Why Not Lie?

Lies may seem to get us out of trouble, but the truth is that they just keep the pain coming in small doses. Here's how own up to the truth.

The quickest way to end a relationship is to lie.  It doesn’t matter which kind.  Small lies, big lies, stupid lies.  Enough white lies also do.  Luckily, there’s enough risk that few make this a serious habit.  The dark appeal is it’s a great short-term strategy.  “Didn’t I leave 200 shekels out for you?”  The husband asks.  Looking far too naïve the wife shoots back, “I didn’t notice anything.”  The bracelet looks great on her.  Sooner or later, though, the husband’s going to come around asking where it came from.  No normal person is creative enough to keep this up as a long-term strategy on top of the fact it wears on your soul.

Lying gets more deceptive when doing it to yourself.  It’s not just we can’t see the normal tells: looking down and a slight tongue protrusion pushing out the rancid taste of falsehood.  It’s harder to catch for a more fundamental reason.  Self-lies tell a more flattering story than the uncomfortable truth life tell.  “I’m more competent than this guy.  I was unfairly overlooked for the promotion.” “I couldn’t have been clearer.  I surrounded by idiots!” 

While lying to others temporarily reduces the burden of responsibility they’ll inevitably extract from us, lying to ourselves permanently reduce the pain of personal failures.  Who except ourselves would ever hold us to that truth and why would we?  But it’s these lies that keep the pain coming, all be it in small doses.  They’re the silent snake we don’t notice.  Eventually, we’re in its iron grip.

How do you escape?  Paradoxically, the less attached to being “good,” the more you’ll get to be good.  The less committed to being a “victim” the more likely you won’t end up as one.  The key is self-compassion.  By not limiting your identity to the two-dimensional roles like good and bad (with good being the only option), you stop filtering life’s experiences through it.  Possibilities open.  Life can be “the great teacher” putting you on the right path.  Sure, you’ll have to accept being clued out or at fault sometimes – a tax for the wisdom and opportunities self-compassion brings.  The kindness of seeing, accepting, and forgiving your faults nurtures the iron motivation needed to actually overcome them. 

Yonasan Bender, SW graduated from Hebrew University’s School of Social Work. He has his psychotherapy practice at The Place: The Jerusalem Centre for Emotional Wellbeing. To share your thoughts, experiences, questions, or a different perspective, you can reach Yonasan Bender at 053-808-0435 or email him by clicking HERE. To learn more about him and his work, click HERE.

About The Place

The Place is where therapists, individuals and the community connect to create safety, strength and success. At The Place, men and women discover the freedom and safety to move past those issues which are preventing them from living life to its fullest. Our goal is to help each of our clients discover his or her own strengths as powerful tools in the healing process.

The Place is a multi-faceted clinic offering both individual and group therapy, support groups, interactive evenings and lectures, educational classes, and drop-in hours. Our comfortable, confidential, relaxed environment allows clients and their families to explore sensitive issues and create positive change. We believe that the key to mental health and emotional well-being is inside you.

At The Place, male and female therapists work independently or as a team to explore sensitive issues and facilitate positive change for individuals, couples and families from all sectors of the community. Some of our specialties include emotional eating, grief counseling, internet addiction, phobias, anxiety & OCD, childhood challenges, premarital counseling, couples therapy and intimacy issues, postpartum support, personality disorders, psychiatric care, and more. Connect with a caring professional in person at our comfortable Jerusalem offices, or by video, phone, and text. We’re here for you.

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