Do Something Awesome For Yourself: Stop Lying

by Eric Disco
Jun 1

About ten years ago, one of my best friends introduced me to a concept that changed my life.

We were sitting around in his basement after band practice talking and he told me that he never lies.

I didn’t believe him at first.

“How can you never lie? Like never ever?”

It didn’t make sense to me. It wasn’t an ethical or religious thing for him, so I didn’t really understand it. But as he explained it to me, it began to make sense.

I have since adopted his position, and it’s one of the healthiest things I’ve ever done for myself.

I never lie.

You see, I realized that when I did lie, 95% of the time I was lying to make someone else feel better.

If I was tired and didn’t feel like going out with a friend I’d made plans with, I’d make up an excuse instead of saying “I’m tired and don’t feel like going out.”

If a girl I was seeing asked me how I felt about her, I’d tell what I thought she wanted to hear, rather than how I really felt.

Once I started not lying, I felt this huge rush of relief.

Because you know what? FUCK EVERYBODY.

It’s not my responsibility.

I’m not changing the way I feel for anyone.

I’m not going to lie anymore and I am going to do it out of pure selfishness.

I’m not going to change anything about me for anyone.

It doesn’t always mean I go around saying the truth to everyone every time I see it (“Wow, you gained weight.”) Or even that I need to answer someone if they ask me a question.

But I won’t say anything that I know to be untrue.

It really makes things a lot simpler.

You don’t need to keep track of anything you’ve said because, well, you didn’t lie about anything.

But more importantly, you never have to worry that what you said, thought, or felt was inappropriate.

It isn’t always totally comfortable. Once in a long while it hurts a bit. Or leaves me slightly embarrassed.

But not as much as you might think.

I feel it’s an important step to shaking the Nice Guy Syndrome, that voice inside my head that wants to please everybody, be all things to everyone all of the time.

You can’t do it.

All you can be is you.

And if somebody doesn’t like it, well… fuck them. This is me. Welcome to my world.

-----------------

posted in Rapport Skills

COMMENTS
17 responses
Chris says:

Good post, Eric. This is something I’ve been considering recently, and I agree with the basic sentiments that you express here–about making life simpler and being more authentic. But there are practical realities when it comes to living in a society with other people, and the brutally honest approach just might not be the optimal path towards happiness. It sounds like you’ve gotten some benefits from it, but there may be long-term costs. Basically, you might piss off the wrong person, and for what?

I still believe developing your inner Simon Cowell is basically a good thing, and it’s something I’d like to get the balls to do more often, but I’m not sure that *total honesty* is necessarily the best thing. But if it works for you, rock on.

chris

Chris says:

Okay, I have more to say…

I think the total honesty approach is especially questionable for people like myself, who have a history of being loners. As the article below explains, such people tend to have developed irrationally negative world-views that would basically just turn people off if they were revealed with complete honesty. Now, I’ve made lots of progress in becoming more social in the last few years, but I definitely have my “everybody sucks” moods, and my current strategy is to keep that to myself as much as possible. I have trouble faking enthusiasm.

http://www.succeedsocially.com/connect

This site actually has great, *practical* advice for people who are looking to become more social.

chris

I agree, Chris. Striving for total honesty at all times can be questionable. One of the key things here is timing. The timing of when you reveal certain things about yourself, if ever, is what’s important.

Basically, you might piss off the wrong person, and for what?

Yeah, theoretically someone puts a gun to your head and says “tell a lie.” What do you do? Or you need to lie to keep your job. These scenarios never come up for me. Is it because I live my life ethically? I don’t think so. I do like to think I live ethically, but I’m far from Ghandi.

I think people care about your actions, and they care about truth. Everything else falls pretty far behind that. If I oversleep in the morning and come into work late, I could tell the boss that there were train problems. Or I could say I oveslept. I think he respects the truth more. Excuses are lame, nobody likes to hear them.

And all these ethical quandries fall to the wayside when you consider the huge payoff of telling the truth. That clear, unadulterated focus that constantly forces you back to your inner source for truth. You are able to objectively search your feelings without judgement and consider what’s there. It is holding your own inner being in higher esteem than anything else in the world–a job, a relationship, money, etc.

Know yourself, accept yourself and love yourself. And everything flows from there.

Chris says:

I think we basically agree. From my limited observations, I’ve noticed that people who totally commit to “honesty”, and are basically unapologetic about it, seem to get some slack for whatever stupid or unreasonable thing they may occasionally do or say. Whereas people who try “honesty”, but don’t seem like they’re really comfortable with it, seemed to be judged more harshly when they screw up.

