Have you ever sat back and listened, really listened, to the half stories that are presented to you every day in the media?

What is a half story? You know, when the person selling something only tells you the part that sounds good and leaves out all of the rest. I think you may know what I’m talking about if I call it what it really is…a lie by omission.

If you pay close attention, you will begin to see this pattern everywhere. It is damaging, deceitful and wrong. And the worst part? You do it too.

Whenever you have a regularly accepted way of doing something, you have a half story. Here is how it works.

Someone ( advertisers, media, corporations, groups etc.) create a message. The message is intended to create action. It is typically worded in a manner that has the following characteristics:

1) It is brief

2) It is easy to remember

3) It requires minimal thought from the listener (You)

4) It requests immediate action from the listener (You again)

5) It always includes a half story that claims to cure your problem (The one you didn’t know you had)

Examples? Sure. I love examples.

Realtors: “Now is a great time to buy!”

Automobile Dealers: “Get top dollar for your trade in!”

Retailers: “Buy now and make no payments for 1 year!”

“One day only!”

“Buy one, get the other half off!”

“Dress up like a boa constrictor and get 10% off admission!” Ok, I made up the last one but I’m almost certain that you’ll hear that one used soon.

You get my drift?

Oh yeah. And now for the part where I explain how you do it too. You do do it, don’t you?  Do you mindlessly repeat what you hear to all of your friends? Maybe a little reminder would help to jog your memory?

“OMG! 3rd pair free sale tomorrow at the mall. Want to come with?”

“Bro. $3 pints and free mini wings tonight at Drunky’s. Wanna go? It’ll be awesome!”

And therein lies the problem. You see, whatever it is that you do you become susceptible to. It’s a very simple reality. You may not have control over the marketers but you do (or you could) have control over yourself. So if you don’t want to be marketed to, stop marketing to others. Stop telling your wife what a great deal you got on the jet ski and then get mad about the new shoes she just bought.

C’mon Dino. I understand your point but I love sales! I just can’t resist saving money!

I hear you. Well, here is something for you to consider until next time. How can you save money by spending it?