In Ghana Many consider lying as part of everyday life.Some people lie frequently without realising the effects caused on others.
We tell “white’ lies to placate our relationships, promote ourselves, protect feelings or to help us uphold our reputations. Lying is also a quick fix to poor self-esteem.
We all want to be seen as interesting, confident, successful and alluring
because we seek approval and friends who like us.
We all tell little lies to those close to us to keep our friendships safe and us out of trouble: “I love it!” “Sorry I can’t make it, I’m away that weekend” and so on.
And of course there are all the pleasantries and compliments we hand out to make ourselves and others feel good: “I love your new haircut”, “you look great in that skirt!”
Then there are the lies of protection. We protect our privacy, our feelings and our self-esteem by telling untruths.
We tell little lies because deep down we are scared to accept who we really are; scared to face the consequences of our actions; or scared to lose out or be rejected by others.
What does lying do to us emotionally?
Most of our little white lies go unnoticed. When we consciously distort the truth we become a liar which is difficult to accept. The sad part is that we deceive our self, which leads to more cover-ups, weakening our self concept.
Compromising our values and telling a deliberate lie can result in mental turmoil and damaging guilt. The energy a lie takes to contain is very draining, as is the feeling that our whole life is a pretence.
When we come clean and “own” ourselves we release the incongruity, which is a huge relief, and we feel we can live more freely again. Most often the consequences of owning up are much easier to handle than walking around with the lie.
So, how can we avoid lying?
It’s far better to avoid lying from the beginning and deal with the issue upfront. When you are put on the spot, recognise your fear, take a deep breath and pause. Rather say “I need time to think”, or “I’m afraid to answer this because I’m scared of your reaction”.
This will build trust and goodwill. Those that reject you for being brave and telling it like it is are not good friends.
I also strongly believe that dedicating your life to God will help other’s see the importance of telling the Truth.
Story by Kwaku Oteng for Ghanamma.com