Tag Archives: lying

HONESTY

For the last several weeks, I have had little to no motivation to write about relationships. Watching the fall out of the racial tension from Ferguson, the evil activities of terrorists in the Middle East, and my own battle with my identity had almost erased my desire to encourage people toward better and meaningful relationships.

Then I was reminded about the importance one voice might have in a dark world of preconceived notions, ignorance, and prevalent deception CAN have an impact.

We can influence others with the truth about relationships. It is difficult. It is down right messy at times.

However, it can be rewarding.

Now, on to the post…

Deception, lies, and redirected verbal inventions…

Recently, I was reading about how early we as humans learn the skill of deception. It was pointed out that as young as six months old a child will come to understand that if he/she cries, then someone will come and give them attention. At first the cries are signals for food, a wet diaper, or affection.

Then, like Pavlov’s dog and the bell that became the stimulus for action, the parent responds out of routine and the child now has his/her parents wrapped around his/her finger.

At that point the battle begins for who can outsmart the other. Will the parents recognize the deceptive attempts and respond, or teach the child the importance of crying only in the right circumstances.

At a certain point children will even start to act like they were not doing something wrong when in fact they are WELL AWARE of their behavior and are setting their skill in motion. It is the child who goes toward the cookie and picks it up to eat it when the parent pops their head around the corner and catches them in the act.

The response from the parent is, “NO. Not before dinner.” The response from the child is to act like they are just looking at the cookie and gently places it back on the plate of savory sweetness.

How about the married relationship? What drives either person in this bond to lie? Perhaps it is to avoid an uncomfortable conversation; or it is to keep from having conflict. Truth be told (pun intended), if the deceptive behavior continues it is only a matter of time before the foundation of the relationship crumbles and trust is all but lost.

Have you ever heard someone say?

“Honestly…”

“To tell you the truth…”

“I cannot tell a lie…”

Why is it necessary to preface the truth with a verification of its validity? I am more inclined to think the ones who use these expressions are lying most of the time, but this one fact that spills off their tongue might be the truth.

Honesty is not a scary venture if you never do anything to place yourself in the position of hurting someone because of an action, or conversation you had with another that broke a confidence, and the list can go on and on.

Lying has become so ordinary it can be quite difficult to determine which is the true statement.

There are even games where you have to lie and hope that someone does not catch you in your lie.

What would the world be like if it were impossible to lie? There would be no need for judges. Policemen would have a much less difficult time interrogating the perpetrator of a crime. Married relationships could be more open. People might even be less inclined to do something wrong because they knew they would HAVE to tell the truth.

The Truth is (pun intended), it is not only possible to lie, but for most people it is the preferred method of communication.

One of the Ten Commandments refers to lying where it says; “You shall not bear false testimony against your neighbor.” This literally means you shall not lie about what your neighbor did, did not do, said, or did not say.

Why was it important to be honest, forthright, truthful and candid?

Lies can slowly chip away at a relationship until there is nothing left that remotely resembles a relationship. When someone is caught in a lie, whatever trust was there is eradicated by one phrase from the tongue.

I have always taught my daughters growing up there are two things their mom and I would NEVER tolerate in the home…

  1. Lying
  2. Disrespecting another individual

The reason these will not be tolerated is because they are both self-serving and because either one can destroy the relationship between two people.

Ask yourself if it is worth destroying the trust between you and a close friend or family member over one act of defiance, lack of trust, or desire to avoid a messy confrontation.

Chances are if your relationship cannot withstand an error on either party, then the relationship was not built on the solid ground of truth and authenticity.

Take a day and perform an experiment. Go through your day and become aware of whom you are talking to, and what you are saying. Take inventory of your words and conversations and take note when you tell a lie or try to deceive someone into thinking a certain way.

Chances are you will be SURPRISED at how many times you catch yourself being dishonest.

By the way, you cannot simply tag on the phrase “Just kidding” after you do so. Sooner or later others will see through the ruse and your true colors will come to the surface.

Everyday we should work toward honesty. You will be surprised at how your relationships will become less of a struggle when you simply tell the truth. Or course, the truth you tell must be mixed with love. If it is not mixed with love, you endanger the relationship as well and people will be less inclined to be your friend.

I am very curious to hear your thoughts on this topic. Thank you so much for continuing to read. You can email me or respond to this post by Commenting below.


Do You Trust Me?

Your answer to this question may be in the form of another question…

“To do what?”

