Sunday, February 24, 2013
Saying what people WANT to hear.
I'm almost embarrassed to admit that in this phase of my life folks are still able to pull the wool over my eyes. I've managed to maintain some of my gullible innocence of my youth. Sometimes to my detriment. I tend to lead a fairly open life (what I choose to show). What you see is what you get with me, trying to choose my words carefully to mean what I say. My openness however does not mean the people I deal with are going to play with their cards facing up too. In some cases I have been bamboozled!
I'm slowly learning that true integrity is a hard characteristic to come by. People tend to play word games to protect themselves from potential confrontation. Saying what you mean and meaning what you say leaves you exposed. There is nothing to figure out. Truth is laid bear for all to just deal with. That's no fun. Its as if we like a little mystery in our interactions no matter how great or small. It is my contention that an honest response is the best response. No matter how raw and honest the truth is, you're able to deal with it. There is something real about the statement, "the truth shall set you free." It really does. After the truth is revealed all that is left to do is accept it and move forward. You can try to fight it all day but in the end you can't dispute it. You can't change it . You can't take it away. Conflict comes when you try to resist truth. You will never win. Truth is so real and final it stands alone and doesn't need your approval. It is so final that it actually frees you from anything binding you to it, so you can just accept it and move forward. Then only thing more final than truth is death.
However being human we think we can outsmart truth, bend it, hide it, turn it, twist it to suit our needs. We think we are so clever because we have picked up the tactic of saying what we think the person wants to hear so we get what we want. Little white lies they're called. On a small scale, we cause harm by saying things like, "It'll only take 20 minutes." knowing full well the duration could be well over an hour. In the end this leaves the person frustrated and may trust you a little less. However, you may not get what you want if you go right in saying, "This may take over an hour." You could run the risk of the person choosing to change the course leaving you in the inferior position. We like control...at all costs. We want to keep them in control with our watered down truth, to keep them from moving in unpredictable ways. So saying something slippery seems solid. (say that three times fast...smile)
Now on a larger and more harmful scale proclaiming, "You are the love of my life." to two separate people on two separate occasions is really exercising our ability to cleverly control lives. Is there truth in the statement? Sure...for the moment they are saying it. However the person on the receiving end assumes its all about them. Keeping things at bay seems to get us what we want. I'm sure you can imagine how unpredictable someone would move once finding out that truth. The white lie here seems to keep things calm and smooth and predictable. However let the floodgates of that one get out and its tsunami city!
In both cases the person is being told what they want to hear and the person delivering the message knows it! The flaw is that although that may be desirable for the person to hear, what they really need and want is the truth. Let's give people the real options to respond to our truths, no matter how challenging the truth may seem. Morphing truth will always come back against us no matter how big or small. Living by integrity is a hard choice unless we really believe in the benefits and freedom of truth. You live free when you accept truth and move forward.
I'm actively trying to adopt the words of my best friend, "Accept what you are given and resist nothing".