The Truth Of A Lie – Part 2

by Dr. Lauren Sierra Thomas

in Loving Your Self

...dandelions Don't Tell Lies

Your comments on my The Truth Of A Lie post have been so thought-provoking and remarkable it stirred more thoughts.  It seems this topic deserves further discussion and I can’t wait to hear what you add to the mix this time.   I’m also going to give you some tips about LYING TACTICS so you’ll be more savvy to them.

More Thoughts on The Truth and Lies:

Telling the truth doesn’t mean you need to tell someone every thought and feeling you have.

Maybe your partner doesn’t want or need to hear you were fantasizing about someone else when you were having sex with him. Along the same lines, perhaps your partner doesn’t care to hear “Wow, she’s so hot I’d like to lay her out on that table over there”.  You get my drift?

Mean-Spirited Actions Disguised As Honesty

Sometimes people use honesty as a “cloak” or cover for what in reality is meanness and cruelty.

Here’s an example:

You’re a lousy lover. Ouch.  Talk about hitting below the belt, if you know what I mean.  What purpose could it possibly serve other than to diminish the person? Never a good thing.  I’m sure you can think of other examples of this.  It includes pointing out things about a person that are basic to their physical or character make-up.

This type of “truth” falls into the category of mean-spirited and cruel.

Take the example of “lousy lover” (which could possibly be improved upon).  The point isn’t that lousy lovemaking doesn’t need to be addressed.  Rather,  that how you address these kinds of issues makes all the difference between a terrible relationship and a wonderful relationship.  And we do all want the best relationships ever, right?

If you want great dating and love relationships, practicing the golden rule is a good starting point.

I’ve always kept in mind when working with “inmates” (people, that is) something I heard long ago.  Don’t take a person’s dignity away. It’s one of the worst things you can do to someone.

Question Your Motives

A good gauge when you’re revealing “the truth” in the context we’re discussing is to ask yourself why you’re saying what you’re saying.

Blurting out things like the above examples are often a passive-aggressive way to hurt someone or get out anger that you don’t know how to express another way.

If you’re passive in taking care of your wants and needs,  it’s likely you’re resentful.   In that case, you’ll find passive-aggressive ways of letting out your feelings. Often you’re unaware of what you’re doing.  This is a compensation for your own lack of assertiveness.

The truth used in a passive-aggressive manner is a way to be mean and hide behind the pretense that you’re “just telling the truth”.

NOTE:  I’m not saying to question your motive in order to justify a LIE by telling yourself that you’re protecting someone – a slippery slope in my opinion.

The human mind can justify anything.  I’m telling you.  I sit with people frequently who rationalize heinous acts. It’s a fascinating thing to witness.  While I’m not comparing the average to this extreme, it’s good to be aware of how good we can become at tricking ourselves into justifying something that’s better faced head-on.

Questioning your motive is to be applied to situations in which you feel a need to tell someone something that is mean-spirited and doesn’t have any benefit except to belittle or demean a person.

Passive-aggressive tendencies are not the only motive behind “mean honesty”.  Sometimes it’s simply aggressive and that is often related to maintaining control of another person by making them feel less than.    Or, you may feel hurt and use “mean honesty” to get back at someone. Understandable.  It helps you regain a sense of power in a situation in which you feel disempowered.  Tempting.

Boundaries – Emotional Sobriety

The reason you question your motives is to practice greater balance in your ability to have healthier relationships.

You may have heard about “boundaries” in relationships.  Dysfunctional relationships lack appropriate “boundaries”.   Relationships aren’t usually either totally dysfunctional or functional. Ordinarily we do well in some areas and could use some help with others.  Think in terms of gray, not black and white.   A spectrum if you will.  It gives you more room for personal growth and development.

What are boundaries? Here’s how Wikipedia defines personal boundaries:

Personal boundaries are guidelines, rules or limits that a person creates to identify for themselves what are reasonable, safe and permissible ways for other people to behave around them and how they will respond when someone steps outside those limits.

Boundaries are about appropriateness.   A respect for boundaries takes into consideration appropriate timing and  mutually beneficial uplifting ways of relating.

Can you see how this may relate to what we’ve been talking about?  Cruelty and meanness are “violating” to the well-being of a relationship and are examples of poor boundaries.

We all make mistakes so don’t be hard on yourself if you’ve been the perpetrator or recipient.

Most of us didn’t have the best role-modeling for great relationships. If you’ve grown up in a family without good boundaries it takes time, practice, and healing to develop them. It’s something we need to learn and if you’re here it most likely means you’re open to learning and growth.

Practice compassion for yourself and others as you learn new ways to relate.  

As you practice compassion for yourself, do the same for current and past partners.   We contribute to our relationships and both parties share responsibility, always. Find a way to express your feelings without “raking someone over the coals”. It’s a sign of emotional maturity to find another way.

If you find this difficult, seek therapy to work through your relationship issues so you can move forward and experience greater joy in your future relationships.  Remember, keep your eye on the prize. The prize is greater joy and loving relationships in your life.

Now, let’s take a look at lying tactics.

Lying Tactics

Working in prisons and in the addictions arena for years, I’ve witnessed my share of lying techniques.  These tactics aren’t reserved for this population, but still I’ve received quite an “education” in this regard.

I’ve had people admit to me on many occasions that they use these tactics deliberately to put someone off the trail of the truth or to get them “off their back”.   If your mind doesn’t work this way, don’t become paranoid, but don’t assume either.  Anyone can use these tactics.

Here are a few lying tactics:

1)  Lies By Omission

This is the lie where she tells you a story that’s basically the truth – and therefore convincing.  There’s just one little thing.  She’s letting out the central piece of the plot.  She fails to mention the “key” point.  Invariably, the “key” point is the thing she doesn’t want you to know she did.

