Have you ever heard or read something and thought… “that’s me!”? I had one of those moments while watching a TEDTalk by Pamela Meyer. This TEDTalk focuses on how to become a lie spotter and offers tips on how to tell the difference between honest and dishonest people.
When I heard her say the following, I had to bring up the transcript because I immediately identified with it.
An honest person is going to be cooperative. They’re going to show they’re on your side. They’re going to be enthusiastic. They’re going to be willing and helpful to getting you to the truth. They’re going to be willing to brainstorm, name suspects, provide details. They’re going to say, “Hey, maybe it was those guys in payroll that forged those checks.” They’re going to be infuriated if they sense they’re wrongly accused. And if you ask someone honest what should happen to whomever did forge those checks, an honest person is much more likely to recommend strict rather than lenient punishment.
YES!!!! I love being cooperative and don’t understand the motivation of uncooperative people. I always want to get to the bottom of things, offer suggestions, options for resolution, and I want to address things and put them to rest.
Last week, someone at work took something they hard heard me say and went and told someone else. Not a big deal, but I felt it wasn’t necessary so I wasn’t too keen on her making my comment the subject of her gossip. I know I can’t control people’s behavior so I always just adjust my attitude or approach. In this case, I opted to begin avoiding her. When she noticed, she asked me if something was wrong. I told her what was bothering me and she clammed up and didn’t say another word so the conversation ended. We haven’t spoken in months. We used to speak, IM, email and text all throughout the day. It’s odd to me that she knows exactly what I’m upset about but she hasn’t owned up to it, admitted it was wrong, apologized, or shown any remorse by acknowledging that perhaps in hindsight she would have handled it differently. In fact, she told another colleague of our that she stands by what she did….The irony is that a week before she was infuriated that someone else was questioning the validity of how she felt about a particular exchange the two of them had. In that instance, she thought her feelings were dismissed and their validity questioned. Her opinion was that her feelings were valid regardless of what that person thought but I guess she doesn’t feel MY feelings are valid and she doesn’t feel compelled to extend me the same courtesy she expected that other person to grant her. I attribute this to her “white privilege” and as an ethnic Caucasian with a hyphenated identify living among non-hyphenated identity white people in America I find this hypocritical.
What I’ve learned about myself through this situation has surprised me. This person who is older than me and should be more mature who considers herself “very self-aware” is actually clueless. I now see how my culture and life perspectives have lead me to where I am and how differently I would have handled this if I were in her shoes.
In another situation this week, I was in a meeting and we began talking about a wrongdoing. The people in the meeting knew exactly who had committed the “crime” yet although I kept suggesting different alternatives for what we could do to address the situation no one was on board with doing anything to address the situation. I always considered myself an honest person, and it’s gotten me into trouble. I’ve learned the hard way that not everyone wants to talk about the elephant in the room. I’ve learned that some people aren’t comfortable with addressing the hard topics or embracing reality and the truth and they prefer to just avoid difficult conversations and confrontation. This TEDTalk reinforced all this… but now I need to find another TEDTalk that could help me learn how to deal with all this.
I now understand that I’m the type of person that seeks resolution and closure while others are ok with leaving things unaddressed. I would like to learn how to be ok with leaving things unresolved … got any tips?