Second entry in the 31 Days of Writing, Five Minute Friday edition! Today’s prompt is “Tell”. Let’s do this!
I used to play poker with friends every week. We thought ourselves better than we probably were (although some of the group was able to successfully play online or at the local tournaments). It was fun, but also challenging. Playing with friends is both good and bad because often friends know your “tell”s. These are the little things was does that gives away when they’re lying about a hand – whether it be because it is better or worse than what you’re betting doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is people at the table know when you aren’t telling the truth. That problem spills over to our “real” lives. Every day in small ways, we are deceiving ourselves and others and we try not to give it away that we aren’t being totally honest.
When people ask how we are, we often say “fine” or “good” when we really aren’t. When people ask how work is, we often tell them it’s going well even if it isn’t. We say yes to helping out when we would much rather be sitting at home, taking a deep breath and trying to have a moment of zen. We tell ourselves we are doing our best when really we are simply doing what we feel like doing. We tell ourselves we don’t have time to rest or relax or eat or sleep when we know that we really don’t MAKE time for those things. And most people aren’t invested enough to care that we are lying, even if we have a tell. And we are so good at deceiving ourselves that we don’t know our own tells.
I’m not sure what the point of all this is. Perhaps that we need to start being more honest with ourselves and each other. Perhaps that we need to start being more perceptive about other’s and looking for those tells so we can be there when they need us. Perhaps it is just an FYI that we are all pretty good at lying to ourselves and others, even those that are pretty honest for the most part.