The boy who cried wolf. We all know that story. There is a boy who yells that there is a wolf in the village or a wolf attacking him. People run to help. Only they find that there is no wolf. The boy lied. He does it again. Again, the people come and find that the boy is lying again. He does it again. And, again.
Then, one day, there is a wolf. The boy yells. But, no one comes. The boy lost the trust of the people around him because no one could believe him. The boy ended up dying by being eaten by the wolf.
After his death, do you think the villagers lamented not running to his aid again, or do you think they felt the boy brought his demise onto himself with his earlier false claims?
If the boy had merely lost a leg when the wolf really attacked, do you think his attitude would change? What does it mean if the boy looses his leg in the real wolf attack and then continues to yell for help from the wolf, when the wolf isn’t there?
Why would he do this? Real fear that the wolf is coming again, since he lost his leg? A version of PTSD. Or, is it that he can’t stop lying – only to admit his guilt when the villagers confront him with the fact that yet again there is no wolf.
How soon would it be before the villagers throw the boy to the wolf, tired of his constant lying and screaming? How numb would the villagers feel after the constant emotional rollercoaster of not knowing if there is really a wolf attacking the boy?
So, I want to pose a new scenario.
The boy grows up. Still crying wolf every chance he gets.
What happens when this is your constant state of being? When you are constantly looking for a new opportunity to cry wolf and include more villagers in the scenario? What happens when you feed your own ego on seeing how many times you can convince the same people to run to you each and every time?
You have to convince yourself of certain illogical, irrational “truths” to be able to look at yourself in the mirror.
Certainty #1: When the villagers arrive and point out that there is no wolf, you admit there is no wolf. Therefore, you are honest and forthright and not a chronically lying jerk.
Certainty #2: Because you readily admit in the face of evidence the truth of the situation, it is the fault of others for not trusting you the next time.
Certainty #3: You judge someone’s capacity for loving you on the number of times they keep running to save you from the absent wolf.
Certainty #4: You believe that you are protecting the villagers by keeping them alert to possible wolf attacks. You are the good person in this.
These four premises are what keep the boy motivated and feeling good about himself. But, they are also what keep the boy from ever having a life where people trust him, and keep him from ever changing his behavior.