But, she can feel pretty good about herself because she hasn’t really lied to you, not really. She just didn’t tell you everything.

2)  Telling Part Of The Truth

Inmates have told me this is especially effective.  Telling a story that contains part of the truth, and maybe even admitting a small transgression (that may or may not be true by the way), throws a person off the trail of the real truth.

Telling just a tidbit of the truth can be a powerful way of covering up reality.

Notice I used the word POWER.  Lying can give a person a tremendous sense of power over a person. And that leads us to the next “tactic”.

3)  A Potent Use Of Anger

Realize this.  Anger is often used deliberately as a way to back someone off from further inquiry into a lie. And it may be practiced and used expertly.  This use of anger involves a subtle (or not) degree of intimidation.   Again, think on a spectrum here.  The person doesn’t have to be “raging” and out of control person to use this tactic.  Quite the contrary in fact. 

Control is often a key element and the person may be very “contained” when using this tool. You may think this has nothing to do with YOUR life, but this tactic is not just reserved for “inmates” or addicts”.    As you read further, see if you have ever experienced this in your own life.

Using anger as a way to back someone off is a powerful way of turning things around so that the person sensing the lie ends up on the offensive. Isn’t that clever?  It is and a highly effective tool.  Especially if you are easily intimidated.

This tactic is used frequently by addicts, but certainly not exclusively.    By its nature, though, addiction involves lies upon liesIt’s a great tactic that often works well to back someone off so you can protect your supply (whether it be a substance or a behavior).

I used to provide Lifeworks intensives with Terry Kellogg in the addictions arena and I’m going to give you an example I heard way more than once. A person caught her partner IN BED with someone else and allowed themselves to be convinced nothing was going on.  Do you think maybe a couple of the above tactics were used in the process?  And maybe a willingness of the person believing this to go into just a bit of denial?

A Spectrum

Although these examples may seem reserved for “extremes”, they are not.  Think on a spectrum.  Consider your own life.  Have you ever had any of these tactics used on you?

How about this example.  Your partner is on-line having an “intimate” relationship by internet with someone. You confront her and are told in an angry manner how insecure and jealous you are. You’re stifling and a pain in the ass basically.

If you lack self-confidence, you may actually buy into it.  Suddenly YOU start feeling bad about yourself and mission accomplished.  You’re off her back! Voila!  Suddenly the tables have been turned (which was the intention of the tactic) and you are now “the problem”. Clever.

Fill in the blank with an example of your own.  Or, perhaps you’ve used these tactics yourself.

A LIAR

Now, I wish to come full circle.   In my first post about The Truth Of A Lie we talked about compassion for ourselves and the one telling a lie.  Remember, lying often comes from insecurities and fear, although the intent can be personal gain and gratification as well.

Lying can indicate an inability to connect deeply with others.  In its extreme, pathological lying,  the person is severely wounded and most likely grew up in a situation where they couldn’t trust.   Check out my post on attachment as this may provide a glimpse of what I mean.

We’ve all heard this expression:  “She’s a LIAR”.

No, the person has told a lie (or maybe several).  Calling someone a liar is like saying someone’s a Schizophrenic.  No, a person suffers from Schizophrenia.  It’s an aspect of them, not the totality.

When we use a term like this to define a person we’re ignoring all their other aspects.  We lose the totality of the person in the process.  We lose something more important – our sense of compassion and humanity. We have reduced them in a manner that makes it easier to dehumanize them and at that point we no longer seek to understand.

I’m not suggesting you stay with someone who has a habit of lying.  Everyone needs to look at their own circumstances and decide what works for them.  My suggestion, though, is that you be willing to look beneath the surface and seek to understand.

A friend of mine told a story from his childhood in which his grandfather taught him an important lesson in his article titled A Lesson From a Wise Grandfather to a Young Boy.

Here is the conversation:

McCray once told his maternal grandfather he hated white people. The old man reminded McCray of the fellow at Cut-Rate Drug Store who gave him extra ice cream in his root beer float, the Safeway worker who gave him an extra piece of fruit, or the woman at the library who would introduce him as her smart friend.

Weren’t those folks nice?

“Then you have a problem with a white person,” his grandfather would say. “Not white people.”

What Do You Think?

I was so impressed by the depth of your sharing about lying in my first post on this topic.

You, the reader’s perspectives,  significantly contributed to the dialogue about this important topic.

I’d love you to share your stories and thoughts once again as we delve more deeply so that we might together come to a greater understanding of this complex human tendency. Interestingly, a few readers mentioned kid’s lies.  These are not nearly so complex as readers pointed out with great stories.  But, it says a lot that we learn to lie so young).  As one reader pointed out, it shows that we have a tendency for self-protection.  Most likely, this is a factor in adult lying as well.

Be well and may you experience the best relationships ever.

Photo courtesy of: phoenix wolf-ray

{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

Scott Barron June 7, 2010 at 1:37 am

I would also like to add the lies that we no longer believe are lies. It’s a lie we’ve told for so many years that we start to believe it’s the truth.

A humorous example is lying about the year of your birth. Do it so much and it’s hard to really remember the right year! And who hasn’t fibbed about their weight once or twice?

I also remember an “I Love Lucy” episode where she had to tell the whole truth for 24 hours or loose a bet. It as funny, when she had to tell the truth, the first thing her friends asked her was, “How much do you weigh, How old are you and What color would your hair be if you didn’t dye it?”

Later in the episode her friends got mad at her for telling the truth. True, sometimes the truth comes out mean & sometimes the truth hurts.

Also, I’m not an expert, but I’ve heard of people passing the lie detector test because they really believed their own lies. There are also fancy internet people that can create valid documentation to back up their lies. Or, like your online example above, uncover it.

