Anatomy of a Secret Life

Anatomy of a Secret Life : The Psychology of Living a Lie

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Signs of a Secret Life We think we know those who are close to us, and we want to believe that what we see is what we get. But we can never know for certain because what goes on inside another’s head and heart is essentially a secret. How do we know if that secret is something that will hurt us? There are signs, and we don’t always want to recognize them. The following behaviors might be cause for concern: Exhibiting a moody, nervous, hair-trigger temper over small things Acting beleaguered for no reason Complaining about physical problems with no medical explanation—headache, stomachache, back pain, intestinal trouble Spending unaccounted-for time on the phone, or making calls from an unusual room in the house—like the bathroom Gail Saltz takes us into the mind of the secret keeper to show readers how it starts, where it goes wrong, and how (and why) the secret will always come out. What do these people have in common? The traveling businessman who brings prostitutes back to his hotel room The wealthy woman who is arrested for shoplifting The seemingly happily married man who cruises gay clubs They are all—despite differences in degree, gender, and age—living a double life, one of our most deeply ingrained, but poorly understood psychological drives. Now, Dr. Gail Saltz steps into the breach to explore —in detail and based on the latest research—our impulse to create and nurture alter egos. Saltz reveals how assuming a different identity can be healthy and tremendously liberating. For proof, we need look no further than the innumerable people who reinvent themselves by moving to the big city, or the countless pseudonymous bloggers. But, as she also makes clear, leading a secret life comes with potentially serious psychological risks. She shows that, in more extreme cases, leading a secret life can have devastating emotional, social and familial consequences—both for the person leading the secret life, and for those close to him or her. The definitive popular work on how a secret life is formed, lived, justified, and exposed, Saltz’s Anatomy includes contemporary case studies and historical examples (Lindbergh, T. E. Lawrence, Tchaikovsky, et cetera) of people who have risked it all for a taste of forbidden fruit.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 205 pages
  • 154.9 x 238.8 x 22.9mm | 521.64g
  • Random House (NY)
  • United States
  • English
  • 0767922743
  • 9780767922746

Rating details

94 ratings
3.47 out of 5 stars
5 17% (16)
4 32% (30)
3 36% (34)
2 12% (11)
1 3% (3)
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