We are all liars

We are all liars. This is not a thought that most of us would embrace. On the contrary, we probably view ourselves as being like most other people, telling a little lie here and there, but certainly not liars. The truth is, we are. Allow me to explain what I mean. This statement is not about the moral aspect of lying. I am not implying that we are all a bunch of liars and morally corrupt.
The lying I am referring to is how smoothly we can lie about our true feelings and the state of our being at any specific moment. Does this dialogue sound familiar? 

“How are you?” 
“I’m fine, thank you. How are you?” 
“I’m well, thank you.” 
Really? Are you? Often, we are dying on the inside or are deeply hurt, scared or unhappy, but no-one can tell. We’ve honed the ability for self-denial and deceiving others into a masterful social skill.

So, why do we do that? The sad truth is that many of us learned from a very young age to suppress and discard our own true feelings, and rather not to tell the truth about how things really are and how we feel.
But it was not always like that. Observing pre-school children playing and the way they spontaneously interact always makes me feel a bit sad that, as adults, we seem to have lost that ability, that spontaneity, their way of expressing themselves fully as who they are. One sees their different personalities in action, and they all are having fun. Some are more outspoken than others. Some are more adventurous and daring than others. They are just who they are. They seem to be uncontaminated by social conditioning and oblivious to the judgment of others. With small kids, you don’t need to guess what is going on with them. You can easily tell when they are happy, sad, scared etc. One can read them like an open book.

But then, one day, whilst being totally aligned with who they are,  they do or say something, and are reprimanded or punished for it. Apart from being shocked and confused, this is also the moment when they realize that they should put on a mask. That is the day the ego appears on the scene and takes control. They now learn to become calculating calculated and tentative in their behaviour. They play themselves down and compromise in order to be liked.

We all have a need to be liked. It is a deep psychological need. We will do almost anything to ensure that we are not rejected or disliked by those whom we love, but in the process we betray and deny ourselves. We learn to say yes, although we actually mean to say no. We become people-pleasers and lirs. 

But this is not healthy, or good for our emotional or psychological well-being in the long run.We should become like children again.
Imagine a world in which it is safe to stop lying, and to dare to be vulnerable and transparent. Imagine a world in which we trust each other enough to open our hearts, knowing that we won’t be judged or rejected for who we are. Imagine a humanity that has compassion and love for each other.  Imagine a world in which we can stop the window dressing and the image management, and instead be real.
So, how are you really? Let us create a space for each other to be safe to tell us the truth.