Lastly, in some cases, doesn’t the public “want” to hear a lie? My best example is the “gay lie”. Yes, some famous movie & television people have “come out of the closet”. But how many are living & telling a lie, for their career? And how many fans really don’t want to know. Some go as far as getting married to protect their lie. Some have been caught with a member of the same sex and in public they admit it was a mistake, but they’re not gay. Others are forced to “come out” right before someone goes public and tells the truth…

As a gay male, I know that lie. For many years I pretended to be straight, also doing the whole marriage thing since it helped to convince people. At that time I was in the Navy. Before “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”. (by the way – isn’t that also creating a lie). So, in the Navy, 1986, not a good time or place to be that honest. Could get you beaten or killed. Sadly, to some degree, that holds true today…

So, at what cost do we tell the truth?

Reply

Lauren June 7, 2010 at 7:20 am

Dear Scott,

Once again you come with a welcome honesty in your willingness to be open. You have really helped to further my awareness regarding lying.

First, the age thang – and all the other little “lies” that go along with it. All I’ll say about that is I’ve been older than my Mother for some time now.

The military “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” is the height of crazymaking. What kind of convoluted craziness is that. You’re correct, though, as well that being honest about sexual preference can be dangerous. All forms of prejudice are dangerous.

Along other lines but addressing social issues, my awesome nephew had an experience with telling the truth that wasn’t so wonderful a few years ago.

He was an honor roll student and had never missed a day of school. He’s never been in any trouble, ever. On a school ski trip halfway into his junior year it was learned several of the kids had smoked pot.

When he was called in and questioned he was about the only one who admitted he had smoked pot. He was expelled for the rest of his junior year and the first half of his senior year.

So, what do you tell someone his age? LIE? Tell the truth and be punished? A real ethical dilemma.

This is why I wanted to probe the lying issue a bit further. There are so many aspects worthy of consideration. You’ve been awesome in your contribution to the discussion and I thank you so much.

Warm regards,
Lauren
Lauren´s last blog ..The Truth Of A Lie – Part 2 My ComLuv Profile

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Scott Barron June 7, 2010 at 5:31 pm

I’m also curious if there is a website regarding how to tell the truth without hurting someone.

Not self help or how to website. Those are out there. But one where people can “type” the truth and someone responds with nicer or better way to say it. Or even if the truth should be told.

Ha, I know the liability on that one. Asking someone to play God, or even psychic.

See, in your story above, regarding your nephew. I would be inclined to say “lie your @ss off”. But then with my luck they would do a urine or hair strand test…Honestly, technology has really advanced on catching a lie.

Oh, and another one of my favorite movies is Liar Liar, with Jim Carrey, where he played a Lawyer. His son made a wish that he had to tell the truth for 24 hours, (which in movie land came true). I still laugh at the “I’ve had better” comment after the bedroom scene!

No, I never saw Soldier’s Girl. I just Googled it and watched the trailer. OMG. Wow. I want to see it although I hate sad movies…
Soldier’s Girl

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Dr. Lauren Sierra Thomas June 7, 2010 at 5:57 pm

Hey Scott,

That’s a cool idea to have a place in which people could get feedback on how to handle “the truth” of a situation.

Yes, in my nephew’s case it did bring up thoughts about whether it is sometimes better to withhold the truth. We had quite the discussions about it.

In fact, that reminds me. He later had a friend busted for shall we say “unsolicited art” about town. And being the artist my nephew is, he was concerned as his name had been raised.

Hmm, I “schooled” him extensively on how to handle himself if he were to be interviewed and on how to go to his Mother before it all came down. Fond memories actually.

So, I think perhaps part of it comes down to trust. Do you trust the person – or the system – you’re dealing with? And, are there a different set of “rules” if not? I don’t know but these questions are worthy of our consideration.

I’ll have to check out Liar Liar. I haven’t seen it!

Another remarkable movie, and even more remarkable documentary is Boys Don’t Cry. Did you happen to see it? Powerful true story about a transgender boy who was murdered. It’s hard to see these things, but I feel it’s important to seek to recognize and grapple with our capacity for prejudice and hatred of what we don’t understand.

On a lighter note, it’s great having you here, Scott, and hope you’re having a good beginning to a new week.

Lauren

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Scott Barron June 8, 2010 at 8:17 pm

Thanks for responding Lauren,

I’m having a great week thanks to my counselling sessions here!

Now, how do I tell my neighbor that he’s been tanning so much he’s starting to look like a cheese doodle? :-)

Scott Barron´s last blog…Was it Good for You

Lauren June 7, 2010 at 7:21 am

Scott,

I meant to ask you whether you saw Soldier’s Girl, a tragically sad story about gender and the military. A powerful and touching film.
Lauren´s last blog ..The Truth Of A Lie – Part 2 My ComLuv Profile

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Lauren June 8, 2010 at 9:57 pm

Dear Scott,

I’m happy to hear you’re benefiting from visiting. Your insights are certainly a benefit to me – and I’m sure to the readers.

Ha ha – the cheese doodle guy! How about this? You could take a piece of drawing board and place a photo of him & a photo of a cheese doodle. Draw an = btwn. the two photos. For emphasis, you might also draw red arrows btwn. the two photos.

Or, you could always say: “You’d be so damn hot if you were just a tad bit less orange! Let me know how it goes! ;-)

Peace,
Lauren
Lauren´s last blog ..The Truth Of A Lie – Part 2 My ComLuv Profile

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Scott Barron June 9, 2010 at 6:55 pm

I told a big lie today! It was a whopper.

I had a job interview scheduled at 11:00. I’m always a bit early so I go there at 10:50. I sat & sat & sat. I was not “interviewed” until noon! No one was even considerate to tell me that interviews are running an hour behind…

So, when the interviewer came and got me, she asked, “Oh, I hope you didn’t mind waiting?”

