Being able to discern what is truth and what is not necessarily truth is a key skill, as operating based on what is untrue leads one down unproductive paths and/or to doing damage to oneself. This skill also takes away a huge amount of stress and allows for peace of mind.
THE BASIC PRINCIPLE IS PRETTY SIMPLE
"What is not true is what is not true - and therefore it is not a good idea to rely on it as being true."
"If something is not 100% true, then it is not true."
"If something is not verifiably, provably true, then we can't know that it's true or not, and it would be foolish to rely on it being true."
BASICALLY THE FIRST TEST IS:
To ask yourself:
Is this true?
If the answer is yes, then double question yourself.
Is this 100% provably true?
And answer this truthfully, not based on "it must be" "because I've believed it all my life" or, the doozy, "because other people believe it" or "it's normal" (only a justification). See The Truth Test and the links in that piece, until you are totally understanding of this. This process pulled Byron Katie out of extreme depression. This coupled with the actions of the Positivity Ratio will, guaranteed, get you to happiness.
ONE OF THE REASONS FOR THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS
Part of growing up and becoming wise is learning the true principles and thinking things through.
It is proven that our perceptions are not 100% - and that they are even less likely to be correct when we think we "see" something that is in someone's mind (such as their intent) - which is preposterous, but many people think they can do it. Sometimes their "proof" is that they are generally correct, but that still doesn't make their assumptions and fabrications into "the truth". Most people think they are very perceptive - a bit like the phenomena in Sweden where 80% of drivers rate themselves above average.
And, after perception, there is our interpretation and "filling in the blanks". We think we can "read between the lines" and think we are accurate - but there is nothing between the lines to verify what is true - so it is preposterous to believe this - a bit like smoking too much pot and believing in illusions.
I write this piece largely to communicate to a person who assumes alot and reads extra things into communication that are not provably there - and then the person creates all sorts of meanings and then is off and running into escalation, where the emotions are then compelling - and a non-workable strategy based on a false belief is then triggered. That is something that this person must stop, in order to be happy. It is a self-inflicted wound, which can be stopped within her own power.
In our conversation about an email that was sent, I asked her is her inference absolutely provable, so that she could distinguish that it could not be the truth - and that she shouldn't rely on it. She largely stuck to her guns about what must have been meant and how she was so well-skilled at spotting this that it was something she chose to rely on as truth. There was no way to get across to her, that I could figure out, a way for her to see that she had not identified what was provably true and that therefore it was possibly not the truth, and therefore should not be relied on as the truth.
She trusted the vast number of non-truths she made up - and the result was an explosion, with very poor consequences - and alot of effect for about a week, instead of just experiencing minor disappointment.
She also needed to be able to identify a "telling" (a description of what is going on or an objective account, even if erroneous, of what occurred) versus a non-objective attack or devious meanings underneath it all. See Discern What Is Description From Opinions, Stories.
USE ESTIMATES OR VERIFY?
In life, we must make "estimates" of what is going on now and of projections into the future in order to proceed to live life. Often we do not have time to determine the truth or get all the facts, so we just proceed if we don't have sufficient time or it's not worth getting all the facts.
Certainly this is true where the consequences of being wrong are small or none.
However, in major items and/or multiplely recurring items, it will probably pay to determine what is true or at least eliminate something that is verifiably untrue. In other words, if the consequences are great enough in total, it would seem to make sense to determine what the truth is. If it is super important, then we would apply the Carpenter's Rule: "Measure twice, cut once." Or the fighter pilot's mantra: "Verify, verify, verify!"
So, it is true that we don't have to push to absolute certainty on what is true and that we can run a great part of our life based on estimates and guesstimates. But that does not mean that it is true that it is not necessary in some cases to operate from truth and/or in others to avoid operating as if a non-proven truth is the truth.
READ AND BE CLEAR ABOUT WHAT THE TRUTH/REALITY ARE
A separate category: