Question submitted via Formspring:
“How do we deal with people who are lying to us? And still be positive about it when we know that they are fooling us. Thanks Dave”
The first question is: how do you KNOW they are lying to you?
Is it something you can prove, like they tell you they didn’t eat the last piece of cake while you *saw* them eat it? Or they tell you they aren’t cheating on you, while you believe they are?
There is a world of difference between what you can empirically prove and what you simply believe (assume) to be true.
Assuming you are certain that you are being deceived (by them, and not just by yourself), the next step is to try and determine *why* they might be lying. Are they trying to avoid hurting you? Are they hiding what might be a pleasant surprise? Or maybe are they just afraid of what is going to happen once the truth comes out?
Because, I’ll let you in on a secret: the truth ALWAYS comes out.
Having an idea of why they might not be telling you the whole truth will help when you finally ask them about it, since it will prepare your mind to accept different explanations. Remember, for whatever reason, they believe lying is their only option; you’ll have to give them a new one.
Finally, sit down and talk to them…ideally face to face, and not by email or web chat.
Ideally sit down somewhere public, like a coffee shop so they can’t flip out or run away, but talk in private rather than not at all.
Ask them about the situation, and give them a chance to tell you the truth. If they lie again to your face, *don’t* call them a liar, but then ask them if it is how you suspect it really is. So to continue the earlier example, if they still say they didn’t eat the cake, ask them if they know who did it, or if maybe they ate it but didn’t realize it was the last piece. Basically give them a chance to tell you the truth.
Only then should you tell them what you know to be true; ideally frame it by saying “I’m not mad, but _____…and I want to hear your side of things”.
Here is the hardest part, though: really listen to what they have to say.
That’s why step two was to figure out reasons why they might be lying; otherwise you may be so caught up in how you think things are that you miss how they REALLY are.
Once the truth is out, you can communicate openly and deal with the real issue.
Does that make sense?
What do you think? Feel free to comment down below!
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B. Dave Walters
Writer, Life Coach, and Talk Radio Host
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