One of the lies we tell is that we can tell when someone is lying to us - that's a lie. There's only a 50% chance of being correct.
Whether we choose to admit it or not, lying is something we do. From the casual white lies to the more complicated deceptions, lying seems to be a part of our lives. And we all say that we hate liars, despite the fact that we are one ourselves.
So why do people lie? Most of us share the same motives for telling lies; avoiding punishment or embarrassment, receiving a reward, protecting someone or ourselves, privacy, the thrill of it, or just being polite.
Honesty may be the best policy, but scheming and dishonesty are part of what makes us human.
Now how early do we learn to lie? While measuring lying behavior in young children, studies suggest that we are capable of deceiving at a very young age; babies can fake a cry, pause, wait to see who's coming and then go right back to crying, two-year-olds can bluff and by the time we are 5, we can manipulate via flattery.
Researchers speculate that lying has been around since the appearance of language. The ability to manipulate others without using physical force likely conferred an advantage in the competition for resources and mates, lying was and is a way of gaining power.
When we think about dishonesty, we think of corporate scandals and politics or maybe it's the cheaters in our lives. The truth is we are all liars, some more than others but lying is woven into our daily lives and businesses, we are against it but secretly for it in our own actions; its part of our culture and history.
We might go a little too fast on the highway, or say that "It must have gone to my SPAM folder", but we're still mostly decent human beings, right?
Small lies are common and when we lie, it's not always a conscious or rational choice. We want to lie and we want to benefit from our lying, but we also want to be able to look in the mirror and see ourselves as good, honest people.
Lying is an attempt to bridge that gap, to connect our wishes and our fantasies about who we wish we were, how we wish we could be, with what we're really like. And boy are we willing to fill in those gaps in our lives with lies. - Pamela Meyer
I lie, there I said it, I'm a liar. I remember lying in grade school, maybe to hide something or look cooler; I definitely lied to fit in. For example, I would lie about my shoe size, yes my shoe size?! I desperately wanted to be more like the other girls, so I said I wore a EU 37 (I still wear a size 35/35,5). I even ran track and field in shoes that were way too big for me, just to keep the lie alive. Side note; I was still pretty darn fast regardless.
These days that just sounds ridiculous to me, lying about something so stupid, but that's the thing, we think we are doing ourselves a favor when in reality, who cares about the size of your feet, that doesn't determine who you are or your worthiness.
Sometimes the biggest lies and obstacles are the ones we create and tell ourselves.
Not all lies are the same. Some cause harm to ourselves, some are harmless and some have major consequences.
Lying requires planning, attention, and self-control. But here's the thing, research shows that lies affect more than our reputation, lying generates both emotional and physical issues. "Research has linked telling lies to an increased risk of cancer, increased risk of obesity, anxiety, depression, addiction, gambling, poor work satisfaction, and poor relationships,” says Deirdre Lee Fitzgerald, assistant professor of psychology at Eastern Connecticut State University in Willimantic.
The main way that telling lies impacts our health and longevity is through increased stress. Lying is literally toxic for both your physical and emotional health. The bigger the lies, the bigger the risk of it affecting your health. Have you actually stopped to think about how lying could have an impact on your health? I bet you it has never even crossed your mind.
Though small acts of deception can lead to bigger acts of deception, research also shows that we have plenty of opportunities to lie, cheat, and steal, without getting caught, yet most of us don't take those opportunities.
And while I'm not certain whether I agree on never lying again, I do think we are good people regardless of some of the lies we tell. I mean honesty is a state of mind and we've clearly chosen to be good, haven't we?