I took a polygraph test today…holy shit was that intense!!
You want to really see how honest you are with yourself and with others?!? Well, sit in that hot seat and your LEVEL of truth gets challenged drastically.
After having to breakdown some not so great decisions I made in my past, as well as assessing my level of honesty in relation to others I got to thinking….
What separates honest people from dishonest people? Is it their character or is it more about opportunity?
At the beginning of the test, I was told to tell a lie. The tester, Scott, laughed after this initial test and even said “I can tell you are uncomfortable with lying. Not only did in show in your response, but the test definitely jumped a lot.” Clearly my character is not at question here. BUT I DO LIE! I’ve lied a lot…and some of the questions I was challenged how honest I have been to myself and within my relationships.
I believe that everyone has a desire to be honest. The challenge arises when you are pulled in the direction of deceit, telling 1/2 truths, and lies because it’s a way of protecting yourself or thinking you are protecting your relationships. It’s about self preservation, protecting the ego, the need for approval, or escaping uncomfortable feelings.
Did you know, the more you lie the less your brain begins to respond to the truth. Like you legit desensitize yourself. One study showed that each new lie resulted in smaller and smaller neurological reactions in the amygdala which is your brains emotional core!
So, this week my call to action for all of us to get a little more honest.
Are you unhappy in your marriage? Say it…don’t go cheating.
Are you regretting making plans? Say it…don’t hide behind “being busy”.
Are you unsure of your level of commitment to someone or something? Say it…don’t hide behind someone or something else.
Are you afraid to look like a failure? Say it…no one is perfect!
“Our lives improve only when we take chances and the first and most difficult risk we can take is to be honest with ourselves”—Walter Anderson.
Thinking about the challenges I faced in relation to being honest, makes me think about why we really do it. Most often, it always catches up to us…whether in the present moment in the future in some other way. I’m looking in my own life, how my dishonest in the past has caught up with me in my present life. I realize how often my 1/2 truths had more to do with not wanting to hurt someone else feelings versus just owning my own mistake, mind change, etc. I also realize that my deceptions came from a place of avoiding conflict; like I knew if who ever knew what I had done or what was really going on…it would be bad. I grew up in a house that covered conflict with the heaviest blanket ever!
So here are a few ways that I am learning to become more honest in my life right now and in my relationships right now.
- It’s okay to change your mind, not want to do something, uncommitt after committing. Your mood, emotions, desires change. So if you’ve said yes and now want to say no…just say that! Yes your friend (or whoever) is going to be disappointed. But that’s not a reflection of you as a person or a reflection of your relationship.
- You must have an honest conversation with yourself first. What opportunity are you seeking or avoiding? What are you most afraid of losing or having happen? What type of person are you striving to be in the world, in relation to others? And, once you have answered these look at how your lies or dishonesty are protecting a part of yourself you are unwilling to admit. You see, most of us seek out opportunity because we are feeding a need in the ego…a very wounded and hurt ego.
- It’s always okay to own up after. Like time does not matter here. Lets say you tell a lie, and then two days later decide “shit I cannot keep this any longer” say it!!! Yes, your relationship may be affected HOWEVER you have done a very courageous thing by owning it. That step will take you much further in life than continuing to add to the lies.