Honesty is always the best policy.
I pride myself on being honest, and I’m honest when asked a direct question. If someone asks me something directly, no matter how badly I want to deflect the question, I can’t lie. I just can’t lie. Something in me goes, “if you lie, you’re setting the precedence that someone can lie to your face.” It’s an immediate thought, and it dictates most of my life.
If I can lie to you, then I can’t expect you to be honest with me. Even though I hardly trust anyone I meet, I like the idea that there are a select few people out there (like me) who don’t lie. They have to exist.
You can see how this gets me in some trouble. Most people don’t subscribe to this mentality and will lie anyway.
Just because you’re honest doesn’t mean someone has to be honest with you. Let me tell you, many people will lie to you like it’s a competitive sport (that only they’re playing–you didn’t even know there was a match) and never think twice about it. I can’t imagine what their lives must be like. Do they worry that everyone is lying to them? Or do they think that they’re so clever, and no one would lie to them?
Sadly, it’s probably the latter. Even sadder, I hope they’re lied to about important things (I know I shouldn’t be so spiteful, but you get what you give. Or you should. New Radicals said so, and I think they were on to something).
Let’s refocus, though.
If you ask me a direct question, I won’t lie.
That means that I can omit the truth when discussing something. I can completely leave out important facts, and I do/have/but won’t anymore.
Side note this brings me to: why would anyone lie?
In my understanding, it’s because the truth is too hard to handle or would warrant an unwanted consequence.
I highly doubt that these are the only reasons why people would lie, but these seem like the main reasons people lie.
Sure, we can also add several other reasons: some people are just bad people (you know who you are), some are incredibly selfish, some are sociopaths, some are mentally stunted, and some are your general run-of-the-mill average pain-in-the-neck losers that I hope you never meet.
I don’t condone lying at all. I have a hard time trusting people to begin with, so when someone finally gains my trust, one lie shatters my entire perception of them. I think this is why I would never lie. I wouldn’t want to have someone trust me, and then hurt them with something petty like a lie (if we’re going to hurt someone, it’ll be a fatal blow. IE: elbowing them in the left temple while simultaneously kneeing them in the groin and throwing a rabid python their way as I make my getaway).
So, with that being said, I tell the truth. Direct questions are the death of me, because sometimes I don’t want to deal with uncomfortable consequences/conversations (sometimes you do something that is justified, but you don’t feel like you have to justify it to just anyone. The important people in my life, I wouldn’t omit things, because they’d most likely understand.).
For example, let’s say that I’m in a relationship with an extremely jealous guy (this really wouldn’t fly, but humor me) and on my first day of work in a new job, I stop to get coffee (this also wouldn’t happen), and while I’m at the cafe, a guy stops me and says, “Hey, I love your choice in coffee, and by the way, your hair looks suave today. We should get some chamomile tea this evening, and then if we hit it off, maybe we can read some Descartes over some delicious pasta that I will make at home before you come over. You can tell me your thoughts on it and I’ll disagree politely and we’ll banter back and forth but not pretentiously. Maybe we’ll play some first person shooter games too, because I know you like those, because I’m a stalker. Also, I won’t try to sleep with you or kiss you, because that would be too much and I’m not a chauvinist pig. You can bring dessert, because I love chocolate and I know you do too.” Of course, I’d politely decline and pay for my coffee. I’d meet my new boss, I’d work on tons of projects, I’d have lunch, I’d make friends with my coworkers, I’d drive home without traffic, and then I’d meet said jealous boyfriend at our place (would we have a place? Probably not, because he’d be too jealous and I’d want to strangle him). So, he’d come to my place and ask about my day.
Psycho: how was your day?
Me: It was nice
Psycho: what happened? (he actually wouldn’t have to ask this, because I’d want to discuss it, but maybe I’d be testing to see if he was genuinely curious. Yes, I am quite the handful).
Me: I stopped for coffee on my way to work, then at work I made friends with my boss and so and so and then can you believe these awesome projects. OH and then I hit no traffic on the way home. Caarrazzzyyyy.
See what I did there?
Yeah, I’d leave out the part that would probably make the jealous guy act like a psycho. Again, this would never happen because of two things: 1. I abhor the idea of someone being crazy possessive over me (there’s a limit, you know? You can care, be jealous and sweet without being a psycho. This guy would be psycho [let’s say he’d throw a tantrum and then raise his voice. Then I’d have to punch him in the voice box]) 2. I hate confrontation.
I wouldn’t want to make this guy feel insecure, because it really wasn’t that important, and what’s the point? Every time I’d get coffee, would jealous guy wonder if I was being chatted up by homeboy and his chamomile drinking, chocolate eating dreams?
Therein lies the dilemma, though.
I would hate it if someone omitted the truth to me. Total honesty regardless of the consequence. Also, I’m probably the least confrontational person on the planet, so unlike most people, I wouldn’t react to anything someone said in the heat of the moment. I would simmer, I would think about it. Unless, of course, they lied! Then I’d still simmer, but I would be angry simmering that I discovered a lie.
So, I would wonder what else they were omitting. I get that what you don’t know can’t hurt you, but I think it can. Not telling the whole truth can get you in trouble later. Maybe you accidentally tell the whole truth later, and then the person feels slighted.
Therefore: zero omitting of the truth from here on out. I know, don’t you just love the high standards I set for myself that no one else follows? I do, also.
A less extreme example, and one that affects me, is when I let things go that actually bother me.
I may seem like a rock on the outside. I can handle even the most vulgar of jokes, but I don’t like them. I am easily offended, and once you’ve offended me, my perception can be twisted of you. I need to be more vocal about my boundaries with everyday people. I’m vocal about it in close friendships, I’m vocal about it with potential relationships, and I’m vocal about it with family (all people that matter). Certain things do not sit well with me, and if you cross those boundaries, I will have a hard—if not, impossible—time forgiving you. I see in black and white, and while I can forgive an accident, I have trouble with reoccurrences. I write people off like a meter cop.
How does this tie in with lying?
Pretending that you’re okay with someone’s antics when you’re not is lying. You’re not being fair to yourself or the other person.
I’m slowly (ever so slowly) learning to be more open about what I do and don’t like. I can do what I’ve always done (go home and vent about it to someone close to me and then harbor hostility) or I can open my mouth and say how I feel despite the consequence.
The worst case scenario: someone thinks I’m oversensitive and limits their contact with me (good riddance).
The best case scenario: someone is more considerate before saying or doing something that I’m not okay with.
Contrary to popular belief, keeping your mouth shut to avoid rocking the boat isn’t always the most pleasant (trust me, I wasted time keeping my mouth shut and ended up in the same lifeboat as I would’ve had I opened my mouth day two). You have to be completely honest and throw caution to the wind.
It’s like that saying: Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.
As for always being honest, you should be. The above quote? Why would you want to spend time with someone who doesn’t want you to be honest about how you feel?
What kind of people are you surrounding yourself with? If someone can’t accept you for something as simple as telling them how you feel, do you really want them around?
If you’re living a genuine life, if you’ve got reasons for your behavior and actions, tell the truth.
What have you got to lose?
It can’t be that important if you’re willing to lie, or you wouldn’t have done it in the first place.
(**Obviously baby showers, surprise parties, and the like are good reasons to lie. I’m talking about the everyday stuff people lie about that they really shouldn’t. In terms of opinion, I guess that’s subjective. I wouldn’t tell someone “you look fat in that” unless they asked “do I look fat in that?” then I’d say, “yes.” Otherwise, if they said “how do I look?” I’d say I liked it or I didn’t.)