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Imagine for a moment that the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and there are no clouds in the sky. Feeling motivated by mother nature, you grab the leash and set out to walk your dog. As you reach the front door and step outside, you hear tornado sirens. You immediately retreat indoors and turn on the television. You find a credible news station, and it reports that there is a tornado on the ground! The frantic weatherman is running back and forth in front of a giant map yelling, “Take cover!” He then points to a glowing red triangle and gasps uttering, “This will be the storm of the century.”  Now feeling panic-stricken you run to the window, look out, and confirm that the sun is still shining and the day is still gorgeous.

man and dog walking near a sunny window

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Perplexed, you switch the station to watch another equally credible station, but on that station, there is a weatherman wearing sunglasses and smiling. He reports the weather will be picture-perfect all day long! This contradiction leaves you feeling unsettled. You start to wonder who to trust. One weatherman is confirming what you see, while the other is trying to convince you of the city’s inevitable demise. Searching for answers, you decide to log on to social media for some clarity. Much to your dismay, everyone there is arguing about which weatherman to trust, not the actual problem, the weather! Sounds completely crazy, doesn’t it? It’s not. It’s what goes on every day in our world. Someone we trust yells, “take cover” and we act. Some of us even spread the news so others can be informed as well. Better safe than sorry, right? Then it happens, the day comes, and we learn there was no storm of the century headed our way. They lied to us, and we believed them. We immediately feel enraged, and rest assured, that is a perfectly normal reaction. 

luis galvez teary eye

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No one likes to find out they were lied to, but being lied to is not nearly as bad, as what we do to ourselves following the lie. You see when we believe a lie, we not only stop trusting the liar, but we also subconsciously stop trusting ourselves. We begin to second-guess our ability to distinguish fact from fiction creating a feedback loop of negative self-talk. So, what can you do?

Here are three power moves to stop the negative self-talk and help you move forward right now!

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1. Applaud yourself for trusting!

Applauding yourself will not feel natural at first, but it’s as essential to your mental well-being as air is to your survival. You must reassure yourself that trusting people is a courageous act of vulnerability.  This sends signals to your brain that you were brave, thus reversing the negative chatter that is replaying in your head. It’s also a great response to the question, “How did you not see the truth?”  By reprograming your brain, you take back control of the situation. 

2.    Walk in Their Shoes.

I know what you’re thinking; there is no way I want to walk in their smelly shoes! I understand, but to lessen the impact of a lie, you must humanize the liar. They can’t remain an evil troll in your mind because that makes you far less likely to move forward. (No one can forgive an evil villain.) So, see them for who they are, a profoundly misguided individual, who let you down by lying to you. Nothing more, nothing less. The reality is we don’t know why someone lied to us. Perhaps they were hurting, sought attention, or they just repeated a lie they heard from someone they trusted. Bottom line- Imaginary evil villains are just that, imaginary. People are not imaginary. They are flawed, hurtful, angry, and insecure; but they are also trusting, loving, and capable of seeing anyone differently if they try.

3.    Get “Really” Real (after you have calmed down)

Be honest with yourself and speak your truth. Tell someone they hurt you, let you down, or forever changed the state of the relationship. Don’t tell the liar it’s okay if you know it will never be okay. That doesn’t help you take back your power.  Realize, that often, we seek a known, over an unknown, no matter the cost. But this creates more negative self-talk and will ultimately end in disaster. If you can’t move on, don’t say you can. 

Side note: I do believe some people can change. They can stop cheating, lying, drinking, etc. They can become better people and partners. However, they won’t be able to do so if they’re constantly reminded of their failures. This is not the formula for a healthy relationship and will prevent both of you from moving forward. 

Again, trust yourself enough to do what’s best for you.

The truth is being on the receiving end of a lie will never feel good whether it’s on the news, from a loved one, family member, or friend. A great mantra you might want to remember is, “I may not be able to trust others all of the time, but I can trust myself!” 

Joao silas magnifying glass writing with pencil on paper

Photo by João Silas on Unsplash

Don’t spend hours or days beating yourself up while reading books on how to spot a liar. That’s living in a constant state of victimhood. My grandma used to say, “If you are looking for a lie, you’ll find one. When you live this way, you are telling your subconscious mind the world is a dark place, and I will be ready. You aren’t living in a state of trust and love where you deserve to be living. Though, it’s human nature to reflect; you don’t need to relive the pain and turn into an amateur detective. Instead, spend that time building yourself up. 

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Here are some suggestions on how to change your negative self-talk now! 

Instead of saying:

I was lied to- I trusted deeply. 

I was betrayed- I loved bravely. 

I was foolish- I did not have the correct information. 

I was gullible- I believed what was presented to me by a deceptive person. 

I wish I’d never – I’m thankful for the lesson. 

They are evil- They chose to tell a lie. 

We are here for you and believe in you. If you need some help moving forward, we can help. Send us a message.

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