I heard this delightful word for the first time the other day. It has become one of my top six favorites, along with “ensorcelled”, “delicious”, “shenanigans”, “nose-booped” and “kerfuffle”.

The speaker in question was saying that it was hard to imagine the amount of self-empretzelment that fundamentalist Christians must have to go through to embrace Donald Trump, who is a lying, cheating, multiply-divorced, misogynistic, racist, dictator-loving braggart.

While I heartily agree with all of the above, that’s not what I love about the word self-empretzelment. I think it’s much easier to remember than “cognitive dissonance”, which is Merriam-Webster defines as the “psychological conflict resulting from incongruous beliefs and attitudes held simultaneously.”

I think cognitive dissonance is increasing in the world that we live in today. Obviously I can’t speak for everyone, but with each passing day, I struggle more to understand people. How can you love your children and reject the need to protect the environment that they will inherit? How can you abhor violence and yet not want people to get background checks before purchasing guns? How do you say you’re all about love and yet try to prevent others from being in loving relationships? How do you demand your human rights, and yet wish to trample those same rights for others?

Self-empretzelment. It really is a thing.


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