The Trouble With Lying & Cheating (Why you need to stick to a low BS diet)
Posted Jan 18 2013 5:45pm
The trouble with lying and deceiving is that aside from putting forward a deliberately false statement and seeking to gain an advantage or to avoid something undesirable, is that the people who habitually lie and cheat are often supported by people who have faith in them and may even fight their corner.
When lying and cheating is uncovered, it’s devastating to the trusting believers because they’ve based their own version of reality on the lies and deception. They’ve interacted with these people and said, been and done certain things that by supporting these people, has actually helped them to gain further advantage.
Lies and deception give power while aggressively and passive aggressively robbing power from others. It’s like holding all or a lot of the cards and being privy to knowledge that the other parties aren’t. Like when you’re involved with someone who knows that they don’t want a relationship and that they don’t see you ‘like that’ but they say and do other things in order to keep you in their back pocket for rainy day entertainment and to pass time with. They’re not honest and upfront because they know that if they were, you would (hopefully – you’d be surprised how many take this as challenge) tell them to take a run and jump.
When people lie and cheat, they remove your right of reply to the truth as it stands.
As I said to the Mr Unavailable who gave me my epiphany, “You had no right to decide that this was a scenario that I would be OK with.” We have a right to input. He could have told me the truth and I could in turn have chosen to proceed or back away but at least the choice would have been mine. Instead he veered between Future Faking or disappearing from time to time to take the heat off.
This doesn’t remove my own responsibility to assess the situation (it turns out it didn’t need a rocket scientist to work out what was going on) but there is a major issue around ‘obtaining goods by deception’ – when a person is running rings around you by blowing hot and cold, contradicting their actions and words, chasing you down when you call a spade a spade, and making out like you have them pegged wrong when you don’t, you start to get confused about what’s ‘up’ and ‘down’.
Uncovering lies and deception is like having to manage your own mind f*ckery. You end up ‘playing back the tapes’ and going over every word. It might feel like your eyes, ears and mind were deceiving you. You might have defended them. You might have listened to them vehemently deny what was actually true. You might have been called a “psychotic bitch” (yep that happened to me) and you might never have suspected them of what they’ve been saying and doing. When you play things back, certain things start to make sense, you recognise the signs of the deception, and various conversations get dismantled. What was real? What was fake?
There are those of us who get blindsided, and there are those of us who get wounded while effectively participating in the deception. I’ve talked about this before in my post about how affairs are like being double-crossed on a heist. When it turns out that the deal is not the deal (our cut is not what we thought it was) or that they pretended that the deal was on and are claiming it’s off or delayed, but not because they’re liars and cheaters, but because, get this, we did something to put them off coming through. Yeah. Smooth.
This is when we discover that the same person who would cheat to be with us or to screw someone else over, will also cheat to keep us exactly where they want us.
Over the years of writing Baggage Reclaim, I’ve come across an astounding number of people who have known that they’re involved/dealing with someone who has a casual relationship with honesty – they don’t want to get all serious and be honest all of the time….
Why were / are they involved? Because they all believed that their love and faith in them will cause this person to make them the exception . In some ways you can kinda see the logic.
Look, I know that you’re not telling the truth to this person and that person or in certain situations but because I’m with you anyway and I’m choosing to see the best in you because I love you and am extending my care, trust, and respect to you, I expect that you won’t need to lie to me.
We also have a habit of believing that it’s the situation that makes the person lie and deceive – they’re made dishonest by circumstance. And right there you tap into a hidden belief that it’s OK to lie and deceive in certain circumstances, especially if love is involved. We start to make exceptions to our own morals.
Strangely enough, in spite of knowing that we’re with someone who lies and deceives, we’re often surprised when we discover that, yep, they’ve been lying to and deceiving us.
There’s no such thing as a honest cheat. That’s an oxymoron like ‘casual relationship’.
When people lie and deceive they share information on a need-to-know basis. They might dripfeed the truth (which is confusing because you think that the ‘drip’ is all of the truth and then further down the line you realise it’s drip, drip, drip), or they aggressively deny and clobber anyone or anything that pierces the carefully constructed illusions around their convoluted framework of truth and then they might ‘confess’ when their back’s against the wall (often when the pool of faith is drying up) although the confession in itself might be a ‘drip’.
That’s the problem with lying and deceiving – once it’s been allowed to continue or the person has gotten away with it for a very long time, it’s incredibly difficult to know if after their admission, whether you’re standing in reality with them or are standing on the ‘portion’ of reality that they’ve allowed you to. That’s why the last thing you should do when you sense or know that you’ve been lied to or deceived, is to continue and whitewash it with denying, rationalising and minimising . Sure, how does someone who has told a whole load of lies and deceived even know that they’re telling themselves the truth? You believed them when they were lying; now you’re supposed to believe them when they say it’s the truth. Those who lie and deceive can end up lonely with only their illusions to keep them warm at night, especially when the faithful harem of supporters dry up.
When someone habitually lies and cheats, they’ve all got ‘logical’ reasoning just like we might try to come up with reasons and excuses for why they’ve lied and deceived, often blaming ourselves in the process. Some of them don’t even see it as lies. They’re ‘protecting you for your own good’ or ‘not wanting to hurt you’ with the truth. Actually, lying and deceiving is a form of control and abusive behaviour.
We can spend a lot of time wondering or asking why, especially if we feel like we’ve given them everything so that they wouldn’t ‘need’ to lie or plenty of opportunities to tell the truth, but unless you think and act like they do, their behaviour isn’t going to make sense to you. They had a motivation. It’s like trying to think like a sociopath or narcissist and wondering why they do what they do. Unless you’re inclined in that direction, you’re not going to be able to wrap your head around what they’re doing.
That’s why our relationships need to be mutually fulfilling with us standing with our partners in reality. We need to be sure we’re honest with ourselves so that we’re not tempted to deceive ourselves about others and we can trust our own judgment.
Lies and deception hurt. They hurt those around them who get duped and run over in the process and they hurt you if you participate in the bullshit. Don’t fool yourself – that’s a deception in itself. If you want to live your life authentically, be careful of feeding other people’s BS with your own BS and stick to your own values. It can be hard to face the fact that someone isn’t being truthful with you but continuing to have faith in them doesn’t help you or them.
Our lives are our own statement written over time. When we live a lie, we’re putting out falsehoods and in time we’ll look back and have little substance to hold onto and plenty of regret. It’s better for us to state and live our truth than to spend our time deceiving the hell out of ourselves in order to hold onto people who are deceiving the hell out of us. Stick to a low BS diet. If you live your own truth it’s difficult to live someone else’s incompatible lie.