DailyBlog: When was the last time you lied?

*** The first three books in my six-part dystopian series have officially made their way out into the world! Check them out!
For the sake of blogging, self-exploration, and contemplation, I’ve been slowly making my way through answering questions from this list

Today’s Question: When was the last time you lied?  What did you lie about?

Honestly, I have no idea. These days I tend to either be very blunt or just shift my eyes and turn away slowly. It’s just not worth the trouble to lie. If I’m not comfortable answering a question, I’ll outright say so, and if there’s something I don’t want to talk about, I’ll state that. If I don’t have anything nice to say, I won’t say anything at all unless it’s in private company and it’s been made clear that it’s a safe space for me to vent. I just don’t feel the need to lie.

I’ve experienced firsthand how a simple lie can turn into a huge ordeal. People can get hurt. I don’t think most people lie to be malicious. Lies happen because we’re insecure, we’re trying to avoid confrontation, or we’re trying to hide something. Sometimes we feel shame, other times, we’re just not ready for others to know. It’s sleight of hand; if you’re a stress-ball scared to death that someone will see something fragile and vulnerable in your left hand and they’ll be cruel and deliberately break it into even more pieces, get them to focus on your right hand instead. It just allows a person to breathe a bit easier.

At least, that’s how I felt in the past when I’ve told lies; almost exclusively about myself; not about others. I have never been, and will never be malicious, but I used to be a huge tangled mess and I was practically paralyzed with fear over the thought of people seeing it because unfortunately I’ve experienced the worst case scenario, people deliberately using and exploiting my vulnerabilities. But I grew, I changed, and now I deal with stressful moments differently.

Not everyone who lies is a selfish malicious asshole. If you think someone is lying, pay attention to the types of lies. There’s two different types of liars; people who lie about others, and people who lie about themselves. The first type are manipulative and malicious. The second type are just insecure and aren’t intending to hurt anyone. Don’t attack or judge anyone until you’ve paid attention to their words and behavior. Don’t push an insecure person, you’ll just end up shoving them further down the rabbit hole. If you think someone is lying to you, ask yourself why. Ask them why, if you can, but approach them with compassion. Remind yourself that they’re struggling, and they have feelings, too.

I realize this response went beyond the question but this is a sensitive topic for me. Several years ago, I once told a lie and it blew up way beyond my control and people got hurt. I told the lie because I was confused, I was trying to protect someone (who didn’t end up deserving my protection), but I was also trying to protect myself. I NEVER meant for things to get so out of hand. I wish that I had done things differently. If I was ever faced with the same situation now, I’d make different choices. I also wish others would have treated and approached me compassionately instead of treating me like i was garbage. That hurt and made the situation so much worse.

I don’t like being lied to. No one does. But every situation is unique, and we need to understand that everyone has feelings. Everyone is complicated. Everyone has different coping mechanisms and everyone is at a different place in their personal growth journey. No one has a RIGHT to know anything about you. It’s okay to draw a boundary without needing to evade someone with lies. Just tell them NO. Tell them it’s not their business. Tell them you’re not comfortable talking about -insert sensitive topic here-, and end the conversation there. You don’t owe anyone an explanation for drawing a personal boundary. If they can’t or won’t respect that, they don’t need to be in your life. I’m glad that I finally learned that. I wish that I would have learned it sooner, but if the past hadn’t happened the way that it did, I probably wouldn’t be the better person that I am today.

Don’t lie. It never ends well. But don’t attack a liar, either. Lying is a symptom of someone struggling. Be as compassionate toward them and their struggles and you would want someone to be towards you and yours, even if your coping mechanisms are different. We are all human. We are all flawed. We are all trying. Treat others how you’d want to be treated. I don’t think any anthem of life advice can be more honest than that.

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