Are You A Liar or A Diplomat?

The other day, I met a highly educated gentleman in one of the mentorship sessions for budding entrepreneurs.

The gentleman was intelligent, educated, smart & was well aware of whatever was happening in his industry. He works very hard & gets results.

Yet, he was worried that he could be fired from his job. He also felt that if he resigns today, his bosses/superiors would not ask him to continue or even ask him the reason for his leaving.


How is it possible? A hard working, smart person feeling like THAT?

After a little prodding, we came to know that the gentleman in question had a problem with lies (truth, actually!). He doesn’t like people who lie or say something & do something else. Who praise everyone on their faces and say something else behind their backs. Who don’t call a spade a spade!

Sounds familiar, right?

He would also get agitated easily about petty things that people do and get away with. I am sure you understand the sort of person this gentleman seemed to be. Honest, hardworking, sincere & straight. No-nonsense sorta guy.

I am sure you come across people like these every day, or maybe YOU are one of them.

Nothing wrong with feeling this way. The world is full of crooks, liars and bad people & we dont want to be one of them. Right?

But there is a thin line between a liar and someone who uses his words carefully & gets along with people. Which helps him grow/succeed in all directions.

Why to chose words carefully when we have been told to tell the truth, no matter what?

Simple answer: It is not lying exactly, but if you could use better words to tell the truth, its more palatable & doesn’t necessarily hurt others. Resulting in better relationships in the long run.

Some time back I wrote a post called, How You Say It Matters, which emphasizes upon our use of words. Case in point, how would you approach a person who is devoid of the ability to see this world? How would you ask him what went wrong with his eyes?

Consider these two options:

Option 1: Sir, when did you become blind?

Option 2. Sir, since when do you have this problem with your eyes?

Same question, different words. Which one will sound better to the ears? Got the idea?

The person still cant see, but the way you said it changed the situation in your favor. And he feels that someone cares for him. You would still care for him even if you used option 1. But he might not notice/feel it.

Even the kindest of deeds require a little ‘something’… Which surely tilts the situation in your favor. Even a smile could go a long way than we can imagine.

Now, superimpose the same thing to a situation with a boss or a subordinate & imagine if you could use your words a little more carefully, you could easily avoid conflicts at your workplace or even at home with your spouse, parents, siblings or gf/bf.

Try it!

Now, I am NOT asking you to start lying from today because thats the only way to survive…

Not at all!

What I AM requesting is to choose your words carefully. Just wait 2 seconds before you say what you want to say. That gap will bring positive results in no time.

You could also use it to reduce your anger by stopping & thinking before you go ballistic over an argument!

One can’t work all alone in this world. Even if you own a business, sooner or later you will still have to hire people to work with you. If you dont know how to get along with people, as a subordinate or even as a boss, you could have problems.

As someone said it beautifully, “No one can whistle a symphony, it takes an orchestra to play it.”

 You must have studied or read about Emotional Intelligence. It has been proven that a person’s EQ is more important than her IQ. Because, one could be very smart, educated & brilliant but if one doesn’t know how to get along with people, one could as well be a failure in the long run. To know more about Emotional Intelligence, click here.

But the million dollar question is not how to use it, but is it lying, or being smart or kind or a diplomat?


Stay blessed.


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  • nx8

    Glad to visit your blog. Thanks for this great post that you
    share to us

  • Shahzad Sultan Ali

    Thanks for sharing…I must say we should accept this positively and implement in our daily life and see how people loves your company.

  • AndiBB

    Such an excellent point, Nurrudin!  I am reading a fascinating book about the clashing of cultures (THE SPIRIT CATCHES YOU AND YOU FALL DOWN).  A Hmong child, her American doctors trying to help this little girl with severe epilpsy.  Her family roots are Chinese but have strong cultural ways that they carried with them to Laos and Thailand, embroiled in war with unimaginable obstacles to surviving.

    In California finally, they do not speak English, cannot read yet are bright, hard-working, ethical and loyal to a fault to their ancient traditions.  A hospital social worker accompanied by an interpreter, was sent by the public health department to visit a woman with tuberculosis who had refused to take her isoniazid tablets.  As the worker tried to speak to the patient, she was told through the interpreter, You should talk to her husband.  The social worker went to him to ask why he didn’t want his wife to take the medicine.  No, No, said the interpreter.  Don’t ask him that yet.  First you should wish him some things.  The worker told the husband she wished his children would never be sick, that their rice bowls would never be empty, that his family would always stay together and that his people would never be at war again.  As she spoke, the husband’s hands which had been clenched, releaxed.  Now, said the interpreter, you can ask him why his wife isn’t taking the medicine.  The husband then answered that if she took the medicine, their baby would be born without arms or legs.  The worker touched the patient’s abdomen and told the husband that if the baby didn’t already have arms and legs, the woman wouldn’t be so big, and the baby wouldn’t be kicking.  The husband nodded, walked into the other room, returned with a giant bottle, dumped the content into the worker’s hands and said that his wife would take the pills.

    Even dealing with people within our same culture can be tricky.  We each have our own belief systems.  We may think it is inappropriate to discuss social stances in the work place, yet we can find an employee who holds a grudge against you, mistakenly believing you disrespect women for example.  The consequences of a simple misunderstanding can threaten your ability to accomplish your goals at work.  We must be clear.  We must never threaten by our actions and words, even when we never intended to do so.  We must think things through.  Be explicity.  Appease sensitivities.  Be caring.

    I believe people must dislike me.  Everyone can’t like everyone.  But if you don’t like me, I want it to be for a real reason.  Not a miscommunication of my intentions and attitudes.

    Love this blog!  Thank you for sharing…

    Blessings and Light to all,

  • Sarz I Q

    Excellent blog! One must not lie, but speak in  a manner and tone that is appropriate for certain persons, occasions and venues. It is truly an art, learning how to relay your comments/ feelings in the most effective manner. Especially when you are in the corporate world and must tread cautiously at each step. Thank you for highlighting this concern of ‘to lie or not to lie’. 

    I believe white lies are essential in all relationships, but that’s my opinion.

    • Thanks for the comment, Sarz I Q.
      Yes, there is a vast difference between telling a lie and not bluntly telling the truth.
      Stay blessed.

      • Ishaq Khan

        Excellent article ….

        • Thanks a lot, Mr Ishaq Khan.
          Hope it helps all of us to grow.
          Please share freely with others.
          Stay blessed.