I am a great believer in honesty. I am also a great believer in self-preservation. If my life depended on something not being known, best believe I would lie with a straight face. What – you never lie? Really? Never ever?
Some lies are more serious than others, we all know that. While I try always to speak the truth as I see it, sometimes there are other considerations that are more important than white-hot truth. The other person’s feelings for example – I’d rather tell a white-lie than cause someone unnecessary pain. Of course, the definition of white-lie could lead to another discussion, but that’s out of our scope today.
Not only have I, at times, been sparing with the truth, but I have also received the same ‘consideration’ from others. That’s life. However, some people are so bad at it, that you feel positively disrespected. I mean, if you’re going to deliberately tell a lie, at least do so convincingly. C’mon son, make the effort. Like I do.
I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather deal with the truth, no matter how unpalatable, than be faced with a badly-told lie. In the case of the latter, not only do I have to work to get the real story, I also have to make you feel properly chastised so that you think twice about lying to me ever again, all the while dealing with the fact that I’m so embarrassed for you. That’s just unfair. If you can’t tell a decent lie, stick to the truth. One more time – don’t lie if you can’t get away with it. It’s that simple. Of course, an easier, more acceptable route would be not to tell lies at all…but we’re being realistic here.
Sometimes it may seem as though lying is the safest route to take. You want to avoid hurting or disappointing someone. That’s noble, kinda. Except when you get found out. Then, no amount of explanation will stop me looking at you like something that just crawled out of a muddy hole and should return there on the double. When you get caught in a lie, it usually means you get caught in several lies since you needed back-up for the original lie – well, what can I say? You’re in trouble. Start talking fast, being suitably subdued and eloquent with your expressions of contrition. If at this point the truth is still not an option for whatever reason, then think up a new, more convincing lie. I wouldn’t recommend this course of action, but hey, it’s been known to work for some.
All of that to say this: honesty really is the best policy most of the time. There are exceptions to the rule (remember, we’re keepin’ it real here) – just remember that being caught in a lie is far worse than telling an uncomfortable truth. Once you’re caught in a lie anything and everything you say is viewed with suspicion and double-checked. That’s unpleasant for everyone concerned. So just learn how to tell believable lies tell the truth. It really is that simple.