Most of the things people say about themselves are a lie.
How many times how you met a person who says that they are a perfectionist, love to clean and can’t stand a mess, and then you visit their home and the first thing they do is to apologize for the mess because that day they didn’t have time or their dog has made a mess or who knows what.
It’s the same with people who say that they cook well, but their meal haven’t turned out to be the best when they cooked for you; they eat a healthy diet but they never turn down a donut; they read a lot, but when you land them a book, it takes them months to return it; they love to exercise, but when they come to your place, they always take the elevator because they simply hate the stairs.
Things which people usually lie about, to themselves as well as to others, are the norms which are set by themselves or the culture they live in.
In one culture the norm is to be fit, eat healthy food, be informed and educated. Therefore, to be the part of the culture or to feel good about themselves, people tell stories in which they do all the things required to belong to a certain culture.
In some other cultures the norm is to be frightening, rich and on the other side of the law. They have their fisherman’s tales as well, just as real fishermen do.
Social media is the ideal place to promote fisherman’s tales. We take a picture of ourselves in the gym, or we take a picture of the book we’re reading, or our lunch, but we don’t take the picture of the ice cream, and our followers think that we live an ideal life.
Those who belong to some other cultures might share the pictures of their guns, chains, and sports cars which often don’t belong to them, but people who only follow them on social media can’t realize that.
It is possible to be a part of the culture and live by the norm even without egocentric exposure. It’s enough to stick to your decisions and not to bend them because of the social conventions. When they offer you a donut or an ice cream, you should say — no. You will be surprised that your need for sharing your lunch on Instagram will suddenly vanish, and that people will respect you more.
Also, next time someone tells a story about themselves, ask yourself whether if it’s really true.
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Originally published at https://ibmiller.net on June 24, 2019.