Why do you lie? We are all capable of lying.
How do I define a lie? It’s when we are dishonest
either outright with our self or another or we omit
certain facts that the other would deem important.
My mom recently kept a secret from me these
last 3 months. I prefer not to go into details, because
the details don’t change the message.
When I learned this “secret” when innocently helping
her to delete voice mail messages from her phone,
I was quite upset and disappointed.
Some of her recent comments, “Well I am not you, Angie.
I think differently from you on some things,” and the feelings I felt
emanating from her, which you might call mild resentment,
began to make sense.
I couldn’t understand why she’d been feeling this
toward me because I hadn’t done anything to her, at
least that I was aware of.
It reminded me of other experiences I’ve had with people
who I thought were friends. They were nice to my face as
they continued to smile and tell me what they thought I
wanted to hear.
When I used to work at AT&T over 10 years ago, I had several
direct reports. And I considered some of them friends as we
had a great connection.
At the same time I was at AT&T, I was selling Primerica financial
planning services on the side for extra income. It was normal for us
to sit down with families and do a presentation to show them how
to get out of debt and save for their future. So I asked one of
my direct report friends (we’ll call Jenny) if she wanted to do this.
I thought our appointment went well. I didn’t pressure her to
become a client but gave her some options to consider. A few
days later, an HR person approached me and asked me to come
to their office.
Basically, Jenny had reported me to HR, saying she felt
uncomfortable with our meeting and “obligated” to enroll
with me. This wasn’t true at all, and I assured HR that I
wouldn’t speak to her about it anymore.
The incident remains with me and evokes a feeling of slimy,
grossness and shame. It also really upset me because I thought
she was my friend. I felt betrayed because all she would have
needed to do is let me know she wasn’t interested, and I would
have been fine with that.
Instead she felt so uncomfortable with confrontation that
she felt she needed to report me to HR. I lost trust in her
after that point though I remained professional.
My mom also felt uncomfortable confronting me with her
true thoughts and feelings. And YES it hurt my feelings. But,
just like with Jenny, I need to look at WHY did they feel the
need to lie to me?
I admit that I can be quite intense and passionate when I feel
strongly about a subject. I can be influential and persuasive.
I’m not trying to be over-powering on purpose, but I can come
off that way. I want them to agree with me so we can connect.
So I can understand how they might hide how they truly
feel because they don’t want to disappoint me. What they
don’t realize is that by lying I feel even more disappointed.
It creates further disconnection between us.
And lies cause the instigator to have even more stress in their
body because they have to suppress the truth and tell further
lies to protect the original lie. How exhausting. It lends credence
to the saying, “You are as sick as your secrets.”
To conclude, we lie to keep us “safe” from painful confrontation.
And the onus just isn’t on the person lying. The one lied to
should also look at their part in it. How did they contribute to
the situation? Are they hard to talk to, overly opinionated, making
it feel unsafe for others to be upfront with them?
If you don’t feel “safe” confronting someone and having a difficult
conversation, please consider this. This pattern will sooner or
later destroy the relationship. If we are the withholder, we will
often develop feelings of guilt for not being honest and this turns
into resentment, because we blame the person who we believe
”makes” us feel bad. It’s human nature.
It’s why I was feeling a strange negative energy from my mom.
She was not able to tell me the truth, and this made her feel
guilty and resentful. The person being resented (me in this case)
typically has no idea and is later blindsided when the truth
My mom did feel scared to tell me because she was afraid
of my reaction. I get it. And it still doesn’t justify lying. I explained
to her that I can handle her truth, even if it upsets me in the
moment. I much more respect her truth that disagrees with
mine, than her deception.
We are good. I love my mom and always will. And I learned
I need to back off from advising her, unless she’s asking me.
This is the type of conversation we will have at my upcoming
gathering on 10/12/21, Women’s Empowerment Through Loss.
We will have REAL conversations, and though they feel vulnerable
in the moment, they will lead to freedom of self-expression
which greatly impacts the quality of our relationships.
We will work on healing the underlying reason for being
afraid to have the difficult conversation, which is normally
based in trauma.
Before you decide “Oh I don’t need this,” consider how the
fear of being yourself and speaking your truth is causing you
to hold back, with your career, with feeling connected with
your partner, creating memories with your kids, etc.
When we do take a risk and be our self, the reward is a solid
relationship that will stand the test of time. Register now for
this special gathering at my home this Tuesday.