It hurts when I feel someone I care about has lied to me. I feel betrayed and rejected. It feels like the person is saying, "I can't trust you enough to tell you the truth because (to put it simply), you are a bad person." No one likes being lied to, (duh!), but I don't know if others get as upset about it as I do. I suspect they do. Recently I felt I had been lied to by a co-worker who is not someone I feel particularly close to, about another co-worker that I DO feel moderately close to. Initially I was surprised by what I was told about my moderate friend but I took it as the truth. It could have been true, I wasn't there, who am I to judge? But the next day I heard the other side of the story, and it was a totally contradictory story! My first reaction was surprise because the two stories were so contradictory, and my second reaction was indignation that I had been lied to the day before. I had somehow become the main subject of the story. I was angry that my friend had been lied about, and angry that I had been lied to.
I've given this incident a fair amount of thought over the suceeding days because it troubles me. It matters to me who was telling the truth and who not. Both people involved were angry when they told their side of the story, and I picked up on their emotional state of mind and because aroused myself. I have to remind myself that when we are emotional we lose our objectivity and say things we would not say if we were calm and in control. I think the problem here was the over-the-top emotion that everyone was engaging in. Both stories were true, from the view point of the story tellers. Neither one was thinking about how an embellishment here and a left out part of the story there would affect me as the listener. When I try to think about it objectively, asking myself what the most likely course of events would be, I realize neither person felt they were intentionally lying, but that both stories contained some lies, either overtly or by omission. And so my mistake was thinking that the whole thing had anything to do with me. It didn't. I didn't need to involve myself. I really didn't need to give it anywhere as much thought as I did. It's really about bounderies. I let mine get crossed, emotionally and mentally. Their anger and frustration became my anger and frustration. They had a right to take the situation personally, I didn't.
We're all going to be lied to. Probably we are lied to every day, but we usually don't give it much thought. What changed this situation into an emotionally costly one for me was that I allowed it to become that.
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