He Who Lies, Not He Who Trusts, is Wrong

He Who Lies, Not He Who Trusts, is Wrong
Raquel Aldana

Written and verified by the psychologist Raquel Aldana.

Last update: 28 July, 2022

Trust is like a bridge made of crystal, fragile and transparent, that lifts up our life. It is likely that we have put a lot of time and effort into building it, and for that reason it is priceless.

However, despite the fact that it is worth it to put in all of that work and time, and that this trust brings us so much happiness, it can often be destroyed in just a few seconds. It can be destroyed by carelessness, by selfishness, and by our own self-interested actions.

When a feeling as important as trust is broken, something inside us dies. This happens because one lie can make us doubt a thousand truths. Lies make us question ourselves and even the experiences we believed to be the most honest.

Lies have short legs and long arms 

As the saying goes, “lies have short legs…” — they cannot carry anyone very far. For someone who lies, their dishonest words and actions cannot sustain them.

In any case, the fact that everything will eventually fall under its own weight doesn’t mean that the blow will necessarily be dramatic or painful. In fact, what happens is actually the opposite. The lie and betrayal create a before and an after in our lives. 

“A bird perched in a tree is never afraid that the branch will break, because its trust lies not in the branch, but rather in its own wings…”

girl and bird with ribbons in her hair lies

The responsibility of betrayal

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” We have all heard this saying before. This phrase holds some truth, but we should consider it carefully.

The idea is that we should learn from our mistakes and not repeat our failures, but ultimately, that we should never feel guilty if we have been deceived. How can we hold ourselves accountable for the actions of others? To do that would be madness.

Regardless of what we should or should not do or feel, it is likely that this idea has tormented us on more than one occasion. We may feel stupid for having fallen into someone else’s web of lies. We tell ourselves we “should have seen it coming“. As they say, hindsight is twenty-twenty. 

No one can see the future; no one is foolproof. It is also important to realize that others are not perfect, either. Sometimes we have to consider that good people also make mistakes, and in these cases, too, we must be open to forgiveness. 

“After a while you will learn that the sun burns if you expose too much of yourself to it. You will accept that even good people can hurt you once in a while, and that you will need to forgive them. You will learn that talking can relieve the pains of the soul… you will discover that it takes years to build trust and just seconds to destroy it, and that you, too, will do things that you will regret for the rest of your life.” 

William Shakespeare

girl's face smiling lies

The emotional wound of betrayal 

Ingratitude and betrayal hurt us especially when they affect the people around us, the people we love, like our partner, our friends, or our family. When this happens, emotions like rage, impotence, and frustration come into play, and sometimes cause us to lose our self-control.

It is also very painful (and sadly much too common) that someone does something for us with the sole purpose of receiving something from us in return. This is also a kind of betrayal. It can break our vision and throw our emotional world into real chaos.

Nevertheless, although deception hurts in even the deepest part of our heart, it doesn’t makes sense that because we have been hurt, we change the way we are and we treat others badly as a way of revenge or spite.

As incredible as it may seem, this is a fairly common reaction towards an “emotional wound” that is open and infected. Similarly, not necessarily because we have been hurt, we have to wear a thicker skin in the company of others. Enough with protecting ourselves against only those who have already betrayed us. 

profile with of girl and birds lies

How to overcome lies, betrayal, and deception 

Security, frankness, honesty, and loyalty in our relationships are the basic pillars for maintaining constant personal growth. Doubts, mistrust, and falsity only harm us, burn us, and leave us embittered.

At the same time, although suspicion may be deep set within us, we can all overcome it. It is normal that when confronted with situations like these, doubt grows along with mistrust. However, this does not constitute an opportunity to mistrust others.

This means that, given that it is likely that we will find ourselves in such an undesirable situation on more than one occasion, we should understand that it is an opportunity to grow as people and to better choose the people with whom we surround ourselves.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.