5 Reasons Not To Trust Anyone

Happy Tuesday!
Publish date:
January 28, 2014

I was telling Emily how I should write something about how no one should ever trust reporters no matter what, and somehow that morphed into the idea: "Why You Shouldn't Trust Anyone Ever." Yeah, we're a cheery bunch here at xoJane.

Are you ready? Here's why YOU SHOULDN'T TRUST ANYONE EVER. I came up with five reasons so you know this piece is tight.

1. Your significant other is going to cheat on you.

When it first happened to me, I felt so naive. That happened to other people, I sincerely thought. Now, having seen so much, I'm at a point where I don't really even have expectations of fidelity because I feel like statistics don't lie. A study in this month's Journal of Marital and Family Therapy reveals 57% of men admit to committing infidelity in any relationship they've ever had. And the women? That would be 54%.

One ex told me, "I felt like you always thought I was going to cheat so eventually I just did." Of course, OF COURSE, it won't always happen, but let's be frank: You are kidding yourself if you think that you're always going to fall outside the statistical realm of possibility.

2. A lot of the most successful people are psychopaths.

Have you ever worked with someone who oozed charisma and had zero problem with lying? During some internships when I was younger and more naive, I definitely observed this behavior -- probably because I wasn't a real employee yet and more guards were down as I observed pathological behavior. Were these people psychopaths? God, I hope not. But you never know -- and the cold hard facts are that psychopaths are born leaders.

According to a 2010 study by Paul Babiak, Robert Hare and Craig Neumann, 3% of the upper management types being observed scored in the psychopath range, which is far above the 1% incidence in the population as a whole. Oh, and for a good time? Check out sociopathworld.com. Yes, that's a thing.

3. No need to isolate just the psychopaths, most of us are a bunch of liars.

When was the last time I lied? Good question. Maybe when I told someone I was too busy to do something, but in actuality, I could have made time to do the favor that was requested. A harmless white lie? I guess, but a lie nonetheless.

A study by Robert Feldman in the Journal of Basic and Applied Social Psychology recorded people talking for 10 minutes in a 2002 study on lying. It revealed that 60% of people lied at least once. Many didn't even know they were doing it. Try to get through just one whole day without telling a single harmless untruth. See what happens. We're talking white lies, too.

4. Cheating, stealing and lying gets even worse as the day goes on.

There's a weird thing called "morning morality effect" where people are less likely to cheat or lie in the AM. A study in Psychological Science published in November showed how the students who participated were less likely to cheat in the morning compared to the other group who participated between noon and 6 p.m.

In another portion of the study, it was the afternoon group that was increasingly likely to say that they had solved a number-matching problem that was actually unsolvable. So what time are you reading this? Are you on THE PRECIPICE OF MORALITY? Be honest now.

5. You are more likely to be catfished than not to be catfished.

I won't ever stop recommending that people look for love online. But anyone who has ever shown up for a date only to find the person is 10 years older than their picture or, say, married, knows that catfishing is creepily prevalent nowadays. I once had a date show up, and I almost gasped because he had clearly not taken a recent picture in years. He proceeded to try to kiss me and demand that I tell him what was wrong.

"Nothing," I said, "I just don't feel the chemistry." (Lie! Caught again!) An October survey from the Pew Research Center confirms it: 54% of daters said that they had experienced "serious misrepresentation" from someone they met online. Hooray. At least you're not alone.

And the good news? Is there some? Well, I look at it this way. When you can't trust anybody, you can kind of CAN trust everybody, in a mathematical kind of way. The playing field is leveled. As long as it's in the morning, obviously. Otherwise, you're screwed.


Find Mandy long-form at http://tinyurl.com/stadtmiller.