We’ve all been taught to tell the truth. We even throw sticks and stones at those who don’t tell the truth. In grade school we would sing the mantra, “Liar, liar pants on fire.” We’d point and laugh whenever we caught someone in lie.
To add insult to injury there is the old adage, “If you lie, you’ll cheat or steal. Or kill.” I’m proud to say I don’t cheat, steal and maybe had the desire to kill but never acted on it. I can’t buy that temperament interpretation. I never viewed lying as a gateway drug to the latter three.
I’m sure you’ve been on a job interview and some asked you, “If you saw a co-worker stealing what would you do.” Answer, please. Right. Since we are talking about being honest, the entire interview process is made up of lies, deceit and nice-crisp black suits with killer pumps – don’t forget the smile. Some of the best interviews I have given were exaggerated truths and made up examples of customer service experiences I have never had. A white lie?
Everyone tells a white lie on occasion, it’s just a question of why. Some white lies save relationships, some ease a hectic situation, and others buy us time. Like the previous example, it can help you land a job. So now that we know white lies exist, can they not exist in our relationships?
I always have a battle with if honesty is the best policy. Am I the only one? I know hope I’m not. But if I can admit to one of the flaws that have lingered in past relationships would be totally being honest. I’m not lying about everything and I do consider myself a trustworthy person but some things I just don’t feel everyone is privileged to. I used to find myself lying just to spare someone’s feelings or keep the animosity down in the relationship. It is natural when the more you feel comfortable around someone the more you open up. While dating someone we often frequently desire disclosure. Self-disclosure can have a functional and dysfunctional effect on relationships especially when the truth is involved.
Being honest in my relationships has gotten easier over time. I am still a work in progress but I can honestly say I am working at it. Relationships are made up of being honest. A good foundation is made up of more than just communication and respect; honesty has to be factored in too. The difficulty with being honest with people is trying to gauge if he or she can handle the truth. This is where the ball is mostly dropped in relationships. We can never tell if someone can handle the truth unless we actually tell the truth. To disclose the truth is to the tell truth. Then that works both ways. No matter which end you are on, you should also create and foster a relationship where someone feels comfortable with telling you the truth.
Drew-Shane Daniels is a Philadelphia based writer maneuvering through life and graduate school. He’s the creative genius behind the project www.heardhimsay.com, his personal blog where he offers his two cents on pop culture, lifestyle, sexuality and entertainment. His work is featured on Global Grind, Soul Train and Clutch Magazine. You can also follow him on Twitter @drewshane.