One of the so-called lessons of life which I’ve learned is that nothing is ever at it seems.
Why isn’t it just as it seems? What’s your problem, Life? Why can’t you just be honest?
We often rate ‘honesty’ highly and come down hard on ‘dishonesty’… why?
Maybe this will shed some light on it:
The most annoying plot device in Hollywood films is the self-righteous female character who accuses a male character of lying to her, usually in a romantic scenario, and that’s the end of their relationship. Or the beginning of the guy having to grovel to win back the trust of the female.
She’ll always hold this over him. Even if they get together at the end and ride off into the sunset – she’ll bring this up to win any argument they ever have which threatens their happily ever after story (according to her version of how it has to be and play out for… ever).
She claims that she can handle anything except someone lying to her.
She rarely mentions how she handles her lying to herself.
Because she rarely spots her own lies (especially the ones she tells herself), she’s too focused on other people and what they’re doing (wrong – according to her doing it all right) and not doing for her benefit to pay attention to her own hypocrisy.
She’s lying to herself each time she judges someone else for lying to her.
But… Apparently that’s okay?
If you think I’m being harsh, consider this…
What is the most common reason why we lie to other people?
Think about it… think a bit more about those little white lies you tell which please other people and which you think aren’t really lies because everyone does it or because it makes life easier or because it’s just a tiny omission of the truth but you haven’t not told the truth you’ve just edited things a bit.
You’ve just put a tiny dab of spot-concealer on a spot – that’s not a lie!
Have you ever told someone – I’m fine – when they asked you – How are you?
Have you ever said – That’s delicious – when someone served you something they cooked which wasn’t tasty at all.
Have you ever said – You look beautiful – and not thought what you said, but knew that what you thought wasn’t what you should say.
Have you ever smiled when your facial muscles didn’t want to do that, but… you didn’t want to upset someone or seem negative when being positive is ‘in’.
Did you have one of these moments:
You know what comes next, don’t you?
Someone insists they want the truth, and then you give it to them. They then prove to you that you were right to withhold it.
They didn’t want YOUR truth, they wanted THEIR version of it which isn’t YOUR version of it. THEY wanted YOU to confirm what THEY want to be the truth.
Some relationships in particular are all about surviving them, and not because they’re necessarily abusive, but just because relationships are always complicated even when they pretend to be easy, and we try to live up to the pretense… for our own benefit.
Of course, some people prefer things to always be complicated even when they’re very unusually straightforward.
I could tell quite a few tales which fit the brief of this prompt:
“What a Twist! Tell us a story — fiction or non-fiction — with a twist we can’t see coming.”
And those stories aren’t fictional… but when told, they sound as if they are. People don’t tend to believe them… which often ‘prompts’ me to lie.
Let me tell you something which you can believe, instead of something which is true and which you can’t believe.
It doesn’t matter anyway… most people only care about their version of things, of the ‘truth’, and others confirming those versions of things and ‘truth’ for them. Don’t challenge that… unless you want to end up in a reject pile, twisted into shapes unusual for you but normal for them, branded a liar or something like that for telling the truth.
People love quotes like this:
People who love quotes like this… don’t do what quotes like this say, they just love the idea of them and of who they are for loving quotes like this – the truth is subjective and prone to lots of editing.
That picture inside your head… is always a bit twisted.
What a great post! 🙂 When I was younger I used to find myself telling stories that could be believed while withholding the truth. Weird experience. We humans are weird. Just tell us what we want to hear and we’re good. Until we’re not, until our tolerance is used up, and we find ourselves walking away and blaming the other for the fact that we encouraged him or her to tell us what we wanted to hear. Yup, it’s a pretzel. 🙂
Thank you 🙂
I’ve been watching a very interesting TV series (which has been compared to True Detective in style) – Bloodline. It’s about a family, lies and hidden truth, complex relationships, and human nature at it’s most pretzel-like. It shows the same story from different perspectives. The characters are fascinating and very human.
In relationships there is at times an undercurrent of – I need you to be this person for me – and as long as you are perceived as being that person, even if you aren’t, then the other is okay with you, but as soon as they see you as not being that person whom they need you to be, then nothing is okay ever again. This undercurrent can be so subtle that you don’t notice it until it becomes a riptide. The person who once thought you were an angel, has changed their mind and you’re now the devil incarnate – but you are exactly as you always were, they just changed the way they look at you and the role you have in their story.
It is consistently a weird experience living life, being and relating!
🙂 Bravo once again. What an amazingly variegated mind.
“They didn’t want YOUR truth, they wanted THEIR version of it which isn’t YOUR version of it. THEY wanted YOU to confirm what THEY want to be the truth.”
And like two people witnessing an accident, neither has “the truth.”
