Dostoyevsky says, “Lying to ourselves is more deeply ingrained than lying to others.” Do you think he’s telling you the truth? Why is this? And how does it work? Is this surprising?
Our need to belong is so, so powerful. We’re neurobiologically wired to connect.
We also believe that at nearly any time the people in our lives will find out something about us that will deem us unworthy of connection.
These two facts of life are the recipe for the mind games that ensue throughout our lives.
“It’s not that bad”, or “that didn’t just happen”, we tell ourselves, “and if it were any worse I’d actually do something about it.” We find ourselves on the receiving end or the transmitting end of those two lies early in our lives and often.
We say nifty things like,”The truth will set you free.” And most of us naively believe it but we don’t actually mean it or follow through with it. When examined, we see all over society that we demand and conform to gain belonging at all costs. We then cultivate interactions where we coerce, manipulate, and drive our relationships to get aligned with our imprinted ideas of who, how, and what we’re all to be in life.
This leads us to learn that any part of us, whether amazing or horrible, too far from the “normal” measures of behavior or existence are to be hidden, lied about, and minimized.
We all do this. We all minimize things about ourselves and the world.
I’m not that mean.
I’m not that cheap.
I don’t care what people think.
I make less money than I say.
Or… I make more money than I say.
Lying is always for some gain or benefit. We get to paint a specific picture of ourselves that makes us look better or in any way different than we actually are. To gain.
Some minor massaging of the truth so we seem just so. We get to lessen something like how much money we spent on something to our partners. We won’t admit to ourselves our true agenda with colleagues or clients so unable to communicate them as well. It’s just so common to maximize something, do less, or seem more.
Another version is definitely how we just simply hide things too. We withhold in our crafty ways to avoid some deeper truth. It’s not lying… per se but it doesn’t facilitate the transfer of knowledge about oursvelves either. I’ll just let you sit with that one.
We do this all the time in nearly all our relationships. Think about that, who knows everything about you?
If we’re to grow and change, and especially if we’re to be authentic and congruent is starts with ourselves. In order to stay abreast of our constant manipulation of the truth we have to actually spend time focusing on seeking out the deeper truths in our reality.
A good place to start is to understand why we want things to be conveyed in a different way. What’s the purpose of that?
What might we lose if we tell the “whole truth”?
Are you intimate with the part of yourself that wants to be deeply known?
What would be the potential negative outcome of that?
What are the best and worst parts of yourself?
What do you hide from others?
What are you ashamed of?