” Your buddy would be in a pretty terrible spot, but you could have told the truth. Or a girlfriend who will get mad if you tell her you were out partying with friends and flirting with other girls? Almost all of the moral excuses we give ourselves for lying are just a veiled way to get what we want while still feeling like good, honest human beings. No matter what mental booby traps you set up to rationalize, your self-esteem KNOWS. I’m quitting.” Except if I did I would have had to tell Chris the truth. Because I had to be honest, I felt compelled to do the tough, right thing. Imagine if you had to tell the truth about everything you did. (I know my grandma would have to stop sneaking cigarettes! But if I were to form a relationship with her and insist that I truly was a renegade CIA agent…I’d be a nuts and she’d be nuts for believing me. My work status isn’t meaningful in the first 15 minutes of interaction.
You could have said, “Right this way, Tommy is upstairs! You have complete freedom of response, even if you don’t like the outcome. The question you have to ask yourself is not “Do I have a choice? Or a friend about having already left the house to meet him, when you’re actually still getting dressed? I’m willing to bet no lives are on the line when you decide to lie. The moral justification for lying is only at the extremes. Here’s a rundown: You wake up with 5 million dollars in your bank account. So if you think lying is wrong, and you continue to lie, your self esteem plummets. Even if no one discovers you, YOU are always there. You can justify, and rationalize, and come up with exceptions for yourself. It was specified to my current diet, training routine and fitness goals. While I agonizing through one of my sets on the first day I thought, “This can’t be worth it. And now I’m hooked on the feeling of improving in that area. You also have to recognize that “meaningful” is not static. So if I am out at a bar and I jokingly tell a girl that I am a renegade CIA agent, I don’t consider it a lie.
However, sometimes it is not always that easy to tell the truth sometimes we lie.
Reasons for lying could be we are afraid of the unknown, we are afraid of what others might think of us, we are afraid we will be found out or maybe we are trying to protect someone else’s feelings by lying to them.
Another disadvantage of telling the truth would be that you might say something one day and it might comeback to bite you.
From these examples we can see that there are more disadvantages than advantages to being honest.
This clip from 500 days of summer illustrates the point beautifully: It’s not simply the things you do that upset or excite people.
You can go into a job interview like I did and when they ask your 5 year plan, tell them: And people will be cool with it! Your boss would fire you or your girlfriend would get mad or you family would disown you. Those are the times where you decide what kind of person you are.
That’s like associating your monthly credit card payment with pain. And it doesn’t matter if those lies are implicit (Your boss thinking you’re planning on staying at your job when really you’re interviewing elsewhere) or explicit (You tell your parents you believe in God when you don’t). Give them the truth and let them make informed decisions, even if it isn’t to your benefit.
People associate honesty with pain because it is in the moment of honesty that pain occurs. So if you’ve been living a life that includes lies, you have some debt to clear.