Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Tissue of Lies

Will Smith was over in the UK recently promoting his latest film in various interviews with Jonathan Ross and the like.

The renowned 'nice guy' has a reputation as giving one of the best celebrity chats. He never seems to get upset by anything and several media folk asked him if there was anything that really wound him up.

He replied: 'Lying. The worst person in the world is a filthy rotten liar!' And went into some depth about how upsetting that particular trait can be. The gist being that the commission of a sin can be rectified but the perpetration of an untruth cannot.

It came up again in the series 'Criminal Justice'. Ben Coulter was asked in the witness box whether he considered himself a responsible, truthful and honest person. When he replied in the affirmative, he was led through his behaviour on the evening of the murder for which he was on trial. How he had borrowed his father's cab without permission and with no insurance, picked up a strange young woman, driven her to the beach, imbibed Class A drugs and alcohol and then driven her to her home. Woken up to find her dead and run away from the scene of the crime, returned and tried to cover up the evidence and then continually refused to reveal the details of what had happened that night. That revelation did nothing to improve the jury's opinion of the young man.

Both situations made me stop and think.

I would like to think that I am a decent, honest and truthful person but a closer inspection of my behaviour over the last couple of years would tend to belie that assertion.

Sometimes I hate the person I have become.

Lying, cheating, duplicitous, untrustworthy.

These are not words that I would like associated with me but that is how other people might view my current persona with no knowledge of all the other mitigating circumstances... and perhaps they still would, even if they did.

The mistress of spin.

Where the careful composition of a sentence, the omission of a few salient points can turn veracity into a half-truth that will satisfy any enquiry as to my actions or my motivation.

The worst part is that once you have told the first fib, they start to proliferate. Each additional lie covering the original until you have constructed this whole fabric of untruths and feel like the proverbial Pinocchio.

It is not a nice place to be.

I have tried to keep my falsehoods to a minimum. Preferring not to give too much information unless specifically asked. White lies then, rather than full-blown whoppers.

But, however much I try to dress it up, I have still fashioned a web of deceit, in total contrast to the whiter-than-white honesty of my former self.


Wild Cat said...

Sometimes things have to be done that, in other times and places, we would never even contemplate.



ez cheese said...

I think the worst thing for me was lying, getting caught and then lying about the fact that I was lying in the first place...knowing that they know but to embarassed to admit it.

Dan said...

Thank you for being so open with us. Of course, if you're talking about the expectations of a committed relationship, those are ridiculously unrealistic in our culture. You don't have to look very far to come to the inescapable conclusion that monogamy simply isn't working for many of us. And on the lighter side, there are some funny video clips about *real* honesty in a variety of relationships. Start with wedding vows and check out some of the others on the page:


Helga Hansen said...

I know exactly what you mean...

Kyra said...

Such an interesting post!

I had occasion in a work setting to discuss lying. My boss quoted some statistic, a high number of people who admit to lying regularly (let's say 80%). I said so 20% of people are even lying in an anonymous poll.

We then went on to discuss what I meant, my boss stating that he never lies.

I should have shut up. My co-workers don't need to hear me being honest about lying.

There are many circumstances when lying is kind. But I fear I cross the line more often to being dishonest for my own and often illicet motives.

Riff Dog said...

I often say that I don't feel guilty about the affairs, it's the lying that bothers me. A lot.

Anonymous Boxer said...


Morpheus said...

I'm with Riff. I hate lying, and I don't think I'm very good at it either. Also, I really hate being lied to, which only makes things worse.


Hu said...

You posting this is almost spooky. I've been feeling very low the last few days precisely because of this issue.

Gorilla Bananas said...

I don't think your children would want to know the truth, Mrs Cake. Not right now, anyway.

Kevin Musgrove said...

If you're going to tell a lie always say that you're going to do so. That way it's up to the other person to decide whether or not to believe you, which is dictated by their needs, not yours.

Loving Annie said...

I had an affair with a man 15 years ago and was completely unconcerned with the emotional damage my behavior was doing to his wife.

I ignored her rights, her hopes, and her dreams as a woman and a person, and trampled all over them by sleeping with her husband.

I told myself that I wasn't married to him - she was. I wasn't cheating - he was. I abdicated responsility.
I believed his self-serving b.s. as to why his marriage was so miserable but he stayed anyway.

When he would answer the phone while lying in my bed and it was her, I would giggle at how clever we were to deceive her.

He was a selfish, lying, deceitful, assclown and I was no better.

He cheated on me while he was with me. He lied to me while he was with me.
I only found this out later, but he certainly stayed true to form, didn't he ?

If you have little to no no ethics with one person, you are likely to have little to no ethics with others.

His wife of 20 years committed suicide in their bed with his gun.

I've never gotten involved with anyone who has an ongoing relationship since. Not if they are just boyfriend/girlfriend, not if they are living together, not if they are unhappily married/separated and trying to work it out/getting a divorce but still living in the same house.

Lying - and the devastation and depression of how she felt when it all came out - and eventually it always does - killed her.

And the guilt and remorse and shame almost killed me. Never again.
I went to her grave every single week for a year and brought her flowers. It was too late to keep her alive and undo my blind and self-centered actions, but at least I could try to make amends, somehow - at least until I could live with myself because I made changes...

There is always a price to be paid for lying. My life has gotten so much simpler and cleaner now that I don't.

Only telling 5 lies kinstead of 50 doesn't make it okay. Only telling small lies instead of big ones still doesn't make it okay. You have to sit back and think of how you would truly feel if you were being lied to/had been lied to for so long about that...

Karma always gets you. Always... Maybe not in the same form as the offense you committed, but it gets you...

That was a very brave post you wrote. The Will Smoth and Ben Coulter things illustrated it well. Awareness is the first step towards change.

The Dotterel said...

Oh what a tangled web we weave!

justme said...

Its all about choices isn't it? I believe you are doing things this way because you believe that this is the way of causing least damage to your children. There is no easy answer. None of the options are great, and you are doing the best you can in difficult circumstances. Your motives are good, and I think that is important.

Mickey said...

Is that the same Will Smith who is, supposedly, very gay and very forceful about it?

Oh, yes, he's married.
Can't be true then...

having my cake said...

WC - It doesnt make it any easier tho. Thanks for the hugs x

Cheezey - That sounds horrendous :(

Dan - The sad thing is that I would be content to be monogamous... Thanks for the link x

Helga - Big hug x

Kyra - LMAO! Only you :)

Riff/Morpheus - Group hug x

AB - Thank you x

Hu - Chin up, chuck x

Mr Bananas - I know, I know. Telling the truth at this time wouldnt really be helping anyone and to do so just to make myself feel better is a bit lame :(

Kevin - Im blonde. Can you put that into words of one syllable? :)

Annie - Thank you for sharing such an awful event in your life. It made for uncomfortable reading but I can fully understand why you feel the way you do x

Dottie - Yes indeedy

Justme - Thank you x

Mickey - Really????

The Troll said...

Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Riff. I can justify my behaviour, but it's hard to live with the lies, even when I remember that I'm doing the best I can given the alternatives and the history. Hug.