The Invention of Lying

5.) Practice Uncommon Honesty

Next time you sit down to watch your favorite sitcom or movie, pay attention to the problems that develop because of dishonesty. Whether it's a lie of omission (not saying anything), a white lie (no harm, no foul) or a big whopper of a lie – it doesn't matter. Just look for the lie and watch what results – problems. It’s almost impossible to create a drama without dishonesty.

A Part of You Knows When You’re Lying

The same happens in real life. You will experience more drama (emotional conflict) the more dishonest you are. Even if you’re an exceptional liar (meaning you generally get away with it), unless you’re a psychopath, a part of your brain knows when there is an incongruence between what you say and do, and what you think and feel.

How many of us will not say a word when the cashier gives us back more change than we deserve? If you can get cable without paying for it, would you do it?

Dishonesty Is Damaging To Your Self-Esteem

Regardless of any moral and ethical judgments, one of the problems with dishonesty is YOU know when you're being dishonest, even if no one else does. It silently eats at your self-image and how you view yourself. Most people don't understand that they are not harming the cable company nearly as much as they are damaging themselves when they cheat. You know you've cheated. You will think of yourself as a Cheater, no matter how much you try to convince yourself otherwise.

As a person who has experienced both – typical honesty and uncommon honesty, I'm here to tell you they are very different worlds. I was never malicious in my lying. Most of my lies were white lies to avoid hurting someone, save money, or to save myself from appearing inept. It wasn't until I made a decision to be more truthful that I realized how much stress and damage I was causing to my self-esteem by lying. Deciding to be truthful, no matter what, has been like a great weight lifted from my shoulders. You can experience the same.

Where To Start

The best place to begin is with yourself. Start a journal and write about your real thoughts and feelings. Let the honesty begin with yourself. Write about how you really feel. Write about what you think of the people in your life. Write about what you want and what you fear. Don't hold anything back. Then later, as you become more and more comfortable with your honesty, you can begin carrying that truthfulness over into your relationships.

on to happiness power tool #6...


Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.

- Mahatma Gandhi

Hiding how you really feel and trying to make everyone happy doesn't make you nice, it just makes you a liar.

― ― Jenny O'Connell