We’ve All Been Dishonest In These 3 Major Ways

We tell a lot of lies for a lot reasons. No matter the lie, what I believe to be universally true is that when we’re dishonest with ourselves and others, we compromise our authenticity and integrity – and as a result, a lot of our happiness. Here’s what we all tend to be dishonest about, why we tend to do it and what we need to be doing more regularly.
Robert Scoble
Robert Scoble

1. When we’re into someone

What many of us tend to do:

Lie, mercilessly. Pretend we’re not into them. Pretend we’re into someone else. Pretend we’re into that wall over there. Pretend we’re on our phone. Pretend we’re at a really cool party. Pretend we didn’t see their text come in 46 minutes ago and are just casually responding to it now. It’s a big fun friendly game of cat and mouse and the less interest you show, the more you’re winning.

Why we tend to do it:

Fear of rejection, for one thing. What’s worse than putting yourself out there – really allowing yourself to be truly vulnerable – and being turned down? I think it’s one of the more painful things we as humans feel. Though perhaps we know that we shouldn’t, I think many of us tie our rejections into our own sense of worth, allowing them to chip away at how good we feel about ourselves. So it makes a lot of sense that we go to great lengths to avoid it.

Another thing is that once you’re honest and you get a concrete answer from the other person – and if it’s not the answer you were hoping for – you can no longer spin this whole love story in your head however you were before. You’ll have your answer in front of you, and the only thing that’ll be left to do at that point is accept the truth and move on. That can be really tough for even the most rational of us.

And what about our air of intrigue and mystery? Won’t shit hit the fan the second we give up the game? How will another person ever like us if we lay everything out on the table? Won’t we become boring?

What we should try to do:

Tell people when we’re into them. It’s as simple as it is complicated. Think about it: wouldn’t you sort of love the shit out of it if someone you’re into told you outright that they’re into you? If you’re toeing the waters of something more with someone you’re interested in, maybe try taking on the challenge. The best-case scenario is they’re into you too – and they’ve got even more respect for you for your transparency and courage. The worst-case scenario is, of course, the opposite – but there’s a silver lining to this too: the sooner you know the truth, the sooner you’re able to close that door – and new doors can only open once old ones are shut.

2. When we’re not into someone who’s into us

What we tend to do:

Avoid, avoid, avoid. Groan when we see that they’ve texted us yet again. Text back hours later out of guilt (hoping they’ll get the hint; it’s been hours) and be really short with them (hoping they’ll get the hint; we’re not offering up much). Start texting them back every few times they text us (hoping they’ll get the hint; we hardly even respond anymore). Lie that we dropped our phone down an elevator shaft when we unexpectedly run into them.

Why we tend to do it:

There’s probably a big part of us that doesn’t want to be the asshole. We don’t want to have to let other people down or hurt them. We know what it feels like to be on the receiving end of that.

There’s probably an even bigger part of us that doesn’t know how to do something so brave. It takes a lot of maturity and courage to hold yourself accountable for your feelings (or lack thereof) and admit to someone else that they’re just not your type.

And maybe a small part of us does like the attention, even if it’s not from the person we want. Maybe it validates our sense of self in some twisted way, making us feel like we’re at least desirable in someone’s eyes.

What we should try to do:

Tell people when we’re not into them. It’ll free you from getting all those texts you don’t want and it’ll free them to find someone who does like them back – a total win-win. It also creates a ton of respect in the relationship and makes for a completely civil parting of ways; who knows, maybe you’ll even up friends out of it. I recently pushed myself to do this even though a much bigger part of me wanted to let the guy get the hint over however long that would take. When I worked up the nerve and did it, he told me how much he appreciated the honesty, that not a lot of people are up front these days. I walked away from it not feeling bothered by the situation as I had before, but rather feeling a lot of respect for him.

3. When someone we’re into has made us an option

What we tend to do:

Chase even harder. Because this is truly one of the worst feelings. One second the person you’re into is making plans for two months out with you, the next second they’re popping in and out of your life at their leisure. It’s happened – they’re suddenly on the fence about you. They’re thinking of ways to trade up. They’re not totally sure if you’re who they want. So we tighten our grasp on them and do everything in our power to control the situation, to make things go back to how they once were, to keep them on our team, all while trying to appear completely nonchalant about our interest in them.

Why we tend to do it:

Denial is one of our favorite coping mechanisms. We can trick ourselves into believing that we’re doing things right, that everything is okay, when we pretend that the parts of the picture that we don’t like just aren’t really there. If we can trick ourselves into believing the person we’re into is not suddenly taking days to respond to our text messages (or that this doesn’t indicate anything about them liking us less), then nothing’s changed, right?

Another big component of this is that we often feel like that person is making off with our self-worth. They were into us before; we have proof of that in our text messages. They kept conversations going. They wanted to see us. They reached back out in the morning after talking to us the whole night before. So when they do a 180 on us, suddenly our sense of self is in their hands and we become determined to get it back, chasing them more relentlessly than ever before.

What we should try to do:

Stand up for ourselves when we see this happening. Realize that we’re okay with or without them, that they haven’t stripped us of anything of ours. Either exit the relationship or confront the person about how you’re feeling, because otherwise you’ll be made into as much of a doormat as you allow yourself to be. Will you come off as “crazy” for saying that you don’t want to be someone’s option – for holding them accountable for how they’ve started treating you – especially if you two are very early into things? It’s certainly possible. But if they’re serious about you they’ll respect you more for your transparency and if they’re not you just did yourself a huge favor. Pat yourself on the back, buy yourself some ice cream, let that door close and watch as another opens. And when they come back (because those who like to have lots of options don’t tend to believe that they could lose one) remember why you shut that door in the first place.TC mark

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