Integrity: What if We Weren’t So Full of Sh*t?
Are you uncomfortable when someone ghosts or avoids you?
And how can you quickly leverage honesty as a super power?
Today we’re going to take a quick dive into the uncomfortable topic of integrity. We’re going to shine a light on the ways we fudge the truth, the costs of doing so, and the opportunity to use honesty to great advantage.
Today we’re going to discuss:
- The pandemic of social bullsh*tting
- How people pleasing kills our opportunities for financial gain, sex, and friendship
- The cost of transactional relationships
- Ways to say “no” and clean up our mistakes
- The simple (but not easy) way to stand out from the crowd
Below is a transcript of this podcast:
Alright. This is a pretty serious topic. It might sting a bit, but the message is worthwhile. All of us — myself included — could use a tune up in this department. So let’s keep a sense of humor and not take ourselves too seriously.
Here we go…
I’ve heard a lot of complaints from guys in my 15+ years of coaching. They often don’t understand why there seems to be a glass ceiling in their work and personal lives.
“Why is it so hard to get in the door with these organizations? It seems like the cool opportunities are passing me by.”
“Why is my wife so reluctant to have sex with me? It seems like she’s constantly nagging me or frustrated with me.”
“Why is it so hard to find real friends? It seems like the guys I want to hang out with don’t include me in their get togethers.”
Well, we can’t control what others think or say or do, but we can take 100% responsibility for ourselves. Which means that if we’re tired of feeling like we’re “missing out” on work and life, then let’s take a hard look in the mirror. Let’s consider what we may be doing to push great opportunities away.
More specifically, let’s consider how our mouth is killing our opportunities.
For example, how many times per day do we say things like…
“I’ll get back to you about that.”
“Let’s get together soon.”
“I’m going to get that handled.”
And then let’s ask ourselves how often we actually follow through.
Here’s why this matters.
We’re Living in a Pandemic of Social Bullshit
We’re living in a pandemic of social bullshit. We live in a culture that tolerates people pleasing. We tell ourselves what we want to hear, and we tell others what they want to hear.
But we rarely back it up.
On top of that, we regularly avoid or ghost folks when they ask us a question or make a proposal that we’re uncomfortable committing to. We just ignore people as if they won’t notice the deafening silence.
We smile as others bullshit us, but deep down we know what they’re saying isn’t true. We smile as we bullshit others, but deep down we know what we’re saying isn’t true.
We don’t believe anybody, and nobody believes us. We tolerate this shallow, flimsy way of relating, and then wonder why we’re lacking depth and meaning in our lives.
Walking on Thin Ice
This limp-noodle excuse for relating erodes the power of our word. Which means that, like a wall that lacks structural integrity, eventually our word doesn’t hold up much either.
So what is this doing to our opportunities for a greater life, work, or relationships?
Well, let me ask you this…
If you were going to walk out on to a frozen lake, and your first few steps were on thin ice, would you trust it? Would you risk going any further out?
Hell to the no.
And yet, we’re regularly undermining the integrity of our word when we tolerate this flimsy, fragile version of communicating. We’re co-creating relationships that can’t hold the weight and responsibility that would come with the bigger opportunities we say we want.
Waiting to Bring Our Best
Most of us are waiting for something to “matter” before we bring our best. Once we see that there’s something truly worth our presence or time or energy, then we decide it will be worth bringing our integrity.
Think about it…
How often does a guy ignore his wife, but then as soon as he wants sex he suddenly starts paying attention?
How often does a colleague blow us off only to become all chummy when he wants an invite to the fun-stuff?
It’s like a snot-nosed kid who only gets his act together two weeks before Christmas. That’s because, in his mind, he’s going to get something in return. To him, that’s when doing his best matters.
But consider this:
It. Always. Matters.
Whether we’re aware of it or not, we’re either building trust and connection or we’re tearing it down.
And this transactional way of living carries a huge cost.
