The Truth, The Whole Truth and Nothing But The Truth

Crossing Fingers Behind Back

I believe that most people are truthful, most of the time. I assume, as I am sure you do, that when someone tells you something, you can trust that they are telling you the truth. It would be way too much work to assume otherwise. If you had to stop and analyze the veracity of every technician, salesperson, friend, relative, boss and co-worker each time they spoke to you, you’d be exhausted by nine a.m.!

Accordingly, I was somewhat taken aback by the comment of a salesman this past week. I was supposed to pick up a specially designed area rug at a local carpet store on Monday. When I called to see if it was ready, the salesman said, “I’m not going to lie to you. It’s not done.”

I was caught off guard. I hesitated a moment and then I said, “OK. How much longer will it be?”

He stammered, tripped over a few words and then replied, “Well, I’m not going to lie to you. He hasn’t actually started it yet.”

I may be slow, but after the second time, I started paying attention. Why was this man continually saying he wasn’t going to lie to me? I ASSUMED he wasn’t going to lie to me – but his repeated comments to that effect left me confused and doubtful. I then began to wonder if he had lied to me in the past, if he was lying to me now, or when he might start lying to me in the future.

As I later analyzed the situation, I came to a logical conclusion. Someone who tells the truth in life doesn’t have to preface any statement with, “I’m not going to lie to you.” It doesn’t OCCUR to them to lie to you, so it doesn’t occur to them to tell you that they are NOT going to lie to you.

Here’s all we need to remember:

  1. Tell the truth.
  2. Don’t use those words!

In fact, here are a few other related comments that you also would be well served to avoid: They are:

  1. “I’ll be perfectly honest with you…”
  2. “To be completely honest…”
  3. “Can I be frank with you?”

Right.

If someone said “Can I be frank with you?” I’m afraid I’d be tempted to reply, “What? Are you crazy? Of course you can’t be frank with me! I want lies, do you hear? Blatant, elaborate, convoluted LIES!”

Well, it would get their attention, anyway.

Here’s the bottom line: When you make a habit of telling the truth and avoid using damaging statements like the ones above, you enhance your credibility, build trust and strengthen relationships.

Oh, and you know I wouldn’t lie to you about this.

Linda Larsen, Speaker Hall of Fame® Keynote speaker, author and former professional comedic actress, brings entertaining, content-rich, hilarious and riveting presentations to conferences world-wide. She is passionate about helping people realize their fullest potential in every area of their lives and live with what she calls, “Honker Happiness.” Best-selling author of 12 Secrets to High Self-Esteem audio program, 5 video programs and the critically acclaimed book, True Power. She can be reached at http://lindalarsen.com and 941-927-4700

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A Smiling Linda Larsen

About Author Linda Larsen, CSP, CPAE

I became a professional actress and – for actual money – I got to occasionally escape to magical worlds created by everyone from Shakespeare to Moliere; from Shaw to Simon. I became a member of Actor’s Equity Association and the Screen Actors Guild and, as such, joined the ranks of hundreds of thousands of mostly unemployed starving actors. But I didn’t care! I was an actor!!! I had an actual Master of Fine Arts Degree that PROVED, by gosh, that I was supposed to know what I was doing.

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