Tuesday and Thursday 11:00 – 12:15
In What Ways and Why do People Lie?
Lying is around us no matter where we go, all over the world, in every culture, none more than others. We are surrounded by lying especially in advertisement on television and billboards. As a rule lying is very frowned upon in society, although we all take part it in almost every day. This leads us to some questions one might have about lying. How many different ways do people lie, why do they lie, and what different kinds of reactions does lying cause? There are many different ways people can lie. Usually when someone starts discussing lying people immediately think of what is called a direct lie; this is when someone says something that is literally untrue, this being the most offensive way of lying. An example of a direct lie is when an employee lies to their boss about why they didn’t come to work saying they were sick, when they really were going shopping instead. Another way of lying is an indirect lie; this is when something is said that is true but incomplete, leaving out important or critical details. This would be what people consider a “social” lie, when someone just changes small details to make the story more attractive. For example, telling someone that it isn’t very cloudy outside when it is mostly cloudy, as you are trying to convince them to come outside. This is probably the most common form of lying. People also use abstraction to obscure the truth. An example of this would be, when you ask someone what they are doing and they reply with, “I’m busy right now” versus “I’m talking to Joe about an argument we had this morning.” They try to use fewer details to cover up the truth. Sometimes people will also evade answers completely like, if someone would ask a person a question and instead of answering the question they change the subject completely. This is just another way to cover up the truth. All of these are deceptive and result in negative feelings. This then leads us to why people lie. Lying is a way to make one’s self look and feel better. It is just another way to boost your self-esteem. It has been found that it is more common in men to lie to others to make themselves look better, either to boost self-image or move up in ranks. Lies like this would be, “I lifted 150 pounds today on the bench press,” when really that person only lifted 95 pounds. As for women, they more often lie to boost someone else’s self-image or feelings. Women are more prone to nurturing, instead of telling someone how they really look when they ask, they tell them they aren’t overweight when they really are or that there hair isn’t frizzy when it really is. All considered direct lies. Another reason why people lie is to cover up an act or crime that would be frowned upon. For example a husband or wife cheating on their spouse and lying to cover up their tracks to prevent getting caught, or a murderer lying to prevent being incarcerated. Lying can also be used to cover up bad habits such as a drug or alcohol problem. People also lie to get things they want such as a praise or promotion. Lying to cover up your own identity from the world like a Gay man or a Lesbian to keep from being ridiculed is another example. People will even lie to try and keep someone’s trust, even though it is the complete opposite of gaining trust. A person could even lie to protect themselves as a form of self-defense. Even businesses lie to manipulate people to buy their product. Lies take all shapes and forms and can ultimately ruin someone’s life if the lie is told to the wrong person. People who are lying about something don’t usually consider the end result of being negative. They are usually lying to get a positive end reaction, when in truth a lie is never good. Even if it would make someone happy at the current moment, had that person found out they were lied to; they usually end up very upset and hurt in the end. Lies can cause all sorts of reactions. A common reaction people can have to being lied to, besides being upset or hurt, is anger. Some people don’t take deceit well and get very angry about it causing arguments or even in some cases, worse. Lies can even have an end result of legal matter. Lying during a court case or during a police interview is considered perjury, the result ends in the person being incarcerated. Telling a lie to loved ones also causes feeling of guilt in the person who is lying as this person is betraying the trust of someone very close to them. After it is found that someone is a liar it creates an image that in most cases causes people to not want to be friends, they lose all trust in that person and avoid them at most costs. Lying takes all shapes and forms and people lie for so many different reasons only to cause some very distraught reactions. Some people can get away with lying and never get caught. Those people should consider themselves lucky to never have disappointed someone. It’s sad to have to say that lying is such a common thing among humans no matter sex, race, religion, etc.; people do it all the time. We can only hope for a better future in that people are more honest with each other and learn that in the end lying is only an escape not a solution.