Sadly, a girlfriend recently lied to me. And if that wasn’t bad enough, when I asked her why she could not be entirely honest, she denied it (of course). The problem is that now I have lost a bit of trust and we both feel uncomfortable about the whole thing. The elephant is clearly under the table. So as I linger painfully in this silence, I ponder this: Why is it so difficult for women to tell the truth?
In her new book, Barbara Engel describes “The Nice Girl Syndrome” and explains why women try so hard to be nice. Apparently women (unconsciously) are deeply afraid of not being liked, being rejected and being abandoned. Thus they tend to avoid confrontation so as not to tip the fragile world of belonging.
And, according to my calculation, in the course of being too nice, women end up not being entirely honest. The result a is relationship based on part-truths (i.e., not very rich or deep). What a horrible shame!
So I think that regardless of the fears (real or not and whether you are able to master them or not) the easiest thing to do is this:
1. Tell the truth as best you can without hurting yourself and others . This means practicing non-violent communication and being honest about your needs and fears. Sharing them can often enhance your bonds.
2. And if you are caught not telling the whole truth, admit that you may not have told it as well as you could have. Admit that you struggle with non-harmful-truth-telling and wish you were better skilled at it. We all struggle and we all make mistakes.
Better to come clean than to ruin a whole relationship and the wonderful trust you may have accumulated to date.