Lies, Lies and More Lies

Photo courtesy of morguefile.com
Laguna Woods, California
June 16, 2016 8:22pm CST
In addition to my retirement blog, which I have mentioned here a few times, I also write a blog called Lies-and-liars.blogspot . com. I have learned a great deal from the experience of writing this blog. Here are some of the high points of what I have learned while doing the research I have done on lying: Virtually everyone lies (perhaps not the Pope, but I'm not sure.) Most people lie several times a day ... although they may not think of what they are saying as lies. People lie to protect themselves from criticism, they lie to protect other people, to make themselves to look better, to cover up a mistake they have made, to keep a secret they promised to protect, in order to avoid hurting the feelings of another person, to avoid answering questions that make them uncomfortable, to avoid doing things, and, of course, for criminal reasons. Smart people lie about the same frequency as less intelligent people. Creative people lie MORE than other people. They have more of a tendency to "reframe" things. People who are encouraged to be creative, by telling them they should "think outside the box," be more flexible, or use their imaginations are also more likely to lie or cheat on a game. So what have I learned from writing this blog? I have learned to be more skeptical about everything I am told. It doesn't matter whether I am listening to a politician, a friend telling me a story, or a newscaster, I assume that whatever they are saying has been re-framed or altered in some way to make their point. I have learned that most lies are just not that important. If someone changes the names of their family members when writing online, for example, that is a lie, but not really important. If someone uses a pen name to disguise their identity, that is not usually important either. If a family member tells me an outfit I am wearing makes me look skinny, I LOVE that lie! I have learned that everyone has an agenda. It can be subtle and hard to define, but they all have a point-of-view they are trying to present. There are many ways to lie. A lie can simply mean that someone is only using actual statistics that support their cause and leaving out the statistics that they disagree with. It could mean that the statistics are distorted by the choice of dates or data that they include. I've also learned that when one politician says another one is lying ... that information is almost irrelevant, since they are all lying, and their supporters are, too, because they will sometimes say almost anything in order to get their favorite candidate elected. (This applies to local elections as well as national ones.) What can we do with the knowledge that everyone lies? Instead of worrying about the lies, I focus on what people actually are trying to do. Do I agree with what they are trying to achieve, or not? Do I agree with their tactics, or not? Do I think their goals are realistic and achievable? Do I think they will actually try to accomplish them? Do I believe they will, in general, stick with their agenda in the future, or not? These questions apply to co-workers, employees, and officers in a club, as well as politicians. Do I lie? Of course! I may lie by omitting a fact I know but prefer to ignore; I could lie by refusing to answer a question that makes me uncomfortable; I sometimes lie when I say I cannot attend an event when I really just want to stay home and veg. Like most people, I even lie to myself, sometimes. I know you lie, too ... so go ahead and confess!
14 people like this
19 responses
@jaboUK (55201)
• United Kingdom
17 Jun 16
I agree with everything you say except that I don't believe it's a lie to refuse to answer. How can that be a lie?
4 people like this
• Laguna Woods, California
17 Jun 16
@jaboUK - It can be a lie to refuse to answer if you are doing it do deceive. For example, someone asks a group of kids "who broke this lamp," and no one answers. Or, if you refuse to answer because you know the person asking the question already has an opinion and you don't want to say anything. For example, if a person says, "everyone I know is going to vote for X," and you don't want to argue with them, so you just don't say anything. Then, they assume you are going to vote for X, too.
2 people like this
@jaboUK (55201)
• United Kingdom
17 Jun 16
@DeborahDiane Ok, point taken. Btw - I've always liked this quote from William Blake "A truth that's told with bad intent Beats all the lies you can invent".
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
18 Jun 16
@jaboUK - I love this quote from William Blake. It is sooo true!
1 person likes this
@wiLLmaH (8241)
• Singapore, Singapore
24 Jun 16
This is amazing discussion. Thanks for sharing. Now I need to confess. Haha! Am I too naive to tell you that I set my mind to believe all the words that a person is telling me? Hehe.
2 people like this
• Laguna Woods, California
29 Jun 16
Hopefully, this article will help you realize that other people are not always telling the truth!
1 person likes this
@wiLLmaH (8241)
• Singapore, Singapore
29 Jun 16
@DeborahDiane i learned that in a hard way. Haha. That is why now I am more extra careful. :(
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
29 Jun 16
@wiLLmaH - I'm afraid that most of us learn things the hard way. I'm more cautious today than I was when I was young.
1 person likes this
@rebelann (42997)
• El Paso, Texas
17 Jun 16
I never used to think of omission as a lie but it does tend to lead to lies doesn't it.
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
18 Jun 16
Yes, even an omission can lead to a lie. I am not saying that people should never lie. In fact, I simply recognize that everyone does it!
1 person likes this
@rebelann (42997)
• El Paso, Texas
18 Jun 16
Yeah, I got that @DeborahDiane too bad so many want so badly to believe that honesty is the best policy when in fact most of us don't really like it. Hey, I don't like it when I'm told I'm overweight ..... I have a mirror to tell me that.
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
20 Jun 16
@rebelann - You are right that most of us don't really like it when people are honest with us all the time!
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (181864)
• Switzerland
17 Jun 16
Of course everyone lies, I am sure that even the Pope lies, or lied in the past. In my opinion not to answer is not a lie, sometimes I prefer not to answer instead of telling a lie. If I consider that the question is not respecting my privacy, I do not feel obliged to reply. Some people are rude and they ask you anything.
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
18 Jun 16
I am not saying that every omission is a lie. I'm not even saying that people should never lie. I just wanted to point out that we should all be a little more skeptical and realize that many people are lying to us and we should be aware of that fact.
