This week I opened my professional blog with an anecdote in which I told a potential customer, in a sales meeting, that his product was ridiculous, and I won the sale anyway.
Only I don’t. Not in my personal life, anyway. I know this because today a friend of mine who is going through a difficult separation said to me “You are a good friend,” and what I said was “Thank you.” What I didn’t say is “That’s because I’m hoping to get you into bed.”
I also know this because yesterday I found out that a good friend of mine got back together with her true love and what I said was “That’s great!” What I didn’t say was “I’m so jealous I can’t feel my extremities.” I also didn’t say “And now my life is over because you’ll never have time to hang our with me again.”
I’m jealous a lot. I used to think that I don’t feel jealously, but now I realize I just didn’t notice it because I feel it all the time. It’s like not feeling my feet. I mean, there they are all the time. Like the jealousy.
Pretty much when anyone says, does, or has anything, I get a rapid pang of jealousy which I immediately repress, rationalize out, or ignore, so it’s as if it’s not there. I’m jealous when someone gets married, when someone’s kid gets good grades, when someone sells a company, opens a business, wears a bikini, skateboards, or just seems to be happy for a moment. It’s so bad that, as I was telling a friend about it today, I said “I’m even jealous of so-and-so because she’s married and I’m not.” So-and-so is stuck in a loveless marriage she hates. My friend laughed at me, because I’m capable of being jealous of pretty much anything, no matter how silly. OK, that’s not true, either. I’m not jealous of people who are pregnant or who have babies. I finished that part of my life and it’s behind me, thank you very much. But all the other things I am jealous of, and it’s so automatic and persistent, it’s almost as noticeable as breathing.
Studies show that people lie 10-30 times an hour. That’s probably only when they are talking to other people. When I’m talking to myself, I lie a lot more than that.
At the risk of sounding like a jerk, I’m telling you all this. OK, I guess it’s not a huge risk. I am a jerk. Not more of a jerk than anyone else on earth, mind you. I just have my special version of it.
So what would happen if I started telling the truth to the people closest to me? I’m not really sure. I tried the it on the guy from the 3rd paragraph of this post. He was flattered, so that worked out OK. I’m guessing those conversations would go better with people who live within driving distance. I’m not saying that anyone accessible would ever be attractive to me or anything, but theoretically it could happen.
I’m not advocating radical honesty. I would never make it going around saying what I think about others. But what about just saying the truth about myself? What would that be like?
If you think it would be cool for me to tell the truth, just let me know. I’m taking requests, and I’m sure to have something I’m withholding from you. You already know I’m jealous of something you have. At the very least, I can express my gratitude.
What’s the most common lie you tell yourself or others? What would happen if you told the truth?