Maxim Monday: Fear deceit

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.

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About Niki Whiting
  • http://western-hindu.org/ Tāṇḍava

    This post strikes a chord with me. So often avoiding situations by “not mentioning” something leads to worse situations, lack of trust, and so on. Deceit is to be feared, especially in oneself.

    Also, on not cultivating fear; fear is wholly appropriate to the right extent in the right circumstances. My younger daughter has no fear of heights, and while the rest of us don’t need to be told to keep away from a cliff edge she had to be physically restrained when she was younger, and constantly reminded when a bit older that cliff edges can be crumbly and unstable and soil can overhang the edge! Without this constant attention she would have put herself in danger!

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/awitchsashram myownashram

      Yes, fear is a good instinct – but I don’t want to cultivate fear of deceit, because I don’t want to assume that every one is full of deceit. I tend to assume the best about people, and while that has bitten me in the ass several times, I still think it’s a good way to approach the world.

      And yes, I think a LOT of deceit comes from choosing to avoid. I’m working HARD on that in my own life, because it was my avoidance that caused most of the heartache in my life this summer.


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