Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Greatest Lie I keep Telling...

It's Thursday and we're continuing the celebration of release week for Buzz Girl Stephanie Hale's new book, The Alpha Bet.

In celebration of her book about lies told... we are dishing about lies this week on the blog. You've heard some whoppers already - I mean, who can beat Tina's story about being a made-up physicist leading to meeting her true love - but I wanted to talk about a different kind of lie.

Did you ever see the movie The Usual Suspects? It's one of my favorites and has one of the best endings ever written in Hollywood. In the movie, Kevin Spacey says a line something like, "The greatest lie the devil ever told was convincing mankind that he didn't exist." It's a prophetic statement because it has much to do with the unfolding plot, but it also seems to point to a bigger idea about the world.

So what's your greatest lie ever told?

The longer I live, the more I realize the greatest lie ever told (and continue to tell!) is, "I can handle this on my own." How many times have I said those words, only to realize that I need my friends, family, and other folks to help me handle something.

Sometimes it's a good lie. Seriously, for perfectionists or overachievers, the lie that everything's fine and it's all going to work out, is almost a necessary mantra. It's part of optimism, a little bit of ego that helps you push through whatever task is at hand. The part that comes as a surprise is just how much you do need other people to help you get the job done. And, even more surprising is the fact that even though you are nowhere near perfect, it's okay to let them see you in your imperfection. They want to help you. And, P.S. -- they already know you're not perfect!

Need an example? Picture me baking four dozen buttermilk biscuits the night before my launch party for The Clearing and trying to manage those along with the other snacks, getting into a cute dress, preparing my talk, and packing for a vacation that was supposed to happen the very next day. When my handsome entourage of one came to pick me up, I just about collapsed into his arms from the sheer relief.

The reality is that you need your loved ones to help you out. You need your friends to cheer you across the finish line. Sometimes, I need reminding.


Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the lie that you can handle something on your own?

Post in comments a few words about telling the "I got this" fib and then realizing you needed help. How did it turn out? Post your story and I'll draw a winner this weekend for a copy of Steph's fun new book!



Wherever You Go - Harcourt - Coming in Fall 2011

The Clearing - Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Never Cry Werewolf - HarperTeen


Jennifer Rummel said...

I have that feeling usually ever Christmas season. I try to make candy, cookies, and artsy items for everyone on our list. And I try to do it all myself, but last year my husband stepped into make cookies and no one received any candy.

It's always hard because of NANOWRIMO and not much gets done in November as a result!

TinaFerraro said...

Several times this past year we have been put on evacuation alert for fire and flooding, and I had frantically believed I could handle it all the decision making and car packing myself. But when my husband was around to help, my stress level would drop considerably, making me realize that not only was I not superwoman, but that that was okay!

stephhale said...

I'm terribly guilty of this, Heather. It has always been so hard for me to ask for help for some reason. :) Great post.

Wendy Toliver said...

Great post, Heather! I've told that lie too, and it's the worst when my stubborness about accepting or asking for help impacts someone else.

Cara King said...

Wow, Heather, that's kind of a deep post...

Yes, I have told that sort of lie. I think my main problem is that I hate it when people don't believe what I if they ever question something I've said, I get mad. And I become determined that what I've said is matter what.

So sometimes I've said "I can handle that" back when I thought I could...and by the time I realize I need help, I've gotten so mad at everyone who kept implying I couldn't handle whatever it is, that I can't bear to admit I was wrong and need help!

Yeah, kind of screwed up, I know. ;-)


Erica said...

I'm 100% guilty of using that lie. I say it all the time, I take so much on my plate, wanting to do it all then I get stressed when I am not finishing things fast enough.

GirlforChrist said...

I really get angry when someone tries to tell me what to do, if I know what I'm doing. I know that sounds really pig-headed, but let me use an example.

Person A: (is designing a website)
Person B: "You're obviously doing that wrong!!"

Person A: (startled) "What do you mean? You've never designed a website before!"
Person B: "Well, I haven't, but I know what it's supposed to look like, and that's not it!!!"

See what I mean? :D

Llehn said...

Yes, when I'm at my friend's / relative's place and I offer to clean up / cook, etc. and I know I can't handle it all by myself.

nymfaux said...

I just got finished moving and I'm still not unpacked yet. My sister is a recovering hoarder and we still had a mountain of stuff in our garage that she hadn't gone through in the two years since our last move. I was/am still so overwhelmed I don't know where to start or when we'll ever be finished. We rented a temporary storage, just so that we could finally be out of our apartment, and now we need to be out of that. I quit two jobs to move with my sister, because I worry about her by herself and I couldn't afford the rent on my own right now. I could have really used some help packing, but my friends would ask in the same breath as they would tell me how busy they were, and I could see the vacant looks in there eyes, so of course I told everyone that "I was fine."

And of course we will be fine, and everything will work out, because it always does, but it still kind of sucks.

Sorry if that's too TMI, I didn't realize I was holding on to all of that, but it feels therapeutic, so thanks

stephhale said...

Congrats to Thursday's winner, Erika! Plz send your info to