The Truth About Lying
Ever since we are little, we (hopefully) learn that we should never lie. That telling the truth is the most important thing, no matter what the consequences are. Simply because it is the right to do. When we are “wise” and “old” somehow, however, we still tell lies. If not to others, we most likely still lie to ourselves. Previously, I have blogged about on how you can spot a liar. This blog focuses on different common lies in the life of a #careerlion and when it may even be acceptable. Exploring the perspective of why lying may even be “healthy”.
Lies We Tell Others
Sometimes, just sometimes, telling a little while lie is even just to be nice and polite. It is basically emotional intelligence, with lying as a tool to try and make the other person feel better. Here, there is a fine line between what is and isn’t ethical. However, research indicated that most of us feel that a lie is actually the right thing to do as long as the lie benefits only the other person and not yourself.
If you want to know whether it is better or not to lie to someone, Harvard Business Review constructed a roadmap to help you decide what is the “right” thing to do. You can find here in their article.
HBR’s roadmap to determine if your lie is paternalistic:
Can you safely assume that most people would be better off with the outcome associated with lying, rather than the truth? If not, tell the truth.
Do you know whether the person with whom you are talking prefers comfort over candor in this context? If not, lean towards candor.
Are you confident that the target of the lie knows that you are looking out for their best interest? If not, any attempt to justify the lie may be ineffective.
Healthy Lies We Tell Ourselves
Who doesn’t tell themselves that the future holds better things for you? That one day you will become rich, maybe even win the lottery? Well I hate to break it to you, but odds are that you are lying to yourself. But mind you, this is a good thing! Having faith in yourself, trust in your own capacities, and the illusion of control are the key to happy life. People with a more realistic perspective on life and themselves actually have the tendency to be depressed. A clear example of a little white lie.
If you tell yourself that you can beat your competitors, you maybe also be guilty of a little white lie. By telling yourself that you are i.e. better, faster, and stronger, you will start believing it. Better yet, you will start making it happen as has been confirmed time and again by research. More on this in our blog on affirmations.
Lies We Should Stop Telling Ourselves
One of the common lies we tell ourselves regards productivity. Most of us seem to belief that the more time we spend on something, the better the quality. That is why we, especially perfectionists, take more time and tell ourselves that it is for a good cause. We try to tell ourselves that quality is our superior aim for our work. However, in the end productivity is all about impact that our work can produce in a given time.
The overall conclusion? You may want to leave the truth serum behind sometimes. It is probably better for your mental health and not everyone is ready for your honesty. Just make sure to know when to tell a little white lie and when it is better for you and others to simply face the truth. What do you think?