Me, “No, not at all.”

I held back the fact that I did mind and it was rude to keep me waiting 1 hour. Not offering me a beverage or even sending someone out to say they are running late and appreciate my patience.

The receptionist was about 15 feet away, so she knew I was there. Thank God for my Blackberry. I occupied myself the whole time.

Also, I’d like to know anyone who can go through the whole interview process and not tell a lie. Good grief.
Name a time when. What was the reaction, what was the result. Yikes!

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Lauren June 9, 2010 at 8:14 pm

Ha – I hear you. What are we to do in such situations? I think most of us grin and bear it in that type of situation.

Maybe not a great company to work for. Thank goodness for our mobiles.

Yeah, job interviews can be tough. Always nice when they’re over. I think the work of job hunting is more stressful than working at a job.

How did it go? Other than the rudeness?
Lauren´s last blog ..The Truth Of A Lie – Part 2 My ComLuv Profile

Scott Barron June 10, 2010 at 11:28 pm

The interview lasted 7 minutes…After waiting all that time. I guess their interviewer and HR guy were out of the office.

Also, I was able to answer her questions rather quickly and she didn’t press me for more information. She said that my last answer actually answered the next 3 questions and we’re done :-)

Either I did really well or really bad!

The funniest interview I’ve ever had: I stepped in dog poop while walking into an interview. (I wasn’t aware of this fact)

I was lead into a small interview room. Which in about 5 minutes really started smelling like poop. Plus, I was sweating so that made it worse.

Ok, well the whole time I thought the interviewer pooped her pants or something. The smell kept getting worse as the minutes wore on. I started to feel so bad for the interviewer because she had an accident in the chair.

Luckily the interview ended and I got out of that smelly room.

While driving home, I started noticing that nasty smell in my car. I couldn’t figure out why. THEN, I noticed, on the bottom of my shoe. Dog poop. OMG.

SO, through the whole interview, she thought I was the one who went potty in my chair!!!!!!!
I never got a call back. They probably threw my interview chair out.
Scott Barron´s last blog ..A Little Housekeeping Online My ComLuv Profile

Heather Greenwald June 7, 2010 at 6:31 am

I love the complexity and simplicity of your words on the subject of lying. It is very possibly the dearth of compassion to self and other, that is cause and correlate of the lie. The cure is so often also the cause and vice versa.

I realized the the lies I have told in my life both the minor and the major, have been my life’s only hauntings. The things I did not say, the reactions I feared, the mirror I could not hold up to self or other and so denied …my lies were often about feelings “the I don’t love you anymore type, the I don’t want you to move in type, the I don’t want to be married to you type (although once about a sweater I borrowed without asking from a roommate in college) …My lack of courage is the ghost of those moments. My unspoken resentments, bred infant and elephant sized entitlements to my private Idaho, secrecy.

Today I can say I would not invite in another, not one seed of resentment do I sow, no soil for secrets, and no fear. Let the ghosts be gone for good.

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Lauren June 7, 2010 at 7:26 am

Dear Heather,

I love how you always take things down to the bone.

Yes, the ways we lie by our lack of courage to say the things we want to be able to say. The fears we experience due to anticipated reactions. All this and more. Our fragile, vulnerable, soft inner core that we seek to protect at such high cost.

As you mention, the ultimate price of lying is living in secrecy. An aloneness, separation at the core.

It’s lovely to hear that you experience such freedom in your life now. I’m happy for you in that and for all you bring to the table.

Love,
Lauren
Lauren´s last blog ..The Truth Of A Lie – Part 2 My ComLuv Profile

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Dawn @ Marriage Intimacy June 7, 2010 at 4:49 pm

What a thought-provoking article; thanks for sharing this Lauren. I’m so glad I caught the second part of your wonderful post. Lies are part of a person’s life. All people lie whether out of habit, or to save his own skin. However, if one is being lied to, the first thing to do is to let go of any judgment that the other person did something bad or wrong. One can let go of a judgment once he has been able to translate what the lying partner has done in terms of what they value. To help let go of any judgments it is important to know that that his / her partner only does or says things because they are acting in harmony with something they value or an attempt to meet some needs.

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Dr. Lauren Sierra Thomas June 8, 2010 at 10:52 pm

Dear Dawn,

Thanks for adding another thought-provoking observation – that one lies because it is in harmony with a need or something the person values.

With that said, and my belief that a lie deserves compassion (Part 1 really explains the foundation of lying), I DO have a judgment if someone lies to me. And I feel okay about that, even though I try to understand.

The judgment, meaning what I wish to tolerate, includes my “warrior response” at times. That is, letting it be known what works and what doesn’t in relationship.

Isn’t that how we set a standard for ourself? Anthony Robbins said unless we set a baseline standard for ourselves and don’t go against it no matter how we feel, we’ll tolerate intolerable behavior.

So, just playing devil’s advocate a bit and at the same time wanting to take the conversation even deeper. I think your point about the person doing what they value and attempting to meet a need is deeply insightful.

Thank you for helping us probe even more deeply into this powerful topic that impacts our lives.

Warm regards,
Lauren

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Angela Artemis June 7, 2010 at 11:12 pm

Lauren,
This was fascinating! I have always had a desire to teach meditation to prison inmates – so hearing your speak about being a therapist to inmates really caught my attention.

I was especially interested in what you wrote on passive aggressive behavior and lying. This really hits home with me as one of my parents displayed passive aggressive behavior.

I have found as Heather stated that it has always been lies I have told that hurt my life the most – and most especially the lies I told myself. I wrote a post about infidelity and intuition not too long ago. I didn’t want to know that my spouse was cheating because it meant that I would have to do something about it, but my intuition kept warning me anyway.

