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How To Prevent People From Telling You the Truth

I’ve started a new category called “The Human Condition.” Follow it to discover amazing things about humans! Better understand humans and you will write better characters. Write better characters and you will write better screenplays.

I hope I haven’t left you hanging too long, dear readers, but I’ve had to spend the last day and a half trying to repair my email system and address book due to a corrupted email synchronization, due to a computer intrusion. (In fact a devastating, life-altering event in my personal life. This blog doesn’t get very personal, so this entry is my way of coping with it.) The repair failed so I had to restore my hard drive from a backup. Lost a day and a half of work.

Now, today’s lesson: How To Prevent People From Telling You the Truth:

  1. Make it clear there are some things you do not want to hear or talk about. For extra points, do not TELL you partner this; be offended and claim the opposite is true if they point it out.
  2. Whenever you hear these things or talk about them, react badly. Be hurt. Let the hurt linger. Suffer the hurt until the other person suffers too. Now you are not alone in your pain; this is called “bonding.”
  3. Let the hurt motivate your words and actions. That way, when you do and say destructive things, it is the hurt’s fault and not yours. Reasoning: Your actions were caused by the hurt; the hurt is your partner’s fault; therefore your actions are the other person’s fault. This is called a “logical fallacy.” (You must master the logical fallacy if you are to follow these steps effectively.)
  4. Punish your partner.
  5. Do not stop punishing your partner until they acknowledge the depth and legitimacy of your pain. (This is called a “moral sanction.”) Then and only then may you be satisfied. How will you know this has happened? Two common signs:
    1. They apologize profusely, accurately naming and describing their transgression against you. (Don’t worry about whether they actually feel remorseful. They will learn to fake it very well.)
    2. You’ve made them suffer as much as you have suffered.
  6. Repeat steps 1-5 until your partner stops telling you things.
  7. Criticize your partner for not telling you things.
  8. Use this as evidence of deficiencies in their character, honesty, and communication skills. Attack your partner for his/her deficiencies. For extra points, become obsessed with discovering the things your partner has learned not to tell you, and sneak and snoop to discover it. Accuse them of being secretive. For even more points, blow up at them. See How to Blow Up (near the end of entry).
  9. Congratulations. You are now Not Safe to Talk To.

Never tell the truth to people who are not worthy of it.
—Mark Twain

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