Sincerity Theory

Insincerity is a symptom that lets you hide the disease. It’s like a girdle: it’s a good sign you’ve gone off your diet, but it’s also a means to hide that fact.

Eventually the real problem—that you’re washing cheeseburgers down with super-sized Cokes—is going to overtake your ability to hide it. In the end all you’ve done is give yourself more weight to have to lose. Because you know what? You were never fooling anyone.

The ability to spot insincerity is built into our social instinct. Socialization is one of our biggest evolutionary advantages, and it’s been evolving since the earliest primates. (That, as an aside, is what makes lemurs so scientifically interesting: they were the first social primates.)

Insincerity doesn’t accomplish anything except for making people hate you and making things worse. If you find yourself being insincere, stop it. Figure out what the problem is and fix it. Even if that means never coming out with a next move and eventually fading into the collective memory. At least people will remember you fondly.

Sincerity Theory

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