I guess it’s all about confidence.

chris

yo mama says:

Amen. Honesty is just less tiring and effortful than being fake nice.

Anonymous says:

Some lies do need to be told.

Lies are generally noble if they are told to protect others from yourself or themselves.

Lies are cowardly if they are told to protect yourself from others.

The lowest of all lies are lies told to yourself to protect yourself from yourself.

Pete says:

What’s up Eric:

I like what you wrote. And I have a clarification on the topic. When a person tells a lie it is NOT to make someone else feel better. That is an innaccurate perception. All lying is done to make the LIAR feel better. There are only 2 reasons people lie (as far as I can tell). To be liked or admired. Or to gain an advantage. A person lies to a girl and says what he thinks she wants to hear. Why? So she will like him. He has put too much importance on her opinion of him. If he had high self esteem and is happy with who he is, other people’s opinions are of no consequence. Some will always like you and others won’t. And no lie can change that. Someone may lie to a girl so she will sleep with him. Again, the low self esteem issue comes up. He doesn’t feel he has enough true value to offer and the only way to gain what he wants is through deciet because in truth he feels he doesn’t deserve it. All lying is done for the liar’s benefit. No one elses. But your reasons to be a truth teller are right on the money. In fact, if you have low self esteem and want to skyrocket it rapidly (and you are determined to do so) tell the truth. It is not easy but immediately after doing it, your self esteem, your personal feelings about yourself, will skyrocket. Become a person YOU admire. Go tell someone the truth!

All lying is done to make the LIAR feel better. There are only 2 reasons people lie (as far as I can tell). To be liked or admired. Or to gain an advantage. A person lies to a girl and says what he thinks she wants to hear. Why? So she will like him. He has put too much importance on her opinion of him.

Great point.

Cam says:

Who the lie influences is really a circular argument. Your girlfriend comes to you and asks “am I fat?” In actuality, she’s gained 20 pounds since you met, but you tell her she looks gorgeous. Directly, she feels better (unless she’s the insane type who will use it to pick a fight because you’re lying…); and because she feels better you then feel better because making people feel good inheirantly makes you feel good as a human being.

Straight truth can go either way. I often find where I’ll show interest in a woman and it will be more than what they have and thus they’ll be scared off; whereas if I bide my time and show little to no interest I can garner theirs to a point that they want me more than I want them. Directly, showing no interest isn’t a lie – however it is a deception, which is the heart of what a lie is, is it not?

Franz says:

Hey Disco, Check out the July 2007 issue of Esquire and the articule “I think your fat” about a movement called ‘Radical Honesty’. I have it at Brooklyn Beach Club. Great post. This guy believes we should tell the whole truth- always. He runs $2000 week long workshops and has about thirty coaches. The author writes his experiences with Radical Honesty.

[...] Do Something Awesome For Yourself: Stop Lying Submitted by SuperFly, 4 days and 4 hours ago (approachanxiety.com) [...]

cjl says:

You guys all need to read “Mode One.” Brilliant stuff.

Mr. Awsome says:

Dude, smoke less pot!

Sherri says:

Hi there,
Honestly I used to lie out of fear which stemmed WAY back into my childhood..as I grew older I realized that I had created a habit in which not only caused more problems for myself but quite possibly may hurt others as well. The more I tried to change, the more FEAR got in the way.. ONE day I got mad at it and asked God to help me stop lying NO matter what…the amazing part of this story is that I still was not able to stop my “little” lies and then all of a sudden the things I said which I thought were lies started to become true…
It happened and each Time I thanked God and almost now still want to cry..Then afterwards it became easier and easier to tell the truth..Now to this day I have told about 3 lies this past year but compared to telling 3 a day I think it’s a considerable improvement and I thank God for my success and I know I still have the desire to continue to do my BEST to live a HONEST life..I have come a long way in three years after a lifetime of fear based lying I hope to do even better down the road…If anyone else who reads this can relate..please feel free to email me..at MissSherrizDaycare@yahoo.com
thanks for listening and sharing..
S.

Sherri says:

On another note it’s better to be quiet than tell a lie..
Lying to save face, or save someone’s feelings is NOT good..
Just tell them the truth or say “I’d rather not comment”

AND contrary to some people’s belief’s ALOT of people CANNOT handle the truth and the literally LITERALLY do not want to hear the truth…

I know I do not personally like constructive criticism…I wonder how those two words ever got put into the same sentence..FUN FUN

Zhelyazko says:

Yeah, awesome article. Loving it :)

Zhelyazko

LEAVE A COMMENT