Why do people lie? Why do some people seem to NOT be able to tell the truth even when the truth is clearly obvious or evident? What makes a person tell lies instead of the truth?
Liars eventually get caught in their tangled web of lies and deceitfulness. Lying hurts the liar and those who are subjected to the lies of the liar. Lying hurts relationships and it makes the liar untrustworthy. A liar violates the trust others may have had in them when they are caught in their lies. Liars seem to carry an enormous amount of burden upon their shoulders. Think about it….. if you tell a lie, then you have to live a lie and in order to live a lie, you have to remember all the lies you tell and to whom. Remembering the lies becomes quite a heavy burden. Even if the liar lies just a little bit…..the pain they cause hurts alot. Finding out someone you trusted has lied in such a horrific ways makes you wonder why they did this to begin with? It causes you to wonder why they would not just ruin a relationship, but completely break any possibilities of trusting.
Lying can spill over into other areas of your life such as on the job, with co-workers and employees if you run your own business. Some people lie so much that they believe their lies and it then becomes their “truth”. They become habitual liars. People who discover their friend or family member has lied, feels cheated. Especially when the lie is about them or becomes personal.
Why do people feel compelled to lie? First we must understand why the person has lied to begin with. Are they afraid of the truth? Are they afraid of being caught of wrong-doing? Do they lie because there is something they want and feel the only way to get it is to lie? Compulsive or habitual liars seem to be very lonely people. Some liars must embellish stories so that others will befriend or like them…..or so, thinks the liar. A liar who embellishes stories just to win over “friends” will eventually lose their “friends” when their lies have been discovered.
People who go through life lying believe that their lies will make their lives better. A person who lives their life by lying, does so to avoid the pain of living. Their lives seem to be void of happiness and they live their life unfullfilled. Some people try and justify their lies. “They will be mad at me if they know the truth”; “They won’t be my friend if I tell them the truth”. Liars attack their accuser because they believe it makes the lie less than what it is, but the truth is…a lie is a lie and there’s no such thing as a “little white lie”.
A liar lives a miserable life and it seems that they are only happy when everyone around them is just as miserable as they are. It makes no sense. With the case involving my estranged sisters who continue to this day to make up lies and stories of things that never happened, their untruthful internet postings are basically written to try and make my life as miserable as their own. They believe that it is okay to hurt people they know because this is what they themselves were taught as children. They grew up in a very dysfunctional family unit which causes them to continue to live their lives as dysfunctional adults.
Lies diminish feelings we have for one another and lies decrease the love we may have felt for one another. Lies destroy relationships. Lies extinquish hope, trust and friendship as well as remove any possibility to believe in the person who lies. Some people say, “well, why don’t we just forgive the liar and move forward?”. I’ll tell you why. Forgiveness can be stretched to the limits and its a word that is frequently over used. Forgiving someone may make YOU feel better, but if the person who causes damage beyond repair continues to lie and they feel no remorse…how does forgiveness help? To forgive someone for wrongdoing who intentionally lies to cause pain and hurt causes others to become confused. Forgiveness is only appropriate if the liar actually feels remorse for lying……acknowledges they have lied to cause another person pain and if they ask to be forgiven and truely regret their lies and the pain they’ve caused. Failure to forgive appropriately can make a situation become much worse.
There is also a difference between condoning and forgiveness. Some people condone the liars behaviour by ignoring it and allowing it to continue. If someone has lied about you or has caused you pain by lying, it is completely appropriate to speak out about what the liar has done. Ignoring a liar is basically condoning the liars’ behaviour. The religious call to forgiveness is not a call to being a sucker. If someone has lied about you or to you, it is appropriate that you not pretend it didn’t happen or that it doesn’t matter because lying does matter. It matters to everyone involved with the liar and those who are suckered into the lie by affiliation.
Is it easy for a liar to stop lying? Well, that depends. A habitual liar has difficulty in putting a stop to lying just as an alcoholic has difficulty saying no to a drink. A compulsive, habitual liar needs help if they are to completely stop living their life through lies.
There are differant types of liars:
Braggarts; Compulsive liars; exaggerators; habitual liars and bull throwers.
The habitual liar is the most difficult of them all with the rest of the other types being a tiresome lot. It seems the bigger the role model, the worse a lie becomes. It wouldn’t be so bad if lets say someone I didn’t know told a lie about me. It is much worse to have a sister lie about me and its even worse than that when the sister is estranged because they are dysfunctional and live their lives through hateful lying and outright deceitfulness and directly hurting others through deceitfulness. If more people would raise the bar, it would help restore truthful behaviour. Every time we hear someone lying, we should call them out as liars and not condone the behaviour by ignoring it or by accepting them as a liar. We are far better off without liars than to live our lives with a liar. There are two types of people: The liars and the lie catchers. I chose to be the lie catcher because I live my life in truth. I have no fear about what I say because I speak the truth and know my story as factual. Liars on the otherhand have extreme difficulty living a quality life because their life is void of truth.
