When was the last time you told a lie? Was it last night when your hubby asked if you thought he was going bald and you said no, even though the top of his head has started to resemble a barcode? Or was it this morning when one of the lads introduced you to his new girlfriend and you said she was lovely even though you thought she looked like a right munter?
It seems we’re always under pressure to tell some sort of lie to keep the peace, to say what’s ‘right’ instead of what is ‘true’. Children learn to lie at a young age and apparently it’s important that they do as lying is an integral part of developing what psychologists call a ‘theory of mind’. I’ve learned over time (though I still struggle with it) that as adults we often lie because it’s polite. In business, we often lie to give ourselves an edge.
I appreciate that we shouldn’t state the obvious. Unless you’re a bully, there’s no need to go around picking on chubsters and calling them heffers. The truth doesn’t have to hurt. There are polite and respectful ways to express our opinions, but we need to stop babying ourselves and making excuses for mediocrity. We need to stop being afraid of the truth. It’s the only way we can improve ourselves and our society.
I guess I’m just tired these days. Lying takes a lot of effort. At times I’d rather not say anything at all if it means I have to lie. My mum always did say, “if you haven’t got anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. That said, sometimes I wish I could tell the truth without softening it.
I’d like to say no, the food here is awful. In fact, how could you even think to serve pig slop? At a fancy party I’d like to say yes, I’d like some more, please, instead of pretending that I’m not hungry. And I’d quite like to tell the truth about how I really feel about certain leeches of society. You know, those perfectly able-bodied people whose main occupation is milking the system?
Sadly, as much as I’d like to be honest when it comes to these things, I doubt I ever will. As tiring as it is, I can’t see any other way but to go on lying…