“Anyone who doesn’t take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either.” – Albert Einstein
There are few things that are as powerful as the truth.
It might make some people uncomfortable but it’s always the right way to go. We can always live with it.
Most of us, if not all, have felt a need to exaggerate or tell a white lie. Ok, a raging storm of complete BS…
Fear. That’s what it most commonly comes down to.
A fear that what and who we are right now isn’t good enough. We think the other person has this image of us that we have to live up to. That we won’t get invited to the party with the cool kids unless we put on a good show.
We are social animals. We have a need to belong. But at what cost?
We tell this one lie. Then another to cover that one up. Then another. Then what happens? It crumbles. We get caught.
Even if we don’t get caught we’ll never feel like a real part of the group because we lied our way in. It’s not a relationship built out of mutual trust and respect. It’s one built out of fear. Fear of not belonging.
It’s natural to feel that fear. We have to have our tribe. If we’re honest about who we are instead of trying to be what we think others want us to be we’ll automatically gravitate towards a tribe where we can put our talents to use and where we can feel safe.
I’ve had experiences where people have told me lies in order to impress or mislead me. It’s always disappointing. But I understand why they do it.
I used to either avoid them or just ignore the lies and try to get out of working with them. Until I realized that this wasn’t productive for either one of us. It would lead to further frustrations where I felt like I had to make up lies not to work with them and they felt like I was leading them on. Which I was, hoping that they’d just take the hint sooner or later.
It’s a waste of time and energy. I’ve found that the easiest way to deal with it is just being honest yourself. You can give people the chance to tell the truth, not by accusing but by asking: “Are you being honest with me?”.
What they choose to do after that is up to them, but we don’t have to play along by resorting to the same tactics. In a perfect situation the person admits this and explains why they did so. That can build trust and might be a foundation to build upon. If they keep insisting on it and you still feel unsure, go with your gut. If you go against it you’ll always have that doubt. And that’s NOT a good foundation.
It’s as easy as saying: “I don’t feel that I can trust you, which makes working together impossible.”.
And that’s really hard. We don’t want to hurt peoples feelings. But which is worse? Wasting both our time and energy or just ripping off the band aid and feeling the sting.
The very least you’ve done is to try to leave the person a little better off than when you found them. Now they’ve atleast had an honest chance to change.
“Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth.” – Mahatma Gandhi