Yes. While I don’t want to cultivate fear in general, deceit is a particularly pernicious form of dishonesty, and it is worthy of fear.
This year I have been involved in or have been witness to several relationships destroyed by deceit. In one case I’m not sure there was out-right lying involved, but one of the definitions of deceit is acts of subterfuge designed to obscure the truth, and I certainly experienced that. In some ways this is more painful than direct lying. That’s clear-cut. But deceit is cultivated to have shades of truth. Finding out what is true and what isn’t can be tricky. I find that when I start to feel slightly crazy in a relationship that taking a step back and looking for deceit is an appropriate course of action.
At this point in my life I am a very straight forward person. I do my absolute best to say what I mean and mean what I say. I work hard to follow through on what I say I’ll do. I own up to my mistakes and faults, and work to improve those things. But I haven’t always been this intentional. “It takes one to know one” so the saying goes, and I can recognize compartmentalization and a certain amount of deceit because I used these techniques myself in my 20s. It wasn’t that I was deliberately trying to hurt people or lie, but I didn’t want to deal with certain truths; I didn’t have the tools to do it, so I worked the system as best I could. I never LIED, but I played up other people’s issues and downplayed my own. It was all true, just disproportionately so.
Stepping away from that behaviour I can finally see how damaging that was to others.
And now I can see deception for what it is: a technique. Some people are malicious, but most are acting out of their own fear. No matter the reason, deception is something I want no part of. Flee from deception.