How Bad Is Lying, Really?

How Bad Is Lying, Really?

From little white lies to big honkin' lies, everybody does it.  It's an age old art.  Some people are so good at lying that they can't even tell what the truth is anymore. A lot of times we lie assuming that we are protecting the other person, but in reality, we are usually protecting ourselves. So how bad is lying, really?  Well, unless you are lying to plan a big surprise party or give a special gift, well, then it's usually pretty bad, y'all.

Have you ever watched one of your favorite TV shows and wanted to throw something at the screen because a character you love is making a horrible decision, usually involving a lie, and you are sitting there thinking, "Just tell them the truth!"?  It's easy when we are on the outside looking in to know when lying is a bad decision to make.  On the outside, when we are simply the viewer, we get to see both sides of the story, and we get to see how the lie is tearing people into pieces, whether they know it or not.  In our own lives, however, we are usually far too afraid to deal with the potential consequences of telling the truth, so we lie.

I will tell you this first hand, lying is a relationship suffocater.  Lying doesn't just encompass saying the opposite of what you mean, lying is also the withholding of truth... being silent.  Perhaps you are lying to someone because you are afraid the truth will hurt them.  You think you are protecting them.  Well, guess what?  We are adults, we are not babies, and we don't need to be treated that way.  Part of being an adult is having the capability to hear, digest, and resolve problems... as much as that may seem like a lost art nowadays.  In reality, when we lie to someone we are usually trying to protect ourselves, because we are cowards.  We are doing it purely out of selfishness. We don't want to own up to our mistakes, or we are trying to avoid any sort of conflict because we like to live eternally in our comfort zones.  Well, friends... it's time to grow a pair.

If you truly care about the people in your life, whether they are your parents, kids, siblings, friends, spouse, significant other, yourself or whomever... admit when you mess up!  Learn to own up to your mistakes, learn to be honest about who you really are and what you really want, and learn to have conversations with people like the human beings that we are so that resolutions can be found and lessons can be learned.  We can only grow if we learn how to face conflict head on and without fighting like children.  Maybe the resolution will involve a big life change, well then do it!

Lies are like a prison in that they force you to live in limbo, and you often end up lying more to cover up your lie.  Before you know it, you have a trail of lies that becomes ever the more difficult to back peddle from and you start to feel trapped by your own lies; you put yourself there, congrats! Then you end up emotionally manipulating the person you are lying to in order to make them believe that you'd never lie to them and they are just imagining things, and then you make them feel guilty and horrible about themselves for doubting you.  Ah, the emotional manipulation game... all so that you can feel better about yourself.  Are you proud of yourself, yet? You lie to try not to hurt someone when in reality your lie is hurting them more than you know, because your lie holds them prisoner in a life that you are not happy with (so, why are you keeping them there, then?), but you are too chicken shit scared to be a human being and an adult, and treat other people as human beings.

I know I got a bit dramatic there, but my life has been traumatized by lies on various fronts... and not just from past significant others, either.  In all of the cases I would've much preferred to hear the truth, because knowing the truth can lead to solutions.  Even if the solutions are painful at first, they are always the right choice in the long run and lead to a freedom from that prison that lies create.  So, rather than painfully and slowly ripping that Band-Aid off, just give it a good yank!  There is a bright side to telling the truth.  Your relationships will become stronger, your chest will become lighter, you will become happier, and you'll be able to learn from any mistakes you may have made so that you can, hopefully, avoid making the same ones in the future.  I know that my goal is to not let the truth scare me anymore. I aim to be truthful not just to everyone I know, but also to myself. I hope that you will choose that path as well.

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