Recently, my days seem to be overflowing with people delivering honesty, after the fact. One bit of “honesty” was delivered after the kid cried and insisted the truth was being told. I left the room, came back, we revisited the topic, and finally, the kid admitted that the first round was a lie. Then, we progressed to honesty. I bet many of you have experienced this. Sometimes, it takes a bit of time and patience to extract honesty from a kid. Fortunately, we usually know them well enough so we know the work ahead of us to extract the truth but we persevere in the end. Although I wish kids would just do what they should, yes, that is the adult perspective, reality tells me that kids are going to try things and it is my responsibility to help them fix it and lay a foundation for how they will do it in the future. More than correcting the wrong, I must help them understand the value of honesty and how much easier life can be with honesty as opposed to deceit.
Honesty or lack thereof, is much more complicated when dealing with adults and how much or how little we value honesty over whatever else is competing.
I was recently told that I should have “picked up on clues” that were presented over the past year and if I had, the truth would have been clear. It was my responsibility to put the “puzzle” together and because I did not, there was no deception, just my failure to pay attention and ask the right questions. Ummm, NO!!
If you are vague in your delivery, if you do not put what you need to say in one simple sentence, if you are aware that my understanding is incorrect and you do not make the necessary corrections, you are being dishonest. It is your responsibility to clarify the minute that you realize I am heading down a wrong path. It is not for me to pick up clues and piece your story together.
Lying by omission is still lying and dishonest. It hurts and makes it hard to trust.
I must say, I too am guilty of “lying by omission”.
There are times that I need to tell someone information that is hurtful, does not paint me in a good light, or even, something that is good but makes me vulnerable and I avoid it. Each time I try to say the words, I become overwhelmed and I let the conversation move past the moment that would be appropriate to introduce the information. At that time, I value protecting myself/feelings over the honesty that I know the other person deserves.
When in the moment, I have come to realize that what we often value, more than anything else is, self preservation. Often, it is not a conscious action, it happens before we can stop it. In essence, the “train leaves the station” and it is difficult to get it back. We want to be honesty and tell the person what needs to be said but the words just will not come, fear takes over, and the moment passes.
Although the adult dishonesty was hurtful, I completely understand it. I voiced my displeasure but I also vowed to myself that I will place more of my focus on honest and work to say what I need to in the moment and not wait until the information has the potential to truly derail a relationship.
What do you value???