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Lie

The Most Important Person You Really Lie To, Yourself

Don't Lie To Yourself

Don’t Lie To Yourself

Would you hire someone and keep them in the dark about the workings of your business?  Would you not give the correct answers to their questions about the business and then if they confront you about lying to them, would you deny doing it to them.  How useful would this person be except as a fall guy for your business if something goes wrong.  Would you trust them with any major decisions?  Of course not, they don’t know what is going on.

To maintain our pride and to avoid fear and anxiety, we often do this but the employee you often lie to is yourself.  You don’t know what is going on here.  Pretending not to see something won’t make it go away.   It is like the elephant in the room in alcoholic families, nobody admits that they see it; but it is still there.

Denial permits us to keep from thinking about the consequences of something we are actually doing to ourselves.  We often use it because there is an immediate reward if somebody believes it.    We hope that while we are convincing others we are convincing ourselves and somehow things that we dread happening will come out differently.  “Oh, what tangled webs we weave when first we practice to deceive (Sir Walter Scott).”

Lies which we make to our selves are like any lies we make to others.  At some point we lose track of what we said to whom, even to ourselves, and there are unforeseen consequences and when they occur, we cry out in disbelief, “Why me?  Yes, you.   You you started this chain of lies to make something big, little, and, instead, it mushrooms.  Some people innocently call it merely self-deception, not really lying.

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People Who Believe Their Own Lies

Truth lies

Truth lies (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

People who believe their own lies.  Once I didn’t think it was possible, but now I do.  I have met too many of those type of people.  The next biggest problem is not only that they believe their own lies, but also they have to tell them to you over and over and you can’t leave until they are finished.  How polite is too polite?

The lies that people who believe their own lies tell are almost always preposterous.  Usually you don’t have to be an expert in the area he or she is talking about to know that the story you just heard can’t possibly be true.  For example, just how many life threatening operations can a person have in their life and still be alive to talk about them?

If almost any listener can’t believe the lies that people who believe their own lies tell, how do the liars believe them?  The stories that they tell are usually fantastic and are designed to astound the listener and stupefy the audience.  These liars continue to tell these stories over and over because they think that these tales will have this desired effect on the audience. They especially love to have new listeners who haven’t heard their stories before; but they often don’t stop to check and usually don’t remember or care if the listener has heard these stories before.

What is strangest of all about the people who believe their own lies is that as long as they have the floor, they don’t care whether they have told the story before or not.  Would you like me to introduce you to one of these people?  I didn’t think so.  There are certain people’s places that people don’t like to stop by even if they have a perfectly good reason to do so.  You know why of course.  Then there are people who know they are lying and are not telling the truth, but they don’t care because it doesn’t suit their purposes to tell the truth.

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Are There Extenuating Circumstances When It Comes to Telling Lies?

Anya telling a secret to her brother.

Anya telling a secret to her brother. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sometimes we have promised to keep a secret for someone else.  Does everyone have the right to know that your friend is pregnant?  There may be a reason for keeping it a secret like a history of miscarriages.  Even then who has a right to know? and who determines that right?  Isn’t it the prospective parents?

Some things we feel more comfortable telling others and other things we may feel less comfortable telling others.  We might not want everyone to know how much money we make or how much we weigh.  If to not tell the truth is not hurting anyone, why do we have to make our life history and present circumstances known to everybody.  Especially when some unscrupulous person can use this information to hurt you.

Generally we know inside when we are deliberately keeping the truth from someone who should have it and when we really don’t have to share.  If you come right out and tell the truth freely in every situation, you might find out that not everyone values the truth and respects those that tell it.

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Can We Spot Our Own Lies?

Truth

Truth (Photo credit: d4vidbruce)

Often we are aware when we tell someone else a lie.  Signs of omission are harder to spot in oneself.  It happens when you should tell somebody something that you know is the truth but are unwilling or afraid to share.  Someone asks us for a favor, but we don’t say , “No,” but we don’t say , “Yes,” either.  Then later, the person asks us when we are going to do them a favor and we have to tell them, “No.”  We just put off saying what we should have said when we were first asked to do something and that is that we aren’t able to fulfill that request for them.  Sometimes we hope that by avoiding answering the question that the other person will get the hint that we don’t want to do it and not press us to give them a deliberate, “No.”  An unfortunate possible consequence is that the person making the request doesn’t look else for someone else to do the favor and is up the crick without a paddle by the time they realize you won’t do it.

The biggest problem with the truth is when you don’t tell yourself the truth.  Sometimes we lie to ourselves, for example, by telling ourselves we don’t have a problem with something when we do.  This is often true of alcoholics or people with drug addictions.  When we don’t see a problem, we can’t solve it.  Also possible clues about what might be causing the problem are not part of the picture as acknowledging them might suggest that we do something about them.

Sharing the truth can be a life changing experience especially when done relationships like the therapist-patient one either one-on-one or in groups.

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Omission vs. Commission

English: Truth-Telling Boy Barnstar

English: Truth-Telling Boy Barnstar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Children seem to learn how to lie at a very young age.  I don’t know which comes first, sins of omission versus sins of commission.  At some point, it becomes very convenient to avoid telling the truth or to not tell the truth at all and lie instead.  Lying is something we learn to do by imitating the behavior of others.  It is also something we learn to do when we fear the consequences of telling the truth.

It would be nice if telling the truth was something which came naturally and comfortably in the appropriate situation.  Some things we feel more comfortable telling others and other things we may feel less comfortable telling others.   One of the problems with telling the truth is that others might judge us based on what we say.  Also controlling others’ behaviors is often an overriding concern of some people and the penalty for telling the truth is that other people will think badly of them.  Parents sometimes make the mistake of caring more about what other people might think than they do about their own children’s feelings.

Generally we know inside when we are deliberately keeping the truth from someone and when we really don’t have to share.  If you come right out and tell the truth freely in every situation, not everyone values the truth and respects those who tell it.

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