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I’m Not Upset That You Lied to Me…

I’m upset that now I can’t believe you.

…..Friedrich Nietzsche

When I was a kid I used to lie. I lied, mostly, about my mom. I said she was ok when she wasn’t; I said I was okay when I wasn’t; I said I couldn’t go to friends’ homes because I was busy when I wasn’t – I was hiding bruises; I said I couldn’t go places because I had to study – the truth was that I couldn’t go because my mom wouldn’t let me leave the house when her medicines made her delusional and she was afraid to be alone.

So I lied. And I did a great job at hiding things. I was a professional actress without any benefits.

When I left home I stopped lying, or at least I tried. Oh, I lied about my age. I needed to be 18 to rent an apartment, but because I was 16 I had to lie. I lied to my boss when I said I was okay living alone. Truthfully, I was afraid that I wouldn’t earn enough money to cover all of my bills. I was a kid worrying about being an adult and I thought that was okay.  So the lies continued but they were ‘good’ lies because they didn’t hurt anyone. I rationalized the lying.

I lied when I told my professors that I was okay and that the reason I was so often tired in class was because I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t sleep because I worked two jobs but I didn’t want anyone to think I didn’t belong at school. And I didn’t want anyone to think I needed help.

So I got even better at lying.

I did a good job at not lying for a few years after I married A’s dad. Then I lied again. I said we were happy when we weren’t.

So I stopped lying and got divorced.

I went years without lying and then I got remarried. I lied when I said I thought we were making the right decision after 9/11 and I lied when I said I was happy. Or that “The Runner” was happy. We weren’t. So we lied. And together we created a life built on a public lie and a private truth.

For the past two years I haven’t had to lie. Well, that’s what I tell myself and yet I often feel like I have to lie for others.

It isn’t fun.

Now here comes the alternate version of ‘it isn’t fun.’ I know other people lie and I say it doesn’t matter – but then I saw this TED talk and was reminded that lying hurts even when you say it doesn’t.

YouTube Preview Image

As adults we have these real opportunities to lie or be lied to – and we’ve probably made decisions we’ve regretted more often than not.  I regret things all the time, even though I try to make decisions that don’t need second-guessing.  What I love about this TED video is that Ms. Meyers isn’t really suggesting anything so extraordinary – she’s saying we can choose to lead lives that are filled with more honesty than not. She’s also saying that once someone has shown contempt for you – believe they mean it.

I’m always thinking people don’t really mean to be hurtful. I don’t know where I learned this, but time and time again I keep hearing myself say that and it’s like this belief I can’t shake. So maybe I’m still lying.

And I’ve watched so many of my friends deal with liars in their most intimate relationships and it seems pretty clear. Stay away from liars. So why is it so hard?

If a lie only becomes truth when one person believes – maybe the time to make a change is the moment your gut tells you the train really is coming – and it’s heading straight for your head.

I don’t know. I just know that these TED talks always make me think.

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Dee Dee Mozeleski

Comments

Susan
Reply

Let me be honest and say I think you do know.

ChrisP
Reply

Lifes pretty difficult if a person chooses principles over lies. Reality is most people want to lie or be lied to for a list of reasons that never seems to end. For those not willing to lie who also choose to speak up against others who lie it becomes a never ending battle and to a degree it can ostracize people from others because people so badly want others to just tell them what they want to hear and move on from there. Honesty is always the best policy period !! Even through the worst the clarity that comes from knowing there’s nothing that may catch up to a person is comforting.

BubblesDeux
Reply

When I was a kid, I was always friends with the ‘outcasts’ for lack of a better word. Hell, I was an outcast. They taught me to be friends for the sake of liking someone – and that was pretty awesome. Sometimes, I wonder why I listen to lies. It’s not that I don’t know when it’s happening, but it feels like a puzzle and I want to figure out the ins and outs. All I usually figure out is that it’s all nonsense.

ChrisP
Reply

I’ll tell ya I certainly have abit of the same in me but I think we’re both well aware the closer we stand to it the more we pay the price for being in it’s proximity. I certainly keep most of my own personal dealings close to the vest but I’m telling ya I can’t make heads nor tails if the liars are getting worse or it’s just the volume being turned up louder. Seems like every single day the lies and deceptions from others grow and I wonder if I’ll ever get out of the hole with people like that piling on. I still have at least the pride knowing I’m not them and nothings ever gonna make me lie and steal to get ahead. There’s a price to pay on either road and I still would rather be able to look at myself in the mirror every day and not hate what I see regardless of where it gets me.

BubblesDeux
Reply

I have way too much pride about so much. I would laugh, but it isn’t funny. I was talking with A this morning and she was saying that she wishes people would be more honest. I’m getting to the age where I really believe it just matters that I’m more honest. The rest will just have to fall into place.

gaele
Reply

I think that I tend to lie to myself for others – rather than seeing the outright disrespect and contempt, I want to think that they don’t realize just what they have done. And I think people know far more often, and are taking advantage of that overabundance of forgiveness. And some will use the “i didn’t know’ defense – when really – they are playing. I’m getting better at those sorts of people – and running in the other direction just because, to be honest, I don’t think I have much forgiveness left for people who don’t deserve it.

Personally – I’d far rather be silent than lie – you discover far more about the people around you when you see just what “side’ of an issue they place you if you have said nothing. And, I try to be honest: brutality isn’t needed, but honest is.

BubblesDeux
Reply

I just mentioned to Chrispy that I sometimes find myself listening to lies just because I want to see how long it can possibly drag out. The truth is that it can go on forever. People don’t like giving up their lies sometimes. I need to start the running sooner. I need new shoes.

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