This has been a great learning experience. Thank you for sharing your wisdom Lauren.
Angela Artemis´s last blog ..Angela Artemis Interviewed by Hulbert Lee of From Bottom Up My ComLuv Profile

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Lauren June 8, 2010 at 12:51 am

Dear Angela,

Thanks for visiting and sharing your experience. Even though I see myself as someone who faces things head-on, I know there have been times I avoid seeing the truth until I’m ready to deal with it.

Still, if friends ask, I ALWAYS want to be told the truth about a situation.

Nice to see you. I’m going to check out your post you mentioned.

Warm regards,
Lauren
Lauren´s last blog ..The Truth Of A Lie – Part 2 My ComLuv Profile

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Cheryl Paris June 8, 2010 at 10:12 am

Hiya Lauren,

Usually most people lie is because it is the convenient way to pass the question asked. Saying the truth requires courage and above all it should be say and mean well. Else what is the point of that truth.

The most important part here is to realize what is truth. Truth does not mean saying out bluntly words coming out of the mouth – just b’coz one know what is the truth here. Usually these kind of things I have seen happening is when people are in relationship and after sometime the love or the passion seems to fade away. Although the passion and love is there but it just is under the daily chores, workload and stress.
Cheryl Paris´s last blog ..Using The Extreme Power of Failure For Success My ComLuv Profile

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Lauren June 8, 2010 at 4:20 pm

Dear Cheryl,

Hello again dear Cheryl.

You pose a great question: What is the truth? And mention people need to realize what is truth. I’d love to here you say more about that.

And, right, using stinging words is not the best way to express “the truth”.

People do struggle, as you point out, with maintaining love in a relationship. For one thing, most of us don’t have the skills we need to keep love alive. We aren’t taught it in school and we often don’t see it modeled at home.

You also mention that with our daily routines we sometimes lose sight of the love we really do share.

Thanks for sharing your insightful thoughts on this topic.

Warm regards,
Lauren
Lauren´s last blog ..The Truth Of A Lie – Part 2 My ComLuv Profile

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rob white June 8, 2010 at 2:43 pm

Hi Lauren,
Scott’s comment reminded me of a lie I unwittingly perpetuated. When I was young I used to jog around the pond by my home. After I stopped jogging I still used to tell people, “I jog around the pond everyday.” This probably went on for 10 years. Then one time my wife overheard me and corrected me, “you haven’t jogged in 10 years.” I light went on in my head… she was right! I had been mechanically giving the same answer for so long that a part of me still believed I did jog around the pond everyday. It was very awakening to become aware of the mechanical nature of my mind.

Now I do walk around the pond everyday… and that’s a fact! :)
rob white´s last blog ..All Forms of Life are Levels of One Consciousness My ComLuv Profile

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Lauren June 8, 2010 at 4:23 pm

Hey Rob,

That’s a great story and I laughed out loud at your last sentence!

It is interesting how the mind works, is it not? I notice things about my mind that cause me to shrug my head, regroup, and reframe. Or, to just say my my, my oh my.

Thanks for relating your fascinating story that shows how our minds work!

Lauren
Lauren´s last blog ..The Truth Of A Lie – Part 2 My ComLuv Profile

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Ben Weston June 8, 2010 at 6:44 pm

Hi Lauren,

This was a fantastic post. I actually had goosebumps at times from seeing the different lying methods I used to employ and, embarrassingly, still do sometimes.

The one I use still is giving a truthful but incomplete story. I use this in the case of my family. I spend my days in the circus, training in acrobatics, dance, juggling, and working on putting on performances. I also am in a class to teach people to be counselors for one another. And I spend my time blogging and connecting with wonderful people such as yourself. I absolutely love what I do each and everyday but I can’t bear the thought of telling my family all of this because of the criticism that would inevitably come my way. Do I continue to tell my partial truth?

I’ll be sitting with this post’s content for a while =)

Much love,
Ben

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Lauren June 8, 2010 at 7:47 pm

Dearest Ben,

You are so wonderful and I’m so happy for you that YOU’RE DOING WHAT YOU LOVE! Good for you Ben.

So many people never have the courage to step out of the box and find their own way. I’ve read about you in your stories and you have and do.

In my estimation, there is NOTHING that matters more than living an authentic life.

I’m glad you brought your example to this because it is a great one to draw a distinction. When I talk about telling a partial truth or lying by omission I’m talking about a person who does this for personal gain or manipulation.

You know the parameters of your own family. You’ve probably struggled significantly to step outside the comfort zone. If your intent is to not be pelted with criticism, how could it not be okay to not “tell all”.

You’re an adult as well. I believe you’re entitled to privacy and you don’t have to tell everything about your personal life, even to your parents.

In sum, I think you’re doing just great and I, for one, LOVE what you’re doing with your life.

Love back at ya,
Lauren
Lauren´s last blog ..The Truth Of A Lie – Part 2 My ComLuv Profile

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Belinda Munoz + The Halfway Point June 8, 2010 at 11:05 pm

Another fantastic post, Lauren. You address some aspects of lying that I don’t think I’ve ever seen on any other blogs and made me reflect on my less than stellar moments of not being completely truthful.

I appreciate reading about the lying tactics. Though we may not be telling out and out lies, we’re still not being truthful when we use these manipulative tactics. I also want to thank you for the whole section on LIAR. It’s distressing to hear someone be called a liar after they’ve been suspected or caught in a lie. Tempting as it is (as so many emotions within us compete for validation when we’ve been lied to), calling someone a liar completely disregards all other qualities of that person.

