Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Lies .......................

I was watching a program on TV the other day about lying. According to this program the average person tells at least three lies per day. I assume that figure includes those little white lies that are told to avoid hurting someone's feelings. "That outfit looks nice on you." and "I love your new hairstyle."

I have known people who lie excessively. I knew someone who told so many lies and told them so often that she began to believe them. These weren't vicious lies or lies told to cover up some shortcoming. They were stories made up to entertain or make herself look important. If something funny happened to you and you told this person about it, you could count on her telling someone else that it happened to her. Once, she told the story of meeting a celebrity in an elevator back to the person it actually happened to. When confronted with the lie, she just laughed and said it was a good story. I learned to consider everything she said as fiction - just stories she made up.

I'm giving her my three allotted lies per day. I don't lie - not even little white lies. If you don't want my honest opinion, then don't ask. I don't like hurting someone's feelings, so instead of telling a white lie, I will evade the actual question or avoid answering. When asked "Do you like my new dress?" I may answer with "I saw in a magazine that that style is hot right now." My honesty has caused me to alienate people and it's gotten me in hot water plenty of times.

I don't know why I find it so difficult to lie. I know as a child, I would be severely punished for lying. If I did something wrong, it was better to admit to my mistakes than to lie and be caught in the lie. I don't seek acceptance or approval. I have no need to lie to make myself look better or to garner praise. If you like me, that's fine - if you don't, that's fine too. I have no need to lie about my actions. I don't do anything that I would want to hide. I own my actions.

Honesty is one of my traits. It can be a good thing, and it can make life very difficult. I don't use my three lies per day - do you use yours?


Linda said...

Oh my, I can relate to this one. We have a family member who exagerates and lies so much she would not know the truth if she stepped in it. She has the most dysfunctional family I know of. When I reached the breaking point I broke the relationship. It's been years and her story just gets worse. Some in the family have no choice but to remain in contact with her. I'm so fortunate I was able to remove myself from it. Makes me shudder to think about it.

Gilly said...

I don't lie outright, but I think I evade the truth - like when I don't want to hurt feelings.

But I am a great deal better, in my old age, at being myself, who I am, and if you don't like me, well, tough!

rachel said...

I could have written that second paragraph, I think; my friend recently told me a story of what someone had said to her that I gradually realised was a horribly-distorted version of something I'd said, so warped to sound unpleasant and victimising towards her. I felt my blood run cold as she rattled on, and I was left with a feeling of "I can't trust this person any more". So upsetting.

I almost never lie, although sometimes I find I've done it, in tiny ways, without thinking, but I try very consciously not to; it seems like a small betrayal every time, but ultimately so destructive, both to the liar and the lied-to.

Arkansas Patti said...

Am still laughing about her telling the story back to the person it really happened to.
I don't usually lie out of it being morally wrong, I am just not good at it. It takes too good a memory.
There are way around white lies to spare feelings.

KathyA said...

Too old to need to please anyone -- that is the beauty of having turned 50 (a few years ago). I am what I am and I say what I mean!