If someone called you a liar, you’d want to slap ’em.
Because you never lie. Right?
(Well, except to be kind when your friend asks you how she looks in that top that doesn’t quite work for her…)
But think about it. How often do you say one thing, when you think or feel something completely different?
Maybe it’s something like this….
“Oh no, I don’t mind. I’ll be glad to pick your kids up from school today…” (…for the 4th time this week)
“I’m not mad. I was worried, that’s all…” (…when you came home two hours late and didn’t even bother to call.)
And my personal favorite…
“Well that’s okay, really. I don’t do this for the money anyway…” (…when you find out your male colleague is making significantly more than you for doing the same job, even though you’ve got 15 years’ more experience than he does.)
Truth to tell, many of you – if not most of you – are QUITE skilled at this artful way of twisting your own words. You hide your true thoughts, going along to get along, in many of your close personal relationships, not to mention those at work, church or in the community. You bend over backwards trying not to hurt anyone’s feelings, make anyone mad, cause anyone problems.
And you run from conflict or simple disagreement.
Avoidance is one thing. And you know what? I totally get that. Goodness knows I’ve been known to dodge, or put off, a difficult conversation more than once in my life.
But to say one thing, when you think and feel just the opposite?
To say you’re okay, when you’re not?
To say you don’t mind, when you do?
Well, sisters – that’s lying plain and simple.
It’s Emotional Dishonesty.
And that kind of lyin’ wears you down. Year after year of going along, never saying what you really think, never speaking Your Truth, weighs on you like a sack of rocks. Getting through the day gets harder and harder, because the burden of dishonesty is heavy on your back.
I want you to think, just think. What would happen if you told the simple truth? With tact and diplomacy, of course. But truth?
I know. Scary, isn’t it?
Relax. I’m not going to ask you to do that.
For now, just try this…
Let’s call this a Baby Step towards Becoming (more) Honest.
This week, see if you can figure out how often this happens to you. Just notice. Observe. Step outside your Self and watch. Pay attention to your insides. Notice when you’ve got a smile on your face, but feel irritated inside, or when you toss off a “sure!”, while nodding your head yes, but have that awful, sinking feeling inside.
You know what I’m talking about!!
At night, just before bed, think back over your day. Take a moment to remember & study the day’s conversations, then jot down a few notes. A lovely blank book with your favorite pen makes this a more fun thing to do, but a plain old legal pad and a chewed up pencil works just fine, as well. :)
Think, then answer these questions as honestly as you can. No one needs to see this but you, so you don’t have to worry about hurting anyone’s feelings. Start by telling the truth – to yourself.
What actually happened in each situation you encountered today?
What did you say, if anything, or show on the outside?
What did you think or feel on the inside that was different than what showed?
What kept you from being honest in that moment? Was it fear? If so, fear of what?
How many times did this happen to you today.
After a week, look back at your notes.
Suspend judgment for right now. There may be times when it’s perfectly reasonable, even smart, NOT to speak your mind. (When your boss asks you for your opinion, well, that can be tricky, can’t it?) We’re not looking at whether this is bad or good. We’re JUST noticing how and when it happens.
Because you can’t solve a problem until you know it exists, and to what degree it exists. That’s alllllllll we’re doing right now.
So, back to your notes.
How many times this week were you less than truthful about how you really felt? Do you tend to be less honest with one particular person, or a particular KIND of person? Does it tend to happen around a particular issue or a KIND of interaction? What patterns do you see?
What are you noticing? Tell us in the comments.
Because I’ll bet we’ve got more in common than you think!
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