“If only he didn’t lie so much,” she told me over coffee. “I never felt like I was on solid ground.”
Isn’t it funny how only truth provides traction? Untruths are shifting ground and it’s hard to get a foothold. What can you trust if so many things are lies?
Another friend was scammed not too long ago by an online dater, who bombarded his prey with emails and attention. He was gorgeous, or at least the photo he used was. At first it was flattering, but then suspicions arose and finally, the request for “help” with a plane ticket. Uh-huh. Being rather savvy, my friend didn’t fall for it. Thankfully, because the trashy TV shows are filled with gullible people who do.
That kind of out-and-out liar is pretty easy to handle if you don’t get in too deep. Prematurely deep. This stuff happens.
But far more frequently we encounter one of the garden variety of liars. I fell for one once.
He operated by evasion, never addressing issues directly. When he was going to do something he thought I might not like, he’d hide it from me and not really answer questions. He felt guilty, even if what he was going to do wouldn’t have been a big deal…if only he’d copped to it. It’s the lie that is the big deal. Here’s an example:
I needed my car moved from one state to another and he offered to do it. I mapped out a fast and efficient route and handed over the keys. It was a lot of miles and of course, I was paying for gas. Since I couldn’t take off work, I also paid for hotel stays. But here’s what he didn’t tell me: he was planning to take a route of his own–longer, less efficient–so he could drop in on family in a few different places. He wasn’t expecting me to pay for hotel rooms those nights, but he wasn’t pitching in for gas on his circuitous route, either. I was expecting his return (with my car) on a certain day, but his plans were different. He just didn’t bother to share. Not until he called me from his visits to family.
Clearly, he hadn’t wanted to address it before he left–probably thinking it was easier to deal with the fallout later than have the front-end discussion. I know a few people who operate like this. But it’s such a bad strategy.
If he’d said “Do you mind if I….and I’ll buy a tank or two of fuel along the way…” do you think I would have minded? No. But his evasion made it into a bigger deal than it was.
Now, for this guy, lies and evasions were a way of life, whether out of guilt or just plain habit. Our relationship was dotted with them. And then, one day, I connected the dots and that was that.
“Well,” a friend said about him, “you realize that he was mostly lying to himself.”
Yes. That’s true. But it really didn’t make much of a difference. A lie’s a lie.
Known a liar or two? Got something to share from that experience? Feel free to do so below.