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Sit a bit and hear some observational stories I’ve been steeping.

Lyin’ Eyes

What can be done about habitual lying? Don’t we all know someone in our life who isn’t a bad person, but fibs all the time? Someone who will lie even about silly, unimportant things. When we get upset by this behavior we will often question ourselves, wondering “Am I being too sensitive? Should I just let it go?”

Not gonna lie, this habit of fibbing is not something to gloss over and ignore. Honestly, human nature can cause us to default to the ‘white lie’ when avoiding confrontation or discomfort, but it’s a whole other kettle of fish to weave whoppers of untrue tales wherever one goes. Habitual lying leaves a trail of frustration, distrust and a terrible taste in the mouth (tho’ rarely in the mouth of the liar).

Adolescents begin evading the truth to feel some kind of freedom from authority or to get out of trouble. Sometimes, it’s done in an effort to seem more important or interesting (Full disclosure: 13 year old me once told an older girl that I was a twin. I’m not proud. But, I just could not compete with her stories of skiing in Biarritz). Developmentally, course-correction happens when the problems and anxiety of keeping lies afloat becomes too much. As adults, Mark Twain’s advice becomes easier: “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”

Have some compassion for the Fibber McGee in your life, as the road they walk is a painful one. Liars are often lonely people who live in fear, confusion and tremendous anxiety. They lead complicated lives, constantly juggling the words they’ve released into the wild and are often hurt when deception, of their own device, boomarangs back to smack them in the chest.

Solid foundations of friendship, family and fair trade require truth. Not the hurtful kind either (nobody needs to know what you think about their pants/dress/outfit. Honestly: #NoBodyShaming). Information in a healthy relationship needs to have emotional honesty, which is difficult for some people. Trauma in their life may have led them to walk in a world of fabrication which they tell themselves is less painful. However, you may find yourself questioning your ability to trust them. So, you decide how much to invest in this relationship (or what information to divulge). You have to make some choices moving forward and be firm about what you will and won’t allow. When you recognize a lie (which science says we only accurately judge 50% of the time) you can:

1) Do nothing. Let it go if it’s not a big deal. [Let their other good qualities rise to the surface.]

2) Make a joke. If the person thinks you think they were ‘only kidding’ — they may then feel safe telling the truth or, at the very least, start to understand you’re on to them (in a nonjudgmental way).

3) Act dumb. Ask a lot of questions about the information just given and the liar may decide to tell the truth when they cannot weave their way out of the initial fib.

(4) Call ‘em out. When someone could get hurt do the right thing and question the lie.

Communication can be tough, but they say that one lie is enough to question all truths. Being lied to, no matter how small the fib, hurts. So, while you can’t change the behavior of someone else, you can question what the relationship is worth to you. As for you? Take the high road. Be honest, but not hurtful and as Thomas Carlyle said, “…you may be sure there is one less rascal in the world.” And honestly? One less weasel.

xo – t.

“We tell lies when we are afraid… afraid of what we don’t know, afraid of what others will think, afraid of what will be found out about us. But every time we tell a lie, the thing that we fear grows stronger.” – Tad Williams
“Truth fears no questions.” – Unknown
“Those who think it is permissible to tell white lies soon grow color-blind.” – Austin O’Malley


About TKatz

An absorbent observer's view on life. Opinions served up strong, but never bitter. T. and observation -- For tea and conversation. Actress/Singer/Writer/DJ: Words for Sale (Spoken, Sung, Scrawled) KHTS AM 1220 Fridays at Noon & Drive Time 3pm to 7pm. MWF