I have a confession to make – I have lied to you, repeatedly!
In fact, just the other day when we found ourselves in the same isle at the grocery store, you asked me how I was doing and I quickly replied “I am great – How about you”. And, I am going to guess that you may have fibbed to me too because your response was the same.
Why do we lie about being okay?
Where does this automatic response of ‘great’ come from?
I don’t cognitively fabricate this fictional statement; it just rolls right off my tongue. Does this happen to you too?
Maybe the lie is created because I sense that the person asking how I am has perpetuated what is now a standard greeting. I will admit that sometimes I ask “how are you” and I really don’t want to know. What I wanted to do was acknowledge your presence with a wave or head bob and move on.
It is not that I don’t care, the fact is that I cannot possibly process anymore at that moment.
A trip to a grocery store in a small town can be warm and welcoming as you greet familiar faces at each turn. But sometimes, I just want to get my feminine hygiene products and go home.
Another facet is that there are some of us that don’t process out loud very well. A label that is tossed around a lot lately is introvert. This link offers one perspective on that title. (http://psychology.about.com/od/trait-theories-personality/f/introversion.htm).
This does not mean that I don’t care or that I am broken.
This is just a part of the complex behaviors that make me – well ME. It does not mean that I am never extroverted, or that I am socially awkward. However, I am not going to share with you that I am having a heavy flow day and am concerned that it has soaked through to the outer layers of my being, especially while in isle thirteen.
The brutal truth is that when I am not okay, I would never tell you, ever!
Never let them see you sweat, fake it until you make it, suck it up and move on….you know the axioms; maybe even better than me.
I have looked into the depths of your soul and left you with no doubt that I am indeed great.
This has nothing to do with you, our cherished friendship or the fact that we all have those days. This is just ME.
Maybe I lie to you because I don’t want to add to your burden. My sense of empathy is highly developed and it is easy for me to physically experience what others feel. I recognize your grief, worry and sorrow in such a way that it takes great care to distinguish if it is yours or mine.
So, when I ask you how you are doing, it can sometimes feel a bit rhetorical.
I don’t really mean to be crass but our state of being is painted on us like a mural. The energy of our emotions is palpable, measurable and very real. My fellow empaths know exactly what I am saying. And I clearly understand when you are having a “crampy” day.
So here is the but…what if we could find a way to be real, vulnerable, trust and share the collective burden?
What if my introvert inclinations that are buffered with overwhelming empathic vibrations can extend a wholehearted “How are you” the next time we meet?
What if we make time to sit around the campfire, roast a wiener and share our real levels of okay-ness?
What if together, we could find balance between burden and joy, fear and love?
Is it possible? Can you extend a wholehearted – How are you? And leave the space for an honest answer?
While I don’t expect that my lying will cease, what if there is just a little more space for wholehearted, honest interaction?
Blessings for all the very best!