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The Way We Lie

By | April 2009
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The Ways We Lie
In the essay, "The Ways We Lie,” the author, Stephanie Ericsson, tells about the many ways people lie and explains the reasons for doing so. In her essay, she talks about ten specific ways of lying that she believes are prevalent in today’s society. First is “the white lie,” which is basically telling a harmless lie instead of the truth, if the truth is destructive. She writes, “Telling a friend he looks great when he looks like hell can be based in a decision that the friends needs a compliment more than a frank opinion” (165). Furthermore, she explains that it is the liar deciding when is best to say the lie, because it is an act of subtle arrogance for anyone to decide what is best for someone else. Like she tells about the incident of an American sergeant during the Vietnam conflict who knew one of his men was killed in action, but listed him as missing so that the man’s family would receive indefinite compensation instead of a small pittance the military gives widows and children (166). Next a “façade” is changing our behavior while avoiding the real truth. The author tells of a lie done with the intent to do wrong. She says that we all put on a façade to one degree or another. Moreover, she writes that a façade can be destructive because it is used to seduce others into an illusion. Then “deflecting” is not answering the question at all. The author tells how people are often up-front about unimportant issues but do not reveal the couple of very important details that change everything. Writing about “out and-out lies” she tells that she likes this one best among other types of lies, because she gets tired of trying to figure out the real meaning behind things. She gives an example of her five-year-old nephew whom she had seen breaking a fence. When she asked him “who broke the fence, he answered, ‘the murderer’” (170). She could not figure out how to respond because he was lying to her face. Furthermore, she talks about “delusion,”...

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