“No legacy is so rich as honesty” — William Shakespeare
What really grates my carrots (and just about any decent, authentic person trying to live their truth) are liars — those truth benders, fibbers, perjurers and yarn spinners.
Since moving to a small town, I have discovered that there are more fabricators in this world than I ever dared believe!
I’ve come to truly grasp that people judge you on their own principles. In other words, if they lack certain morals, they’ll assume you are just as devious as they are.
Trusting People are Honest
I love Nelson Mandela’s take on believing that people have integrity until proven otherwise.
He used to start off with the assumption that you are dealing with him in good faith, in the hope that this will bring out the good in people and improve the chance that they will reveal their better selves.
Some might say it is naive to give others the benefit of the doubt but Mandela believed that, even by making oneself vulnerable by trusting others, we at least give decency and honesty a chance. And in doing that, possibly attract integrity and honor from others.
This is how I’ve tried to live my life but, oh boy, I’ve been challenged lately! How are things your end?
Hitting the Ball Out the Park!
I love how synchronicity works, listen to this: I was pondering all the fibby-fibblers people have told me recently and trying to better understand why they behave in such a way.
I settled down for the evening with my favorite series when one of the characters started lecturing another character about telling the truth and said something in the vein of, ‘when you don’t tell the truth you deny the other of their dignity’.
Whoa! Well, I don’t know about you but I almost fell out of my seat…that really hit home with me. So that’s why it hurts so much!
Why We Feel Deflated with Liars
Dignity can be defined as our magnificence. I don’t truly think anyone can strip us of that but it can really sting us for a while.
In my opinion, the liar’s dignity is more fragmented when trust is broken. So, anyone hatching an equivocation should seriously ponder that one!
When we are the ones on the receiving end of a bald-faced lie, it may hurt our pride/ego/feelings/heart but inevitably we can pick ourselves up and learn from the experience with head held high (don’t be disheartened by the experience! There are plenty of genuine gems in the world.).
However, it hurts when trust is broken, but — as Mandela tried to purvey — your heart is in the right place when you give people the benefit of the doubt.
“In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” — George Orwell
Don’t call yourself ‘stupid’ or ‘foolish’ when this happens, call yourself integrous — it’s a good thing! However, you must learn to guard yourself, set boundaries and try to identify the traits of a liar if and when you come up against the universal test again.
The Opposite Side of the Scale ain’t Pretty
The antithesis would be walking around in a world where we are suspicious of everyone — not a very nice projection, wouldn’t you say? You may even start attracting unsavory characters purely through your intention.
I’m not saying that you must just trust willy-nilly — no, you can initially give people the benefit of the doubt but if any of the below traits start red-flagging you are perfectly within your integrity to put a stop to it and walk away or not buy into the BS.
What to do About Liars
- Trust your gut instinct (what is your first impression? Your body can pick up on the energy fields of others),
- read body signals (especially rapid eye movements and people who can’t stare you in the eyes when talking. There can also be excessive fidgeting),
- take note of inconsistency and
- rely on your innate wisdom — if alarm bells are going off it’s time to wake up. Some liars are master manipulators and lies can only be detected once you really get to know them. So, your first impression may be positive but, down the line, things may change. Heed those warning signals!
I suppose, more importantly, don’t let it get to you. Don’t let it change your conduct. Don’t let other people’s lack of morality alter your authenticity. Don’t let it change your view on people in general.
Yeah, there are liars out there but there are a lot of good people too. Keep your focus on them. Navigate the minefields of deceivers but keep you eye on the prize — a world where truth is the only way forward.
“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
Now to drop the spanner in the works: Try to bear in mind that there are no facts only interpretations. Everyone has their own truth and our job is to find the compassion for the ones whose perspective differs from our own.
We’re all walking a difficult path. Barring the ones who lie for their own ill gain, most people lie because of insecurities or to mask their own pain. Compassion goes a long way.
However, compassion doesn’t mean you put your neck on the chopping block — it merely offers a deeper understanding of why people lie.
“Our duty is to encourage every one in his struggle to live up to his own highest idea, and strive at the same time to make the ideal as near as possible to the Truth.” — Swami Vivekananda
Good luck out there!
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