Today I overslept. I jumped from under my warm covers at 10:15am when I should have been up at 8:45am to be at work by 10:30am. To top it off, it was my first time attending the big company meeting. No matter how laid back my Program Manager, I was sure I was in deep shit.
I raced to the shower, brainstorming ways to get to work in the next 20 minutes. While I scrubbed my armpits, I concocted a master plan like Spider Man without the web. Should I skip breakfast? Cab it? Call in with an excuse? Should I take a train half way and a cab the other half of the way to spend less money? And what was I going to say about my tardiness? That I’m a sleepyhead that can’t get up before 10am? No, I would seem irresponsible, lazy, juvenile. I would have to lie. Make up an excuse that showed my lateness was beyond my control. A “harmless” little lie…
We all do this, tell little white lies. Relationships are created by them and destroyed because of them, yet we see them as innocuous. Why is it so easy to lie? I believe it’s because of habit. The first lie is always the toughest but once uttered the rest become easier to tell and part of our routines. We also lie due to the dreadful ‘que diran‘ – the fear of what others may say or think about us and our lifestyles. We lie for others approval.
No matter what the reason, the act of fibbing can infiltrate and negatively affect our lives and relationships. Think about it. How many times do we, as women, fake orgasms? How often have you reassured a lover to boost his or her ego when you didn’t really believe in him or her? How many couples have you met that are pretending to be happy in their relationship when they haven’t been intimate in years? It’s more than one can count.
So what can you do to reverse this filthy and hurtful habit? Be honest with yourself about why you lie. That way you can work through the problem from the inside out. Also, if you feel you are about to lie, excuse yourself for a few minutes. Then you will learn why you’re afraid to tell the truth and if the consequences of your honesty are as extreme as you assume. As for how to tell the truth, be gentle; honesty can be difficult to hear. Unfortunately, no matter how good your intentions, some people may become defensive. Know your place and walk away if need be.
As for me, I arrived to work 30 minutes late. Instead of lying to save my ass and save face, I told the truth. I overslept, I told my boss. I need to establish a healthier sleeping pattern in order to accomplish the goals I have set for myself, I continued. He thanked me for my honesty and commended me for my self-awareness. That’s when I realized, as long as I am working on myself, there is no need for “harmless” little lies.