11/16/2010 07:26 pm ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

White Lies Do Not Really Work

One component of having authentic, satisfying connections with others is the willingness to express yourself authentically.

Many of us have a bad habit of answering any question that gets posed to us, and then when we don't want to answer truthfully, we have a white lie handy. White lies theoretically do not hurt anyone, but they are harmful -- for you. Additionally, this adds to broadcasting mixed messages, which does not help relationships in the long run. If this is not making sense to you, I refer you back to the Great Seer Seinfeld and the DVDs of his "Seinfeld" seasons one through seven.

Your genuine response to an emotionally loaded question like "Do I look fat in these jeans?" is usually going to be more than a yes or no (although those work fine, too, if they express your full truth), so don't fall back on bad habits of the little lies of convenience. Sincerely honest replies that reflect what is fully true for you will be harder to generate at first, until you have developed the habit of getting to your core truth, but you still need to do it.

People's entirely truthful response to such a complex question is usually more like these:

  • I don't think you are fat; that is your issue. Why would you ask me such a loaded question?
  • When I look at you, all I see is wonderful. Why would you ask me such a question?
  • You know I don't think you are at a healthy weight, but that does not change how I feel about you.
  • Your insecurity about your looks has nothing to do with me. I completely and already love you and do not want to be responsible for dealing with your insecurities. I want you to deal with them.
  • I always think you look great unless you look tired, worn or stressed.
  • Your weight means nothing to me, and I am getting tired of not being believed.
  • What I hear you say is that you are feeling insecure about your looks. Is that right?

Don't lie. If you open your mouth to say something, whatever topples out must convey your real self.

This is an except from my book "Superconscious Relationships: The Simple Psychic Truths of Perfectly Satisfying Connections" (O Books).