I am amazed at how many of us have convinced ourselves of the notion that “Lying is unavoidable”, or “White lies are a good thing”, “Sometimes lying is good for the relationship” and we have fallen so much in comfort with lying that many of us end up lying for small conveniences. Is lying really as necessary as we think?
Let me start with an example. One of friend used to go and visit a business associate (actually a client) at his home, where the clients 3 year old son would be around in the same area and seek a lot of attention. He had a belief that he had to be nice to his clients son – while in reality he was annoyed at the kid and almost resentful because it was distracting from him discussing business properly. Even then he would oblige the kid and say nice things believing it is something “he had to do.
My take in the situation is – if he is being nice outwards while his emotions are something else – his client will surely sense that – and essentially judge this person as “untrustworthy person who does not honestly express himself”. My take is this itself is going to affect his business relation dramatically negatively. A simple approach would have been to learn to manage your emotions such that you truly feel nice about the kid OR politely find a way to change the environment or at least next time avoid the situation by not meeting the client at home. Whatever it is – in my experience when politely communicate what we feel or want we in essence are building trust.
One of essential truth we have to understand is – all human beings have a lie detector – they may not be able to catch your lie “red-handed” to confront or debate with you – but they surely can and will sense it and at feeling level debit your trust account. Telling the truth is in the end is a habit built from small everyday acts of courage to not tell white lies and face the discomfort. Telling truth is the most practical thing in the long run.
I leave you with a “negative” quote – sense the feeling you get from it and you know exactly how harmful even white lies can be.
I apologize for lying to you. I promise I won’t deceive you except in matters of this sort. – Spiro T. Agnew