“If you run after them then you create false sincerity,” she said — straight up, just  perfectly, “What?” — just what I needed to hear.

My brain turned over, picked up this verbal dollop, this insight topping, this perfectly selected accent of sweet wisdom, applied it to the person I have been over-pursuing, and laid it down in a neural groove for later retrieval.

“Bang!”

The neurons are firing now.

I’ve have learned the “false sincerity” lesson before, by another name, but I have forgotten it before too, and when she said it just right, I added the “false sincerity” moniker to my labeling file and considered it the morning’s bon mot, cup of proverbial tea, fine phrase and then I took it under advisement — and it helped.

Be advised.

Helping people is an fine art, a subtle art, a nuanced art.  If you do too much for them, if they do too little, if you ask them to do stuff like come to the recovery group, come to church, come to water aerobics, but too much, and they don’t want to, often they will still come — but with false sincerity, to please you, to assauage guilt, to look good — and then they won’t come again until asked again, shamed again or bribed.

All this wastes everybody’s time and trashes hope too. People must want to change to change. They must get it, inside, and want it, in their deep brain, and intend to go after it with all they have, or they won’t.

Sincerity of the real, good, person-changing type is self-motivated.

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