For most of my life when I didn’t want to do something I did it anyway or I came up with some lie to get out of it. It was a coping behavior when I had horrific anxiety and couldn’t force myself to be around people. I would fake illness to either leave something early or not go at all. Stomach problems, headaches, blurry vision … I even claimed my blood pressure was too high so I could leave a work party early just because I didn’t get to sit by the people I wanted to during dinner (bat shit crazy days). It was a behavior I taught myself and one I’m trying to unlearn. Why lie? Why not just be honest?
So I tried it out … a few weeks ago my mom was in the hospital and I went to see her every few days. I work in the same town, which is about a 30 minute drive from home. I’m in the car for an hour every weekday, so I try my hardest not to make that drive on the weekends. One weekend day I decided I was just going to stay home and do nothing … nothing except what I wanted to do. So I called my mom in the hospital and told her I wasn’t coming. I was tempted to lie and say I had a headache, some sort of stomach problem or the swine flu … but I didn’t. I was honest. “I don’t feel like driving up there today so I’m going to stay home and do whatever the hell I want to all day long” It felt good to say it. She even came back with a “well shame on you” that I giggled a response to. “Nope … not shame on me. I’m an adult and I can stay home if I want to. I’ll come by there tomorrow”. She didn’t like it, but that’s okay. It was the honest answer and I ended up having a great day. Maybe a lie would have made her feel better about me not coming, but it would have made me feel guilty and ruined my day.
I haven’t gone “full honest” just yet. Don’t know if I’m that brave. But I have been in “more honest” mode for the past few weeks and so far it feels pretty good.
That’s one of the (sometimes) few benefits of being an adult … for the most part we can do what we want when we want to do it (assuming it’s not illegal). We shouldn’t have to apologize for that or lie about what we are feeling.
In what ways can you be more honest with other people …. or more honest with yourself?
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