Stop and think for a moment. Is there someone in your life that, for some reason you can’t describe, you feel isn’t being 100% honest or truthful? Maybe you haven’t actually caught him in a lie but you have a sixth sense that you can’t trust everything he says.
I have one colleague like that and I decided to find out why I felt that way. The next few times I ran into Travis (pseudonym of course,) I started listening carefully to isolate what gave him that untruthful air. Soon it became evident. It was because he often started sentences with phrases like, “I honestly think . . .” “I truthfully don’t know why . . .” “I sincerely want the best for her . . .” and “speaking frankly . . .”
Hmm, I mused, does that mean that Travis usually doesn’t speak honestly, truthfully, sincerely, and frankly? Does he have to announce it the few times that he actually is? Once when he said “Well, to be perfectly honest with you,” I had to bite my tongue to squelch blurting out, “Gee, I assumed you always do, Travis.”
My poor, perhaps misjudged, colleague could be as honest as Abe Lincoln was reputed to be. But, rightly or wrongly, the numerous allusions to his truthfulness made me doubt his sincerity. I find that salespeople, especially the fast-talking ones, often use these declarations of truth which I call “fibber phrases.”
COOL-COMMUNICATING TIP: Avoid inadvertently using “fibber phrases,” words that allude to the fact that you’re telling the truth. People may think that you don’t ALWAYS tell the truth!