The Truth, The Whole Truth and Nothing But the Truth – Really?

As a motivational speaker, I meet LOTS of people. And I believe that most of them are truthful most of the time – that you can trust what they are telling you. It would be WAY to much work to assume otherwise. If you had to stop and analyze the veracity of every salesperson, technician, friend or co-worker each time they said something, you’d be exhausted by 9 a.m.!

So when I called a carpet store recently to find out if my special order was ready, I was taken aback when the salesperson said, “I’m not going to lie to you. It’s not done.”

Huh? I hesitated and then said, “Okay. How much longer will it be?”

He responded, “Well, um, well… I’m not going to lie to you. It hasn’t actually been started yet.”

I may be slow, but after the second time, I began to wonder. Why was this man continually saying he wasn’t going to lie to me? I ASSUMED he wasn’t going to lie to me – but his repeated comments to that effect left me confused and doubtful.  I began to wonder – had he lied to me before? Was he ABOUT to lie to me again?

Here’s the deal.  If someone is a truthful person, it doesn’t OCCUR to them to lie to you, so it doesn’t occur to them to tell you that they are NOT going lie to you!  So the bottom line?

1.  Tell the truth

2.  Don’t use those words!  (Or related comments like:)

  • “I’ll be perfectly honest with you…”
  • “Can I be frank with you?”

I’m afraid if someone asked me if they could be “frank” with me, I’d be tempted to respond, “No! Please! Not Frank. Be George or Sigmund, but not Frank!”  Or I could be real clever and say something like “What? Are you crazy? Of COURSE you can’t be frank with me! I want LIES, do you hear me? Blatant, elaborate LIES!”

So keep your credibility in tact and lose those ridiculous words.  You’ll be SO much better off!

From your Motivational Speaker, Linda Larsen, who would NEVER like to you!




Motivational Speaker Linda Larsen, CSP has been described by meeting planners and audiences as "hysterically funny," and "riveting." Known for her ability to connect on an authentic and emotional level with audiences, her spontaneous sense of humor, and her engaging and powerful stories, Linda is passionate about sharing ideas to help people live their finest, best, and most productive lives. Her riveting and true story of being kidnapped and held hostage at gunpoint by an escaped convict, and the strategies she used to escape, will give people the tools THEY need to rise above any of life's toughest challenges, to communicate more effectively with THEIR difficult person, and to find creative solutions to THEIR problems. To book motivational speaker, Linda Larsen: 941-927-4700

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  1. Hey Linda – Thanks for the post. This also applies to many a motivational speaker who gets up on stage and says, ‘True story….’ and proceeds to tell a story. My question has always been, if this story is true, does that mean all the other stories haven’t been? Like you, I ASSUME that all the stories I hear from someone, especially a motivational speaker are going to be true. Call me naive, but it would never occur to me to tell a lie! And, THAT’s the truth!!! :)

  2. My therapist said, “Kelly, you’re beyond help. I’m not going to lie to you.” I replied, “Why not? I’ve been lying to you for years!”

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