Do You Ever Feel Like No One is Honest Anymore?

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Article by Wendy McCance

I had lived for 16 years with a husband who was about as dishonest as they come.  He was so dishonest that after a while he truly believed his lies.  His dream was always to go to this one exclusive school for college.  Although he never went to this school, and although he never got more than a high school diploma, I found out years after we had divorced that he had signed up to be on the exclusive school’s website under the alumni’s section.  This section was set up so that past student’s could reconnect.  I was appalled that he was able to get on the site and even more shocked that he had the nerve to present himself as a former student.

Since my days of living with daily lies, I became incredibly intolerant of lying by anyone.  I didn’t care how small the lie might be, it would twist my brain and the walls would go up.  There was some shifting of friendships and even of family members after I divorced the man who made a life out of lying.

I have been fortunate to find some good people who have high ethical standards.  My children are incredibly honest and know that lying is not something I can tolerate.  Even so, there are moments that still push that button of trust and I just shut down.

My issue’s have been with people who tell the fib thinking that they are sparing my feelings.  I will catch someone at work saying they did something they just hadn’t gotten to yet.  In the scope of things, it can be looked at as trivial and not worth a moment of anxiety.  Most people would react in that fashion and just let it go.  I envy the people who can tolerate a slight dip in the truth because it seems that they can just go on with their day without giving it a second thought.  For me, my brain amps up and I get this little voice saying to myself, if they can lie about the little things with no problem, what happens when something big happens?

I know that it is probably not possible, humans probably aren’t capable of seriously telling the truth at all times.  Most likely, I am not as truthful as I think I am.  Maybe there have been times where I was sparing feelings by bending the truth.  My conscious is just most likely not acknowledging it.  It does make me sad to think that people can’t as a whole be more authentic.  Whenever I come across that person with the overly genuine way of living  the person who truly says it like it is, I want to hug them.  I adore these people who don’t play mind games and just let it all hang out.

What about you?  How do you feel about this subject?  Are you fed up with the fakeness that is fed to you? What about the twist on reality that some people live their life by?  Maybe it’s just not a big deal and not worth your time to bother with?  Where do you stand on the subject?

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Wendy McCance

Wendy McCance is a Michigan based freelance writer and social media consultant. Wendy has gained attention as the founder of the popular blog Searching for the Happiness which can be viewed in 9 local papers online, including the Oakland Press. The combination of writing skills and social media knowledge is what makes Wendy such a powerhouse to work with. Stay tuned for opportunities to advertise, guest post and as always, have your questions answered.

To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: mccance.wendy@gmail.com

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27 thoughts on “Do You Ever Feel Like No One is Honest Anymore?

  1. I am a wee bit late to the party but I just stumbled upon this post and couldn’t agree more. My friends and family consider me “honest to a fault.” How is it right that I’m falted for telling the truth when we are ALL thinking the truth and most people talk about it when the person who needs the reality check isn’t around. I hear people say it’s okay to talk behind someone’s back, we all do it. It’s called venting. WAIT? What? Excuse me…. How can you vent about a person who may not even know they did anything wrong.. It’s unfair! How can they fix the problem when you never told them something was in need of fixing? I cannot take how fake the world has been in the name of being polite. I am 23 years old, I thought growing older there would be less lying to appease and less talking behind people’s back after high school but I’ve learned it’s just considered “being polite” after high school while during it, it’s called “lying and talking crap.”

    • I know this is an old post but, just an observation…. most (if not all) the respondents have been women! So much for honest Abe… should be Abegail! I know women lie too but men by far tell the most hurtful lies. AND they don’t care if it hurts you, they will just keep moving on to the next sucker that believes them. I hope they liars end up alone when they need someone the most!

  2. I was told recently by my “best” friend of almost 40 years that I am the only honest person she knows. I’m exhausted with disappointment of what I believe to be true is not ever.

    • I keep focusing on this issue: honesty and also communication, they so go together in my situation.

      It seems the more I look at myself in my path of growth, the less those around me are comfortable. They all have things they are not upfront about, and they fear I will just blurt things out. It’s hurtful. Not even big things-mostly just little things or things from their past. But I never know what their “thing” is, and often feel uncomfortable. My fiance is even worse. His first response to my saying something …usually unknown to me as an “issue” is DENIAL. Even small things, like when I’m talking to him and his head his turned away and I say you are not listening. YES I am, I’m right here! Or, I’ll say something that bothers me, and he will start to go into the reasons why he did something RIGHT after he denies he did it. Then to top it off, he says he didn’t deny. It’s insanity. It’s breaking us up. I need honesty! Give me the truth. Even if I hate it. Even if it may cause us to break up. Let me have the option of handling your truth. I let you handle mine. Give me the same respect. Dont make me find out the truth in 20 years, please.

  3. Thank you for being thoughtful and writing about a subject as tender as this. I like honesty because I prefer to deal with the discomfort of reality and find a solution than to find out later. I think liars believe deep down they are protecting those weaker social ties. If there was real trust or solid foundation, people would not lie to each other. But people lie about things they fear will end or ruin their chance of success. It comes down to having confidence and self-respect. Sometimes the truth has cost me a great deal but I rather live with the consequences because I chose it. The freedom to choose is what separates a liar from integrity.

