Conflict # 19 – Lying

In putting together these posts on conflict, I skipped the obvious comments, assuming they go without saying … No yelling or screaming, no property destruction, no physical violence, no threats, no running away, no foul language, no name-calling … etc. – But wait. There’s another one: No lying!

Trust is the cornerstone of a healthy relationship; and honesty and integrity are essential to building trust.

Now, let’s see if we can agree on what a lie is, actually. Is it nothing more than purposely stating a falsehood? Or, are there other ways of lying? Please consider some additional ways of being dishonest, which could be called lying:
– Leaving out information
– Not saying how you really feel
– Twisting words in order to fool or mislead the other person
– Masking your appearance or image for personal advantage

The bottom line: any behavior or speech that intends to deceive, in order to gain an advantage, can be called a lie. By the way, the above list is probably incomplete.

Of the four examples listed above, take a look at the second one: not saying how you really feel. Having worked with countless couples and families, I believe this may be one of the most destructive forms of dishonesty. It’s destructive and it’s complicated. When you hold back what you’re really feeling, you’re lying to two people; the other person and yourself.

When you hide what you’re feeling, you’re putting up a barrier. And you’re following the belief in a mistaken idea, such as the idea that expressing true feelings isn’t safe. That may have been true when you were a kid, but is it still true?

Why do people lie to themselves about their feelings? Typically it stems from a fear of conflict, rooted in a history of unpleasant experiences. If you’re interested in learning more, feel free to contact me.

So, take a look in the mirror. Have you ever been dishonest with yourself? Is it a problem? And have you wondered whether it can change? I say it’s possible. If you’re strongly motivated and ready to give it 100%, so am I.

It may not happen overnight, but it’d be well worth it. When you’re ready to make the change that will lighten up your life and free you from a whole lot of mess, call 219-309-3928 for a free consultation. I’d be honored to be of help.

Thanks for reading!