When we find truth, constancy, fidelity, and love, we are happy; but if we meet with lying, faithlessness, and deceit, we are miserable.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 65)
As a child, I got to know my father as a loving, caring and happy guy. He was cheerful and playful all the time. I will never forget the day that I saw my dad angry, and frustrated for the first time. I was about 7 years old, and it was foreign to me to see him unhappy. As a curious child, I had to know what was going on, so I asked my mom what the matter was with dad. I will never forget what she told me. She told me “ lying can destroy everything.” As it turned out one of my father’s best friends had been telling lies to my dad and that made him so upset that he could not even look into that guy’s face.
Today, as we were talking with my friends about the importance of earning the trust of others by being honest and truthful, I remembered that day and how a single lie affected my father’s happiness.
Facts about lying:
In our society today, it seems like everyone lies. It gets harder and harder to trust people around you. Looking at the media, it seems like everyone is lying or hiding the truth to get ahead. We teach our children to be truthful and don’t tell lies, yet we lie to them all the time because that is what other parents are doing. It is amazing that we lie, without even realizing that. We think of it as the norm. We tell our friends, we love their new hair color, even though we hate it because we don’t want to hurt their feelings.
Funniest of all, I just read an article that suggested to self lie to be happier. Tell yourself you are happy and you will become happier. My reaction was, how can I be happy, if I know I am lying to myself about my situation? Don’t you think it is better to dig deep and find the reason for your sadness and solve it, instead of covering it up with a lie? I know my answer. If something is bothering me, I need to find the reason and fix it.
What is the difference between lying and hiding or twisting the facts?
Everyone at least once in their life has talked to a sales person. I believe there are two types of salespeople, those, who listen to you and honestly tell you the pros and cons of their product. This kind of salespeople is very rare. And then those who listen to you and just highlight and twist the benefits of their product based on what you told them. They are not lying to you, but they are not telling you the whole fact. How do you feel when you buy something from the second group and later you come to find out that you got semi false information? Cheated!!!
The same applies in our everyday life, we tend to twist our interests and activities based on who we are talking to. Have you gone to a restaurant with a group of people and all they order is salad and you want to order a cheeseburger, but you go with a salad too? How does that make you feel? I know I will be super sad, hungry and disappointed. Have you ever listened to someone that you know is not telling the whole truth? I know I have and the whole time I tell myself, what a waist of time. To be happy we need to surround ourselves with people who we trust. We need to be with those people who being ourself is all we need. Those who accept us and like us for who we are, not for who we pretend to be.
So how does lying effect once happiness?
The fact is, when lying everyone gets hurt.
The person who lies, will be unhappy because they have the burden of having to carry a big lie on their shoulder and they have to always be worried about what if others find out about the truth. This worrying and having to keep up with the lye that they made will increase the stress levels and negatively affect their happiness and health.
The person who was lied to, will get unhappy once he or she finds out about the truth. He or she will feel cheated and will lose trust. A friendship or relationship will be damaged.
Is this reversible?
Lying burns the bridge of trust. Lying to me is like a glass of water that was tipped over, it is very hard to collect all that water and return it to the glass. Same with lying, once you lose someone’s trust, it is very hard to earn that back, you might get some of it back, but not all of it.
At least I know that was the case with my dad. He was never able to trust that guy fully again.
- We tend to be happier when we are surrounded with people who we love and we trust.
- We lie, most of the time without even realizing it or just because we don’t want to hurt others feelings or to fit in.
- The fact is, no matter why you lie it will effect your happiness and the other person’s happiness.
Stay happy and healthy