As I was reading, another thought occurred to me and that is that very often, we’re not ready or are intimidated by the truth. We tell lies in order to feel less naked, to feel less bad about ourselves, and to hide our flaws that we are not yet ready to confront. At the time of telling the lie, the lie was more manageable than the truth. I’m confronted by this a lot when I read really mean-spirited comments at the end of political articles or blogposts. (Something I don’t do very often as it sucks out the energy in me.)

Thank you for digging deep on this subject. It’s a truly important one in a society that appears to value honesty and yet so often stumbles on its own palpable hypocrisy.

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Lauren June 8, 2010 at 11:18 pm

Dear Belinda,

I’m glad you found the post beneficial, Belinda. And once again you add to the mix with profound wisdom (your child is a fortunate creature!).

You say:

We tell lies in order to feel less naked, to feel less bad about ourselves, and to hide our flaws that we are not yet ready to confront. At the time of telling the lie, the lie was more manageable than the truth.

Wow. It really brings us back to the compassion element and the recognition that we need to extend compassion to ourselves as well as others.

We are vulnerable and flawed and being naked in this regard is just too much to bear at times. I think that’s why it’s so healing to have an intimate relationship wherein we know we’re loved and can reveal ourselves more fully.

I’m not sure I caught your full meaning about the political part, but maybe this relates. As I grow older I prefer to embrace expanding love in my circle of life rather than pushing hard against what isn’t working.

I believe I’ve largely taken that route due to the intense frustration and discouragement I’ve felt over the bigotry, hatred, and closed-mindedness that seems pervasive.

I’d rather focus on another pervasive reality – all the love that abounds – and hopefully do my part to expand that reality. Pushing against sometimes adds fuel to the fire. Still, I believe there are times when it is of supreme importance to take a strong stand – and I think from reading your perspective (on women’s issues, for example) you do too.

I know what you mean about the comments people make regarding politics and other issues. There is only one word to describe this type of outpouring – TOXIC.

Thanks for visiting and sharing your perspective, Belinda. I love hearing from you.

Lauren
Lauren´s last blog ..The Truth Of A Lie – Part 2 My ComLuv Profile

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Ernie McCray June 9, 2010 at 5:59 am

Lauren, it’s so wonderful to read through your helpful and hopeful thoughts and ideas and bump into characters like my mom, who was such a rock and her dad, one of the best buddies I ever had and soak them in as a kind of innocent bystander.
Those people raised me in an environment that just dripped with love when their life experiences could have rendered them crippled with hate and animosity. Religious both of them, they somehow skipped Leviticus and some of the other hateful biblical philosophies and lived according to a Christian creed that directed them to love their neighbor no matter what that person’s color or creed or sexuality.
And here they are via you and me alive and doing their thing in a Century they didn’t enter alive.
And, I look at the little story you’ve shared here in The Truth of a Lie – Part 2 and I can’t help but feel grateful that they didn’t spread lies that would have lead me to feel that my concerns were with all white people. Lies that would have stymied my growth, preventing me from reaching age 72 with my dignity intact, under my control. I know because I’ve seen, in a lifetime, too many friends succumb to the hatred dumped on them by society and then fighting back with anger and hatred, at the “enemy” and themselves and then I watched them whither up and die, from needles, from drink, from diets, from too many days in the lock up – victims of lies, of insinuations that they could never be anybody, that they couldn’t overcome “The Man,” that Jim Crow’s butt couldn’t be kicked, that they were dumb, that they were sexual giants when they couldn’t stand an iota of themselves…
The truth of a lie is that it should just plain be avoided whenever possible. It’s just not to be trusted. How’s that for an understatement (smile). Time to go and that’s no lie.

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Lauren June 9, 2010 at 6:27 am

Dear Ernesto,

I was hopin’ you wouldn’t mind that I slipped them in, those wonderful people who dripped with love – and helped make you who you are today.

What a world we live in. I’ve often heard “god” doesn’t give you more than you can take and 100% disagree. BS.

As you point out, many people go down from an unbearable sorrow that often turns to rage and self-destruction.

Rage toward others and self-hatred from buying the lies or just not knowing how to prevail, no matter what. A thread of nothin’ to hold onto.

And then there are those who prevail and emerge with spirit and dignity intact – a good thing for a 72 year old, I must say. Because it just isn’t pretty otherwise.

A lie should never be trusted and is best avoided – well, that does about sum it up, does it not?

How is it you never fail to address something powerfully and eloquently, then in the end have me laughing out loud with your razor sharp wit. Now, that’s something else!

Ernie, it’s always wonderful to have you here. Thank you for contributing with such grace – and dignity.

Hugs,
Lauren
Lauren´s last blog ..The Truth Of A Lie – Part 2 My ComLuv Profile

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Ernie McCray June 10, 2010 at 12:41 am

Yeah, so many people are given more than they can take. BS at its best. Our task is to detect and help as many who are faltering as we can and you are doing that with each character of the alphabet you type. And I love it.

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Lauren June 10, 2010 at 1:07 am

Coming from you, that means a lot.

Thank you Ernesto.

Hugs,
Lauren
Lauren´s last blog ..The Truth Of A Lie – Part 2 My ComLuv Profile

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Sandra Hendricks June 10, 2010 at 1:22 am

I do think that many tell lies because they have an inner-dialog while trying to control an outcome in their own mind. Then when they get caught in the lie they can somehow justify that they lied because of the other person. I mean if you think someone is going to react negatively to the truth, and you can convince yourself of this, then you may think it better to lie. It may be a tactic used to avoid asserting yourself. It is interesting how you went through the entire spectrum on co-dependency Lauren.
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Lauren June 10, 2010 at 1:42 am

Hi Sandra,

Thanks for your enlightening comments. I think it’s true – none of us find it pleasant to have someone react negatively to us.

