Google is even better at catching a liar than we are these days. I seem to be surrounded by them!
“I called the police on her!”
“The world is flat.”
“I survived childhood leukemia.”
“This credit report is free!”
“I own a Monet.”
When you are bogged down with a myriad of lies, all different kinds, it’s hard to believe when someone is actually telling you the truth anymore. Where do the lies stop and the truth finally begin? If you’re involved with a liar, you might never be able to tell the difference. It might even behoove you to start thinking that everything they’re telling you is probably just another lie.
I’ve written many, many posts on lying and why people do it, so I’m not going to start beating a dead horse. This post is more about filtering out as much bull as you can in order to feel some sort of security about the important truths the person may be trying to tell you. Mainly, if a person is lying to you then there is definitely a problem and getting to the bottom of that might just free both of you up for some more constructive behavior, rather than the destructiveness of lies.
I have been lied to so much that you’d think I might be tempted to lie some myself. It has the exact opposite affect on me though. The more I’m lied to, the more compelled I am to be honest. I don’t respect liars. I don’t trust them either. If I were to start lying with no intention of ever coming clean, then how am I supposed to live with myself? That would be a bitter, bitter pill for me to swallow.
I have written posts about how you can catch someone in a lie. The devil is in the details. The more detailed a story is, the bigger the lie. There is also lying through omission. When someone purposefully keeps details from you, they are hiding something. So you have both sides of the spectrum here…too many details, and not enough. Lord help the person that lives with someone that is adept at both kinds! Now there’s a professional liar!
These days I tend to let a lot more just roll off of my back, although some things I am stern about.
When someone lies and it crosses my personal boundaries, I will tell them about it. Hopefully our friendship is strong enough to handle that. I am aware that I hold people to higher standards when it comes to being honest, but I won’t compromise there.
I am also aware that sometimes it’s just easier to tell a lie and avoid a big discussion. The problem with that is if you ever get caught, the discussion could be about ending your friendship, rather than what you lied about. If all you want to do is avoid a big discussion, then be honest about it. Tell the person “Look, this happened and I know it is going to upset you and that’s the last thing I would ever want to do. Can we set aside some time later to talk this through? It would mean a lot to me if it could wait.” Doesn’t that sound a whole lot easier than telling a lie that you might get caught telling? It does to me! You let the person know that you care about their feelings. You let them know the table will be open for honest discussion later and you didn’t have to lie about anything.
If you aren’t sure about a person’s honesty, you can always test the waters. Know that when you start doing this that the issue here is much bigger than whether or not the person is being truthful with you. There is the issue of trust and reliability to consider and how you are going to feel with the outcome. If you prove the person is trustworthy, are you going to tell them what you did to figure this out? If you find out the person is a liar, are you going to expose the lies and work on some solutions together? Or walk away? Be sure you know your own boundaries before you start pushing someone else’s buttons because even if they prove to be trustworthy, they might think you’re a real shit for testing them.
Sometimes people lie out of fear, but most of the time people lie because they continue to get away with it. I was naive enough once to think that just because someone loved you it was enough for them to be honest with you and that was the biggest lie of all. The really sad part is that it wasn’t a lie someone else told me, it was a lie I told myself.
I really hope that there comes a time in my life when I can believe, without a single shadow of doubt, that someone is being honest with me. Until then I will remain a burnedtoomanytimes skeptic. Here’s hoping you share your space with truth, but most of all I have hope that you share your space with the best kind of love and the mutual respect that comes from being open and honest.