Honesty and Dishonesty

The facts are in – almost everyone acts dishonest at least occasionally.

Seemingly most of it entails situations which don’t have much importance to the individual lying.

So those of us who think we practice complete honesty and transparency may find ourselves from time to time lying or engaging in something not quite transparent. 

The Matrix Experiment found most people will cheat to some extent

https://www.elsevier.com/editors-update/story/publishing-ethics/a-fascinating-experiment-into-measuring-dishonesty

 

“Over 40,000 people, from all walks of life, participated in The Matrix Experiments.

What did we find?

  • On average, people solved four problems but reported solving six.
  • Nearly 70% cheated.
  • Only 20 out of the 40,000 were “big cheaters”, people who claimed to have solved all 20 problems. They cost the experiment $400.
  • We also found more than 28,000 “little cheaters” who cost the experiment $50,000.”

One study has shown up to 60% of people lie

“The study, published in the journal’s June issue, found that 60 percent of people lied at least once during a 10-minute conversation and told an average of two to three lies.”

https://www.umass.edu/newsoffice/article/umass-amherst-researcher-finds-most-people-lie-everyday-conversation

Men and women lie for distinct reasons:

““Women were more likely to lie to make the person they were talking to feel good, while men lied most often to make themselves look better,” Feldman said.”

” “It’s tied in with self-esteem,” says University of Massachusetts psychologist Robert Feldman. “We find that as soon as people feel that their self-esteem is threatened, they immediately begin to lie at higher levels.”

https://www.livescience.com/772-lie.html

So possibly it boils down to self-esteem.  If our self-esteem gets mostly genuine and we practice impeccability with our words, thoughts and actions we might lie a little bit less.  In doing this it gets very helpful to realize while we aim for 100% honesty, the first step of this may come in remaining honest with ourselves and when we discern we have lied to ourselves, stop it at the level of belief and thought so the poison doesn’t flow well from our mouths.  This means non-judgement, positive or negative.  It also means we will do our best to practice feeling loving toward ourselves individually.

In my own life, this provided an opportunity to use honesty to improve my life.  In work, it meant telling the truth about products and services so customers could make their decision based on facts with little embellishment.  It also meant telling my friends and family the truth more consistently.  Mostly I found I had to say less.  I didn’t have to support anyone with false embellishments or unnecessary compliments as making someone feel better about themselves with a lie will sooner or later get discovered and my credibility with them would suffer and the relationship would weaken seriously.

I have looked at my beliefs about myself.  The teachings from parents as a child served as helpful contradictions.  My mother gave me statements about me being a special person with extraordinary talent and ability and my father told me I would never amount to anything unless I learned to work hard for everything and this would start with deprecating statements about my behavior.  I had a lot of shame to overcome and it’s not all gone.  This affords me the opportunity to work with it consistently.

A new belief which helped me had to do with first accepting I had ultimate worth on the eternal scale of value, this served me until the realization came regarding the nonexistence of self.  No self, no self-esteem needed.  This contradicted the pop psychology of its reverse theories.  In this model, all seems connected to doing and actions which come from beliefs, thought, and feelings.  Seemingly we a feedback cyclicity of thoughts producing feelings and behaviors feeding back on prevailing beliefs many of which wound up erroneous.  In changing the beliefs and stopping the limiting thoughts from guiding actions I had to do less to keep myself honest.  It also meant offering less up in unsolicited feedback, something which seemed to prevail in the “meetings” of the twelve-step cult I attended for a couple of decades.  One of the best actions I took had to do with getting away from it and the toxicity in words spoken there, when really the only thing which worked well came from the love in unspoken support.  Knowing I am loved and encouraged to love myself made me feel love for myself and others almost unconditionally.

Since moving on from there I have made beneficial and limiting decisions about my life and I dedicate myself, imperfectly, to improving beliefs, thinking, and behaviors and calling up humble, loving feelings for myself.  Much of this has come in taking better care of my body and general health.  Along the way I have been able to genuinely help some others, giving me more loving feelings in general.

In the ongoing set of conclusions, having a multifaceted set of perspectives helps me to less judgmental conclusions and statements.  Looking at what I say based on observations before I say them – this takes a lot of mindfulness to do it effectively and I have sometimes gone to almost angry extremes to defend my stated perceptions about situations only to have to make amends for the behavior in stopping myself from doing it again and making things right in my best way possible.

Honesty it seems, ought to concern the truth and truth comes from knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt.  Reporting what happened, how I thought and felt seems like about all I can do regarding this.  Mostly, I strive to practice concise brevity as it gets too easy to slip into conjecture and verbose rhetoric.  In the utmost sense it looks like the less I believe about anything, the better as it leaves me more open to varied interpretations and perceptions which may have more objectivity.  If this seems self negating and contradictory, that will turn out a reader perspective.  I tend to characterize it more as a paradox like many other things human.

Everything-we-hear-is-an-opinion-not-a-fact.-Everything-we-see-is-a-perspective-not-the-truth.-Marcus-Aurelius

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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