I just finished watching Oprah interview Lance Armstrong on her OWN Network and think she did a really fantastic job trying to get answers out of him. The biggest moment I believe came from Oprah at the very end when she basically asked Lance what his overall learning curve was to the situation he had created. Sadly, Lance did not hit the nail on the head but Oprah sure did have some words of wisdom to share. Through all the lying and betrayal, the overall message she believed to be learned was that; the truth will set you free.
I think the most moving and “human” moment that came from Lance during the entire interview was when he spoke about his son. That was when he appeared the most authentic. I think it captured the essence of how letting go and being truthful is when you come off the most powerful.
So why do people lie? Let’s talk about that.
I am sure every girl out there has been in a situation where they had to deal with a big fat liar. From cheating boyfriends, to jealous girlfriends trying to escape the truth, lying happens all the time. The reality behind it is pretty simple. Lying is easy. Some may even see it as a quick fix or completely harmless. If you grew up in a household where lying was allowed than you may simply just be use to it. How many times did you hear a relative make up a white lie to get out of going to a family function or hearing your aunt tell your grandma she likes her cooking when she told you she hated it? What about when mother’s say to their sons, “Tell me the truth, did you hit your sister? I am going to punish you if you did.” Is that little boy going to connect the dots and know that “the truth” is actually the right answer?
As an adult, you need to know that lying should just not happen.
One of the reasons I think people lie is because they are afraid to speak up. There are some people out there that suffer from codependency issues, the need to please,and so on. That overwhelming feeling of always wanting to give the right answer can be so consuming it messes up your own thoughts. These people just don’t have the balls to say what the really think and it ends up biting them in the ass.
I have also seen so many people get hooked on telling half truths, fibs and lies that it becomes part of the way they communicate.
There are also so many different levels of not telling the truth. Little white lies don’t seem to be that big of a deal in society but lying about an affair is considered the ultimate betrayal. So is there a lying scale?
I had a girlfriend that I would catch in small lies all the time. She was actually a pro at it. I would ask her on a Wednesday if she wanted to go out to dinner on a Friday and she would text me back saying how excited she was to see me. Friday afternoon would roll around and she would text me saying she could not make it because she had the flu. I would later find out that she went out with another group of friends. When I eventually confronted her about it, she told me that she changed her mind and did not want to hurt my feelings so she lied. She thought she would get away with it. What hurt me the most was not her changing her mind, I think everyone has the freedom to do that but it was the actual lying part that bothered me.
Here are a few ways to stop yourself from getting to that point of lying:
1.) Think before you speak. If someone asks you a question, take a minute to actually digest what they are saying. For example, if someone invites you to a party next weekend and you are not sure if you want to go, tell them you will get back to them. I often tell people that I can’t commit to saying yes right now and will have to get back to them later. Try it, it will take the pressure of yourself.
2.) Remember that No means No and Yes means Yes. This can be the easiest thing to remember but the hardest to execute for some people. When you say no, really mean it! It can be very empowering and the best way to own what you want to communicate.
3.) Changing your mind is allowed. Many people lie to get out of something like a date or a planned commitment. What they should do is simply say that they changed their mind. Your date, friend or whomever you made a plan with should be fine with it. Shit happens and changing your mind is healthy.
4.) Stop surrounding yourself with liars. There is that saying that you are who you surround yourself with in life. If you hang around a group of friends or family members that tell white lies or make fibs all the time, their way of communicating is probably rubbing off on you. Besides, who wants to be friends with a liar. If they are lying to other people, they are lying to you too.
5.) Lying is not an easy way out. Telling a lie can evolve into one big hot mess so don’t think a small fib is an easy escape.
6.) Be considerate. Lying to someone you love says a lot about your character. Put yourself in their position. Lying is filled with negative energy.
7.) Be confident. Articulate and be firm in the way you communicate. Own your thoughts, opinions and needs. Don’t say something because that is what you think someone wants to hear. Be truthful with your opinions and if you don’t like something or don’t want to do something than don’t! Speak up.
8.) Remember a lie is a lie. A partial lie is still a lie. Don’t try to justify your own lie. Just don’t lie. Got it!
What I know for sure is that the world is filled with all kinds of lies but we need to navigate and ride through it with a moral compass. Stay on the safe path, living a life of honesty and truth will always keep you ahead of the race.
The Other Hubby