Saying Things That Aren't True About Ourselves

It was one of those air-filler conversations.

Two women waiting in line for the restroom. Somehow money came up.

I’m so bad with it, the first woman said. Once I have it, I just spend, spend, spend it.

And here’s where it happened. I, the second woman, said something like, Uggh, I know. I’m with you.

Except that’s not true. I am responsible with my money. Plenty of other things, no. But when it comes to my finances, I’ve worked to be on top of them.

But I said what wasn’t true because it was easier. To go along and agree with this woman in the restroom line than to say, I hear you. I actually started to feel better about my money when I created a budget, read these three books, and disaggregated my money and my worth.

Plus, commiseration is a form of connection; we’re in this together. Only it’s hollow connection because it’s not true.

So what’s the big deal? It’s a harmless conversation in the restroom line.

But I actually don’t think it is, for a few reasons.

First, lying about ourselves is an act of self-disrespect. Which isn’t harmless.

Second, it’s a low-stakes chance to practice speaking our truth. Not righteously, but honestly. The more we practice that, the stronger our ability to do that when the stakes are higher.

Third, if done with heartfulness, our truth can be a possible path forward for whomever we’re with. We say, in so many words, I know your suffering about money/sweets/in-laws/saying no; here’s how I found my way out of it.

Lastly, it is never worth diminishing ourselves for the sake of fitting in.

Our truth is always waiting for us to stand in it. We may not feel like we connected with the woman in the restroom line. But we will have connected with ourselves. Which far outlives any hollow connection dishonesty can create.

The Lightning Notes is funded by kind donors. If something here strikes you, I'd be grateful if you'd consider donating. Click to Donate!