I confess that I lie – when I feel overwhelmed, when I’m too anxious to be present, when I’m worried and focused on something else, when I don’t have energy to explain, when I’m embarrassed, when I want to avoid conflict. There are probably other reasons, but those are the major ones for me.
It’s so much easier to say “No” or “I don’t know” to a question or request when my mind is pre-occupied with more things than I am able to handle. You know, I’m usually OK with that – no real harm done if that’s the only reason why I push off getting involved.
The real harm happens when I do it to avoid conflict, or to avoid bringing attention onto myself.
It’s embarrassing for me to be the centre of attention. I was raised not be do that. And if I ended up being the centre of attention, it was hardly ever for something that felt good.
As for avoiding conflict, … well, that is really hard.
I’m getting better at both, which is a giant relief. For me, the key is to maintain a presence with the other people I’m with: to remain open-hearted and empathetic to both them and myself. It saves me from spiraling into self-consciousness or into the past.
What about you? Why do you lie?
Quote of the Week
“So you’re always honest,” I said.
“No,” I told him. “I’m not.”
“Well, that’s good to know, I guess.”
“I’m not saying I’m a liar,” I told him. He raised his eyebrows. “That’s not how I meant it, anyways.”
“How’d you mean it, then?”
“I just…I don’t always say what I feel.”
“Because the truth sometimes hurts,” I said.
“Yeah,” he said. “So do lies, though.”
― Sarah Dessen, Just Listen
Everything happens for a reason … and other lies I’ve loved
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