Is It More Stressful To Tell The Truth Or Lie?

It sickens and saddens me that some people still prefer to tell a bare faced lie rather than tell the truth, even when there is no consequence either way.  I can sort of understand the action in the case of children, who sometimes assume they’re in trouble whenever a grown up asks them what they’re doing and take “evasive action” – but when the behavior is actually that of a playground parent, I can’t help but wonder what moral code they’re using to bring up their child.

It was a simple enough question I asked an acquaintance/mother in the playground.  Rather than answer it truthfully though, she clearly went out of her way to give an overly elaborate answer, which I knew immediately was untrue because of other information I had.  The thing is, I wasn’t bothered one way or the other what the answer was, so why did she deliberately lie?

I knew immediately she’d lied to me.  And because the atmosphere changed between us, she knew I’d caught her in a lie too.  The conversation ended and I was left wondering why she’d done it.

It preyed on my mind and I felt stressed all day as a consequence.

I hate lies. Oh I admit sometimes they’re necessary – like white lies.  And I read somewhere that the average child has been lied to 500 times by their parents by the time they start school.  But unnecessary lies – the ones where the truth is as inocuous anyway.  Why lie?

I don’t know why she did it and it’s still on my mind.

Why Can’t Some People Say No?

Why do some people find it so hard to say “no”?  With our lives all spiralling out of control with the amount of stress we take on each day, one of the simplest ways to lower our stress levels is to learn to say, “no”.

Some people are scared of saying “no” for fear of giving offense or of being seen as rude and unhelpful.  And certainly, when said in the wrong tone, saying “no” can be both rude and offensive of course.  However, when said firmly, politely and couched in appropriate explanations, it is one of the most empowering and liberating words in the English language.  And it can also help to lower your stress levels – something we all need in these stressful times.

But how do you say “no” when someone needs your help? It can be tough when you know that there is no-one else who can readily help and you may feel emotionally blackmailed to help out.  In this situation, you need to be firm and explain politely why you cannot help.  be considerate and offer alternatives if you can.  Maybe you could assist in a different way which would not take up quite so much of your time?  Or maybe you know of someone else who could help instead?  Either way, you need to be true to yourself if you don’t want to end up frustrated and tense, especially if saying “yes” ultimately means that you would miss out on something else that you did want to do.

Of course if you find it particularly difficult to say no, it could be because you lack the necessary self confidence. Low self esteem can force people to say “yes” when they really want to say “no” because doing what other people want them to do makes them feel loved, wanted, even important.  But they are mistaken.  People like this are taken for granted, undervalued and used.  Eventually they realise this (even if they do not acknowledge it to themselves) and their self esteem plummets further.  They become desperate for attention and say “yes” to anything anyone asks of them, and the whole cycle starts again.  They are scared that if they say no, that no-one will notice them anymore.

However, constantly doing someone else’s bidding in this way and ignoring our own wants and needs (and the wants and needs of your self esteem) is a sure way to pile on the stress.  And if saying “yes” means that you feel a knot tightening in your stomach, then you should say “no” even if you think it will make you unpopular.

However, if you really cannot say “no”, then don’t beat yourself up about it.  Decide to do the task in good humor.  Apply  yourself.  Be diligent and enthusiastic. If you do this, time will fly and you will feel less stressed.  And who knows, you might even enjoy yourself!

Be assertive.  Learn to say “no” when you need to and notice how your stress levels fall.

What tricks do you use to help you say “no”?