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Do you come across a lot of lies from a lot of people throughout your day?
Isn’t the truth that honesty is hardly ever heard, and sometimes we ask ourselves: Why is it that people lie to us every day?
The better question is: What can we do to spot a lie, and the liar, and how can we avoid as best as we can, those people and those situations?
There are many reasons why people lie. Some are what we call white lies, then some are a little more than that; but those lies that are just way out there, those are the one we need to avoid and learn how to spot them - early enough.
Here we will dive into this topic, and find nine reasons, to why it is, that people lie to us, understand their ways a little better and how to weed them out.
We all lie. Most people lie an average of ten times a day. We lie to friends, to strangers, and loved ones. And although we all do it often, we are terribly bad at detecting lies from other people sometimes.
Not telling the truth has been a part of human behavior since the very beginning of our kind. The roots of a lying behavior, is a deeply ingrained habit and skill in human interaction.
Adopting this trait starts early in life - as we watch our parents and those around us behave in certain ways. The tone of voice they used for what they said and did, and the meaning associated with those actions.
As time goes by, and we grow up, how we relate those interactions within ourselves - forms our behavioral patterns and personalities.
On average, it is believed that men are particularly more likely to tell lies than women, but that is just an average and the lies don’t stop there.
You can find lies everywhere; in TV shows, movies, books, and real life. It’s basically a part of our culture as a whole. No wonder that when we hear a lie, no adverse action usually takes place. Better said, no reaction to a lie is the norm.
Lies are mainly of two types, verbal and non-verbal. Verbal lying is the act of knowingly speaking something that is untrue. Non-verbal lying is all the cues and tells that a person performs that act against what they are saying or doing.
We recommend Dan Ariely’s book, “The Honest True About Dishonesty,” where he goes into detail regarding the most common deceiving behaviors found in our society.
As we grow older, we learn how to exchange the pleasantries of ‘hey - how are you - I’m doing great - and you - hey me too- kind of scenarios and conversations.
These encounters of untruthfulness, build our resistance to a lying behavior, whether it was initially meant to protect our feelings as Chiclets, or the feelings of others around us, or not.
By joining everyone in their beliefs, that these little lies are OK in our everyday living and society, our future generations, they all learn from us, they learn what we have adopted, and the wheels keep rolling on this way.
Nonetheless, little lies, big lies, they are all bad. Little lies lead to little problems and big lies to bigger problems. How we react to a lie also depends from whom that lie is coming from.
When a lie is from a stranger, it will most likely cause us to act in a different way than when a lie comes from a friend.
When a lie is from someone we care about, it can actually hurt us, but it’s from someone we don’t - maybe not so much.
Regardless of the size of the lie, if you are a person of admirable character, no lie is too small, a lie is a lie, whether it is part of our culture or not, to you, honesty – it is still the best policy.
PLACING THEM IN ORDER
If we were to classify lies in their ascending order, they would go something like this: at the bottom, we have hiding information, then exaggerations, followed by white lies, then making things up for a gain, and finally, deceptive dealings and behavior.
Omission lies - are lies that leave out a part of the truth or the entire truth of a story, of an answer or a relatable conversation.
For many people, omission is the most common of all the types of lies they perform because omission doesn’t involve any creative thinking; it just means leaving something out.
Now, in regard to people that often exaggerate, painting something greater or better than it actually is or was, or pretending that they’re more successful than they really are, it is a strategy mostly used in order to be liked, accepted, or admired.
Then there are people that tell lies for no particular reason. Maybe they are white lies, maybe they are grey, the thing is, they are still lies. We often ask ourselves of these individuals, why do they lie so compulsively when it’s not necessary?
Habitual liars can sometimes feel great pressure because they don’t quite remember what they said last time they talked to us.
They try to relieve that pressure by saying things they think will work, but, in doing so, their lying becomes such a habit that they end up so badly wanting the lies to be the truth that their lies actually do become part of their truth.
The next levels are the ones of a higher degree of effect, habit, intention and planning.
A liar is usually aware they are being deceptive and are cognizant of the act. The more deceptive the lie, the more definite the bodily response we can notice - when we pay attention to their speech and behavior.
Here are some of the deceptive indicators a liar will demonstrate in their actions, time and time again.
1- They will try to manage and manipulate our perception.
2- They will not convey a straight answer to a question and instead, they will try to convince us of their story.
3- They can demonstrate an inappropriate level of unconcern and they may use evasiveness or aggression to distance themselves from our questions or the situation.
Any of these are clear warnings that you’re dealing with an untrustworthy individual.
THE HABITUAL PATTERNS
Habitual liars, they lie at work, they lie in public, they lie to their friends, to their family - and most importantly - they lie to us.
The closer to home a lie is, the more it can affect our wellbeing. A beautiful day can be turned upside down if news of a deceiving behavior by someone we hold dearly comes rushing to our ears or we see it or we discover the truth in person.
When a big enough lie involves a respected and trusted friend, or someone we admired or we confided in, it definitely can create some chaos in our lives.
When we have been lied to, and those lies continue, or they were already just too big to sustain, condone or consent, we should decide to let go and move away from whomever was lying to us.
