We all appreciate honesty. People often feel it as a personal attack when people lie. It’s a trait we can live without; if done to us. But what about telling lies ourselves, even a white lie, isn’t that as bad or even worse as when people lie to us? And what about lying to ourselves? Who are we fooling here?
During a visit to San Francisco I once encountered a panhandler with the following sign:
“Let’s be honest I need a beer”
Now that’s what I call being honest! I had a good laugh that day and wished everyone could be as honest and wise as this man. He was not pretending or playing a role, as most people do, only expressing his needs. Wouldn’t life be great if people held up signs clearly saying what they really wanted? Wouldn’t life be great if people stopped lying and pretending?
Why do people lie?
Before I continue I have a confession to make. I lie. I’m trying to get rid of the habit but occasionally I lie too. It’s mostly small stuff like white lies and sometimes a bigger lie to cover up something I haven’t done or forgot to do. Occasionally I keep the truth to myself to avoid hurting other people feelings. I guess I am not alone as almost everyone on this planet lies too.
Maybe you, not me! Is this what you’re thinking now? I invite you to have a look at the following list. After reading it, can you honestly say that you don’t lie, ever, to others and to yourself?
- Compulsive lying
- Big lies
- White lies
- Keeping information to yourself
- Telling half of the truth
- Making something more beautiful than it really is
- Be vague to others
- Keep your emotions and feelings to yourself
- Show false emotions to get what you want (emotional blackmail)
- Playing a role like “the tough guy” or “the bitch”, while that is not who you really are
- Making false promises to yourself: “I’m going to quit smoking at the end of the month”
So now we concluded that we all lie, some more than others, why is it so bad? To me there are three reasons:
First, the most obvious reason is that lying is not a nice thing to do. You can literally feel it in your body as negative energy when you lie. You can hurt someone with a lie. Fooling others may work for a while, but eventually the truth will prevail. The lie may even begin to hurt you too, keeping you awake at night. So why spend so much negative energy on lying, covering up, all the excuses, secrets and taken track of them when it is so much easier to simple tell the truth? Give it a try, you will see.
Secondly, if you lie, keep secrets, or play a role, pretend to be someone you are not, people will notice this. If not conscious, then sub consciously. People will not see you as authentic. They will sense that there is something wrong with you, but cannot pinpoint exactly what it is. This will diminish their trust in you and in return they will not open up as well. They may even lie to you. Is that what you really want?
The thirds reason: Why lie to yourself? If you cannot be honest to yourself, how do you think others will treat you?
Stop lying and be honest to yourself and to others. It will make your life much easier. Instead of lying, pretending or being vague all the time, you will be more authentic; in touch with your authentic self. Avoid having secrets and be as open as possible. Throw away all the excuses. Let’s be honest from now on.
I’m making a conscious effort to ban the lie out of my life. I’m making a conscious effort to be as real and authentic as I can be, to awake my authentic self. I may make some mistakes along the way, but I will prevail. I will ban the lie out of my life. Will you join me? Be honest and stop lying to yourself and to others.
Very nice Patrick. And with that I’m not lying..
As the saying goes, “The truth shall set you free”.
I personally believe that It’s not a selfish thing to say what you mean and mean what you say. For even how much you wouldn’t want to hurt somebody else, not telling or lying, will still hurt the other person.
This is a good post to awaken us to starting living a life of integrity.
Most of us still have a conditioned “Fear” from childhood. The child, fearing punishment, will instigate lying as self-defense mechanism.
We as adults psychologically do just the same by us being dishonest in certain matters so not to upset people or to deceptively flatter to gain something of worth to oneself.
The problem lies when one chooses to deceive oneself so to escape the hidden truth hidden about themselves.
All I say is, “Have no fear! Stand by Truth and speak your mind!” and you may go a long way to knowing yourself and living a virtuous life filled with nothing but wisdom.
Very nice, Patrick!
A Fourth reason: The more we unconsciously do any behavior (positive or negative), the more we perceive it in our world. So the more you lie, the more it will seem you are surrounded by liars…
“But I’m a good person and I never lie…”
And that was just a warm up… you should hear what I can do when I’m in a bad mood….