Are You Still Lying?

Part of evolving as a young professional is learning to be comfortable and confident with who we are. For those not yet at this coveted stage, lying offers easy compensation. In a past Notable article (What YPs Lie About, by Erin Davis) we listed the things that YPs commonly lie about, such as lifestyle, income, and relationships. Although such lies are common, they are not harmless. Whether it’s simple BSing to the boys about a contract you landed, or deceitful lies to your partner about where you were last night, big or small, lying can and will have a dangerously negative effect on your reputation, self-worth, and your progression as a successful young professional.   

You’re not as sly as you think are
Don’t assume that just because your employer, colleague, or better half act like they believe your tall tales that they actually do. Your baloney may be thinner than you think. They may just be humouring you while shaking their heads behind your back. Imagine each time you tell a lie that you aren’t really fooling anyone. How would that lie affect your career or your relationship? Imagine how the receiving party would then perceive you, now knowing you to be a liar? Trust and integrity can be very slippery things, and it can take just one lie, exposed or not, to lose your grasp on them.

Grow up and own it
Many people lie to save face, avoid confrontation, or dodge awkward moments.  Forgoing the truth for such reasons, however, is selfish, and only displays a lack of maturity and confidence. Lying because it makes things easier for you is also disrespectful to the other person. Are they not worth that bit of effort that the truth requires? It may be hard to tell someone something they don’t want to hear, or to own up to something we’re not proud of, but by doing so you portray yourself as someone who puts the truth above their own needs. This is an incredibly positive and sought-after character trait for those seeking high-quality employees, friends, or spouses. 

Just live better
The easiest solution to the problem of lying, of course, is to stop involving yourself in the things that require you to lie. If you find yourself lying about certain aspects of your life, take a moment to consider why. Constantly lying to your friends about how often you work out might prompt you to explore why you aren’t hitting the gym as much as you say you are. If you lie to your partner about what you did last night, maybe the relationship needs to be looked at. And if you feel the need to impress others by dropping names of people you don’t actually know, you may need to look closer at the people you are hanging with, or why you don’t feel impressive enough just being you. Aside from the obvious issues, lying can often be an indicator of even bigger problems. 

In the end, you answer to you
Many of us YPs often find ourselves in the precarious position of having to constantly prove our abilities, deal with challenges, and pick ourselves up after being knocked down. The one relationship that needs fostering more than any other, if we hope to endure this bumpy journey, is the relationship we have with our self. Some may be proud of their ability to deceive, but in the end you’ll come to realize that you are a liar, and lying can wreak havoc on our self-confidence and self-trust. If you can’t be trusted then there is no guarantee that one day you might not even screw yourself. Telling the truth, even in the tough times, proves that you are of good, trustworthy character; and no one needs to know that about you more than you do.