And it is true that a lie is often a way to avoid asserting ourselves. Failing to confront a lie is often used as a way to avoid asserting ourselves too!

Of course, we can rationalize and justify anything. I really learned that from sitting with and watching interviews of people who commit heinous crimes.

Hearing them “explain” is just mesmerizing and mind-boggling. It is a great lesson in understanding what the human psyche is capable of in terms of rationalization and justification.

Naturally, most of us don’t take it that far, but nevertheless, we can be quite sophisticated in this “skill”.

Thanks for visiting and be well.

Warm regards,
Lauren
Lauren´s last blog ..The Truth Of A Lie – Part 2 My ComLuv Profile

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Lisa Marie June 10, 2010 at 3:08 am

Dear Lauren,
When you say addiction involves lies upon lies, it actually gave me a feeling of relief. One of my sisters is an addict and I have felt disappointed in myself and foolish for believing her lies.

It’s a different kind of gullible. If a lover lies about being with another woman, you have the advantage of being a player in the scene, and I think on some level intuition has to inform you if you’re being intimate with someone who isn’t faithful. Whether you want to face it or not is the question!

I’ve been lied to both ways- and the wandering boyfriend hurt less… even though I loved him and he was a great liar!
One cannot control the self-destructive habits of a dearly loved one, and wants to believe so much that the using is over, because their life is at stake.

Addicts really are architects of towering lies.
A couple of years ago I decided to redirect my energies into more fully supporting my sister’s children rather than attempting to save their Mom… much more constructive.

Please pardon me for bringing out the unwashed family laundry!! Thank you Lauren.
Love, Lisa

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Lauren June 10, 2010 at 3:29 am

Dear Lisa,

On the contrary, I’m glad you were willing to share your story.

Addiction is devastating to the loved ones. Addicts are FANTASTIC liars. They are “married” to their addiction and need to protect their supply. It’s part and parcel of being an addict.

But, as you point out, it’s terrible for those who love the person. You WANT to believe, but more importantly, don’t ever underestimate an addict’s ability to look you straight in the face and lie with the best of them! It’s the NATURE of addiction.

I hope you don’t feel too badly about believing over and over again. When you don’t live your life by lying your way through it, it’s truly hard to comprehend that someone is so capable at deceit.

How wonderful that you’re now focusing on the children. Still, Lisa, it usually takes many painful experiences to detach. Why? Because you love the person and want them to be well. And that’s not a bad quality to have.

Love to you too, Lisa, and thanks again for sharing and helping others to know they’re not alone.

Lauren
Lauren´s last blog ..The Truth Of A Lie – Part 2 My ComLuv Profile

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Lauren June 11, 2010 at 2:18 am

Dear Scott,

I just laughed so hard I almost cried reading your story about the interview and the poop! Oh my, that just made my day – it was hilarious!

Your recent interview sounds like they just didn’t have it together at all. Not a good sign for the company.

Ah well, have a fun weekend and watch out for doggy doo doo!

Warm regards,
Lauren
Lauren´s last blog ..The Truth Of A Lie – Part 2 My ComLuv Profile

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Beth @ New Age Self Help June 11, 2010 at 4:56 pm

Hi Lauren…

I’m thrilled you’re having this conversation. Lying is an extraordinarily touchy subject for most people and it doesn’t need to be. We all do it at some level or another and yet so many feel such intense emotion when being lied to. I’d like to go deeper into the conversation you are having with Dawn. She a dear student and supporter of ours . :-) I am completely in line with what she said and I believe that there is a veiled distinction that you were alluding to in your reply that you would enjoy hearing.

Dawn said “One can let go of a judgment once he has been able to translate what the lying partner has done in terms of what they value. To help let go of any judgments it is important to know that that his / her partner only does or says things because they are acting in harmony with something they value or an attempt to meet some needs.”

You said “I DO have a judgment if someone lies to me. And I feel okay about that, even though I try to understand.” “Isn’t that how we set a standard for ourself?”

The distinction I believe that is underlying this conversation (no pun intended) is the difference between moralistic judgments and value judgments. What Dawn was talking about is letting go of moralistic judgments–the belief that the person lying did something bad or wrong. Moralistic judgment sets up a dynamic of separation and pain and within this dynamic conscious choices are almost impossible.

You on the other hand I believe are talking about value judgments. We all have them and they support our lives. We make judgments about whether it’s safe to cross the street or whether the chair is able to support us. And in these instances we don’t think the chair is bad or wrong for not being strong enough to hold our weight. It’s a conscious choice to cross the street– no blaming or judging just choosing.

So if someone lies and you make a value judgment whether to stay in the relationship with them or not– living in harmony with what you value then yes, it’s you creating a life in harmony with what you value. Or as you said setting standards for yourself.

I’d love to hear what comes up for you about this distinction.

Once again… I so appreciate you initiating these conversations. Your time and energy is so needed and so appreciated. Thank you for all you do.

With love,
Beth
Beth @ New Age Self Help´s last blog ..Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-06-06 My ComLuv Profile

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Lauren June 12, 2010 at 12:19 am

Dear Beth,

First, I just LOVE the conversation Dawn initiated and you’re continuing.

Dawn said “One can let go of a judgment once he has been able to translate what the lying partner has done in terms of what they value. To help let go of any judgments it is important to know that that his / her partner only does or says things because they are acting in harmony with something they value or an attempt to meet some needs.”

What a powerful awareness and statement. What someone lies about does indeed reveal a lot about what they value and/or what needs – or wants I might add – they’re attempting to meet.

Now, you come along and add a fascinating distinction. The difference between moralistic judgments and value judgments. You’ve helped clarify something I’ve grappled with for some time.

I do make value judgments and I absolutely love the way you describe the distinction and the examples you give. What you point out about moralistic judgments in terms of creating separation is an astute observation as well.

