Even though we’re all aware that lying is wrong in almost every circumstance, we still do it. Why do we lie? Because we are afraid of what others might think of us? Because we believe people won’t understand our intentions (which are probably selfish)? Do we lie to be accepted? And what about the lies we tell ourselves?
In most cases, we lie to protect ourselves or others from the hard truth. We lie because we believe lying is for the best under the circumstances, in order to save face, or to avoid conflict, rejection or loss and often, to avoid hurting someone else.
However, even when we lie with good intentions, lying doesn’t go unpunished. That’s not to say some higher power will punish us for lying, but the consequences eventually do catch up to us. And the outcome is often worse than what would have occurred if we’d just told the truth in the first place. In the meantime, we carry with us the guilt and anxiety that comes with lying.
Big and little lies
As the saying goes, to be a good liar, you have to have a damn good memory. Sooner or later the truth will come to light. Even if it doesn’t, it might torture you forever. Besides, do you really want to have to do all that work of remembering which lies you told to whom, and keep the truth sorted out from a bunch of falsehoods?
Pamela Meyer, author of “Liespotting,” suggests that we all lie between about 10 – 200 times a day! That’s a whole lot of lying, but Meyer includes several types of lies, including the relatively harmless types, for example: “No thanks, I don’t want dessert” to “I didn’t have time to take out the garbage.” White lies, lying by exaggerating, lying by omission and dead-on lying– these are all types of lying we all fall into at any given time.
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