, Gloucester, MA


October 4, 2013

Emotional dishonesty: Deceiving yourself and others

Mary grew up in a small, rural town. She learned clear, simple values: work hard, be honest, treat others as you would like to be treated. Mary’s family held these solid, good values, and were not worldly nor materialistic.

After completing college, Mary landed a job in a distant city. She moved into her own apartment. Attracted to the city’s faster lifestyle, she found herself doing all the “right” things. Sometimes Mary would lie about growing up in another city, or go to a violent or over-sexualized movie or play even if she really didn’t want to, just to “go along with the crowd” in order to be one of the group. At work, she’d make personal calls, and “name drop” to impress her co-workers.

Mary began to avoid her family. As she was alienating her relatives, she was creating problems in her personal and professional relationships. Her city friends sensed she was fabricating stories about herself and her background. Her co-workers knew she was attempting to project an image that wasn’t real. Even more importantly, Mary was uncomfortable and unhappy with herself because she was being emotionally dishonest.

Jim started dating Jennie. He told her he was a supervisor in his IT plant. He boasted about planning projects, making management decisions and supervising many workers.

For a while Jim and Jennie enjoyed their time together, and got along well. However, Jennie began noticing that he would steer her away from calling his office, and once, when his car wouldn’t start, he refused to have her drive him to his job.

One day, Jennie suggested they have a party for their co-workers. Jim became defensive, and they argued. Then Jim finally admitted he was just a regular employee, with lots of responsibility but no title. He’d intended to impress Jennie, but a week later they broke up. Jim caused serious damage to his relationship because he was not emotionally honest.

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