The truth finally caught up to Lance Armstrong. Why did he decide to share his story with Oprah? Was he trying to convince the public that he is remorseful and sorry for his lies? Were you convinced? I don’t think he was very convincing. I listen to stories everyday in my practice where people hide from the truth. In some cases, they have chosen to live a life filled with lies. Those close to them want to believe them just as we want to believe our perceived heroes. Obviously, lies destroy relationships, but they also create a lonely existence since it is difficult to be close to a liar. Trust and transparency are essential for healthy relationships.
Although Lance acknowledged his mistakes, he still was focused on justification, rationalization, and blame. He, like many of the people I work with in therapy, will only start healing after they’ve acknowledged their issues. Oprah did a good job in asking some difficult questions, but I wish she would’ve asked how he intends to stay on the “right path” and make good decisions for his future. He could’ve used this opportunity to help others who have lied and have a desire to change by focusing more on the process of change.
In other blogs I’ve spoken about ways to build humility, compassion, emotional intelligence, and respect. But how does a person who has fallen out of grace and been knocked off a very tall pedestal convince others that he can lead a life of integrity, honesty, and respect? People can change, people do change and the differences following change are remarkable. While change is often painful, this pain is time-limited whereas remaining dysfunctional produces endless pain. Learn next week ways to build trust and heal relationships after betrayal and deceit.