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1.31.2016

Why No One Tells the Truth About Anything

A conversation a while ago sparked another viscernifestation of mine. This one is brilliant. The discussion started talking about an incident that occurs often in my life and I'm sure in the lives of many other people: you have a discussion with someone, they ask you a question either simple or complicated, and you lie. You deemphasize, downplay, and flat out lie when you answer.
I started wondering why people do that. I thought about myself and the questions I answer with lies. Questions like:
How are you liking teaching?
How do you like where you're living?
How are you?
And lies like this: 
Oh, it's great. 
It's a good place. 
Good, how are you?
Okay, sometimes those are the truth, but a lot of the time they are not. As I was talking through this with some people close to me, I wanted to figure out why we tell those lies. Why did I start answering questions like that? Where was that habit rooted? 

I realized that most recently it came from the reactions I would get from people as I was giving honest answers to those questions. 

I told the truth and then started noticing a pattern in the reactions I was getting from people. They were surprised (read: uncomfortably shocked) that I didn't LOVE teaching and that I wasn't raving about how prepared I felt and how easy it came to me. Every time I said something other than "GREAT!" about where I lived or how I was, those I was talking to become visibly uncomfortable. Often pining to change the subject. 

I suppose subconsciously I decided that people didn't want to hear how teaching was really going. Or what I actually felt like that day. I don't know what they wanted but they didn't want to be uncomfortable so I started changing my answers to the short ones seen above. 

And it worked! No one was ever uncomfortable again! Kidding. But people stopped giving me that look that says, "pleasestoptalkingpleasestoptalkingpleasestoptalking."



You know the look. 
Instead they nodded politely, as if pleased with how content we both were lying to each other. So here is some not lying for you.

Sometimes I really don't like my job and I really don't want to go to work. 
Sometimes I get frustrated with my house and that it doesn't have what I think I need. 
And sometimes I'm sad/mad/irate/frustrated/annoyed. 

But so is everyone else, and so are you, and you should just stop making that uncomfortable face and say something nice to people who tell you the truth.