As I grow older I collect patterns that I see playing out over and over again in everyday life. Here’s one of them. When someone says something negative about another person, the communication has two parts. The first is the substance of what they’re saying. Maybe it’s an opinion, or a judgement based on facts, or simply a lie. It is what it is, you have to evaluate it for yourself and decide whether you agree. But there’s a second part of the communication, a part that tells you about the speaker. Why did they say that? What did saying it accomplish for them? And if they got their facts wrong, what assumptions does their error reveal, and what does it tell you about their regard for truth?