Everyone claims to tell the truth, yet many people often don’t. Psychologists/theorists have come with different reasons:
- people exaggerate to make themselves look better (preferring their ideal vs current selves)
- people fear the consequences of the truth
These behaviors are outcomes of today’s legacy industrial model, which is based on inaccurate assumptions of the human experience. One of the assumptions being: people are inherently valueless, who must prove their value through visible achievements. This inaccuracy alone creates much of today’s dysfunctional behavior such as lying — to avoid seeming valueless within societies that want continual, visible proof of someone’s value. If you fear how others will judge you, you’re always on pins and needles as to what to say. The more you depend on external validation to feel good about yourself, the less likely you’ll be honest.
Everyone Has His/Her Truth
If you realize that everyone has his/her truth, you can easily accept what people tell you.
Consider the inner human architecture, depicted with a triad of one’s thoughts, feelings and behavior, which are always in perfect flow. If one changes, the other two follow suit.
When someone’s behavior doesn’t seem logical to you, consider what s/he is thinking and feeling and then ask for clarification. For example,
- if John, for instance, feels that life is not worth living and thinks that his life is worth more dead than alive, than he might quite likely join a terrorist group that has a more compelling goal than any company around town
- if Luis lays you off, for instance, he could be telling you (from the Acropolis) that he doesn’t trust that he can earn enough revenue to cover your salary. He might not be conscious of that fear and instead, say that it’s your performance that’s prompted the layoff, so that he avoids potential law suits or the need to feel like a failure
When you put thoughts, feelings and behavior together, they always make sense. In today’s world, we’re accustomed to focusing on behavior, without any consideration of what goes behind that. For this reason, the focus on behavioral change has fallen short of benefits that stick.
How Leaders Promote Lying
If you accept what people tell you, you promote honesty. If you resist or reject what people tell you, you promote lying.
Clients tell me: “I ASKED them to tell me the truth and they ended up lying. They can’t be trusted.” In response, I sleuth around to learn what happens when people tell them the truth. In fact, they hate receiving certain information/truths and react with emotional intensity, such as exasperation, frustration or aggression. As a result, people lie to them because they fear these reactions. It’s not saying that people have the right to lie under certain circumstances, rather explaining the contexts in which many people lie.
How To Promote Truth-Telling
The trick is to become capable of accepting everyone’s truth without feeling destabilized.
In order to remain calm and confident, regardless of what people tell you, you must be able to handle the truth. That means learning to separate YOU from what you DO, ACHIEVE or EXPERIENCE. It’s a counter-culture idea, because today’s cultures encourage people to think that they ARE a function of their visible achievements.
Legacy industrial model assumption: people = commodities = inherently valueless = prove their value through visible achievements
Human-centric model assumption: people = conscious beings = inherently valuable = no need to prove their value = share their talents/ideas with others through achievements and experiences
How to learn how to separate yourself from what you do, people tell you, what happens? Use the human-centric assumption and see yourself as a person who is inherently valuable and can handle whatever comes your way.
[Image from Freepik]