Cathy: We’ve talked about before about what to do if you’re caught in a lie or you catch somebody else in a lie. Someone wrote in and said, “My boyfriend has lied to me a number of times now, and he told me that he wanted to do something, and then he changed his mind, and I consider that a lie. What do I do now?” I’d like to discuss the difference between changing your mind and telling a lie.

Reid: Cathy Vartuli from the Intimacy Dojo is on fire.

Cathy: This is Reid Mihalko from

Reid: There’s smoldering, smoldering warmth.

Cathy: Realize that telling a lie is, for most people, different than changing their mind. It doesn’t mean we’re not disappointed by both. It doesn’t mean that some person changing their mind doesn’t have repercussions and things that might need to be cleaned up, but a lie is telling something that we know to be untrue, versus changing your mind means that the truth and reality may have changed, things may have changed. I want to go to the park with you on Saturday. Oh, it’s pouring rain. I changed my mind. I do not want to go to the park. I meant it when I said I wanted to go to the park on Tuesday, but I realize now that I do not want to go to the park in the pouring rain. That doesn’t mean I told a lie. It means that I changed my mind. 

Reid: Where this gets tricky is some people need you to keep your word, so you not keeping your word, then becomes you lied to me, which is a fallacy, because I can have only have told you the truth then if I go through with the thing, and so that’s where it gets really tricky, and people will call you out on your integrity, which usually means that you haven’t built into your relationships or found common ground for this changing your mind thing. If you’ve ever had a loved one or family member say yes to go do something with you, and then, while you were doing it, you realized that that family member didn’t really want to be doing it.

Cathy: It’s a horrible feeling.

Reid: Usually they are the ones who are ruining the entire experience, because they’re being a grumpy pants whatever, or passive aggressive whomever, and so really one thing I try to help people with is realize do you want them to keep their word and make you miserable, or do you want to create spaces where people can change their mind, and then you can figure out what you need in mind changing to feel good about the situation, and those people need lots of different things.

Cathy: Different people find the balance in different places. There are certain things like, “Okay, I need a ride from the airport. I have no other way to go. Can I count on you to pick me up at the airport? You don’t really get to change your mind, unless you send me cab fare or something.”

Reid: There’s exceptions. “Oh, my kid just fell down the well.”

Cathy: I can’t go to the park.

Reid: “I have to take care of my kid,” and then, all of a sudden, you’re stranded at the airport, but you’re okay with it. You’re inconvenienced. A lot of people don’t take the time to walk themselves through what they actually need. I grew up in a family where one of my parents lied a lot, and it wrecked the family. We lost our home. My mom and dad lived in a van. It was fucked up. Then there’s withholding information.


Cathy: Or telling something that’s directly untrue.

Reid: Yeah. There’s different kinds of lies, and some people don’t know what lies they’re fine with. “Oh, you lost your job, and you’re so afraid and ashamed, you didn’t tell me,” versus, “You knowingly embezzled money. Put me in a position of danger and never told me.” Those are very different lies, even though the emotional hit …

Cathy: Could be very similar.

Reid: May be very similar when you find out. You might want to spend some time really figuring out this thing for yourself, about what kind of lying is okay.

Cathy: And what your tolerance is for people changing their mind. If I have a friend who usually they almost always show up, it’s not a big deal if they say, “Hey, tonight I don’t really don’t want to visit Kohls. I changed my mind.” If I have a friend that’s constantly saying, “Yep,” I don’t believe you anymore. I don’t want to necessarily budget my schedule for you. I might book something where you can come along when I go out with someone else.

Reid: Based on the way the question was written, I’m going to assume if this person had never lied to you, then you would probably have less of an upset.

Cathy: We’re actually talking about your three strike rule.

Reid: Oh, my three strike rule.

Cathy: Yeah. She felt like he had lied to her the third time, when he’d actually changed his mind about going forward with something.

Reid: Okay. That’s a whole other thing.

Cathy: That’s a whole other thing.

Reid: We’re going to shoot another video on the three strike rule just for that, and so you know what that means, so watch the next video. Get clear on what changing mind, what you need around that, because everyone’s needs are different, and then you just find the common ground that works, because to have a relationship where neither one of you can ever change your mind, I’ll tell you right now, that’s not healthy.

Cathy: Yeah.

Reid: Then you can hide behind, “But you said so. You have to keep your word. You need to have integrity,” but that’s go to sink the entire relationship over time. And learn how to keep your word, and keeping your word is so much easier to do when you both know how you can change your mind and communicate that.

Cathy: Yeah, and where the wiggle room is.

Reid: Yeah. Cool. Leave some comments.

Cathy: Yeah. We’d love to know what you think.

Reid: It’s a great question. Another video coming right now.