broadening lying as a concept

I’ve sort of referenced my thoughts on lying here before…

But I didn’t really flesh out my thoughts. I’m going to try to do that a bit more, now.

As with so many other concepts, I’ve recently begun thinking of lying in really broad terms.

This is another one of those things that is part of my own internal moral code- meaning I do not expect anyone Not Me to adhere to it.

I’ve been referring to such things as being part of the Brooklandia Codes of Law.

I include my name in the titles of that, and the Brooklandia Academy of Silly Sciences- specifically to reinforce their personal nature. I think of all these things as highly personal journeys, and that therefore I cannot use to hold judgment over anyone excepting myself.

 

Even then, it’s not judgment in a punishment sense when I commit transgressions- it’s simply a useful marker to identify priorities for my personal growth.

So, lying. High Treason, in Brooklandia.

When I approach myself and others with honesty, it becomes much easier to come to mutual understandings, despite superficial differences in interests.

But what is lying?

I have started to define lying using more the concept behind the words, the feel of the act, far more than the literal definition of the words used.

Lying, to me, is any act that intentionally misleads another being.

Whether through words, or actions.

I guess the ‘knowing’ bit may be a point of contention- because when I’m lying to myself, it’s much harder to catch. Harder to be aware of. Maybe I’ll start actually thinking of that as something else, not lying. Not sure.

White lies can cause just as much harm as malicious ones can.

Giving it a cutsey name, I feel like, reduces our culpability when we do not treat others with respect (which is inherently tied to honesty, in my mind).

And what of exaggerations? My brain always notices when I exaggerate- and I believe others do, too.

I’ve been trying to cut that out of my verbal diet except for (what I’d consider to be) obvious jokes. A person who frequently exaggerates becomes viewed as a liar- but where that line is drawn I think might vary some from brain to brain.

The feeling connecting the above is that of a lack of trust, for me. Trust, that another person will understand that we have good intentions, or maybe that we, as individuals, are capable of expressing those intentions in a way that will resonate.

‘I don’t trust that people will look well upon me unless I make my successes seem just a bit larger than they really were.’

‘I don’t trust that you will understand that I still love you even if you do look fat in those pants, so I’m going to tell you that you don’t.’

This is something else that I’ve found is a skill- meaning it can be nurtured with time and dedicated effort. When I can summon the patience to be thorough in my thoughts, I am much better at finding ways to communicate the things I once would have shied from due to a lack of trust- in ways that communicate my intentions instead of my fears.

And for me, intentionally omitting information is, at the root of it, guided by a similar lack of trust in self/other.

What do you guys think? Does that resonate with any of you? I realize it’s not quite a typical perception…

brooke

I spent three years living on the street in Los Angeles. I came out of that, changed. This is my story.

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