Humans Have a Way of Spinning the Narrative to Fit Their Motives

This meme made an appearance on Facebook last week and it reminded me of the saying, "Trust, but verify."

"Trust, but verify" has always been a rather peculiar statement to me. If you trust something, then there shouldn't be a need to verify it, right? And if you feel the need to verify it, that probably means you don't fully trust it quite yet. So which is it? Do you fully trust it? Or do you need to verify it?

Blindly trusting everything we see and hear can be a recipe for disaster for one simple reason… humans have a way of spinning the narrative to fit their motives – the narrative they tell themselves that aligns with and further reinforces what they want to believe.

Everyone does it, and right now, during this pandemic, it's happening all around us. Now more than ever, with everything we're seeing, hearing, experiencing, and potentially acting on, it is critical that we are thoughtful and deliberate with our decisions to either trust or verify.

A great way to do this is to always maintain a healthy level of skepticism.

  1. Listen and take it all in.
  2. Ask questions for clarification and deeper understanding.
  3. Be as objective as possible and explore all perspectives.
  4. Be aware of your emotional response and do your best to regulate it so it doesn't cloud your judgment.
  5. Listen to your intuition.

In doing so, you'll...

  • choose to 'verify first' more often,
  • avoid the negative consequences that come with blindly trusting those you shouldn't, and
  • maintain full control of the thoughts and beliefs in your own mind.


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