As we go through life, we are bound to lie.
Be it for the sake of ourselves, or for the sake of others.
While the importance of integrity and honesty is largely emphasised globally, it mainly refers to refraining from trying to get away with breaking the rules set in place by whatever system they are in. However, the lies I will be focusing on in this post are not those “big” lies that will get one in trouble, but the “small” lies we tell those around us on a day to day basis. Be it to keep a secret, or to not hurt those close to us.
Interactions with others are inevitable for us. To be able to communicate with those around us is essential for us to survive in this society. Thus, many of us often tell small lies to get close to others or hide truths to prevent others from coming to despise us. We try to hide whatever weaknesses we have and do our best to prevent them from realising how weak we actually are. We tell them we are fine doing certain things, and sometimes exaggerate the amount of effort we have put into something. All to prevent others from worrying about us. To prevent others from thinking less of us. To prevent others from thinking we are hopeless, useless and unnecessary in their lives. We want to be accepted, thus, sometimes we even feign interest in things we could not care less about.
All of this results in superficial relationships which are easily formed. However, they can be just as easily broken. As the small lies accumulate, it turns into one big lie. A lie you have to live by…
A lie… of who you are.
However, there is a possibility of the lies of yourself turning into the truth. Just like a mask that has been kept on for too long and cannot be removed. For example, you may start to take interest in things you never found interesting before. As a result, you can actually passionately discuss something with them without faking it. Perhaps you may even be able to overcome your weaknesses and improve yourself for the sake of being able to stay close with those you treasure.
Of course, if the image you have created remains as nothing more than a lie, there is also the possibility of your friends becoming suspicious of your small lies that have accumulated into something that is not that believable. They may come to question you. Question your lies and force you to expose your true self.
Upon realising who you really are, there are two main possibilities. They may completely reject you and despise you for tricking them or they may be accepting and understanding of who you are. If they are accepting of who you are, they would make you feel stupid from hiding your weaknesses from them. They would even make you feel guilty for not trusting them to help you work on your weaknesses and improve yourself together. Also, for not trusting them to be able to take your criticism of them to help them improve themselves.
In the end, you never know where your small lies may lead you. They may accumulate and turn into a big lie that overwhelms you, or a big lie that engulfs you and becomes the truth.
They may create a better reality for you or prevent you from obtaining the happiness of having someone truly understand and accept you for who you are.
This post was mainly inspired by Natsume: The Book of Friends. In the anime, Natsume Takahashi always has fun with his friends in school while hiding the fact that he could see Youkai (ghosts/monsters) that normal people cannot see. He did it all to prevent his friends and foster parents from worrying about something they could do nothing about. At the same time, to prevent them from thinking of him as weird, like the children and adults did in the past when he told them the truth… which led him to isolation in the past. It made me wonder whether he was truly happy with the friends he made. Whether the friends he made were genuine. Especially since one of the Ayakashi stated that “Natsume smiles and laughs a lot, but it does not seem genuine”. Thus, I decided to make this post. A post on what are the possible effects lying could have on relationships.
If you create a fake image of yourself through lies to others to get others to want to get to know you better, would they be more accepting when they find out your true nature?
Comment your thoughts below. 🙂
If you know Japanese and do not need subtitles, you can get the first and second season of Natsume’s Book of friends from CDJapan by clicking on the link below. Of course, they have later seasons as well if you are interested. ^^
If you want one with English subtitles, simply click here.