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One of the ways in which people-pleasers and Nice Guys manage to live with the near-constant manipulation that they subject others to is that they convince themselves that they are in fact being genuine. It’s hard to believe that you’re a “good person” if you’re also a chronic liar and manipulator, so we lie to ourselves about the lying! Don’t believe me? Watch this video to see how honest you really are.
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Full transcript (unedited):
the next people pleaser belief that we’re going to address is the one that says i’m basically an honest person
now this is more of a subconscious belief you don’t sort of think this clearly and consciously very often it’s just an underlying assumption about yourself that you never really question now what happens is it’s very hard for the brain to have what’s called cognitive dissonance which is two conflicting beliefs appearing at the same time you can’t believe in two opposite things at the same time comfortably usually one of them is going to win because you can’t hold that dissonance a disconnection between two different realities and there’s one particular dissonance that really affects people pleases the idea that a i’m a good person and b i’m a dishonest person it’s very hard for us to think of ourselves as a good person and also acknowledge that we’re lying and that we’re deceptive and manipulative it seems like those don’t really go in the good person category very well so one of these things has got to go either i have to give up on the dream that i’m a good person and admit that i’m a manipulative liar or convince myself that i’m not a liar lie to myself about lying and therefore maintain my good personal identity which one do you think people pleasers are going to choose most the clients i work with at the beginning when we first get together they might say something like i’m basically honest or i don’t lie when we challenge that and dive into the various deceptions that they use they always have a justification like us just a little white lie or i’m just trying to protect their feelings or it was inappropriate or i’m trying to be professional i’m trying to be polite they’ve always got a good story for those numerous occasions where they’ve been dishonest to kind of justify it and nullified so it doesn’t count as dishonesty that time because that situation called for it i had to do it i had no choice it was actually a good thing to do so they’ve been doing this their whole life discounting every time that they’ve been dishonest to keep the picture going that i’m a good person aka an honest person in this video i want to challenge the idea that you’re an honest person now it doesn’t mean you’re not a good person but maybe the concept the identity of being a good person isn’t something that’s very helpful for you to pursue maybe good is just too high pressure a topic too impossible to achieve and maybe being a genuine person a real person is something that’s more of a realistic goal to pursue but if that’s the goal you want if you want to be a person of integrity you have to first face your lies so if you’re the kind of person that says i’m a good person underneath it all therefore everything i say must somehow be true i’m going to throw some examples at you and if you are truly an honest person then none of these examples should apply to you if even one of them does then you can’t say you’re 100 honest and i’ll put it out there right now if you are indeed 100 honest you’re the first human in the history of humans to be that way congratulations for me personally one of the biggest barrier was just admitting the sheer quantity of my lies i had a vague idea in my nice guy days that not everything i said was completely honest and completely aligned with the facts and i didn’t share everything i thought and i didn’t share all the important feelings i had but i thought of myself as you know only lying a little bit just to survive when i go through this list you might come to realize that you lie a lot in fact some of you maybe even most of you will come to realize that in most situations you’re more dishonest than you are honest and that’s okay because at least you know where you’re starting from at least you’ve got a foundation to build from if you are very dishonest or even partly dishonest it’s hurting your confidence it’s hurting your ability to connect with people it’s holding you back in your career this is something you need to correct so let’s go through the examples exaggeration adding information to stories you tell or complaints that you’re making to make it bigger grander more interesting more convincing basically adding fiction to fact in order to sell it more either to get approval or to convince someone that’s lying playing down your successes to appear more humble brushing off compliments and rewards and kind of playing it down like it was easier than it was or you didn’t work as hard as you had to or it was just good luck that kind of false modesty is a form of lying the chameleon effect we’ve talked about before changing your personality to suit the audience you know adjusting who you are in a kind of conscious way to better suit the person that you’re with now of course we all adjust a little bit to the people we’re with because they affect us that’s normal i’m not talking about that i’m talking about the deliberate and conscious effort to change who you are so that they will like you more and that the comf the conversation will be more comfortable with them that’s a form of lying being polite pretty much all the time is a form of lying but especially when you don’t really mean it when you say thank you but you’re not really grateful when you say please but you actually think you’re entitled to the thing when you say sorry but you don’t really mean it these are all lies pretending to agree now this one can be difficult because what we often do as people pleasers is first convince ourselves that we agree and then it actually comes out as genuine a classic way we do this is to say something like i can see both sides of the story so we go from one position to the middle and then over to the other position so we start against the person we see that that’s going to create a conflict so we do this kind of i can see it from your point of view too and then eventually we go to yeah you’re probably right so we actually convince ourselves to agree with people even though deep down we still disagree that’s a form of lying pretending to be interested in someone or what they’re saying to avoid hurting their feelings basically showing passion or interest or any sort of curiosity towards something that you actually find boring or apathetic that’s a form of lying the lie of a mission keeping thoughts and feelings to yourself even though they’re significant and important and really represent who you are now this is a tough one of course you can’t say everything you think and everything you feel you’d never get anything else done there’s too much noise in there but you know when you have a significant thought a significant feeling and you don’t say it if you’ve got a crush on someone at the office and you never tell them that’s lying that’s a significant feeling that you’re not sharing if you strongly disagree with your boss’s behavior in the team meeting but you don’t share those thoughts that’s lying now you don’t have to say every little thing that you think and feel but there are certain important ones that come up that you’ve kept yourself which changes the way people see you gives them an inaccurate view of who you really are makes them believe you’re something that you’re not and you knowingly allow this to happen so that’s lying what’s often called white lies a term i don’t know where it comes from these little lies that are used to keep social harmony to keep the peace little things that don’t seem like a big deal to say but they stop anyone from getting upset there’s such a huge range of these so many little examples that i won’t go into it but the little things you say that you think it’s not a big deal to lie about that still lying fake excuses to avoid events and invitations pretending to be sick pretending to be busy anything else you use to get out of saying no to avoid having to reject somebody that’s lying allowing someone to believe something about you that you know is untrue this is usually in the case of people pleasing at least something positive so somebody thinks you’re better than you actually are in some way and you don’t correct them you allow them to have that like maybe they think you suffered more than you actually did in order to get this task done and you just let them believe that you did suffer rather than saying actually it was really easy i don’t deserve credit for this keeping secrets about yourself to protect your reputation or the image and impression that you have with people now keeping secrets for others is confidentiality it’s respect that’s not dishonesty okay that’s you promise keeping a promise basically you said i won’t tell anyone and so it’s dishonest to tell people but keeping secrets about yourself is different when you hide truths about yourself in order to make people think that you’re something you’re not that’s lying so if that whole list did not apply to you at all well you’re just lying to yourself of course some of it did and there’s many more that i could put on the list but that’s enough to cover everything you do something on that list at least occasionally and if you tell yourself that you don’t you’re lying to yourself you have to be honest with yourself at least if you want to recover from people pleasing and nice guy syndrome okay you don’t have to tell everybody else everything you might never get that level of courage but at least make sure that what’s happening in here is honest or otherwise how are you supposed to express the truth to others