It’s really easy to tell little white lies. But having integrity and building strong character means doing your best to always tell the truth.
Here’s a transcript of our conversation:
Brittany: Hi, Emma.
Emma: Hi, Brittany.
Brittany: So I always look for excuses to talk about Jordan Peterson. I don’t think that’s good. I think our listeners by now are probably running their eyes like, here she goes again. But I think he’s a very important person, I think for several reasons. One, that he speaks truth to power when it’s, it warrants that. I think he’s also really good at teaching us to fight back against safe spaces, which we’ve talked about. And he’s really good about just giving general life advice, things that teach you how the world works, things that teach you how to be the person you need to be. And I’m a big self-improvement. I love looking for things that help me be the best person I can be. So he’s got actually 24 rules now cause he’s got two books that are 12 Rules for Life and then 12 More Rules for Life. And the first, no, I just don’t think it’s the first rule, but it’s one of the first 12 rules is tell the truth or at least don’t lie. Yeah. And this I think is really important. And I’m gonna be honest with you, it’s one that I struggle with and I’ll get into that a little bit more. But, so when I was younger, I would sometimes fib to improve stories and make them seem more interesting. I think it’s hard, especially as a creative and a writer, because I want to make things as interesting as they possibly be. And these aren’t big lies. I’m not saying my dad died when he didn’t. It’s just little teeny things that I’m improving the truth as some people say. So I didn’t like that. Now, as I’ve gotten older, I do something else that I don’t like, which is that if I don’t wanna go out, if I’m tired, I don’t wanna like hurt people’s feelings. So instead of just saying, Hey, I’m not really feeling up to going out tonight, I’m gonna stay in, I say something like, oh, I’ve got, you know, paper, I’m writing an article, oh, I’ve got this. And I don’t like it, but it’s something I do. And it was one of my coworkers who called me out on this cuz he heard me do it to somebody else. And we both love Jordan Peterson and he was like, rule number, I can’t remember what rule it is off the top of my head, but he’s like, rule number, you know, whatever Brittany. And I’m like, I think it’s four. But he’s like, tell I’m like, tell the truth or at least don’t lie. He’s like, yep. He’s like, just say what’s going on? I was like so mad. So I’m like, Hey, I love Jordan Peterson, how dare you tell me what I need to do. But, this is the problem with small white lies, is it makes it easier to lie about bigger things. Because you’re getting accustomed to lying and the more you get accustomed lying, then your lies are going to grow. And eventually you become desensitized to telling lies you’re okay with, with telling bigger lies. You’re okay with doing whatever you need to do to get outta something or I dunno, make yourself feel better. As Jordan Peterson says, you get comfortable lying to yourself and when you lie to yourself, you can’t get better at things because you’re not being honest with you. And honestly, it just makes you feel yucky inside. When I don’t tell the truth fully and completely, or if I lie, I feel really bad. And, it’s almost like it’s an addiction, right? It grows because I get so used to doing it that I do it more and I do it more. So that’s something I really worked on this year because I do that, and again like I wanna say, I’m not telling big lies small things, but that’s not what matters, right? Yeah. What matters is the act of not of not telling the truth, but what’s worse is if somebody finds out you lied, they’re gonna lose their trust in you. Right. Their faith in you is going to be impacted. So that’s why, you know, it’s so important to be truthful in all your actions. And Emma, I’m curious to know, you know, what does this rule mean to you?
Emma: Yeah. I definitely would agree on like, the little lies are so easy to tell, especially when you don’t wanna hurt people’s feelings.
Brittany: Yes. That’s when I, that’s why I do it.
Emma: I always find myself, you know, when I do wanna kind of fib about, that’s a big one of mine too is, oh, I’m too tired to go out. I don’t have the energy to go do this thing. It’s much easier for me to say, oh, I’m just swamped. I’m still working on this or that than it is to say, Hey, I’m really sorry, but I just don’t have the energy. And I think, you know, like you said, it’s easy to come up with excuses and at the end of the day, you kind of have to be hard on yourself and say, well, even if I’m telling this quote unquote white lie, you know, it’s still not the truth and ultimately it’s not going to serve you to not actually be truthful and have integrity with what you tell people for even little things like that. So, I think that’s really huge. But also just this idea that, you know, integrity is very important and if everyone was honest, it would be a good thing. Right. So it’s al it’s almost like a p a piece of doing your part to make the world more like what it should be. And, you know, we’ll never really be able to know whether everyone around us is always telling the truth or not, but we can all do our part. And it’s interesting because sometimes you hear this, oh, we need, we need to do our part as in like COVID stuff. But I do think there is an element of personal responsibility Oh yes. Especially in how you behave and the way that you speak to people. And that’s something that Jordan Peterson is really huge on, is this idea of personal responsibility and taking accountability for who you are and what you’re doing. And I think if you cannot be honest, at the very, very least, or not lie like he says, then you’re gonna have trouble improving other areas of your life. So I think it’s kind of like the building block of all of this self-improvement stuff, all of these ways that you can kind of level up and be your best self to do that. You have to be honest with not only yourself, but with others. And honesty is a great thing. It’s very freeing and it’s very, I don’t know, it’s almost like a weight lifted, right? When you tell the truth, if you’ve ever owned up to something that you did that was wrong or you hurt someone’s feelings or you made a mistake. And I hopefully, and everyone listening has felt this before, but owning up and telling the truth is so liberating. Yeah. It makes you feel so good. And it’s just like this huge relief. And I would encourage, you know, if you have, if you have opportunities in your life, to be honest, obviously you want to still be kind. You don’t wanna just run around telling people, you know, hurtful things about them because you believe that they’re true. You, you wanna be careful in how you do this. But I think, being honest, like I said, not only with yourself but with others, is very powerful. And it’s step number one to, you know, being able to improve your life and all the other great ways that he recommends.
