When I hear this phrase, I cringe. I have so many triggers in regards to lying. Because, as a kid, I used to lie a lot. And I had my reasons for it too. Then I started to work in retail where, yet again, I couldn’t be sincere. You can’t always be open to customers because the truth isn’t always what they want to hear. Now that I’ve left behind that part of life, I’ve tried to embrace my inner sense of honesty and fairness. Suddenly people respect my opinion and are looking forward to reading my reviews or opinionated pieces. It’s great to see my honesty appreciated, but it’s been a long road.
Lying or Hiding?
As a kid, I lied a lot. And not the cute kind of lies young children tell when they just find out you can say something else than the truth, but I hid and lied about many things. If I had made a grass stain on an article of clothing, I would try to hide it. When asked about happenings at school, I would leave out things I didn’t think my mother would appreciate. I would definitely not tell my mother that I ate someone’s treat at school, instead of taking the two healthy pieces of candy I was supposed to take.
It’s funny how now, coming up with this blog post, I can hardly come up with any lies that I told throughout my childhood. I’m sure I did. I remember mostly how I tried to hide the mistakes that I made or the things that I broke. I would stop playing with a toy and instead bury it in the back of the closet if I had broken it accidentally. I figured that by the time it would come out, there was less focus on it, and I wouldn’t be punished as harshly for breaking it.
I lied to my mother, to both my parents, to save myself. It wasn’t that my mother beat me, other than the occasional slap, but she could get outraged. She would explode, so I was tip-toeing all my life to prevent that from happening. Today I would probably call that ‘fawning.’ And yes, I still display this sort of behaviour. However, I am aware of it, and I try to keep it within bounds so that it won’t take over my life.
Later in life, when I wasn’t living with my mother anymore, I worked in retail for eighteen years. The lies you tell in that business are plenty.
‘No, sorry, the order didn’t come through.’ (We forgot to order the product, but we’re not gonna tell you that)
‘No, there’s not more in the back.’ (Yes there is, but it’s in a spot that’s too hard to reach, so I’m not gonna go there now)
‘Yes, I can see you printed the bill this morning and so the ink might still be wet. That’s a funny joke, haha.’ (It’s not funny. You are the millionth customer to have told me this joke.)
So yeah, time and time again I would tell lies during my working hours. I noticed it, and I noticed too how easy it was for me. Without batting an eye, I could tell you the most untrue things ever. It also pained me because this wasn’t me.
In my heart of hearts, I want to speak the truth and to tell you what it’s really like. And sometimes I would. Sometimes I would advise people to go to a different store because they would have a product with a fairer price.
Being Lied To
I hated that customers lied to me. Once I had a pleasant conversation with a customer, who was later stopped before leaving the store by the manager for trying to steal a cart-load of groceries. Customers would lie about the discounts they did or did not receive, about the amount of change they did or did not receive. Every little lie was a bruise on my soul. I already had trust issues. Still, after working in a supermarket, I have lost faith in the general public, especially the sweet old ladies. They may be old, but they’re not sweet.
I quit the industry, and I got to catch my breath. I had started to write reviews for sex toys in 2012. The company appreciated my writings and some were even offered as an example to new reviewers.
The irony of this didn’t become apparent to me until later. I’ve never been allowed to speak my mind. Not at home with my mother, not in the stores where I worked. It’s only now when I’m 35+ that I get to say what’s on my mind. And people respect me for it. They like reading my reviews, both sex toys and books. I’ve had an erotica writer reach out to me and say: ‘Wow, thanks for telling me this. I never even realised that.’
It comes across in my blog posts. Deviant Succubus pointed out in her list of favourite Sex Bloggers of 2019, where she wrote: ‘She is very honest, and very strong in what she thinks and needs.’
Reading that line meant so much to me. Until now, I’ve never pointed out how much I’ve struggled with lies and honesty in my life, so when someone notices it by themselves, that means a lot.
So yeah, it’s been a long road, and I’m sure it’s not over yet. I still could be more honest with people and speak my mind more instead of keeping quiet, but I’m on the right track.
Everything I write on my blog is from my heart. I share a lot, maybe too much sometimes, but it’s all genuine. I don’t suck up to people, I don’t beg for attention. I don’t give false compliments. And the weirdest thing is, is that people respect me for it. Even in this day and age where all pictures are Photoshopped, and most smiles are fake, I seem to find an audience by just being me. Vulnerable and sometimes ugly, but still the real me. I guess my mother, though now in heaven, can still be proud of me.
Self-preservation is a good source of lying that can get very ingrained until it’s instinctive behaviour and very difficult to break until it takes a lot of courage to be genuine, show your real self.
I have enjoyed reading your posts since I came across your blog. You have a style that’s fun to read even when the subject is very difficult and personal. Very definitely a genuine voice.
I’ve seen that happen too with friends who had seen trauma and ever since lied about everything, to the point where it’s difficult to be around them.
Thank you, I still think it’s a miracle people enjoy reading what I write (and that’s an honest remark, again, not fishing for compliments ?)
You do have an audience by just being you and I wrote in the F4T Chef list…
” Liz is not afraid of voicing her thoughts and experiences”
To me that is what blogging is all about x
Thank you ☺️
I think we all fall victim to telling the expected lies, and some people never stop, but the enlightened, those wise few like yourself, learn to embrace truth and do so unapologetically.
Very, very few do so as eloquently as you … ?
Thank you ☺️
What a fascinating post Liz, it’s wonderful that you discovered that reviewing products gave you the confidence to speak your truth. I think a lot of those lies you talk about aren’t malicious, just self preservation as Melody says. Telling people what you think they want to hear. I think confidence is key x x x
You seem very normal in the lies you told, saving yourself and at work. Who hasn’t done that? LOL. Interesting take on the reviews. I didn’t think about that, how those that write them must be honest in their testing results. I experienced some companies wanted testers to lie about their products (mostly on Amazon).
Glad you have found your voice and ability to be honest through your reviews.
Thank you ☺️
It’s still a struggle to be honest in my reviews. The Dutch company I write for respects my opinion, but they don’t publish my negative reviews. So that’s still a bit…meh.
Merry Christmas ?
Ah. Yeah that’s kind of shit when they don’t post negative reviews. It’s not fair to those looking for information on the product.
Yes, exactly. And it has still cost me time and effort to take pictures and to write the text. ?♀️
I can see that.