Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I Hate Liars

I've spent most of my adult life championing that phrase. I hate liars.

Harsh, huh? I'd like to say I've never actually said those words out loud, but...I'd be lying. Liars make me mad. I hate lies. Please don't lie to me. I take offense. I'm offended that you couldn't trust me with the truth. I'm hurt that you feel you have to hide something from me. When you lie, I build a few more layers of wall. I pride myself in sniffing out the best of lies. I'm really good at it. I can catch a person in a lie and they have NO idea I know they're lying to me. I just know.

But here's the thing: I'm a liar.

I lie ALL the time. When I don't want to go out with friends who invite me, I lie. I immediately think of the stories I can tell to get out of it, instead of just saying, "Hey guys, I'm just not up to going out." Because I'm afraid of hurting their feelings, or I feel guilty. But what's wrong with just not wanting to go out? Absolutely nothing.

I pride myself in being a confrontational person during times of conflict, and yet as I confront my friend or my husband with how they've offended me, I keep what really hurt me from them. What I really want to tell them is too hard to say, because it might hurt their feelings. Because it makes me vulnerable. Because it might make them mad at me. Because I don't like how sharing it makes me feel....weak.

I sometimes approach people with false humility. I unconsciously pretend to be less smart, less talented, less capable, so that I passify their ego, so that they'll like me, so that I can gain something from them. It's a form of a lie to get what I want in a backwards kind of way. It keeps me from being my true self.

Yeah so enough of my dirty laundry. The point is I'm done lying. God has made light what was dark.

We all lie. Don't we? We learn to lie as early as we learn how to talk. We learn to manipulate. We learn how to get what we want. Or rather, we just KNOW how to lie, manipulate, and get what we want. We have to LEARN not to.

So here's to learning not to. Cheers.


truevyne said...

I spent some years in counseling, and I remember coming to the same conclusions. Fortunately, the counselor taught me how to tell the truth, but not the whole hurtful truth.
"Do you like my dress?" When "no" is my final answer I can come up with something I do like about the dress, the color, the neckline, how it reminds me of some kind of fun dance. When I don't want to go out- I simply say I have other plans, but hopefully lets find a time that works. You get the picture.
There is seriously a great children's book with the wisdom of all this subtlety- _The Honest to Goodness Truth_ by Patricia McKissack. You might enjoy it the next time you head to the library, and it'll take just a few minutes to read.

MamasBoy said...

I've never caught my 6 year old in a lie and have only caught my almost 4 year old a couple times. For the most part they don't lie. It took me some time to realize that being truthful came naturally to them. Probably my wife can take the most blame for that, because she has been with them from day one and is most responsible for them trusting us completely.

I was raised with this idea that all kids are depraved little sinners, and it took me awhile to learn to trust my kids like my wife does. Even when my daughter is "dishonest" when I ask if she brushed her teeth, it is because her concept of time is so immature, that she remembers yesterday or a week ago and says yes.

That said, our culture is rife with dishonesty and lying. I myself have been convicted of it in the last year. It began innocently enough with a little white lie to my kids to preserve their innocence and progressed to dishonesty to avoid hurting someone's feelings later to dishonesty to avoid damaging my reputation with friends. I may say the subjects are little things and it doesn't happen often but it doesn't make it less sinful.

Reform can be difficult. God bless your efforts.

FancyPants said...

I don't think kids are depraved little sinners. I think in many ways they can be very wise, full of faith, with pure hearts. They love freely and unconditionally.

But from what I've witnessed with many kids, and I work with them frequently, is that they don't need to be taught how to lie. When a child begins to develop independence, he or she also begins to develop a will, and I've seen kids at 2 and 3 years old manipulate parents to get what they want. Even at 18 months. And if it takes lying, they know how to do it.

WIth that being said, kids won't always lie, and if they have parents who have developed a trusting relationship with their kids, like you and your wife have done, they don't feel the need to lie. I didn't lie growing up. I didn't need to. And if I did, the guilt I felt was enough to cough up the truth in a matter of seconds. But I was shown by my parents how honesty was good.

I read an article somewhere a while back entitled, "Why do kids lie?" or something like that. And the answer was because their parents do. I think that's true, but I think the child knows how to lie without being taught. If they witness their parents lying, what's to stop them?

Anonymous said...

missing your posts!!

Anonymous said...

really miss your posts!!
d from GA

Popcorn said...

Amber where are you? : (

Anonymous said...

This is a very inporational and true piece of text. I am doing an english presentation at school and i have chosen to do mine on liars. I have looked all over the internet to find information about liars but i have to say that this piece of text has stood out to me. It is so true and you have said things that i wouldnt have thought of to say for example the first paragraph. When people lie to me, i dont really know how to describe how i feel but the first paragraph sums it up perfectly. I hope you dont mind me taking a few sentences of this because i think it will show my audience what i really feel about liars. Thanks and well done!xxxx