TELLING THE TRUTH, THE WHOLE TRUTH

I forgot today was Tuesday, when I said I’d be posting.  So I am taking the easy way out.  Here is a long but great blog about lying and how much of it is done in our world.  It comes with a plea for honesty and some links to other posts by Altucher.  He shots from the hip and is one of the loves I share with my husband who first sent me a post of his. I even took the picture above from him.  Wonder if he asks for permission to use all the pictures he uses.  Bet not.  Maybe I’ll ask him.  Maybe he has a secretary that does not for him.  I don’t, but I do try to give credit.

My own take on lying is that if you want honest relationships and what else is life about, you have to tell the truth and hope the other person does.  Here is James’ post.

7 Things Happen to You When You Are Completely Honest Altucher Confidential

The post is long so here are the seven things:

#1: PEOPLE WILL STOP SPEAKING TO YOU

Forget personal branding. Start to dip your toes into personal honesty. Let me tell you what will happen. Your family might stop speaking to you.

I have experienced this not just from myself but all of the bloggers I consider “honest bloggers”. Some  of your friends will also stop speaking to you. Some of your colleagues will avoid you. Some investors will shun you. Your personal “network” will transform and shift.

My own personal motto is: honesty to a point. I will never harm anyone. I believe in what Buddha said to his son Rahula the day after he showed up after abandoning his son for 7 years: (James has you click to his blog to get that story.  So I am including it here. “Buddha gave the seven year old Rahula one lecture, which I should give to my kids. It was a big lecture but I’m going to summarize it in two paragraphs: A) Never tell a lie. Anyone who can tell you the slightest of lies is also capable of any evil. We’ve seen this repeatedly in the financial world. B) For every physical, verbal, emotional, and mental action you take, FOCUS before, during, and after to make sure nobody is getting hurt.That’s it. Beautiful. Its all you need to live a good life.”)

But even despite that rule, people will stop speaking to you because not every hurt you can control. Historical is hysterical for many people.

#2 PEOPLE WILL THINK YOU ARE GOING TO KILL YOURSELF

The next thing that will happen is people will ask “are you killing yourself?” Because every blog post almost seems like a suicide note. 

#3 PEOPLE WILL THINK YOU ARE CRAZY

Then people will send emails to your friends, “is he as crazy as he sounds?” And that’s how I make friends now because introductions will be made and people will have to find out for themselves.

#4 PEOPLE WILL GET FRIGHTENED

So they will call you names. Oh, that guy is just trying to be a “contrarian”, for instance. Or an “idiot”. Or worse. I’ve been called everything. I had to call the Brown University Public Safety office the other day because I got emailed a death threat and the guy didn’t think I could track him. The guy was a senior and had also apparently threatened the life of a librarian there.

They need to understand why you are telling the truth. Why you are being honest about what you really think. In meetings at the office everyone is quiet. You’re not supposed to speak up. So people will dislike you, try to put you down, post comments, whatever. In many cases (but not all) these are what I call “crappy people”. And here’s how to deal with them. 

#5 PEOPLE WILL FIND YOU ENTERTAINING

Then finally, people will come back to you. Because you’re entertaining – if 20000 people are lying and only 1 person is telling the truth then that 1 person is going to stand taller than anyone. At first people will come back to you for voyeuristic reasons. Why? Because they know if they watch Real Housewives they aren’t watching anything “Real” and they aren’t watching “Housewives”. But you’re real. So they want to know what you’ll do next.

#6 PEOPLE WILL TRUST YOUR ADVICE

People will also come back for advice. Not always because they agree with you. But because they know the advice is coming from the heart and not because there is anything for sale. It’s like Google can’t cure anything. But they can direct you to all the people who can. So you go back to Google because you might not always find what you want but at least you know they are trying hard to direct you to the right place.

We’ve all hidden our failures in dark comets orbiting the peripheral edges  of the solar system, where the sun is dark and faded. But when someone brings their orbit close  to the sun we want to land there for a brief moment and see if actual living conditions exist. And if so, then maybe a small settlement can be formed, advice can be asked, a failure can be related to, a friendship can be formed.

#7 YOU BECOME FREE

At first we hug our boundaries in chains. We think “if we tell the girl we like her, she might not like me back”. We think, “If I say I like this candidate, my friends might hate me.” If I say X, everyone else might say Y. And so on. But more and more we start to feel where those boundaries are and we push them out. We push them further and further away from ourselves. Until finally they are so far away it’s as if they don’t exist at all. You don’t need money for that. Or a big house. Or a fancy degree or car. Every day, just push out those boundaries a little further.

We reach for that freedom. We never truly get there. We’re always striving to see how far they can go, just like a little child with her parents. But eventually, the boundaries are so far away we begin to feel the pleasures of true freedom.

And it feels good.

End of the stuff from James.

STAYING STRONG TIP

You are going to tell white lies if you worry too much about hurting people. Then lying can be a habit.  I don’t like to hurt people, but I have come to believe lying by and large hurts people, evenmore than white lies “No, that dress does not make you look fat” when it does.

Three things you can do to buffer hurt when you  tell the truth.

  1. Prepare the person.  “You probably won’t like this, but I think it is important for you to know.”
  2. Wrap it in positives.  The best truth is delivered in a sandwich.  I think of my sandwiches of truth  as horseradish layered in soft bread between cream cheese.
  3. Make an amends.  Do or say something nice an hour or so later.  An hour later because the sandwich niceness is not enough.

PRACTICE KINDNESS:  

If you know someone who will  find this post useful share it.  Three people will benefit.  The person you shared it with, me, and you. Tilly will probably be happy also. Remember, kindness circles back to the giver, always.  Thank you.


Agree or disagree, comments are always welcomed.