    • Hi Stacia, what a great way of expressing the subject. I feel the same way. I want to be able to look back and always feel proud of the way I handled things. Thanks for your comment.

  4. We can all think of moments when we had to “bend the truth” in order to spare someone’s feelings, but like you, I have no tolerance for dishonesty in any of its forms. I am strong and secure enough within myself to hear criticisms. I choose my attitude. Either I can be hurt, upset, angry about these things, or I can take them in the context in which they were given. Some people are so incredibly unhappy in their own lives, that the only way they know how to make themselves feel better is to take others down with them – they are called “energy vampires”. In situations like the work place, you have to be respectful if you want to be respected. We each walk our own path, and compassion takes practice. Tolerance of any kind of abuse, be it physical, mental, emotional or spiritual is not acceptable. Namaste.

  5. Hi Wendy,

    I hate being lied to as well. I just love honest people as you know where you stand with them. My honest personality reflects in my writing. People are always saying how candid my books are.

  6. I have a hard time lying. It seems like I’ve always have gotten caught when I’ve tried to lie. I’m mostly an open book, sometimes to my detriment, but mostly it ends up working in my favor. I do find it difficult to trust others because I’ve been ripped off so much.

    Can’t understand your ex’s infatuation with the school thing. What was he trying to prove anyway? Feelings of inadequacy can sometimes lead us to strange behavior.

  7. I, too, lived with a husband who was a compulsive lier. He lied so well he made everyone believe him. Went so far as to fake telephone calls in front of me and others pretending he was closing some big deal. There is a name for this type of behavior and it is a difficult personality disorder to deal with. Even though I understood his problem, I found I could not live with it. He almost destroyed my life/health until I got out of the marriage. His mother told me he had been doing this since he was a young boy. Telling lies and then living as if they were true is the only way they can cope with being underachivers ad having low self esteem.
    All that being said, it doesn’t mean we have to live with people who lie to us all the time. There is never any calm in our lives, but if we expect everything people say to us to be true then we are deluding ourselves. Lies – half/truths are a part of life and certain circumstances require that we skirt the truth for reasons that are relative to that instance. I know a lot of us lie about our weight, age, and other nonimportant things. It’s when the lies are a part of our everyday life that it becomes a burden to live with.
    Truth always wins out – unless it hurts someone.

  8. The close family members that I have known who are compulsive liars seem to use lies as a coping mechanism. This doesn’t make it right, but it makes it understandable. Lying to others, and to themselves, to the point where it seems the don’t even know they’re lying — these methods help people live with the mess they’ve created of their lives and others’.

    Once I accepted this reality and gave up trying to convince liars of their errant ways, my life improved. I know what is truth and what is fiction.

  9. Truly understand how u feel about liars. Like most, i don’t like liars either. I am also of the view that if a little lie can do more good than harm, i wouldn’t mind if someone lied. What do u think?

    • Hmm, good question. I guess like everything there is no one perfect answer. It would depend on what it was, who it was said to, how they might feel about the truth vs the lie and so on.

  10. I think that those of us who have survived abusive relationships/families/job drama are more sensitive to lack of authenticity. It does bother me but as I age, I realize that lack of authenticity/lack of courage is part of the human’s tendency towards fault and shortcomings. Truth be told, I’ve lied before. I’ve bended the truth. I’m human, so I can’t be self-righteous in that area.

    At the same time, as the earlier poster stated, a life of total honesty would be BRUTAL. I mean, human egos are way too sensitive for the truth all the time! There are thoughts and emotions that others carry around that we REALLY don’t want to be privy to. The reverse is true. We think things about others that would cause us to die if our thoughts were truly exposed.

    Having said all this, it gets my goat when someone plays the “I was trying to spare feelings” card, when CLEARLY they were trying to spare themselves exposure and humiliation; They could care less about my feelings! Cowardice gets my goat in general.

  11. My brother in law is a compulsive liar he lies about everything and everyone knows he is lieing but if anyones says something he flys off the handle and goes all bat crazy because he likes to live in the fantasy that everyone believes his bullshit…………..what was worse was that after being with him a while my sister also took to lieing about the stupidiest things…………..liars hate to pulled up and confronted with the lie my daughter Natasha was with a liar also and he lied about the stuidest things also………….I could not be with someone like that, both my sister and daughter wised up and left the liars………. So do I lie yes I do sometimes about little things like saying I couldn’t find something when I was shopping instead of saying I forgot to look for it………….

  12. If everyone was constantly and abslutely honest ALL THE TIME, life would be intolerable. The little white lie like “you look so nice today” makes someone feel good. “I am fine, thank you,” when asked how you are, is much better than a stream of complaints about your aching feet and your mean mother-in-law. The big lies that cause harm are of course a very bad thing, but “Sure, I am almost done with the job, don’t worry,” when one is only in the middle or even at the beginning is not big deal; the job will be soon completed. There is no point in being so obsessed with such matters. Or with anything else, come to think of it. I suspect you take life too seriously — and it probably causes you pain, or perhaps alienate some friends who love you. :):):)

    • Great comment. You’re right, on this particular subject I do take life to seriously. You had a great point about what the world would be like if there was complete honesty. Thanks for your thoughts.

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