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Instinct of Lying

Human beings possess different characteristics. Right from the physical attributes like a thumb impression, many mental and psychological aspects also vary between one human and another. While the basic necessity of every human is to feel loved and understood, the same does not happen in a uniform manner for all. Environment and life circumstances decide the levels of recognition that a human being receives acting as the basis of all their interactions. Life circumstances that are positive bestow people with respect and recognition making them respond in an honest manner. On the contrary, life circumstances which are taxing and non-recognizing makes people react to conceal facts for want of appreciation and respect. This is when people start hiding things that they feel are unsafe to disclose. When a fact is concealed the necessity for the same to be replaced arises giving way for concocted stories to be floated. These concocted stories are what we call lies.

Many a times, lies are interchanged with excuses. While it is true that lies and excuses go hand in hand, lies are different from excuses. Excuses are given by people who comfortably rest the same on lies. For instance, in our day to day life, when we ask children at home to do some household chores, they invariably give excuses which we realize are obvious lies. Many job goers adapt this strategy to be absent from office on days when they know their official life is going to be pressure filled. This is how excuses and lies go hand in hand. There are subtle differences in the manner lies are being generated by genders and all age groups of people. There are differences in the lying pattern based on the psychological state of people. A detailed look on why we actually lie and whether lying all the times is really bad will help us understand about this tendency in a more scientific manner.


Why do we lie all the time, be it office, at home, to your spouse?

It is easy to handle a lie than to face the truth in all valors. Different types of lies have different motivations. These motivations encourage people to lie even when they need not do so. Many a times, we find ourselves lying just for the heck of it knowing that we really need not have to. A clear understanding of some such motivators will help us to relate ourselves to the same in connection to our own real life situations. Psychology terms such motivated lying as Pathological lying. While the terminology appears highly medical it has nothing to do with the diagnosis process in a typical clinical environment. The following reasoning helps us understand clearly as to why people lie all the times in office or at home or to their spouse.

Differing Perspectives’ may be attributed as the first reason why people lie in different environments when they actually need not lie.  This happens when the liar feels something is really important when others involved feel it is really not. This is an effort of the liar to make others understand the importance of the thing and nothing more than that.

‘Fear of losing control over men and matters’ is one of the main reasons for people telling lies when they really need not. People lie in order to make others concerned conform to their expectations so the output is as desired by them. They fear telling the truth or not telling the lies will take the control off their hands.

‘Fear of losing valued relationships’ is another reason why people stack lies over lies. People lie to safeguard a relationship that they have treasured for a long time or for specific reasons. They don’t mind lying despite knowing very clearly that what they are doing is deplorable. They prefer lying over telling the truth if that will save the relationship from perishing. Many a times, people lie not to hurt their close ones sentiments and feelings.

‘Stockpiling tendency of lies’ is the other reason which forces people to lie. Many a times, in order to maintain a lie that has been spoken intentionally or unintentionally earlier, people are forced to pile up more lies. Such piling up of lies happens to safeguard a deceptive action of ours or to maintain our image in front of others. The pressure created by such piled up lies is tremendous. It forces us to lie again and again to keep up what was said earlier. This forceful lying deprives the concerned of all control making them even say that the color of the sky is red just to maintain all their previous lies. Piling up of lies is a common concept in a typical office scenario. A prospective candidate who fakes his or her resume keeps telling lies to substantiate the fake facts they have provided in the same. Whether this will yield favorable results to the candidate ultimately is a different story altogether.

‘Lies are absolute truth’ to people who are under pressure. Human minds become so unreliable when it is under pressure that it considers even lies as unquestionable truth. When under pressure, all that a person wants is to break free from the confinement caused due to the situation he is under. In order to decamp from the situation he lies which is definite truth by all means to him. Lies uttered to a spouse in a typical household every now and then falls in this category.

‘People’s genuine desire’ about something makes them lie. For instance, we all hope that certain things happen in a particular manner so our aspirations and needs are met. When the reality is opposed to this, we tend to lie to make the desire come true. Typically, an employed person who is much opposed to lying is made to lie when he fears he may not be approved of the leave he has applied to meet a personal commitment which is unavoidable.


Is telling truth about everything the right thing to do?

Many among us have dilly dallied between ‘being honest’ at all times to ‘hiding a truth’ for the benefit of all. It might have been tough to answer the question whether telling the truth at all points of time is good or bad. Practicing to speak or behave in a skillful manner is the only solution to this issue. Skillful here means ‘not speaking the truth while not lying at the same time’. Remember, situations handled in a skillful manner cause good to others. On the contrary, situations handled shabbily in an unskillful manner causes chaos and distress for all concerned.


Who decides what is right and what is wrong and why?

Most people are good basically. They do not really want to lie. However, when confronted with undesirable or psychologically threatening situations, people automatically resort to lying. Some such psychological situations are

  • Fear of breaking promises
  • Fabricating things so people do not know that you are actually not enough informed
  • Exaggerating to impress others that you are highly knowledgeable
  • Enjoy the fun aspect involved in fooling others (mostly during childhood)
  • Low esteem forcing people to hide their inferiority complex

Looking at the above, it is clear that it is not people who decide what is right and what is wrong but purely their situations.


What would you do if you have to lie about something for some personal reasons?

Our personal life is something where we have the flexibility to leverage the love and affection we enjoy with our close ones to get things done. Uttering a lie involves assimilation of the truth, deciding whether you want to share the same openly with others, if the answer for this is no then concocting a lie to be said in its place and telling the lie without faltering with all the relevant ingredients in place. The major aspect of telling a lie comes only after this. One need to remember what lies was told on which occasion to whom. Lies here include the ‘extra fittings’ that were communicated to make it look like the truth. Typically in a personal life scenario it is better to avoid lying since telling the truth is easier on a comparative scale. Lying in a personal life scenario can also exert detrimental influence on the next generation of people watching you do the same.


Does your conscience change according to a situation? Why or why not?

Subconscious in human beings play a clear role in making a person talk only the truth. In the same wavelength, the memories stored in this aspect called Subconscious surfaces every now and then to alter the response of people to varying situations. This can be directly applied to repetitive liars whose ‘false saying’ has their basics in the memories or impressions stored in their subconscious mind. Their subconscious mind backs their lies to such an extent that a whole new world gets created. This keeps them out of feeling that they are really lying. Thus, the subconscious changes according to situations with a sole intention to safeguard self interest even if it means telling a lie or more.


Written by Rama Ramji and edited by SiteMaster



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