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This is one of a
of Lesson-2 articles on how to respond effectively
to annoying social behavior. An effective
when you (a) get your
primary needs met
well enough, and (b) both people feel
This brief YouTube video
about "liars" provides perspective on what you'll read
in this article:
This article offers useful responses to the behavior
of someone you experience as significantly dishonest."
It assumes you're familiar with...
this nonprofit Web site and the
Do you know adults or kids who often need to withhold
or distort the truth (lie) in general or about certain
topics? How about so0me people who are insincere or
"phony."? Can you describe how you feel when someone seems to
be withho0lding or distorting what's real? Common
reactions are distrust, frustration, disapproval,
disappointment, suspicion, confusion, impatience, and perhaps hurt and irritation.
For perspective on
this common behavior,
this article after you finish here.
If you believe a child or adult feels unsafe to tell you
their truth, you have many response-options: e.g. you may...
feelings, and do nothing.
silently or vocally scorn
the person as being "weak," "bad," "cowardly," and/or
confront the person ("I
don't believe you." / "You're lying." /... )
gossip or generalize about
the person (Louis never tells the truth."),
expect the other
person to lie to you - in general, or about certain
Responses like these
often deplete your integrity and your relationship - and can
make it less safe to tell the truth!. Here
are more effective options:
recall your definition of an
make sure your true Self is
guiding you. If not, the following options probably won't help.
the person is ruled by a protective false self which
feels it's unsafe to tell you the truth - locally or in
general. If they
are significantly wounded, see
check your attitude
about the person. If you feel critical or disapproving
of them, your nonverbal language will convey that - and
make it unsafe for them to tell you the truth.
ask if (vs. assume) the
person is open to some constructive
feedback. Be prepared for
double message) or "Not really."
If s/he is open,
offer respectful feedback like...
you're being controlled now by a well-meaning false
you feel unsafe about telling me the truth about _____.
Am I doing something that makes you feel unsafe?"
need to distort or withhold the truth, I feel
to improve my trust in you. Are you willing to work on
that with me?"
you're saying doesn't seem credible / realistic /
accurate to me now."
"I feel confused / uneasy
/ anxious / distrustful / etc. when your face and body
language don't match your words." or "I
feel I just got a double message from you."
These responses are
illustrative, not absolute. Compare them to your
normal response, and imagine what reactions you'd get to
them with significantly-dishonest (scared) people in your
life. How would you feel receiving responses like
these when your subselves need to disguise or avoid the
This is one of a series of brief
Lesson-2 articles suggesting
effective ways to respond to common social behaviors. This article offers ways to
respond to a dishonest person. The ways are