Lying – The Facts and Effects:
Some call it “white lies”, “bending the truth”, keeping the truth”… whichever way you want to present it, lying is lying and it is known to be one of the most common wrong acts carried out by human. Also note that lying is a form of deception, but not all forms of deception are lies. Some people would have you believe that lying is always wrong, except when there’s a good reason for it – which means that it’s not always wrong!
Either you believe lying is always wrong or not, one thing you have to be aware of is that lying could be affecting your physical and mental health. There is a saying that I grew up hearing, it says… “Honesty is the best policy.” I wholeheartedly agree with this saying… I know sometimes one can’t help it.
An experiment called “Science of Honesty” was carried out at the University of Notre Dame. They asked people to give up telling major and minor lies for 10 weeks. At the end of the experiment, the people involved in the test reported that they felt less tension and sadness when they refrained from lying. They also reported that they had fewer physical symptoms, such as headaches and sore throats. Lying also attract wrong people into your life.
If you want to live and enjoy a purposeful life, you have to incorporate complete honesty into your life. It may be difficult to start with, but as you get used to saying the truth – no matter what, it becomes part of you. Just imagine the rewards – they are amazing!
To help you stir away from lying, the strategies will help you to avoid those white lies and be more honest in your everyday living:
- Be realistic. It’s estimated that the average person tells 10 or more lies per week. Becoming more candid will require a good deal of effort. Give yourself credit for every time you dare to be forthcoming instead of hiding behind a fib.
- Stop making excuses. Becoming more accountable is a great place to start. When you show up late for an appointment, just apologize for running late instead of pretending there was a traffic jam.
- Fulfill your promises. There will be less temptation to make up stories if you keep your word in the first place. Accept your limitations and take on only what you can handle.
- Ask directly. Direct approaches work better than manipulation. Invite a friend on a weekend getaway instead of trying to convince her that she looks tired and needs a break.
- Deal with conflicts. We sometimes keep quiet because it seems easier than dealing with the conflict. Examine whether you’re accommodating others to be kind or if it would be better to work out your differences.
- Present yourself accurately. Take risks and open up to others. Express your true feelings. State your opinions even when they’re different than the majority.
- Think like a nurse. A Gallup poll found that nurses were especially straightforward. That makes sense considering that a person’s health is often at stake. Consider your impact on the world when you’re feeling inclined to sidestep the truth.
- Speak tactfully. Uncomfortable subjects and situations are easier to face when you choose your words carefully. It’s also helpful to select an appropriate time and place. Think about how you’d want someone to talk to you about a difficult topic and give them the same courtesy.
Guidelines for Being More Honest in Specific Situations:
- Evaluate your parenting. Your kids provide a lot of motivation for becoming a worthy role model. If you embrace honesty in your life, your children will follow suit. Help them develop solid communication skills and emotional intelligence. They’ll grow up to be more resilient and resourceful.
- Deepen your intimate relationships. The courage to be honest will strengthen your connection with your partner. You’ll feel accepted for who you are and give them the chance to experience the same joy.
- Be more honest at work. Find a line of work that allows you to operate according to your values. Figure out how to be honest with your boss and coworkers in a respectful way.
- Engage in self-reflection. Set aside time on a regular basis to review how you’re doing with incorporating honesty into your life. Think in terms of progress rather than perfection.
Honesty is good for your mind and body. It frees you of having to remember those white lies. Telling lies and keeping track of them can be stressful. Truthfulness, combined with sensitivity, will strengthen your relationships and help you feel better about yourself.