(2 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
This is a very difficult topic for me, because I have now realized that I have to do that. I wish that I did not, but I do.
Before I go on any further, let me say that I used to lie. That was in my cheating days, and I really regret the cheating. It destroyed my marriage, and I was married to one who still remains one of the most wonderful people in the world.
I lied to spare her feelings a bit, but honestly, to keep my ass from being trouble for the most part. That is how liars work. They lie to avoid the consequences of their actual actions. But I really did, at least for some part, to spare her feelings.
Lying goes hand and hand with cheating. It does not matter if it is a personal relationship, a game, or a business deal. If there were no cheating happening, then lying would be unnecessary. Almost always lies are told to mislead another. However, there are two big exceptions.
Before we get to these, let us treat what are commonly called “little white lies”. Those are usually harmless, like telling you spouse that she does not look too big in a particular outfit. Love can color perception, and even if one does not prefer the outfit, saying that he or she looks nice is not really a lie.
There are also the parental lies, like telling kids that Santa Claus is real. These are more harmful, because there is not any real basis for them. After our kids were just a bit old, we told them that Santa was a fantasy but had basis in that the spirit of giving was valid. I look back and regret lying to them now about even Santa. Another parent lie is connected with food, like “If you do not eat that, you will get sick.” That is almost always untrue, and is not a good thing to do.
The first, and probably the most common, is lying to one’s self. That takes many forms, from the relatively innocent “I look really good today.”, to the more pernicious, “I do not really drink (or substitute another vise) that much.” Perhaps it lying to one’s self is the most difficult lie to put right, because one’s self wants to believe the lie.
I lie to myself all of the time. I tell myself that, “Next week, I am going to find a good job.” I have been telling myself that since April of 2006, and to be honest have not really looked. With savings almost gone, I must reconsider that one.
Another lie that I tell myself is that a certain person really wants to be with me as a lover and spouse. I am getting over that one fairly quickly.
Still another is that I make a positive contribution anywhere. With no employment, I honestly do not think that I do.
The second exception is the pathological liar. He or she tells lies for no reason, and often actually deludes herself or himself to the point that the person telling the lie actually comes to believe it. This is a special case of the first exception, with the caveat that the liar intends for others to believe it as well.
Here is an hypothetical example. Let us imagine that someone is a suitor for a desired female. He is known not to have any resources of his own, but lies to say that he has and excellent job prospect and will start working soon, like in the next day or two. Then he asks to marry her. Then he lies about being called in early, when actually he has put off his start date for two weeks, and does not tell the female about it. That would be a lie.
Another would be if the female already knew that situation and told her best friend that he was at work that day and sort of avoided talking with him because of a guilty mind. That would also be a lie. Those are all hypothetical situations, but you get the point.
Lies are mostly evil, but the ones that say, “You look nice!”, are really not. As I said, those are complimentary, and there is no accounting for what love does to make appearance nice.
My point, if I have one, is that friends and true lovers do not lie to each other, because the lies are almost always designed to cover up bad behavior or to “spare” the feelings of another person. I am of the school that it would be better to know the truth and let my feelings be damned rather than to be fed a lie.
Here are my recommendations:
Be honest with all of your interactions with everyone.
If you are cheating sexually or emotionally, spill your guts and tell your spouse that you are, and then figure out what to do next. Just be honest.
If in a business deal and you are cheating and lying, clean up the deal.
Finally, just do not cheat and do not lie. It has taken me decades to learn that, and if I had assimilated the concepts that I am telling you now, my family and I would have been spared lots of heartbreak.
I am sorry for the downer for Saint Patrick’s Day, but this is important. I hope that everyone agrees and will be more honest in their relationships. I know that I will NEVER lie to anyone ever again, except for the, “You really look nice” kinds.
Oh, how to deal with them? Just cut them off from your presence. That will either drive them away or make them honest with you. Either alternative is better than being lied to, for many reasons. Also, do not accept assurances of honesty until you can prove them. Liars just lie unless there is a life changing moment. Sometimes there are, but not often. I had an epiphany, but that is quite rare.
Doc, aka Dr. David W. Smith
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