Friday, February 6, 2009

Can I Believe You?

“What upsets me is not that you lied to me, but that from now on I can no longer believe you.”
~Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

One of the saddest things in life is realizing you can't trust someone. Worse yet is when this distrust stems from personal injury in a relationship. You could distrust someone because of their reputation. But when you witness their dishonesty, it makes it that much harder to regain faith in them.

I was watching television at a friend's house when What I Like About You came on. This particular episode showed Holly borrowing her older sister's car (without permission). The car ended up being stolen and for the remainder of the episode, Holly is trying to lie about how it got stolen. In the end, her older sister finds out. She went on to tell Holly that she couldn't trust her because of her deception, that she wouldn't know when to believe her.

I thought that episode was a great example for this quote. Holly lied about something. But, her sister's reaction didn't just go along with the actual act of disobedience. It was more so geared towards future actions and the lack of trust for those actions. It only takes one mistake to undo years of trust.

My parents would treat lying very seriously.My mom would always say, "How can I believe you?" after one of us would lie. The hard part would be that she couldn't. The saying by Mr. Nietzsche reminds me of the old adage: Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. It is hard to believe someone after they have failed you. The hardest part isn't their lie. It's worse when you think of the breach in your relationship. How do you know they are telling the truth now? What are the repercussions for the circumstances these lies produced?

It's a hard thing to reconcile with. Family and friends are the closest ones to you. We should be even more truthful with these people so trust can be evident in every situation. Yet we seem to be like Holly and decieve those very people. This quote caused me to think further about the penalties to my actions. If I can't be trusted, how can my relationships survive? Honesty is the best policy.


  1. I really like the quote "fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me". It is very true. This can be tied into so many relationships, either with someone you are dating or with a friend or even with a parent. I feel confortable saying that I am a very honest person.
    Its hard to find a time where I have lied to a person, of course if my friend gets a bad haircut that I personally don't like, Im not going to tell them I hate it, because obviously there is nothing they could do about it. But when it comes to friends, boyfriends, coaches, family members, and parents, I am honest. I respect them as well as in return expect them to respect me. I think being honest is an important way to earn someones respect.
    I don't like being lied to so I try my best to be honest. Another way I look at it is, the consequesce does not get better if you lie, yes, you may look better on the outside and to others, but on the inside you have to live with the guilt that you were not being honest. If I was being questioned for something I did, I would tell the truth, if it was something that I needed to lie about, the obviously I shouldn't have been doing it in the first place!

  2. Unfortumately, lying has become a big part of today's society. No one sees anything wrong with it anymore. I try to be honest with those around me, unless, like Sally Sue said, the whole my friend got a bad hair cut situation. If you lie, and get away with it, there is no incentive for you to not lie again. If you reap positive benefits from lying, you're going to keep doing it until something goes wrong. And that's how a lot of people view lying. They think it's no big deal, but in all actuality, you're hurting yourself and those around you by not telling the truth, while hindering your relationship with the person/people that you lied to.