The Cost of Being Full of Shit
Professionally speaking, nobody wants to give significant responsibility to an ass kisser or a bullshitter. We want someone who we can trust all the time — not just when it’s convenient or comfortable.
Being transactional erodes the fabric of our marriage. After all, why would your wife want to be intimate with you if you only bring your best when you want something from her? Why would she want to have your body so close to hers if, on a subtle level, she doesn’t believe what you say half the time?
And on a personal level, bullshitting ourselves erodes our own peace of mind. It breeds anxiety when we say we’re going to do X when we truly don’t mean to.
That’s because when we bullshit ourselves we do one of two things:
(1) We exhaust ourselves by taking on the task in order to please others. We live in constant pressure and overwhelm and scarcity from struggling to carry six gallons in a five gallon bucket
(2) We realize that we’ve overpromised, that we’ve bitten off more than we can chew, and so we hide out in hopes that others will forget what we said.
Regardless, perpetuating these little lies eats away at our ability to simply enjoy our lives. It’s death by a thousand cuts.
So how can we turn this around? And how can we turn this sad state of reality into an opportunity to enjoy the experiences we truly want?
How to Be Less Full of Shit
The bar is set so low these days that honesty and integrity are extra-ordinary in the literal sense of the word. If you want to stand out from the crowd; if you want to attract great opportunities; if you want to have rock solid friendships and relationships then just do this…
Show up. Tell the truth.
Do what you say you’re going to do.
And don’t agree to do things you aren’t going to do.
If someone says you should get together for XYZ, slow down and ask yourself, “Do I actually want to do this? Am I even available to do this?” Now, if you’re a true ‘yes’, then pull out your phone and schedule it right then. After all, you’re both carrying a calendar in your pocket. Kill the opportunity to be a flake and commit right there and then. This level of directness will blow them away.
On the other hand, if you’re prone to people please then instead of unconsciously agreeing to do something say, “I’d like to believe I’ll have that to you by Friday. I need to look at my calendar, and make sure I can make that happen. I will commit to follow up and give you a firm agreement within 2 hours.”
Either way. Make a commitment and stick to it. Be a yes or be a no. Stay out of the murky bog of “maybe.”
Nobody is Perfect
Now let’s be clear. Having integrity isn’t about being perfect. It’s simply about owning the truth. So if you drop the ball, instead of trying to convince us that you spent the week being anally-probed by aliens, just own it. “Hey, I said I would get X to you by today, but that isn’t going to happen. I’m not going to sweep this under the rug. I want to acknowledge this and recommit to Y by next Friday.”
We know you’re human. Bullshitting us with excuses or sweeping shit under the rug kills trust. On the other hand, owning your imperfections makes you trustworthy.
Think about it. Who would you rather have in your corner: Someone who was full of shit and only told you what you wanted to hear or someone who is imperfect and trustworthy?
Consider that one way of living with integrity means we act in alignment with the way that we would want to be treated. Meaning, we don’t bullshit others when we would be pissed if others lied to us.
And remember this…
Saying “No” is an Option
Saying “no” is an option. It’s always an option to say, “I would love to be able to say yes to that right now, but I’m not going to.”
Consider that we can handle this information. Consider that our friendship can handle a little friction from time to time.
Treat us like adults and we’re more likely to act like adults. Treat us like fragile, entitled children who can’t handle reality, and, well, we’ll act like fragile, entitled children.
(And as an aside — if the people in your life would prefer you to be full of shit instead of honest, it’s time to consider why these folks are in your life.)
What if You’re Not in Danger?
Now, I get it. This is all very easy to discuss and much harder to practice. Our primitive nervous systems are hardwired to avoid conflict and disappointment. But let’s consider that this discomfort is far less “dangerous” than our ancient brains would have us believe.
Developing the awareness to slow down and actually check in with what we want is crucial. And practices like meditation and journaling will help us cultivate the presence of mind to know when we’re bullshitting ourselves in the moment.
