Day 44: Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

I have come to the conclusion that we are all liars, meaning that at some point in our day, week, month, year, lifetime, we lie.  We just don't like the word "liar" and so we work really hard to justify the reasons we lie.

There are probably just as many reasons for the lies we tell as there are lies themselves.  We lie to avoid conflict. . .   well, now that I type that . . .   I realize there is only one reason we lie; we lie to avoid conflict.

People tell all sorts of lies to avoid conflict.  Here are a few . . .

The "who's gonna know" lie.  The lie we tell when we cheat on our taxes or something similar.

The "white" lie.  The lie we tell because we believe it is in the best interest of the person to whom we are lying.  This is the "I love your new haircut" lie or the "no, your butt doesn't look big in those pants" lie. (just for the record, I will straight up tell you your butt looks big if you ask me . . . if it does indeed look big. . . so don't ask me if you don't really want to know.)

The  "flipped it" lie.  The lie we tell when we have forgotten something, but we blame the other person instead.  This is the "I told you weeks ago that I had a meeting, but you never remember anything I say" lie or the "you never told me to schedule that dentist appointment.  You do that all the time; think you've told me something but you haven't" lie.

The "cover-up" lie.  The lie we tell when our best defense is a good offense.  This is the "that's my story, and I'm sticking to it" lie.  Teenagers are the best at this one!  Even when they know the story they are telling is completely illogical, they will stick to that story no matter what!

The "negative belief" lie.  The lie we tell  because we believe that if we tell the truth about something, the other person is going to blow up about it, so instead of trusting them with the truth, we choose to tell a lie.  The "no, I didn't buy new shoes.  Those are old shoes.  I've had them for months" lie. (but in our head we're saying, "If I tell you I bought new shoes, which clearly I did, you are gonna freak out about it and yell at me for spending money.")  I may or may not do this.  Sometimes.  Maybe frequently.  (I SAID MAYBE)

I think at the end of the day, we lie because we do not trust the other party enough to tell them the truth.  We do not trust that our relationship, friendship, marriage with them is secure enough, safe enough, loving enough, to trust them with the truth.  And perhaps we don't want to have to speak the truth aloud because it makes us have to face things about ourselves that we don't like either.

And so we lie.

To avoid conflict.

Just imagine, though,  if we cultivated relationships of truth telling?  But how do we do that? 

We must begin by telling the truth.  By helping the other person know that no matter what, I will always tell you the truth. 

And secondly, by creating an atmosphere of grace, by helping the other person know that no matter how unpleasant the truth might be to hear, I want to hear the truth.  And when you tell me the truth, I'm not going to blow up about it.  I might not be happy.  But I'm not going to explode.  I'm going to be a safe person for you.

All that to say, truth telling . . . it's underrated.

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