If you have been taught to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth, you might want to reevaluate this truism. A good lie has many fundamental benefits which include promoting well-being, compassion, good humor, and happiness. Remember how you enjoyed those fairy tales which were part of your bed time ritual?
Throughout the ages fiction has revealed what it means to be human by simulating challenges, how to relate to others and listen to their stories, as well as teach us to better tolerate the human condition. Everyone makes up stories about the facts. What kind of story do you create: A tragedy, comedy or romance?
Lies with benefits:
- The role of the imagination is to transform mundane reality: Work, household chores, paying bills, homework and exams, aches and pains, arguments with loved ones, and daily stressors. For example, reading a novel or watching a movie, a work of fiction whose story describes how the hero overcomes adversity, can inspire you to become a better person – in other words, show you the way. A painting can transform trash into treasure.
- Stress-management strategies urge you to reframe negatives into positives by creating a kinder story out of the facts in order to release all that anger and disappointment. For example, the waiter who appears to be hostile to your requests and is ruining your digestion can be reframed into this story: A hardworking person who is struggling with the responsibility of supporting a wife, children and an elderly mother and so, is a bit irritable. You can cut this person some slack, can’t you, even give him a compliment validating his busyness? You might end up with a free desert (as I have)!
- When you are upset with someone steeped in an argument, telling this person that you believe she is coming from a good place, a kind place, will usually soften the tension and inspire her to live up to your lofty description. She can take the higher road you because you pointed out the way.
- Acting as if usually leads to personal transformation. If you play the part long enough, you will become what you aspire to be. If you rehearse it in your imagination, you will succeed in reality. Remember when you were a child how you played in the land of make believe? Pretending was a good dress rehearsal for dealing with the problems which grown-ups face: The monsters who need to be conquered.
- Your lies contain your truths because they are your lies, your stories. Personal lies reveal a narrative about you: Your wishes and your buried “treasure.” Get to know your lies and identify the pattern.