Bottom line: It will take practice to break the habit of bullshitting. But I would propose that the ends greatly justify the means.
Put the Wind at Your Back
Suddenly — just by being honest! — you stand out from the herd of people pleasing sheep and bullshitters.
Relationships are cleaner and more rewarding because you’re not walking on eggshells.
Opportunities come more easily because we know you’re someone we can count on.
And you reclaim your peace of mind because you’re not juggling or bending over backwards because you’ve been fudging the truth.
We’ll trust you more because you’re not simply telling us what we want to hear. We’ll know that we can count on you to be honest — not just when it’s convenient or comfortable.
“Wow. This guy’s for real. He’s solid. He’s not f’ing around.”
Don’t take my word for it. Try it for yourself. Start small. Experiment. Consider that short term discomfort is often far more preferable than long term suffering. And consider that telling the truth is far less “dangerous” than your brain wants you to believe.
When in doubt, simply ask yourself how you would want to be treated. You may find that far more effective at creating solid relationships and opportunities than people-pleasing or avoiding discomfort.
If you’d like to learn more about having ‘dangerous’ conversations and owning what you want without being a dick, check out This Book Will Make You Dangerous.
Let’s remember to keep our sense of humor, and here’s to all of us living with greater freedom, aliveness, love, and peace of mind.
Tripp Lanier is…
Tripp Lanier is the author of This Book Will Make You Dangerous, and host of The New Man Podcast: Beyond the Macho Jerk and the New Age Wimp which — for over a decade — has been downloaded millions of times.
As a Professional Coach…
Since 2005, he has spent thousands of hours coaching people all around the world to get out of the rat race, become an authority in their field, and make a great living doing the work they were put on this earth to do. Over the years he’s designed several businesses to support a simple lifestyle focused on freedom, ease, meaning, and fun.
As Host of The New Man Podcast…
Tripp Lanier has conducted hundreds of interviews with experts and authors from all walks of life including:
- Tim Ferriss (The 4 Hour Workweek, The 4 Hour Body, The 4 Hour Chef)
- Laird Hamilton (Big wave surfing legend)
- Ryan Holiday (The Obstacle is the Way, The Ego is the Enemy, The Daily Stoic)
- Phil Stutz and Barry Michels (The Tools, Coming Alive)
- Dan Millman (Way of the Peaceful Warrior)
- Steven Pressfield (The War of Art, Turning Pro)
- Robert Greene (48 Laws of Power, Mastery)
- Steven Kotler (The Rise of Superman, Stealing Fire)
- Mark Manson (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck)
- Aubrey Marcus (Founder/CEO of Onnit)
- Dr. Robert Glover (No More Mr Nice Guy)
- Navy SEAL Mark Divine (Unbeatable Mind, The Way of the SEAL)
- Jonathan Haidt (The Happiness Hypothesis, The Righteous Mind, The Coddling of the American Mind)
- Neil Strauss (The Game, The Truth)
- Alan Alda (legendary actor and NY Times best selling author)
As a Human Guinea Pig…
Tripp has thrown himself into everything from 10 day silent meditation retreats to plant medicine journeys to men’s groups in the Costa Rican jungle to somatic sex intensives in his bedroom to drinks with Zen masters — He even learned some life lessons by hanging out backstage with David Lee Roth.
At the age of 23, Tripp created one of the first digital video post-production companies in the Southeast. To support his music career and love for travel, he crafted TV shows and commercials for national and regional clients. Wanting to align his personal values with his work in the world, he sold the company after 12 years to become a professional coach. Other contributions include working with world-renowned philosopher Ken Wilber as Co-Director of Integral Institute’s Art Center.
Tripp is married to therapist/relationship coach Alyson Lanier and has the best daughter in the whole wide world. They live in a small beach town in North Carolina where he spends much of his time surfing, playing music, and enjoying a simple life.