Seriously though… Why is being honest so hard? Whether it is being honest with ourselves, our families, our friends, or our significant others… why is it sooo hard to just tell the bloody truth??
We justify our dishonesty by saying we don’t want to hurt anyone. That a white lie, isn’t a real lie. That not telling the whole truth is still the truth. That it would do more damage than good to be honest in X situation… But is THAT the truth? Or is it us, that has the problem being truly honest and REAL with others?
One of the hardest, maybe harshest realities, is the fact that we have a ridiculously rough time being honest with ourselves. How many relationships have you stayed in because you’ve convinced yourself about the relationship, in one way or another? This person will change. I can learn to appreciate their quirks. No one else will love me. No one else will treat me like they do. I can’t trust anyone the way I trust them. I can change. They will understand eventually. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera…
This isn’t healthy! Lying has become “institutionalized, rationalized, and socialized in (our) structure and culture” (Delbridge & Jenkins, 2016). We lie on a daily basis about silly, sometimes irrelevant things, and we think nothing of it. My mom will ask me how class was and I’ll say some smartass remark like, “oh, class was class”, when I didn’t even go, because I had work to catch up on or happy hour plans with the girls – sorry Mom! But there truly was no reason for me to lie? So why, do we make lying a habit??
“Lying is an important social category” (Turri & Turri, 2015) and we learn to do it from a young age! We teach our children the social norms of lying, or not telling the whole truth, because kids have NO filters when they are young. We teach them what is and isn’t socially acceptable to say. I remember being with my mom in Victoria’s Secret when I was little, maybe five, and she was buying some new undies. There was a male cashier, and point blank, I looked at him and said, “those are her favorite kind”. Pretty sure my mom could have died from embarrassment then and there. She already had a male cashier for her very feminine transaction, but then I had to put my two cents in. That would NOT be socially acceptable… Good job Ashley – fabulous.
Complete honesty is another topic, for another day; I’m just trying to give an example of the lack of filter, and complete honesty, that children have and are taught to reel in… But, these lies we tell our families, our friends, our partners – these are all lies, we are telling ourselves as well. STOP lying to yourselves; it is an epidemic. The majority of us, do it on the daily… including me.
BUT it all comes down to: WHY?!?!
We lie to show ourselves in a better light. We lie to “protect” the people we care about. We lie to deceive. We lie to make ourselves feel better. We lie to ensure what people believe to be true, is in fact true – about us, about our company, about our loyalty, about whatever we need. We lie to sway opinion. We lie to sway our own opinions.
“The fact is that we have no way of knowing if the person who we think we are is at the core of our being. Are you a decent (person) with the potential to someday become an evil monster, or are you an evil monster that thinks it’s a decent (person)?”
“Wouldn’t I know which one I was?”
And the worst part? We know we are lying to ourselves…
Let’s get uncomfortable and be honest.
Let’s get REAL and actually speak our minds.