be the woman of his dreams —  as you always vanish from his consciousness as soon as he wakes up.

(c.) 2019, Amy Alkon, all rights reserved. Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave, #280, Santa Monica, CA  90405, or e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it (advicegoddess.com). Weekly radio show: blogtalkradio.com/



 



 


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