Sunday, March 29, 2009

It's Really Just An Apple

I may be wrong, but somewhere in the recesses of my mind, there's a reference to a torture or brainwashing technique involving asking people to name something inappropriately. For example, they might place an apple in your hand and tell you to call it an orange. Apparently this causes some sort of cognitive dissonance that ultimately leads you to question yourself and go mildly insane. 

I can't help but feel like that's my life these days. Sure, we all spend a fair amount of time doing this, under the moniker of "white lies." That baby's gorgeous! I loved your pie! Your butt looks tiny in that! But, while those come easy to us, I think there are a fair number of much harder ones going around as well. 

You're idea is GREAT!
No, I hadn't thought of that. (3 MONTHS AGO)
Of course, I understand, I'm not ready for that position.
That approach makes perfect sense.
You had to tell him X. There was no avoiding it.

And somewhere in your head, you're thinking "can't he/she tell I'm lying?"  But, no. Apparently people believe what they want to believe, so we can go on coddling them with little or no ramification. And, usually, get bonus points for toeing the line and being a supportive team member.

I don't imagine that telling the truth will ever be beneficial in these circumstances. I've done the decision tree math. There's no positive outcome. But, at the same time, there is a small cost associated with every time you call that Apple "Orange." The more you do it, the bigger the apples, the more you wonder whether you're just dead wrong. Maybe if you peel that sucker and throw it in the juicer, you'll get a pulpy mess of vitamin C. Maybe it is an orange.

And then you go home and tell yourself "No. It's an apple." Over and over. Until you realize that either way, you really have gone a bit mad.

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