“We’re busy, but everything is great…”
Lately I’ve been thinking about the lies I tell. The amount of times someone asks me how I’m doing and I answer with the polite – don’t want to burden you – response, “I’m good.” It’s usually not the truth – or at least the whole truth. It’s an incomplete picture of my life; one that doesn’t do justice to what’s covered underneath.
I often wonder when and why we were conditioned to do this. Is this about being “Minnesota nice”? Is this a mom-pride or self-preservation tactic? An automated thoughtless response? Why are we so apt to gloss over the truth and avoid the opportunity to be real and vulnerable? Shouldn’t we see this as an opportunity to possibly allow someone else to identify with (and therefore confide in) us?
“I’m tired too.”
I believe that at some point society has conditioned us to think that venting is complaining. That telling the truth (as ugly as it may be) is just too much for others to bear. It’s too negative and why – just why – cannot we not be more positive?!
“But you just had a weekend with your girlfriends.” Insert eye roll.
As a woman, a mom, a wife and a mental health professional, I’m here to tell you that venting and being honest is not only healthy, it is needed. Lying and covering up our true feelings not only adds to the mental load we carry, but it creates a facade that we cannot live up to. Being real about our lives is a chance to create long-lasting ties, chance moments of “me too,” and a connection with someone you maybe would have never anticipated. It is a chance for someone to see beneath the surface where the real things lie.
What really do we have to lose? In my opinion, being a “strong” woman is synonymous with not being able to do it all and not being afraid to be honest about it. In the end, the lies we tell do nothing but misrepresent just how strong we are. The successes and rewards come from being honest about how hard things may be and still having the strength to put one foot in front of the other and carry on. Which we do. And when we cannot muster the strength, we need others who have been there to help us get to where we need to be. And then we return the favor. The catch? We have to let each other in. And it starts by telling our truths.
So, how am I?
“I’m exhausted, I am sick of meal planning, and I need more time for me.”
What is your truth?