I am a liar, but before you think too harshly of me – I think you’re a liar too. There, that’s said!
Some of my lies
As a parent I can clearly remember trying to get my son to sit further away from the television,
You will get square eyes unless you sit further from the TV
Did he ever get square eyes, and on the basis that my mum told me that too, perhaps I should look in the mirror and check…Nope, my eyes are eye shaped.
This medicine tastes nice
Although as an adult I developed a taste for a particular brand of cough medicine, other than that no medicine ever tasted nice. I laughed recently when I was reminded about this one.
When the ice cream van is playing music it means it has run out of ice cream
So, perhaps not major perjury and perhaps they were just simple lies to protect those I care about. Maybe I’m no different to you after all.
Of course, you recognised those as lies and that’s OK as there’s no harm done?
Do you recognise lies?
Most of those parenting lies are to protect our children and were told with good intent. How do you feel about things like:
- Stop crying you’ll be fine: Laudable, and perhaps understandable, but what’s the underlying message? Don’t show emotion, or your feelings are not valid (or as valid as mine)
- You did well but could do better: The danger is in the “but” as it invalidates the first part of the sentence. So we stop listening to compliments…
- It’s not that big a deal: It invalidates the other persons feelings and makes them question themselves.
- That’s only for boys/ girls: Why do we have to (not) do something because others in society think so (assuming it’s not harming others or illegal). How long does this one stay around?
- You’re shy: How many people do you know who convert this one to a label and apply it to themselves as an adult?
- You should speak up more: Why? Do you mean that my thoughts are less valid if I don’t, or that the louder others shout the more valid their thoughts are?
I’m not telling you how to be a parent, my intent is to see how long some of the beliefs have stuck. Maybe you recognise some of those and were told them when you were young.
How easy is it to set a pattern?
When we start learning by having false, well intentioned, boundaries put around us, patterns began to form. A few years ago I was taking (and struggling with) dance lessons. When I remembered how, may years earlier, I was told I couldn’t dance. It was still in my head and many years later and having subscribed to dance classes it was a painful lesson to relearn.
Introverts and lies
Many introverts I know have taken on board things they were told about themselves many years before. Things which may have been well intentioned, but stopped them from pushing boundaries and shrunk their comfort zones.
Introversion is not about being shy, it doesn’t mean your views are less valid, it doesn’t mean that you can’t push your boundaries, mustn’t show emotion and it has nothing to do with believing things you’ve been told about yourself.
One thing for the new year
If you are thinking about new habits for the new year, how about challenging the little voice inside your head. Don’t try to burst through your comfort zone, but get into the habit of gently stretching it. Who knows where it might end up.
Why not doubt your doubts instead of your abilities?