Telling the truth is cheaper than lying. I know from personal experience.
The major lie.
Lying about the major I wanted cost $75,000 (junior college/four year) and four years of my life, that I could have spent honing a craft I woke up excited about. I wanted to study history. But political science was more relevant and led to a broader range of opportunities. I would have lied again and gone to law school, but was accosted by a moment of crystal clear lucidity and left an LSAT group study session. If I had continued, I could have lived an even more costly lie than the first.
The job lie.
Lying about my first job (while I learned a great deal) stole 14 months of sleep, added 10lbs to my frame, exacerbated my mental health issues and cost me an internship opportunity at a tea company close to home, where I could have very happily devised social media campaigns right when Instagram was becoming a thing. Literally, one of my favorite things to do is drink and compare different teas. Oy vey.
The relationship lie.
Lying about my interest in a relationship, led to hurt in the other person and confusion in myself. It felt like I was walking around with one eye, seeing enough to get around but not enough to avoid hurting people. If I had started telling the truth sooner—about whether I was interested in, ready for, or excited about a relationship—life would have been checkered by more laughter, less stress. A little tip: The sooner you’re honest, the more chance you have of preserving the relationship as it is. Most guys are cool with being friends, if you level with them early.
The truth about lies.
Lies nearly led to the ecological death of an entire continent. Lies cost about $235 billion in damages. Lies foreshortened thousands of lives and made 1000 square miles unlivable. When I think of HBO’s man-made-disaster mini-series “Chernobyl,” I pause. What a call to truth.
I don’t write this to freak you out. I write it to encourage you. You see, I have lied a lot. We all have. And the cost, though not punctuated by death or billions, can be measured in dollars, time and relationships.
So, every time you feel that urge to tell the truth, do so with all the tact and kindness you can. But still do it. Feed the truth-wolf. It’s worth it.
Because, no matter how costly it seems on the front end, the truth is always cheaper than lies.