Skip to main content


How many times have you been inauthentic? How many times have you faked the funk in an attempt to fit in, saying things you don't mean, laughing at jokes you don't find funny, doing things you don't care to do? Lots, if you're like me. Going along with stuff pretty much defined my twenties.

Not good. As recent research reveals, hiding your true colors may make you feel "morally tainted."

Research at Harvard and Columbia business schools posited that like lying or cheating, inauthenticity is a violation of being true, whether to others or oneself. Behaviors like faking excitement and fitting in with a crowd that doesn't share your values amounts to lying about your true self. The result? Feelings of moral distress and impurity.

The findings, published in Psychological Science, are especially relevant to people who find themselves constantly having to perform on the job. Fulfilling the demands of customers and colleagues forces a person to behave outwardly in ways that do not match one's feelings or beliefs. As in the service industry, where employees must follow precise scripts and recite trite and hackneyed expressions. Or at work, where you must get along with so many insufferables!

What's the prescription, other than ditching that dead-end job, trading in those stale hobbies and recycling those heathens you call friends? Be true to yourself. Live authentically and in accordance with your sense of self, emotions and values. So what if that sounds like I got it off a bumber sticker. It's true. If everyone does the same and stays true, the world would be such a happy place you wouldn't have nearly as much difficulty tolerating it.

And if all else fails and you find yourself doing things you really don't want to do more than you care to do them, because of ineludible commitments or a vague sense of obligation or inner compulsion or being beholden or bullied or whatever, there's nothing a shot or two of Scotch won't fix. Just take my advice and make it single malt. Minimal hang-over. Don't hate. It got me through my twenties is all I'm sayin'.


Popular posts from this blog


I was watching the TV show Naked and Afraid last night as I sometimes do. The show teams together two strangers, a man and a woman, who attempt to survive on their own for a period of 21 days in some remote and isolated region. Some of the locales featured include the Australian Outback, the Amazonian rainforest and the African Savanna. The man may have a military background, or be an adventurist or deep sea fisherman. Sometimes he's an ordinary dude who lives with mom. The woman is a park ranger or extreme fitness enthusiast or "just a mom" herself. Sometimes the couple quarrel, sometimes one or both "tap out" (quit) in a fit of anger or illness. It is satisfying to see them actually make it through the challenge and reach their extraction point. The victors are usually exhausted, emaciated, begrimed and bare ass naked. 

Even more satisfying, at least for me, is the occasional ass shot, snuck in at strategic intervals to boost viewership, of course. It's co…


There is no such thing as screw-ups.

Case in point. My excellent friend Deej comes over to help me beautify the garden. He immediately dives in, crouching down on his knees and weed whacking with his bare hands. Before I can say yay or nay, he proceeds to remove a huge clump of daisy greens from the oblong patch of Earth adjacent to the driveway. The area instantly looks bare. Like the back of Woody Allen's head. Smoothing out the soil and shaking his head Deej mutters to himself "I fucked it up!" over and over again. We try everything. Planting succulents in the daisy's place. Covering it with rocks. But still the area looks barren. And every time you water it the water trickles down onto the sidewalk in the absence of roots to hold it in place. It's getting dark so we go back inside. The next day I return to the spot with a clear perspective and remove all the other daisies, leaving only rose bushes and the succulents that DJ planted, and depositing 10 bags of m…


This is not a commentary on the latest fitness fad. Because if it were, the little I'd have to say on the subject would be largely derogatory. I simply cannot see see how crouching in a stuffy, dark, cramped room surrounded by sweat-drenched strangers while expending a lot of energy and going nowhere deserves to be called fun, though aficionados tell me it is (fun). I tell these aficionados that if no pain no gain is your thing, discomfort can be had for a lot cheaper than $50 an hour. Try plucking your nose hairs. What we don't do for the sake of beauty. This endurance heir to the Stairmaster and elliptical is all hype. There's a name for the type who likes to run (or otherwise move) in place. It's called a hamster. 

This reminds me of a joke my father likes to tell, about what living with a woman turns a guy into. You go from a wolf to a sheep to a hamster. After nearly 40 years of married life, my dad has added cockroach to the zoological lineage. Which I'm sure …