“People think that a liar gains a victory over
his victim. What I’ve learned is that a lie is an act
of self-abdication, because one surrenders one’s
reality to the person to whom one lies…”
~ Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
Want better relationships? Want to feel better about yourself? The secret is simple and something that you learned many years ago. It is this: tell the truth when you speak to others about yourself.
Intentionally creating a false belief – lying – creates barriers between you and other people. When you lie, your motivation, at least in part, is to make others like you better, or to make decisions in your favor, or to cover up an embarrassing mistake you’ve made.
You lie to maintain the illusion of high personal value, or personal wealth, in the eyes of others.
In other words, you’re afraid that if others see you for who you really are, they will think less of you.
The irony is that lying has the opposite effect from what you intend. When people discover your lies, or at least sense that you’re not truthful, they intentionally distance themselves from you. When they know you to be genuine and truthful, without pretention and falseness, that’s when they choose to be close to you.
The reason is simply that your real personal wealth comes from your own credibility, not from what you want others to believe about what you have accomplished in your life, where you’ve been, who you know or any of the other things about which you might feel tempted to lie.
Credibility, with its cousins trust and integrity, form the foundation of all your relationships. Truthfulness is the bond that holds them together. When you cannot trust the truth to those you love, you hold yourself apart from others. It may be emotionally safer in the short term, but in the longer term, you create distance between yourself and others.
Being close to others means to let them see the real you, warts and all. It means telling the truth about yourself.
“The truly scary thing about undiscovered lies
is that they have a greater capacity to diminish
us than exposed ones. They erode our strength,
our self-esteem, our very foundation.”
~ Cheryl Hughes
Life Is Honest, Open and True: Lying doesn’t make you more popular or bring you more friends. Instead, lying creates distance between you and others. When closeness is what you really want, stick with the truth.
Do you find it hard to tell the truth when the truth might cause others to think less of you? What are you doing about it? Tell me about it in the comments or tweet me @lifeishotblog with the hash tag #LifeIsHOT!