just discovered the series “lie to me” on netflix, the one with tim roth from 2009, and i am enthralled by the thousands of micro-expressions people throw out there every minute of every day. i imagine the majority of them have no idea they are speaking volumes with their body language and micro-second expressions. fascinating stuff. i’ve always thought of myself as someone who doesn’t tell lies, but after spending a few hours with dr. lightman i think he’d disagree. my lies lean more toward harmless fibs, but they are untruths just the same.

so i am going to try a new practice, something one of the characters on the show calls “radical honesty”.  as long as i’m not hurting anyone by being radically honest, i am going to speak the truth as i know it and see what happens, see what kind of reaction i get. i already know that, for an organically shy middle child who grew up never wanting people to be upset with me or each other, this is going to be a difficult shift for me. my main goal has always been to avoid telling the truth if i perceived it would upset someone, not always a bad thing, i suppose, but here’s an example. if i’m winning a game and know that i can go out on my turn, i’ll often lie about my winning hand so that someone else can win. pretty lame. if someone is rude to me or insensitive i tamp the resulting emotion down instead of telling them how i feel about what they said or did to me. that goes way beyond lame, as repressed feelings are potentially dangerous for one’s health.

so, starting tomorrow (since it’s just me and my dog today, and i’m always radically honest with him) i’ll see how this goes. maybe it will turn out to be something eye-opening and freeing, like the old adage says…


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