I wonder about the Egyptian’s idea of Ma’at weighing the heart for truth: all those fake smiles and phoney, “I’m fine” might weigh a ton. Maybe “enlightenment” is a weight-loss program that means shedding pounds of pretense. 🙂
Thank you 🙂
I think ‘enlightenment’ could well be a phoney truth, at least the way humans play with the notion and use it to elevate themselves while demoting others.
I totally agree. Jess and I once listened to Anne Wilson Schaef talking about “one-up one-down” — going up includes putting down —self-inflating while other-deflating. Where cows give off methane from the butt, humans seem to use the mouth for out-gassing. Maybe there is a word like self-flatulence that goes with the taking on airs of self-inflation. Maybe putting a match next to an “enlightened” person might have the same dramatic flare as lighting a fart.
The moment humans discovered that they could create via talking, create reality and identity, and didn’t have to back that talk up but just keep talking until the talking became the walking, the truth… the rest is history and herstory, told over and over again until others believe it as much as the person talking wants and needs them to. Others will keep believing it as long as it suits them to do so, the moment it no longer suits them, then they see lies where once they saw truth.
It’s an intriguing process to observe. We all do it. We are all threads creating tapestries.
I wouldn’t go lighting matches to test out your idea, don’t forget you’re human too, and therefore prone to the same issue which you have attributed to humans. 😉
Reblogged this on Meandrous Kuudere.
Thank you very much 🙂
This is brilliant. A few weeks ago I was at the dog park with a lady I know who was telling me about cancer surgery on her nose and how so many people were concerned with appearance, but not her, she was just glad to have the cancer out. A few weeks later I ran into her husband, asked how she was and he told me a complete opposite version of this story. I know I am not always honest when I feel it may hurt someone or if I fear their reaction. Its about being a people pleaser but its also most probably more about just being human. When I got into 12 step groups this was something I was encouraged to look at what fears were driving this behaviour.. Like you said, in the end others don’t always want or like our honesty. And I am sure I have been hurt by other peoples “honesty” which at times was their perspective on the “truth” of my life, sometimes it was spot on, sometimes it was way off base. At times people have really appreciated my honesty, at times I’ve been excommunicated. At times I have just out right lied, and most often to myself, sometimes I had to travel a way down the road to get perspective on the lie and what motivated it.
Thank you 🙂
There’s a story I keep meaning to write about in a post. I was about 13. My mother and I were in NYC, staying there for a while, and I was introduced to the daughter of one of my parents’ friends who was a little bit older than me. She took me out a few times with a good friend of hers, and one day her parents invited us teens to go to Great Adventure (a theme park in New Jersey). I was so excited. My mother said okay. Off we went.
When I got back, full of the joys of having had a fun day, about an hour later than I was supposed to be dropped off, my mother was in psycho mode. She screamed at me, claimed she’d almost called the police because she thought I’d been kidnapped, then she accused me of almost causing us to miss the plane we were catching the following morning.
Now she had agreed to let me go, she’d discussed the outing with the adults taking me on it, they’d arranged everything amongst the grown ups, yet somehow her memory was wiped clean of all of this and she had concocted this story which had so many dramatic variations that it made my head spin and fall off.
She then called up the people who had taken me on the outing and spewed fury at them. Then she called my father to tell him what his friends had done with his daughter, and she decided that this was also the appropriate time to accuse my father’s friends of a crime (which they did actually commit as they were in business with my father and were embezzling funds, but that’s by the by) against him. And then my father’s friends called him to tell him that it was all my fault for being a brat – apparently when a child asks an adult to stay a little bit longer and go on one more ride at a theme park, that classifies them as a brat (so I guess their daughter and her friend were also brats if that was the criteria), and they apparently couldn’t say no to my request because they were worried that this might affect their friendship with my father, or maybe they were worried that my mother would be annoyed at them for saying no to her child. I can’t recall what their exact reasons for being unable to say no to a child, but it wasn’t their fault, they were powerless.
Up until that point my mother had made out that these people were also her friends, even though they were more my father’s friends. She’s the one who pushed me to hang out with their daughter – which I was reluctant to do because I was very shy and she forcefully nagged me until I did what she wanted me to do. She insisted that I be polite and socialise – I guess she was hoping that I wouldn’t like them. I don’t know. She did bitch about them, but she bitched about everyone and everything.
This story didn’t die there, it lasted for months, with all the adults changing it until it was unrecognisable, and using it for so many manipulations and causes that you’d have thought it was something far more serious than it actually was.
Funnily enough that didn’t put me off going to theme parks 😉
When positive affirmations go on about how we create our reality and it’s up to us to choose the reality we want and create it for ourselves… I remember this reality creating festival.
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