Brittany: You know, it reminds me of something my dad said because a lot of times your friends will be like, do you like my dress? Or do you like, you know this? Yeah. And it’s hard because you wanna be honest, but you don’t wanna hurt somebody’s feelings. So I always kind of sandwich, right? You could say like, I really like the color, but I don’t like this. Right. And, but I will say this, I love when I wanna know like how a dress looks on me or if I want an honest opinion. I have certain friends that I know are gonna be honest with me even when I’m really not gonna like it. And I’m trying to better to be that friend because I’ve sometimes, like, I just wanna, I don’t wanna hurt people’s feelings and so I’m too nice, but it’s nice to have those friends cuz you know, okay, if I need to make a life decision or if I really need like a, they call it like a come to Jesus moment where you’re like, all right, like this is what I need to fix that I have friends who I know are gonna be like, yeah, you’re doing this wrong or that behavior was not acceptable. I had one friend, I did something mean to someone. And she was very clear, this is unacceptable. Like what you did was not good. And, and I think you need to take, you know, some reflection on that and think about what you did. Yeah. So it’s really important to do that. And you mentioned, you know, lying to yourself and here’s, I think this is really hard. We all have flaws, but nobody really wants to recognize those. Cause it’s really hard to say, oh, I’m not good at this. I need to get better at this. When you don’t tell yourself or when you lie to yourself or even just don’t acknowledge that, hey, maybe being a little lazy at work, like maybe I’m getting distracted. Maybe that’s something I need to work on. Cuz you don’t wanna admit that you’ve done something wrong. Nobody does, but you can’t fix it if you don’t do that. Yeah. So I think that once you start taking an honest look at who you are as a person, maybe you’re not good at, you know, you get distracted easy and you wanna change that. Or maybe without even meaning to, you’re like mean dear siblings or you do things that aren’t necessarily kind, you know, you can say like, okay, this is not good of me, I need to change this. But you’re not going to do that if you lie to yourself. So the power, and let’s, maybe let’s not even frame it in, don’t lie, but what’s the power of telling the truth, right? Yeah. The power of telling the truth is very good. I liked what you said about, you know, having a weight lifted. I remember doing things that weren’t really bad, but little things when you’re a kid and you’re worried about telling your parents and then you tell them and you’re just so relieved. Like, you feel like, okay, and your mom gives you a hug and she says, thank you for telling me the truth. And all of a sudden it’s like, wow, this turned into a really positive experience. Yeah. So instead of saying, don’t lie, you’re gonna feel terrible. Maybe we turn it into why it’s so good, to tell the truth.
Emma: Yes. I like that. And I think once again, you know, the more people we have actually telling the truth and being honest with themselves and honest with others in a kind way and in a loving way, I think that’s really going to have a lot of power to actually make the world a better place. Yes. Right. That’s a thing that people talk about all the time. It’s kind of annoying. We need to change the world for the better. And a lot of times it’s so meaningless, but I think this is actually a meaningful way that we can impact not only just the world around us but the world at large. And if more people could tell the truth or you know, like, like we said, at least not lie or embrace the power of being honest, there’s so many things that could be improved. Even our government. oops, sorry, I muted myself. We talk a lot about the government on this show, but even the government, if the government was more honest with people, we would have a better government because we would be able to understand what they’re doing and there would be more openness and more accountability. So, that’s kind of my closing thought. Brittany, anything to add before we wrap it up here?
Brittany: I think that’s perfect.
Emma: Awesome. Well, thank you, guys, for listening. Highly encouraged that you check out the rest of Jordan Peterson’s 12 rules. His book is pretty dense for kids. But yes, if you’re an advanced reader, you might wanna take a crack at it. It, there’s a lot to learn. So thanks for listening and we will talk to you all again soon.
Brittany: Talk to you soon.