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (181864)
• Switzerland
18 Jun 16
@DeborahDiane My Chinese astrological sign is "cat" and I am like a cat, I trust nobody. Most of the time I am pretty sure that people are lying, even when it's not necessary.
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
20 Jun 16
@LadyDuck - Yes, a lot of people lie, even when there is no reason they should lie. When I worked at a high school, students lied about all kinds of things!
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Jun 16
yepperz, we all can weave a web if'n we choose to do such, eh? sometimes that alias pennin' 'f schtuff's to protect family members more so'n the actual penner. i'm purty honest, e'en to a fault't times. so's i've been accused'f anyhow.
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
18 Jun 16
Yes, there are many reasons to lie and I do not believe that every lie is wrong. I just think we all need to recognize that other people are often lying to us and we should be more skeptical of what we are told!
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Jun 16
@DeborahDiane wise words, ms. d-d. sadly, some're quite efficient with their long tales 'n such's diff'cult to decipher :(
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
20 Jun 16
@crazyhorseladycx - Yes, some people are very efficient with their long tales! I have become more and more skeptical, the older I have gotten.
1 person likes this
• Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
29 Jun 16
Everyones Lie and I confess to a lie or two, as long as they arent hurting people you love
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
1 Jul 16
I agree that everyone lies and it can be very acceptable, as long as you are not hurting someone.
1 person likes this
• Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
1 Jul 16
@DeborahDiane I agree, most lies are told to protect others so its normal and isn't right but sometimes necessary
1 person likes this
@MALUSE (44590)
• Uzbekistan
19 Jan 17
I once had a pupil, an 11-year-old girl, who lied when she opened her mouth. A psychologist advised the parents to let her live in a supervised institution for some time and set her right before puberty began and she could damage someone's - a man's - reputation by false claims. This obviously worked. I met her again as a young adult and she had got over it (in her own words).
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
20 Jan 17
@MALUSE - I am amazed, sometimes, by how bad some kids can seem, yet grow up to be productive members of society. It gives me hope.
• Australia
1 Jul 16
I do not disagree with you about verifying the truth before making the first step to trusting.
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
1 Jul 16
I think it is very smart for us to verify the truth before we trust what others tell us ... especially if it is something important!
@paigea (22598)
• Canada
22 Jun 16
This is a very good perspective on lying.
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
23 Jun 16
I'm glad you enjoyed my perspective on lying. I think it actually helps to realize that people often lie. It gives us healthy skepticism.
1 person likes this
22 Jun 16
Of course, there's always the lies that are absolutely allowed. Such as, "Do these jeans make my butt look big?" or "Are these bangs too young for me?" I like to call these Little White Lies... I mean, you have to go back to compassion for people when communicating: Is it necessary? Is it helpful? or... Is it hurtful?
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
23 Jun 16
I agree that there is a huge difference between lies that help and lies that hurt. Even the 10 Commandments only warn us not to "bear false witness" against another person. In other words, don't tell lies that hurt other people.
22 Jun 16
Ahhh.... very deep, but yet so simple. Your research has indeed exposed some major truths about human nature. I applaud you for having the nerve to say it, out loud, to the world. We all like to "say" we don't lie; but by definition, of course we do. And actions do speak louder than words... perhaps that is the lesson for the rest of us here. Believe half of what you see, and none of what you hear.
• Laguna Woods, California
23 Jun 16
I agree that we are much better off when we believe only half of what we see and none of what we hear. Healthy skepticism is wise!
@DianneN (87529)
• United States
20 Jun 16
I agree that we all lie, for one reason or another. However, stretching the truth, etc. is not as bad as being a compulsive liar.
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
21 Jun 16
I agree completely. There are definitely degrees of lying and it matters a lot whether you are lying to protect someone or hurt someone.
1 person likes this
@Tampa_girl7 (26733)
• United States
19 Jun 16
I never lie and that's what I am sticking too. Seriously if it protects someone's feelings I certainly lie.
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
20 Jun 16
I think most of us will lie to protect someone else, even when we would never consider lying to protect ourselves.
• Philippines
17 Jun 16
No One is foolish enough to tell the whole truth.
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
18 Jun 16
I tend to agree with you that no one is foolish enough to tell the whole truth all the time.
@shivamani10 (11187)
• Hyderabad, India
17 Jun 16
Is lying good for health? It makes mind comfortable and free of tension. Just lie and throw the weight on others to think about you.
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
18 Jun 16
Sometimes it is less stressful to lie than tell the truth and take the consequences ... or cause problems for someone else. We just have to recognize that we are often lied to.
@carebear29 (28833)
• Wausau, Wisconsin
17 Jun 16
Really good post.
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
18 Jun 16
Thank you! I hope it makes you question what you are told!
1 person likes this
@sol_cee (18077)
• Bermuda
17 Jun 16
Those who think they are telling the truth are the most dangerous liars.
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
17 Jun 16
I agree, completely. People who deceive themselves will also deceive other people and do it without guilt.
1 person likes this
@Susan2015 (21939)
• United States
17 Jun 16
I really don't like to lie. Once in a great while, I might tell a tiny white one. If I really don't want to hurt someone's feelings.
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
17 Jun 16
We all lie in order to avoid hurting someone's feelings. That is very common.
@sharon6345 (141675)
• United States
17 Jun 16
I sure do lie to kee from hurting peoples feelings as well. I also lie when I say I am not in the mood to eat. It's most often a person is not clean enough to make me food.
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
17 Jun 16
I can understand telling someone that you are not in the mood to eat, when the real issue is that they are not clean and you don't want to eat the food they make.