Liar, Lair, Pants on Fire!

January 21, 2011

Do you remember as children using this little string of words to describe someone who told a fib (defined as an insignificant or childish lie)?

What would you do today if someone were to call you a Liar? Would you be indigant at the statement or would you pause to think about it a moment?

Aren’t we all just a little bit guilty of telling a lie? Ask yourself if you have you ever:

  • Told a little white lie?
  • Played a bit with the numbers on your taxes?
  • Wiggled your way out of a speeding ticket? 
  • Wiggled out of anything you just did not want to do?
  • Bragged on the fish that got away?
  • Embellished a story for a laugh?
  • Made a conscious addition, deletion or revision of what you know to be “the truth”?

And if so, doesn’t that make us by definintion – Liars? What is the truth and is it always best to tell it?

Professionally, honesty is always the best policy. In fact, in my business (real estate) the laws surrounding disclosure and truth are hardfast and unwavering, as is the punishment for failing to do so.

But do we always look our clients in the eyes and tell them exactly what they need to know as opposed to what they want to hear? Do we present our products and services in the harsh, full light of day or do we filter them through what we think they ought to be?

Are there shades actually of the truth and who gets to decide what they are?

On a personal level, I think there are some truths that can be hurtful. We can think them to ourselves but if the damage done by sharing them outweights the benefit of the truth being known, what is the point? Who benefits? Are we a hero for speaking the truth or the villain for the hurt it has caused? I know people who feel it is their duty to say everything that is on their mind. While they may mean well, what they really need is an internal regulator to signal the need for silence.

Example, recently I attended a party and was asked by a friend on more than one occasion that evening if I was “tired”. I did not feel tired when I left home. I did not feel tired as I entered the room. I thought I had applied my make-up and fixed my hair with my usual flair. What was it that prompted the question? Was it concern for my well-being? Was it a gentle reminder that I needed to visit my nearest plastic surgeon? Was it that there was nothing else to say?

Who knows but I can tell you how I felt as a result of her inquiry …..”Tired”.

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