You say: Moralistic judgment sets up a dynamic of separation and pain and within this dynamic conscious choices are almost impossible.

Wow, this is great stuff! Say more, please, about how making moralistic judgments prevents us from making dynamic conscious choices. How do they make it “almost impossible”?

Now, in the name of “truth”, I acknowledge at times I do make moralistic or shall I say “ethical judgments”. For example, I think I can sit with inmates who have committed horrific acts more than most can. Yet, there are moments when I hear something so horrendous that I have a strong moral or ethical judgment about it.

Perhaps it would be great if it were just about the act itself, but it translates for me at times as a utter disgust toward the person. Not often, but it does happen for me. I guess repulsion is the best word I could use to describe how I feel.

In these moments, what I attempt to do is BE AWARE of my own reaction, own it, and sit with it.

This area you’ve brought up leads me to think about how we formulate laws. As far off base as a society can get in this regard, we base certain basic laws on what is “morally” or ethically repugnant. Things that are so damaging that as a society, in general, we respond to as being reprehensible and intolerable.

Your incredibly thought-provoking insights have allowed me to ponder more deeply this fascinating topic. I shall continue to explore as I feel it touches upon an important area for exploration.

I also appreciated Dawn’s insight immensely. It’s great to hear your perspective and I’d love to hear more.

Warm regards,
Lauren
Lauren´s last blog ..The Truth Of A Lie – Part 2 My ComLuv Profile

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Lauren June 11, 2010 at 6:07 pm

Dear Beth,

Your comment is awesome and thought-provoking. I love that we get to go so deeply together to explore this important aspect of our lives.

I’m on my way out the door, but wanted to get your comment up before leaving. I’m going to ponder it awhile, as it deserves that, and look forward to responding further soon.

Thank you for taking the time to formulate your thoughts in such a powerful way.

I look forward to continuing the dialogue.

Love,
Lauren
Lauren´s last blog ..The Truth Of A Lie – Part 2 My ComLuv Profile

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Beth @ New Age Self Help June 12, 2010 at 7:42 pm

Such fun…

You said: “Wow, this is great stuff! Say more, please, about how making moralistic judgments prevents us from making dynamic conscious choices. How do they make it “almost impossible”?”

There are so many reasons that conscious choice is almost impossible while you’re in the midst of a moralistic judgment, but here is the tip of the iceberg.

Any time you are in reaction there is almost always “should thinking” going on. Someone should or shouldn’t be doing something they’re doing. And “should thinking” is always in the realm of good and bad, right and wrongs–static thinking.

Your choices become very limited and almost never come from what’s intrinsically important to you. If you are unable to get past your re-action (reenacting your past) and getting to what’s intrinsically important to you–and not just societal values– conscious choice is impossible.

You said: “Perhaps it would be great if it were just about the act itself, but it translates for me at times as a utter disgust toward the person. Not often, but it does happen for me. I guess repulsion is the best word I could use to describe how I feel.”

Before I say a word about this, I just want to take a pause and tell you how much I appreciate who I see that you are. Your desire to get conscious and live in harmony with what’s most important to you is evident and I’m touched and inspired to know you.

Your ability to look at someone who has done something most people would consider “heinous” and be able to translate it into just the act even sometimes is impressive.

You said: “In these moments, what I attempt to do is BE AWARE of my own reaction, own it, and sit with it.”

Beautiful! The practice of getting more and more conscious all the time. When you sit with it you may want identified what is so important to you that has you feel this kind of repulsion.

you said: “Things that are so damaging that as a society, in general, we respond to as being reprehensible and intolerable.”

This could get me up on my soap box and I don’t actually have time for that, but it certainly does bring up another fascinating distinction… the difference between punitive use of force and protective use of force.

Here’s a link to a post we did that speaks to some of this in a lighter way. Well maybe not much lighter in its content but certainly lighter in its criminal implications. :-) http://www.newageselfhelp.com/main/is-it-really-true-new-rules-for-the-game-of-life-quiz.

Thanks again Lauren
with appreciation,
Beth
Beth @ New Age Self Help´s last blog ..Am I Stupid or Did I Just Believe You? Overcoming Low Self Esteem My ComLuv Profile

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Lauren June 13, 2010 at 4:14 pm

Dear Beth,

I love that you’ve come to chat and share your perspective and wisdom.

At the moment I have time to address a powerful distinction you mentioned: punitive force vs. protective force. It’s something I’ve considered deeply, perhaps due to my involvement in the criminal justice system.

I don’t ever condone ACTING from a place of punitive force, individually or as a collective. It saddens me to see we haven’t moved beyond punitive force.

Protective force to me is that we may need to lock someone up for life and throw away the key to protect more people from being victimized by a person. You use protective force with a heavy heart and a lot of soul searching and compassion.

I remember reading something beautiful about this in the Bahai faith years ago.

Punitive force lacks consciousness, as you point out. It’s what you see when people gather and “party” outside a prison when someone’s being executed. Not a pretty face of humanity.

With that said, I still have moments in a film, for example, when some part of me wants to see the “bad” guy suffer. And in “real” life, there are moments that comes up for me.

I’m okay with that. I think it’s part of being human, encompassing all of who we are. Acknowledging that, to me, is what prevents us from ACTING upon it, always a mistake.

It’s like the difference between anger and rage. Anger is an emotion that can let us know something isn’t sitting well with us and we need an adjustment to a situation. One of its functions is to provide internal guidance (giving us a message). Rage, on the other hand, when acted out, always hurts others. It’s one thing to feel an emotion, another to act it out upon others.

Loving your visits and taking us to another layer of it all.

Warm regards,
Lauren
Lauren´s last blog ..The Truth Of A Lie – Part 2 My ComLuv Profile

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