Do you consider yourself an honest person?
Most would say ‘yes’. No one aspires to be a crook or a swindler. Yet, oftentimes we flat out lie about who we are.
Perhaps it’s more a collection of tiny fibs than an outright lie. We weave together little untruths about ourselves to hide the chinks in our armour.
For introverts, this can be especially true. We live in a culture that is constantly telling us that extroversion is the ideal. We learn to hide the parts of ourselves that don’t match up to that ideal.
The ‘why’ of little white lies
In college I worked at the Farmboy deli where I sliced giant rounds of mortadella and prosciutto cotto into paper-like slivers. Sometimes the pieces came out so thin you could see through them.
One day, a co-worker said with a shrug, “So, you’re a real homebody, aren’t you?”
“What would make you say that?” I asked defensively.
“I dunno. You seem to like to stay at home. It’s not a bad thing.”
But to me it was a bad thing. I tried to disprove him. I went through my mental rolodex of social activities, listing them out one by one. Of course, I added little embellishments along the way. I said I went out to more parties, had more friends, and went on more dates than I actually did.
Trying to prove yourself
The self-consciousness I felt from my coworker’s comment stayed with me long after my deli days were done. Eventually, I did go out to more parties. I made more friends. I went on many more dates.
So there. Take that deli boy.
My efforts to prove myself created an armour so thick I couldn’t even see past it. No one else could either.
Nude vs. Naked
What are the little fibs that you’ve weaved together to prove your worthiness to others? What if you disassembled them thread by thread?
Would you feel naked?
A friend once told me that the difference between ‘naked’ and ‘nude’ is shame. There is a lot of shame associated with being naked, whereas nudity is considered beautiful. Artistic even.
Nude, naked – No matter how you slice it, stripping down is scary. But it’s the only way to uncover the truth of who you are.
A more transparent you
The picky old Italian men who frequented the Farmboy deli always wanted their meat sliced as thin as possible. “Tinner, Tiiiner!” they’d cry whenever I held up a flimsy shred of meat for their approval. They liked their cured meat to be transparent. They said it tasted better that way.
Even though those old men were a royal pain in my ass, they were right. Deli meats are better when they’re so slender you can see right through them.
Transparency in people is just as delicious.