The only thing is, the hurt and the anguish of trust that was broken, it usually remains and it may take a little while for it to go away.
So if we can avoid all that - before it happens - it is for the benefit of our own wellbeing that we must learn - the tells and the signs - associated with this person that is capable of such lies, and for us to notice their usual ways of going about trying to deceive us.
BE A DETECTIVE
When someone lies to us, they disrespect our intelligence and our trust and confidence in them.
Lying has certain patters you can be on the look out, and as soon as they appear you will have a choice to either confront them, the lie and the person, or to let it go and possibly let it turn into a bigger lie and invite more of that particular behavior.
Watch how they start verbally dressing up a lie prior to what they are going to say, using words such as honestly, frankly, I kid you not; these are words used by masters of deception.
Their wide-ranging techniques are supposedly used in trying to roll a curtain over our eyes, giving irrefutable examples of truths as to why lying is not something they do.
They will use referral statements of ‘trust me,’ or invoke religion or relatable righteousness to their story and history; this is something done so commonly that all you have to do now is be able to notice these actions on the spot.
They constantly avoid mentioning themselves in the course of their story of what they claim is the truth.
They can also be pessimistic, blaming everyone and everything, like the weather, for a particular fault or negative attitude or behavior of theirs, but never blaming themselves for any of their doing or outcome.
They will often give too simple of an explanation when confronted or they will give you a very short agreeable statement so they can move on to something else, so as not to stay on the subject at hand any longer.
One of a habitual liar’s big giveaways is that they often give too many unnecessary details describing their actions when a simple story would do.
Most of us do not memorize, to an exact description, the actions of what we do or of what we consider as normal behavior, but behavioral liars think they have to.
The fight or flight response is a primitive reaction of our brain to anything that may be of harm to ourselves or to others around us.
This mechanism is also triggered when there’s a contradiction between what is true and what is not.
This disconnection leads to a strong desire by our mind and our bodies to make that bad feeling associated with lying to go away.
So a physiological response builds up inside when someone is lying, and this is why people who lie often fidget, they get an itching sensations in their extremities, they tremble, and they display a sense of unease and distress.
They touch their noses, their hair, their ears, they move their feet in a jerky manner and are unable to keep a calm voice.
Chronic liars can become desensitized to feelings and emotions as they lie more and more often. The part of the brain that triggers guilt and shame begins and continues to disconnect more and more as time goes by.
The deceptive lies that are carefully and skillfully crafted by a habitual liar are often subtle and hard to detect.
Liars constantly bury their lies in between truths, so it’s hard to distinguish one from the other as they constantly work on denying and refusing to acknowledge the truth and falsifying stories in order to achieve their desired goals. It’s a form of manipulation and scheming behavior.
Be very careful of these people.
THE 9 REASONS
Here are nine reasons people lie to you in ascending detrimental value to themselves and to others:
1. To maintain privacy, especially with people we do not know or trust.
2. To protect others from being hurt, from being punished or embarrassed, or to get them out of a social or awkward situation.
3. To avoid embarrassment or hide from an undesirable encounter or situation.
4. To protect themselves: Protection from being punished or avoiding punishment is the most frequent reason people tell serious lies, regardless of age, when there is a threat of significant damage, this is the one that is used.
Occasions like getting fired, trying to hold on to a relationship; not wanting to tarnish a reputation, losing their freedom or their money.
5. To win admiration and get social attention: Trying to impress others due to insecurities.
These types of lies include rationalization, the reasons why something had to happen or had to be done in certain way to achieve their success.
6. To cover up bad behavior: Some people worry that they won't be liked, respected, or welcomed due to their personal behavioral choices like smoking, drinking, gambling, etc., so they portray themselves in a good light.
7. To promote themselves: A person can lie to benefit financially, to create a better self-image, or to move up to a higher position. It’s similar to number five but with different intentions.
8. To obtain a reward: Fabricating and deliberately making up a story of something that’s not true so they can personally benefit from the outcome.
9. To exercise power, control, or influence over someone. They often deceive and pray on people’s vulnerabilities to make themselves feel better or to achieve their selfish agenda.
WILL A LIAR ALWAYS BE A LIAR?
When someone admits who they truly are, they create opportunities for change. No longer deferring responsibility for their actions and behavior to others or to anything outside of themselves, it’s necessary for their changes to occur.
Changing a lying behavior takes time and effort. One needs to develop the fundamental abilities of being aware of what is being said and done, and to constantly pay attention to one’s habitual patterns. In order to take back control of one’s undesirable behavior, one must be willing to do what is necessary and required.
Regardless of what unwelcome habits someone has, a person may begin to take a different path in life and become an individual of higher means, respected and trustworthy.
When someone has enough psychological strength to admit the truth to themselves and is prepared to deal with any of the consequences that may follow, as they upgrade their personal blueprint, it is a welcoming sign of someone striving to acquire a more respectable character.
A reputable character is something that is much needed in order to properly replace a bad reputation. Truth is the biggest ally when working on building a trustworthy personality.
Trust is based on loyalty, honesty, integrity, honor and a consistency of moral ethics and values. A person who devalues trustworthiness and acts against these principles will always be known, and remembered, as a liar.