You would do well not to answer the question, “Do you trust me?” without understanding the focus of the question.

Trust is often misunderstood, and by relatively intelligent individuals. Onora O’Neill (philosopher) postures that saying we need more trust is a “stupid aim” and that we should not be focused on building more trust, but trusting those who are trustworthy, more and those who are untrustworthy, less. **

Would we even need to ask the question “Do you trust me?” if we simply proved we were trustworthy by our actions and our words?

One of the building blocks of a relationship is Trust. So often we expect others to trust us without proving we are trustworthy first. We expect others to give us their trust simply because we ask for it.

However, Trust is the result of trustworthiness.** How can you prove trustworthiness?

O’Neill believes trustworthiness will have three components present: competency, reliability, and honesty.**

I used to tell my daughters while they were growing up (still do actually) that lying is wrong because it has the power to destroy a relationship very quickly. Lying and being caught in a lie is like napalm – it can flare up and burn out a relationship charring it beyond repair. Honesty is a key part of trustworthiness.

Competency literally means you have shown skill and ability in a particular area. I trust my ophthalmologist to treat issues and illnesses of my eyes, but I would not trust him or her with treating the issues I have with my knees.

Reliability means you are dependable, devoted, faithful, truthful and loyal. There are those in your life that are competent at a certain skill, are honest in their words, but you may not trust them to keep an appointment because they are forgetful and therefore not reliable.

Trust is tricky. We try to generalize it, however, in reality it is complex and multi-faceted. There are different levels of trust. You wouldn’t trust a ten-year old to drive your car. You wouldn’t trust someone you just met to house-sit, unless you did a background check and had them sign a form stating they are 100% responsible for all of your belongings while you are away (of course, that’s not trust at all, is it?).  

You wouldn’t trust your dog alone with your fried chicken dinner. You certainly wouldn’t trust your mechanic to fly a jetliner on your trip to another country.

When you give trust to someone in some particular area of expertise, it is usually because they have proven they are willing and able to fulfill a certain task, assignment or a need.

This speaks to competence.

Why would you go get a second opinion from another doctor? Why would you get a second opinion on your car for a particular repair? Why would you talk to another friend regarding a situation you are facing after you just asked advice from the first one?

This is a test of honesty.

When you give a time and a place for someone to meet you, and they don’t show up, you are more likely going to have difficulty trusting that same person when you give them another place and time to meet.

This refers to reliability.

When trying to build a relationship with someone – whether it is a work relationship, friendship, romantic relationship or a family relationship – in order to develop trust between you and someone else, you need to prove you are trustworthy before you can be trusted. You would not expect anything less from someone else in order to for you to trust him or her.

Perhaps trust is so difficult to give and trustworthiness difficult to determine because there are many counterfeits vying for our attention, our money, our time and talents. To what end are the objects of our trust trying to obtain? Does the person or group we are placing our trust have our best interests at heart? For that matter, do we have the best interests of others in the forefront of our minds?

There are tens of thousands of attorneys in this country. There are lawsuits literally filling up dockets all across the nation. Why are we such a litigious society? Could it be that we have given up on proving trustworthiness because it is so difficult to prove?

I used to give trust more readily than I do now. Skepticism is the result of broken trust throughout the years. I look more toward a person’s trustworthiness before I give trust. Unfortunately, it is possible to sway more toward the skeptical side of thinking when you get burned too many times.

When building relationships with others – I am now trying to focus more on proving my own trustworthiness before expecting others to trust me. It doesn’t mean I automatically trust others. In the process of proving my own trustworthiness, I am surprised at how someone’s true colors become known and show whether they are trustworthy as well.

Trust depends on the other person giving it to you. Trustworthiness doesn’t depend on others; it depends on you and I. What would it look like if we lived in such a way with each other where we proved our own mettle before expecting to be given their trust? Would we even need so many levels of accountability (which are in place because of those who have proven untrustworthy)?

Also, when we take the perspective that we need to prove our trustworthiness before trust can be exchanged, we may even be accepted sooner than later. Just remember, proving trustworthiness takes time.

It is an extremely valuable part of relationships.

Just one final thought: referring back to the most recent posts on vulnerability – O’Neill also points out that if you show a level of vulnerability, it has a positive effect on your ability to prove trustworthy**.

Reference:

**Onora O’Neill. (2013). What we don’t understand about trust. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PNX6M_dVsk