I decided to post a homework assignment I’ve given clients in the early stages of codependency recovery.
1) Notice and jot down every time you’re dishonest.
If you believe dishonesty is bad and lying is wrong, this will be difficult.
If you know the truth, which is that dishonesty comes from fear, fear that is worth exploring in ourselves, this assignment will be engaging and interesting.
Lastly, remember, that most people lie. Daily. This is not shameful. It’s very, very understandable.
The reason to stop dishonesty is NOT because “it’s the right thing to do.”
The reason to stop dishonesty is because our goal is to lead a life un-tethered and free.
Lying = false assumption that the truth isn’t enough. But it is.
Lying = hiding. And hiding sucks.
Nearly always, it is also unnecessary. That is the good news.
Most people would not describe themselves as liars. That is because that word sounds bad, looks bad, doesn’t align with how most people want to see themselves. And yet, reality is, most people lie daily.
Look for dishonesty hiding out in the following sneaky areas:
- saying sorry when we don’t really mean it. saying sorry when we don’t know exactly what we’re apologizing for. saying sorry when we don’t really believe what we’ve done is wrong;
- agreeing with someone when we don’t really agree;
- saying to someone, “I’m happy to do x for you,” when really we don’t genuinely want to do x;
- when asked, “How are you,” responding, “I’m doing great!” when really we are not feeling great at all.
Dishonesty may show up in the above places, where it is easily glossed over and mistaken for “kindness.”
But it isn’t really kind.
Not to you, or the person receiving.
It also breeds a suspicion that other people are inauthentic with you all the time, which of course is a projection.
2) Learn about “Projection.” It is a psychology term to describe a phenomena that all humans beings do. Use whatever resource you like. Find psychology resources; for example, Psychology Today.