It’s no secret that we tell white lies now and then. What might be surprising is that lying occurs more frequently than what you might expect. Researchers at the University of Massachusetts found that 60 percent of people lied at least once during a 10-minute conversation. They average about two to three lies.
There are several reasons that people lie. Some people tell white lies or social lies to protect someone’s feelings. Others tell lies to get out of trouble, cover up something they did wrong, preserve their egos. For example, some people lie about their jobs, income, weight. Sometimes people lie because they don’t think that you’d understand.
If you want someone to tell you the truth, you have to make it easy for them to tell you the truth. This means that you have to listen without judgment, without getting angry and wanting immediate revenge. Understanding and compassion is the way to increase the likelihood that someone will be truthful.
Focusing on the outcome is a major reason that you might be hesitant to tell someone the truth. Don’t focus on the outcome. If you want to be more honest with others, you can’t worry about their reaction. If you’re worried that someone will get mad, you won’t tell the whole truth. You’ll bend the truth. You can choose your words carefully and monitor your tone of voice and body language. You can be honest tactfully and politely.
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