COLUMN: It starts with a lie
It all starts with a lie.
Ah, yes, this will be the perfect way to cover up how you really feel. It’s innocent – just a little white lie to pass the time. Eventually the whole thing will just go away or smooth over, you think.
You smile when you’re supposed to, make plans when you want to, and everything runs smoothly. There’s no skin off your back, because no one knows you’re lying. It’s like a little secret you have with yourself. It’s selfish and it’s foolish, but that doesn’t matter right now.
That’s until people start to catch on that you might not be genuine.
You begin to lay low for a little bit, hoping they’ll forget and then pop back in when things seem to be going OK. Timing is everything when you're lying.
But now, it takes a little more expertise and a lot more game plan. You add to the lie.
You draw it out a bit more, adding that you “didn’t know” certain things, but you’re still willing to move forward with it. You try a bit harder not to come off too strong, but you still want this to work out to your advantage, so you have to play it cool. Keep the game going, as long as you're winning.
You’re digging the hole deeper and deeper. By this time, you should just throw dirt over it and call it a day.
But now, it’s inescapable. The person you’re lying to now knows that you’re not telling the truth.
They confront you, and you begin to sweat. Your heart drops, and you know this is the point where you confess how you were really feeling and try to make things seem normal again.
But, the confronter is upset, and they keep digging to find out why you did this.
They push you until you can’t fight it anymore, and you finally release what you were hiding. You tell them everything like it’s word vomit, and you can’t stop, even though you shouldn’t have said half the things you just did – even if they were true.
You try to hug them, but that’s weird. They don’t like you anymore and tell you to go away. They keep asking "why?" and you have no idea what to say because you just vomited your feelings, and that was pretty awful.
You leave them upset, and they question if anything they did was right, wondering what’s wrong with them. They begin to dig their own hole of uncertainty and question everyone who has ever confessed a genuine feeling to them. They think about it for weeks and eventually move on, but never really let go. And they definitely still don’t like you.
And to think: All of that could have been avoided if you were just honest to begin with.