I don't think I am alone in this dishonesty trap. I believe we are socialized to be not terribly honest. I remember being in first year Philosophy and our teacher told us that they had a rule in their home that their family would tell the truth no matter what. If their children did not want to go to school that day, they would be the ones who phoned the school, and straight up told the truth about why they wouldn't be there. Really!? And, if someone called the house, they would not lie for each other by saying so and so was not there, when they were. Instead, if whoever the call was for did not want to talk to the person on the phone, they would be honest about it. Like, oh my god!!
Honestly (ha! - the irony), I couldn't fathom being honest like that. I grew up in a home where telling white lies, as we affectionately called them, was a fine art. Designing intricate lies, so we would not have to face the truth, was the norm for us. I recently realized that I am still doing that to some extent. I am not always telling the truth abut how I feel. I have gotten a bit more honest in recent years, but it is not easy for a chronic white-liar to let go of the comfort of a nice lie. Why hurt someone with the truth when a sweet little lie would soften the blow, right? Being honest takes courage. I get quite fearful when I have to tell someone that there is something in our relationship that I don't like. But, by avoiding it, it just comes out more harshly when it does come out, and it seems that it always does come out.
Recently I got myself into trouble by not being honest up front. The longer the dishonesty went on, the more resentful I got. It wasn't the other person's fault. I can assume that they were being more authentic than I was. But, I had no business being in the situation because it went against what I wanted to be doing. I had to learn the lesson the hard way. It is best to set a boundary right away, and say "no" when necessary, rather than ignore those little hairs that stand up on the back of our necks when we know we are embarking on something we have no business embarking on.
Today, in a coaching group I said, "I don't speak my truth because I am too busy portraying myself as someone I'm not. Then I get pissed off because others do not know who I am." It is insanity really.
I have this inner teenager who gets all dreamy about what people say, and I jump too quickly into relationships, only to find that their actions don't match the dreamy words that hooked me. I need to use more discernment, and hold back before I jump into things with both feet. And the other thing I need to start doing is being brutally honest about my non-negotiables upfront. I need to show others exactly who I am, and what I like and don't like, right from the start.
There is only one me and eventually the masks will be stripped away. Can I stand naked without my masks before someone and still have them love and respect me? If I can, they are the perfect friends for me.