This past week has taught me a lesson in truth: it’s hard.
It’s difficult with yourself: admitting your flaws and trying to improve upon them, admitting your mistakes so you can learn from them, telling yourself that you shouldn’t have cheated on your diet with that small bag of chips, and so forth. It’s not easy to look in the mirror and say these things to yourself because it can stop you in your tracks. It’ll limit your progress.
Telling someone else the truth is equally as difficult. Telling them a lie as to why you couldn’t pay your rent, or why you haven’t cleaned up the yard, or how they came to discover bed bugs is easy. There are endless lies one can share to cover the truth: that they overspent on groceries and have a huge debt to pay off; that they were asked to work overtime at work or lose their job; that they failed to clear out a storage area before the chemical treatment was done. Whatever the real real reason may be, it’s always going to be easy to position your response to show that you aren’t at fault or to cover your embarrassment from having to do something because you weren’t in the position to say no.
I think most people lie to try and create empathy towards themselves or their situation. By not telling the truth, there is a chance that they will still allow others to feel empathetic towards them. When the truth is revealed, however, any empathy that was there gets destroyed. The trust is broken. Any truth that does come out afterwards will always be treated with some feeling of distrust.
It’s certainly been a problem this week my work. I’m put in a difficult situation of trying to create empathy betwen my clients and the tenants in their home. If the tenants break my trust in them, I have an impossible task of trying to have the owners feel empathy for their situation. And vice versa.
The only way my job works, and life in general, is if every party is honest with the other, as long as it’s their information to disclose.
Needless to say, my trust in others was broken on several occasions this week. It makes me question whether I’ve been fully honest with others and whether I’ve broken their trust in me.
Telling the truth is hard.