I think it’s about time I wrote about lying. It’s such an important topic in the sphere of Procrastination. There are so many different types of lying, I could categorize and describe them all day. But since none of us has all day for that, I will just talk about a few.
1. Lying to others
This is the most broad category of lying, I suppose. I remember learning in my Developmental Psychology class that lying starts to kick in at around age 7. Being able to tell lies about what is real is a powerful tool in navigating everyday life. It gets dangerous however, when we feel we need to rely on small (or large) lies in order to just get through the day. The lies seem to have more power over us than we do over the lies. Not good. Not healthy. Very distracting.
2. Lying about time
I think I may do this type of lying just about every single day. Maybe multiple times a day.
- “This will only take 10 minutes.”
- “I have enough time to finish.”
- “She won’t care if I’m late again, since she knows how stressed out I am.”
- “I will start the project when the time is right.”
You know the drill.
3. Lying about what we are doing
This type of lying is for the dribblers and the drabblers, the dibblers and the dabblers. We are good at dithering and frittering time away, but not very honest with ourselves about what we are doing to our productivity, our actual time, and our self-esteem when we lie to ourselves and believe that we are being substantially productive when we are not.
4. Lying just to feel like we have some control over the situation at hand
Sometimes we impulsively lie to fix some part of our self-image in the presence of another person we want love or respect from.
- “No, I don’t mind.”
- “I’m totally ready to handle that.”
- “I’d love to see you today.”
- “I have time to help out.”
When we do this type of lying we end up weakening our own willpower. We tell untruths and then feel twisted up about what we’ve said. It’s just how are bodies and minds are — they like to be in alignment, and telling lies, even small ones, jolts us out of alignment with ourselves.
To demonstrate how lying can operate, I will tell you about this very blog post.
After my summer vacation, which was a good one thank you, I felt rested, relaxed, and ready to get back to blogging weekly like I had been doing prior to vacation. Then one week went by, and another, and another. I told myself, “This is going to be easy.” I told friends, “I’ve got to write a post.” I spent quite a bit of time sifting through different blog titles and subject matter in my head.
Finally, today, I had had enough of the useless chatter inside my head about the fictional blog post. I had a few minutes and I just started banging away at the keyboard, releasing the pent up energy I had been keeping trapped by lying to myself. I do feel a lot better, even though I haven’t even finished writing.
If you are in the habit of lying to get out of sticky situations, or because you feel stuck in some way all the time, I hope this post helps you to be more aware of your actions. I also hope that extra awareness enables you to try speaking truthfully for awhile, just to see how differently you might feel. Both lying and telling the truth are charged with energy, but when we learn to tell the truth consistently, we are able to function with much more clarity than when we depend on lies to get us through.