What’s your favorite form of deceit?

Many of us claim to cherish honesty, but the truth is, we engage in various forms of dishonesty regularly. Research indicates that, on average, we will tell lies (including white lies!) approximately every half-hour during conversations. 

These lies are often not deliberate, as we’ve developed patterns of concealing or altering our genuine inner feelings – both to others and to ourselves and the lack of honesty can undermine our relationships. 

But when we become aware of our behaviors around telling fish stories (“I caught a fish this big” –remember that one?) we can begin to slowly begin changing this pattern.

Here are some of the most common forms of deception. Note the ones that are your favorites (I invite you to drop down to the comments section and let me know!).

Which of these behaviors do you find yourself engaging in?

  • Saying ‘yes’ when you don’t really mean it
  • Making excuses when confronted with a situation in which you actually do share some responsibility
  • Avoiding mentioning things that might ‘upset’ someone
  • Masking your vulnerability with tightness, defensiveness, anger or intellectual arguments
  • Not saying ‘no’ directly
  • Pretending certainty or expertise when you don’t really know; or inflating your accomplishments
  • Not letting others know what you truly think, feel, or want
  • When disagreeing, failing to acknowledge what is valid in the other’s position 
  • Avoiding or withdrawing from conflicts that you know need to be worked through 
  • Complaining about someone to others rather than going to them directly
  • Not fully keeping agreements; that is not impeccably doing what we said we would do when we said we would do it
  • Exaggerating, withholding or distorting the facts to ‘win your point’
  • Not being transparent about your real motivation or agendas
  • Using substances, overwork, internet or other addictive behavior to avoid dealing with what you feel

What else? Are there any other kinds of deceit in which you engage?

This can also be the subject of discussion with a friend or loved one as it calls for your and their honesty, which helps to deepen your connection with one another. 

As I say, let me know how it goes! 

With Love, Becca

2 thoughts on “What’s your favorite form of deceit?”

  1. Most people say Yes to things when they would rather say No. Humans value immediate agreement so as to appear “nice” rather than expressing their real decision. If they say No, they then feel obligated to offer reasons as to why they are refusing the request and that to many people, is even worse. Later, they regret the decision to say Yes.
    So the mental trick is to tell yourself I am saying No to this person but saying YES to myself for better reasons-admittedly a hard to master skill.
    As to being honest at all times., the white lie that does no harm but does ease feelings to me, is a higher form of kindness.

    • A hard won insight, thank you!
      Yes, certainly a challenging skill to master – “saying No to this person [and HOW to say it] but saying YES to myself for better reasons” … the payoff is not only being true to oneself but also building integrity that others honor and recognize.

      Re: the white lie … it’s a slippery slope as we’re judging what we believe does no harm.


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