he next time your girlfriend asks you if she looks fat in that dress, tell her the truth. Yes, the truth. The honest, flat-out truth. It is time for an honesty revolution. T
Lying is rampant these days. It seems that lying is considered okay as long as the end result is what you want. You lie to your friend because you are telling her what she wants to hear. She’s happy, she still likes you, and all is singing birds and pretty flowers. But something is not right. The birds are fake and the flowers are plastic.
Recently, a Mormon politician admitted to bringing false charges against another politician. One Mormon politician effectively admitted to lying about a different Mormon politician by alleging the other Mormon had not paid his taxes. His attitude spoke volumes. “Sure I lied. But we won! (He) didn’t win did he?” Whew! Glad he cleared that up for us! Those who aspire to be our most influential leaders are lying right and left (read – “Republicans and Democrats and Libertarians and Greens”). Hiding emails, destroying cell phones and servers, selling influence, making campaign promises only to break them at the first opportunity. And we put up with it because we think they are on our side and the end result justifies the means.
But enough. Deep down, we all want honesty out of our politicians, our church leaders, our celebrities, and even our sports heroes. We yearn for it. We know it is what we want and need, even as we feel silly and naïve for expecting something so basic and old-fashioned in this tired world. And if we want honesty out of the rest of the world, we have to start being honest ourselves. The Gospel starts at home. “Does this make me look fat?” Instead of lying, it’s time to speak truth to power (or your spouse – and really, is there a difference?) Answer “yes, because you are fat!”
Okay, so we don’t have to be rude. I will concede that we can try to soften the blow. For example, “are you asking me if the red dress makes you look fatter than the blue dress? Definitely the red dress makes you look fatter.” If it sounds insulting, end it with “but I love you anyway!” But regardless of the minute details, we have to stop our lying. Is the truth too harsh? Only to those ears who have been lied to so often and for so long.
Sure, it will take some time to adjust to the truth again. But when you start being honest, this is what will happen. Initially, your friend may be shocked, even insulted. But if you repeatedly treat her honestly when she speaks with you, eventually she will learn that she can trust you. Sometimes we need to hear the truth. “Can you believe the way the teacher talked to my son?” “Yes, because your son is mean and treats other kids poorly.” When important issues come up and she needs a real honest friend with real honest answers, she will know who she can turn to. Or at least she will learn that if she doesn’t want an honest answer she should stop asking you questions. Either way, it’s a win for you!
And treat your children the same way. False praise is a lie. Give them honest feedback, even when it is uncomfortable. And given them honest praise every time they deserve it. They will learn to cherish the praise even more when they know it is real and authentic. I heard a great interview years ago on the radio with a woman who wrote a book (which I can’t seem to find – if any of you recognize this book, please message me) about how girls and women lie more than men and boys. Her theory was because girls are people pleasers and tell people what they want to hear. I have witnessed so many instances of this at school and even in Young Women.
So the problem, dear reader, is us. We women can’t seem to help ourselves. We lie constantly. Sometimes to save another’s feelings. Sometimes because we want to avoid conflict. Often, because we want to tell people what they want to hear. “No, your new dye job looks completely natural!” But as women of faith, we are supposed to love the truth. Are we women of faith? If we are, then it is time to start this truth revolution. And like all good things, it starts in our own homes, and even in our own mirrors. And yes, this dress makes me look fat. And it’s not the messengers fault!