Dr. Wendy Helps Us Understand Secrets & Punishment

Keeping secrets is hard to do.

They sit there and poison us from the inside.

Sometimes we just can't take it anymore and want to blurt it out to everyone around us, but we know that it would be wrong to violate the trust that came with the secret.

Of course, we create an out for ourselves.  We share the secret with a confidant.  

But, how do we pick that confidant?

Recent studies have found that we look for people with some very specific characteristics.

We look for compassionate, confident people.  Their compassion makes us believe that they will be kind and understanding, while their confidence gives them a sense of trustworthiness.

But, we specifically stay away from polite, social people.  That seems a little odd, doesn't it?  That sounds like a person you'd love to spend time with.  Although that may be true, those characteristics don't invite secrets.  Their politeness makes them seem stiff and easily offended, while being social may make someone seem like they can't take anything serious. 

Read the full story at Psychology Today

Punishment is everywhere.

When someone wrongs us, we dish out punishment.

This direct punishment makes sense, as it keeps people who have hurt you or wronged you from doing it again.

What about third party punishment?

Third party punishment is when you punish someone for a wrong they committed, but a wrong that was not committed against you.

As odd as it might seem, this punishment may be more important than direct punishment.  If only direct punishment was dished out, imagine how many wrongs would go unpunished.

That is why third party punishment is so important.  It keeps order because it keeps society in check.

If you know that you may be punished even if the victim doesn't do it, then you're less likely to commit the wrong.

Read the full story at Psychology Today

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