A while back I made a pact with a friend to just check in at the end of the month while trying to assert our right to saying no without giving excuses or feeling guilty about it. Unfortunately, by the time we both checked in, nothing had gone according to plan, reason being, we feel guilty when we say no and feel better about ourselves when we come up with excuses in the form of white lies. I deduced that most of us rely on white lies most of the time be it for our own good or the other party.
When I think of radical honesty, the first thing that pops to mind is white lies.
“While the definitions of white lies vary depending on the source, most attach a few defining criteria to the term. They tend to indicate that white lies, unlike what I will call real lies or big lies, are about rather small or inconsequential matters. The white lies are often described as being harmless to others. And the reason that the lies are told is to maintain polite social manners and courtesies.” ~ Christian L. Hart Ph.D. ~
We therefore convince ourselves that white lies are okay to tell, after all we are not hurting anybody…
However, just because we are not hurting anybody does not mean that white lies cannot be burdensome. They can become exhausting especially when you must come up with one lie after another to cover up for the first one.
We live in such a time where just saying no, is no longer admissible. You will find that 95% of the time when you say no to someone, they ask why? Meaning just saying No is no longer an acceptable answer by society hence the why factor forces us to come up with one little white lie after another.
We really should be able to normalise no as a final answer… a simple survey I conducted a few weeks back shows that most times people tell White Lies to protect the feelings of others, some because they find it hard to say no due to guilt and others because they do not think just saying no is an option because Saying no is now considered rude and insensitive.
According to Manuel J. Smith, Author of WHEN I SAY NO, I FEEL GUILTY, giving reasons during conflict to justify or defend a viewpoint is just as manipulative as giving reasons to attack that viewpoint. Neither of these routes is an honest assertive that can lead to a workable compromise of interests to quickly resolve the conflict.
You are being manipulated when someone reduces, by any means, your ability to be your own judge of what you do.
If you do not recognize your assertive right to choose to be responsible only for yourself, other people can and will manipulate you into doing what they want by presenting their own problems to you as if they were your problems.
Reading Manuel’s bestseller gave me a new perspective. Some of his advice still feels relevant, particularly when he urges you to beware of those who try to impose their standards of “right” and “wrong” to manipulate you.
His BILL OF ASSERTIVE RIGHTS dictate that:
● You have the right to judge your own behaviour, thoughts, and emotions, and to take the responsibility for their initiation and consequences upon yourself. ● You have the right to offer no reasons or excuses for justifying your behaviour. ● You have the right to judge if you are responsible for finding solutions to other people’s problems. ● You have the right to change your mind. ● You have the right to make mistakes—and be responsible for them. ● You have the right to say, “I don’t know.” ● You have the right to be independent of the goodwill of others before coping with them. ● You have the right to be illogical in making decisions. ● You have the right to say, “I don’t understand.” ● You have the right to say, “I don’t care.”
–YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO SAY NO, WITHOUT FEELING GUILTY –