The fear of being honest

As a kid I used to lie constantly. I made up stories just to sound interesting.

Or I lied to get out of trouble or to not get into trouble. It rarely worked. Mothers seem to see through little boy’s fibs and mistruths.  

However one day I overheard a friend on the phone deliberately lie to someone and it made me feel sick, because that’s what I sounded like.

I never consciously lied for whatever reason after that.   

But that was a lie.  

I’ve lied many times since, for many reasons, namely because I don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings.

‘Did I upset you?’


 It’s that kind of lie. A fear of being honest.


Why is being honest so hard?

The truth hurts.

We’ve been trained to make it easier and more socially acceptable to lie than it is to speak honestly.

I’m not talking about letting your free wheeling thoughts find a voice without being vetted such as ‘Really? Aren’t you fat enough without eating another doughnut?’

I’m talking about the heartfelt deep down desire to speak the truth in the face of rejection, confrontation and possible alienation.  

It’s here we’re left on our own to stand on the edge of our brutal honesty without a support team or safety net. Just our raw selves, quivering and shaking at the knees scared to death about saying what we really feel.

To have an honest conversation without the pretence, without the fear, without the empty platitudes and without the fake sincerity.

To lay ourselves bare in front of each other, totally disarmed and socially naked.

Just people connecting not through fear, but through a burning honest desire to know they are not alone. That they are the same, with the same hopes and fears as each other.

That we can feel a little less lonely in the world.

And know that we’re all fragile on the inside.  

But no. We lie to each other and shun anything that may connect us.

And that saddens me.

Available in Paperback

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