ARE YOU YOUR OWN CON ARTIST?

Whoa! Why would I ever imagine that you are a con artist? Those people go around fooling others and taking advantage of them. Bernie Madoff was a con artist, and I am surely not in his category. He took conning others to an art level. Isn’t his name hilarious? He “made off” with so many people’s money for so long! But I am not talking about that kind of deceit,]. I am talking about self-deception. We tend to have ways of conning ourselves that are subtle and not so pretty or successful. We long for the stable, the predictable, the comfortable. Yet, if we take a step back and look at our lives as they unfold, we will have difficulty finding those elements without noticing the inconvenient, frustrating, irritating, disappointing, and yes, deceptive.
We tend to call the deceptive “little white lies”. How often have you told someone that you are not available for lunch or that you are not feeling well and will catch them next time? Oh, now you know what I am talking about. We all struggle to be transparent. Why do we want to protect ourselves so much? What would happen if we were transparent?
“Susan, we have hung out together for a long time, and in the course of that time, I have changed and grown, and you have stayed the same. I must make a change and am not interested in our weekly chats anymore”.
Wow, would that blow you away? Or would that open space for you? Space that you could use to be more productive, or more social, or more relaxed.   Being transparent is hard. It comes with risks. And it also comes with rewards. My friend Susan has a choice: she can accept some modification to our friendship. It does not have to end. It just must change. Or she can walk away from the friendship, which may not be my intent, or my need. I just can’t spend 2 hours a week listening to the same stories and providing the same empathy.
Change is risky. But if you stay in that rut, you are conning yourself and your friend.
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