I was at the Post Office (in Utah, post office is always capitalized) this morning mailing a package to Broad Z. When I got home, I looked down and saw a pen with a little blue Par Avion flag on it!~ OMG! I had taken a USPS pen – were the USPS pen police after me? More importantly, was it an act of theft – a moral -1 on this reviewer’s head?
Since I picked up “Playing the Lying Game,” I have been really thinking about my behavior. I even picked up the phone and asked Broad Z “Am I honest with you? Am I a liar?” She assured me that I am not – but was that a little white lie? I think so. Because my lying comes in the form of compliance. I have trouble saying what is real for me, and it gets me in trouble all the time. IT IS A FORM OF LYING, even if to myself first! It comes from the fear of conflict and other people’s anger. And it is still mine to stop.
Probing and contemporary, Dr. Graham’s revealing book deals with detecting and dealing with lies and liars, from occasional Fibbers to Frequent Fabricators. Compliants and Controllers, boundary issues – they are all there. By naming this book contemporary, and as the book reflects, lying is so common in our culture as to be more popular than honesty ever has. We are even programmed to lie as a species for survival. It’s in our genes.
“I love your hair” (it looks horrid); “I can’t work today, I’m sick” as you turn off your cell phone on the way to the Edison Spa and Hair Salon to get extensions on your hair. Lies between parents and children, marriage partners, friends, business associates. So many that we need to recognize – and deal – with lying in its enormous implications and amorphous non realities. How many times at work have you presented your boundaries – your NO – and with a keen eye your boss says “Do it – or else!” The else is loss – of job, of marriage, or friendship – and loss is hard. The “you will do” is something harmful to you and your integrity – the “or else” to your survival. What is the ethical response to the liar with the power?
The implications of this book run large and true through all of our relationships – our connectedness, our one true thing. So it is that I ask my friend if she finds me a liar in our relationship. Yes, I am. So I read this book and start on the path to more honesty. Hopefully!
This book portrays all kinds of lying – and how to perceive them as lies. And how to deal with lies in ourselves and others. We all do it. “Do you like your job?” Yes, automatically because your boss stands there and we are too fearful to speak the truth. Do you like yourself? Sometimes, sometimes not. Join me in reading this superlative treatise of contemporary social society, our new mores and old. And learn to survive The Lie.
Book Review by Broad “A” – Ava
Playing the Lying Game: Detecting and Dealing with Lies and Liars, from Occasional Fibbers to Frequent Fabricatorsis available at Amazon.com $44.95
Thank you to Praeger and Changemakers for providing this title for our book review. We were in no way paid or compensated for our opinions.