Mark Twain once wrote, “Everybody lies…every day, every hour, awake, asleep, in his dreams, in his joy and in his mourning.” This was written in 1882 in his essay, “On the decay of the art of lying”.
Many times a person will lie and not even know it. When someone asks you “how are you doing?” and you answer “I’m great” when in fact, you are feeling unwell or not doing well, you’ve just told a lie. But these types of lies are not harmful. They are in fact, the type of lies that are near involuntary and done without even thinking and helps keep the fabric of our society from unraveling. But if someone lies and says that you’ve done a horrible thing when in fact, you’ve done nothing…….this is an outright lie that was done with malice and the liar has done this with malicious intent to cause harm. We always tell our children that honesty is the best policy but if the parent is always telling lies, how can they possibly be a good role model? Here are my estranged sisters, supposed role models peddling lies big and small……exaggerating, beefing up a boring story by embellishing events that never happened…..misleading people that they know as well as those they don’t know.
Perhaps their parents gave them conflicting messages as they were growing up……either way, they’ve turned into very deceptive adults hoping their lies will provide them with a “reward”. In my estranged sisters’ case, their reward is gaining my mother’s assets, property and small income since my mother no longer has the ability to realize their depths of deception, due to her diminished capacity from dementia. My mother has never been a wealthy woman. She was a hard worker who was smart with her income. It’s quite sad to know that the very people she thought she could trust have robbed her of not just her personal belongings, but of her dignity, her peace of mind and are causing her great stress through their deception. The worse part is that these people feel no remorse and knowingly deceive her so that they can gain the “rewards” they feel they are entitled to.
Psychologist Paul Ekman says that people lie to avoid punishment, to get a reward, to enhance egos and to control information. They lie to remove themselves from an awkward social situation. There are so many reasons why people lie. So many reasons we wonder how to drill our way and cut through the molten core of truth?
It’s quite simple really. By practice and training on a daily basis to tell nothing but the truth. When it comes to lies, Paul Ekman is the man. He wrote the book, “Telling lies” in 1985. He tested the lie detection ability on over 12,000 people and found that the average person can detect a lie 54 percent of the time. This is hardly an acceptable rate. A person can actually do much better at detecting a lie if taught to detect micro-expressions. What is a micro-expression? This is a flash of emotion that quickly flashes across someone’s face, which is either a suppressed or repressed emotion. The truth is often tucked discreetly under a quilt of cheerful lies.
In order to detect concealed emotions, you must not trust your impressions. Paul Ekman says that if you do this, you’ll be wrong the majority of the time through stereotype. It is quite difficult to judge a person by demeanor. One of the easiest ways to see beyond impressions is to learn to catch micro-expressions, which betray emotions. Mark Twain wrote in his essay, “If a man keeps his tongue still… his hands, his feet, his eyes, his attitude will convey deception…and purposely.”
Some people don’t seem to want to know the truth. Getting away with lies seems to be easier to do these days. More people are interested in deceptive tales rather than boring truth. There’s alot of double talk now that our world is more electronic. If a person is really interested in knowing the truth, all you have to do is follow the liars’ trail of deception. They will blatantly contradict themselves and their stories will often times change. Choosing to lie is a serious gamble of integrity. But you have to remember that a compulsive or habitual liar has no integrity. They have no remorse. They live a life shut off from their true feelings because becoming too close to their true feelings would bring about all the pain they have hidden deep down inside. The lies are packed neatly on top of the truth and the truth is sometimes too great for the liars to bare.
The bottom line is that there is a big cost at living a life full of lies and deception. People will refuse to trust in you and people will stop believing in you. The person hurt the most is the liar because living a life full of lies is detrimental to the well being of the liar and to those who unknowingly allow the liar to continue to lie. I for one will no longer sit back and allow my estranged sisters to lie about me as a person or as a business. They can create fictitious stories and continue to build their web of lies, but the end result is they are only hurting themselves. My life is driven in truth. Their lives are driven by deception and untruthfulness. They continue to lie to not just others but to my mother so that they can obtain the small “reward” they feel they are entitled to. What a very sad, lonely life to live. Everyone knows what it takes to lie, but very few know what it takes to re-establish trust. You can’t like someone, live with someone or care about someone you can’t trust. Liars are very untrustworthy people.
About the Author
Dee Gerrish has been a private, professional breeder for 14 years as of Jan. 2010; She was a respite and foster care provider in Mannheim, Germany and won many community awards for her dedicated service. Dee has been writing about Goldendoodles and life in general, since 1999.