How Often Do You Lie?

We all now know (especially if you read our blog frequently) that we lie everyday.  Most of our lies are white lies and harmless enough or are they?

According to Dennis Merritt Jones, a Huffington Post author, keynote speaker and spiritual mentor, some of those white lies are harmful and holding us prison.

In his article, “You Lie More Often Than You Think”  he suggests that we are conflicted between what we really think or want and our desire to not risk the disapproval of others.

Dennis describes an assignment he once gave to his students in a relationship class.  He required them to go one week communicating exactly what they were thinking and feeling to those they came in contact with such as their family, spouses, friends and even strangers.  The exercise revealed that many people are challenged in their ability to be honest.

He also points out that Buddha taught that attachment is at the root of all suffering.  This can mean attachment to anything:  a person, a job, a relationship, exercise, acceptance etc.  Saying ‘No” to someone can be done without harm to you or the person who is requesting something of you.  Just remember when you say “no”, it is not what you say but how you say it.

He goes on to quote Ralph Waldo Emerson, “The only sin that we never forgive in each other is a difference in opinion.”  His advice, ‘Explain to them [the person asking something of you]  that you are not rejecting them, only their request.  Know who you are and be free.’

The article goes on to ask these important questions:

Are you free to have a difference of opinion with others and express it without fear?  Can you say no without fear? And do you offer others the same freedom to say no to you without sending them on a guilt trip?

So, what are your answers?  Are you truly free in your relationships?

3 responses to “How Often Do You Lie?”

  1. Keith D. says:

    OK, I’ll go first.

    1. How often do you lie?
    I’ve never counted. It’s not often, but more often than I’d like.

    2. Are you free to have a difference of opinion with others and express it without fear?
    No. I allow myself the freedom to have a difference of opinion, and I’m free to express it with some people but not others. I’m free to do so without fear with even fewer people. I will say that those with whom I have the most freedom are those with whom I tend to have the closest relationships.

    3. Can you say no without fear?
    Usually, but not with certain people (those I’m not always free to say no without fear to are usually those with some form of authority over me).

    4. And do you offer others the same freedom to say no to you without sending them on a guilt trip?
    Always.

    5. Are you truly free in your relationships?
    No, but I regain more of that lost freedom every day, slowly but surely. It’s bitterly won freedom, which is ironic since it’s always me who’s taken it away. 🙂

  2. SDL (Stu) says:

    Great article! It does make you think how lilfe would be if everyone was radically honest – like “Liar Liar” or “The Invention of Lying”. However, there’s being honest – and then there’s being downright rude and offensive – which is where the “movie” examples take us. When people are being honest, we still choose HOW to be honest. There’s more than one way to say “No”, or “Yes, your arse DOES look fat in that”.

    I appreciate the word “freedom” here, as it feels like we are conditioned to “over-care” – or even be afraid – of other people’s opinions. Worse case scenarios provide examples such as the bystander syndrome, and sheep-like mentality of groups of people far to scared about what their neighbour thinks of them than they really do. Public speaking anyone?

    So I agree with breaking free from the worry about having to make people happy, say no when you have to. Just do it with respect – for the other person AND yourself.

    🙂 Thanks for letting me ramble! Stu

  3. Stu- It is good that you note the extremes of lying and being honest. I think extremes in many cases are not always most effective. Your comment on the use “feedom” was very helpful as we have been conditioned as a society to “over-care” as you put it of others opinions, which can be seen in an over-abundance in current social issues. The mention of “bystander syndrome” is very insightful as it seems to be more prevalent in today’s society as well.

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