I was lying.

While I didn’t realize it then, I see it now.

I was discussing an issue with a friend and said, “I’m not trying to be tit-for-tat, but…” 

You can finish that sentence with something like “I drive every time” or “we always go to her place.” 

I was DEFINITELY being tit-for-tat. 

Examining what comes after we say “I’m a…,” produces helpful insight into our identity and who we believe we can be. In the same way, we can learn a lot by reflecting on what we say we aren’t

I’m not a big tv person. I’m not a gossip. I’m not one to judge.

These statements reveal our denial.

An obvious example of this is how “I’m not racist, but….” guarantees a racist statement will follow. 

Why the need to say you’re not if you’re not? Why do you feel you would be perceived that way? Is there any merit to that perception?

Not every “I’m not…” statement will follow this pattern. But some will. 

It’s an opportunity for reflection.

After acknowledging that I can be tit-for-tat, I dug deeper into what that meant for me. I realized that I put a lot of weight on fairness, and while that can appear to be a just cause, fairness isn’t always objective or useful. 

Had I continued to deny my tendency, I never would have explored this. 

We all love positive reflection, but growth requires the harder looks as much if not more. Hey, it can’t all be affirmations and goal setting.

And in my case, everyone around me already knew my penchant for fairness. (I guess splitting the bill down to the penny might have tipped them off?) Recognizing your denial reveals what others already knew. 

At least now I can stop lying and just split the bill.

To being better without denying our flaws,