Friday, April 02, 2010

Mo Wants to Know: Is It True?

According to a Psychology Today, the average person lies at least twice a day; they lie an average of three times in the first 10 minutes of meeting someone; and, more than 70% of the "liars" will tell their lie again.

While 10% of these lies are mere exagerations, a whopping 60% are outright deceptions (most of the rest were lies of omission). Most people lie in everyday conversation to appear more likable and/or competent. And, according to a study at UMass, there is a difference in the way men and women use those lies (although, there appears to be no difference in the quantity of their deceptions). Women are more likely to lie to make the other person feel good, while men lied most often to make themselves look better. While we so often proclaim that lying is "bad", and that the "truth is the best policy", studies indicate that we all do it. And, that most of us don't even realize how MUCH we mask the truth. So, my topic of discussion today is: lies and the liars who tell them.

Now, we all say we hate being lied to, and most will argue that they always try to tell the truth, but if we examine ourselves honestly, most of know this isn't the case. Personally, I try to maintain a somewhat truthful air as I go about my life, but my tendency is to lean towards the half-truths. I'm not a very "good liar", and I try not to express outright falsehoods, but I will, often times, succumb to the motto that "what they don't know won't hurt them". Being typically female, apparently, I resort there when I think the unvarnished truth might hurt someone's feelings. I won't outright SAY I think you look hideous, but I might utter "Oh, you got a new hair cut, huh?! Do you like it short?!"; "Oh my gosh! I hardly recognized you!" instead of "Oh my gosh! You got fat, didn't you?!" that. I have to say, I never really think of that as "lying", more like being tactful, but a rose by any other name, as they say, is still a rose. So, this week, Mo Want's to Know:

Why do YOU lie? Do you do it blatantly, or resort to those "lies of omission"? Do you think that if being told the whole truth would only serve to hurt your feelings, you would still want to hear it?

Once again, I hope you will leave a comment here and tell me your opinion on this subject....Honestly. I want the truth!


Fishy said...

"Do you lie?" Yes. Everyday. And often.
Do I like it? No. But unfortunately, jobs are bleak and being that I am in the customer service industry, and have been most of my's almost a prerequisit.
A customer comes in and states they cannot pay their bills. Yet, when I passed their house a month ago, they had 2 brand new Ski-doos (snowmobiles) in their driveway...I won't mention the 10-15 empty cases of Bud Lite on the side of their house. I simply must seem sympathetic towards their alleged dilema, show some signs of sympathy and steer them to avenues that would "help" them out financially.
Or if they come in and go on and on about how wonderful it's going to be when the government gives them free healthcare (little do they know) I must begrudgingly nod my head and seem as tho I too, am looking forward to my demise.
I hate it, all of it, but so the story goes.
Now, in my personal life, yes, I like you may not tell someone that they don't look hideous with their new hair cut, or that the dress they bought is more for a 19 year old teenager rather than for their 45 year old physique. But for the most part, I don't spare anyone's feelings when it comes to important issues. For example, "I don't think you should have bought a $30k car with your husband being unemployed." I have a very low tollerance for liars (and stupid people). I feel as though I can stick by the rooted laws that "if you can't say something nice to someone, don't say it at all." But if ASKED my opinion or someone is looking for my verbal point of view on something; somehow, someway, what I say is eventually going to affect me in the long run, so why lie?
Now, on the other hand, there are times when I am on the other side of the counter and feel as though if I don't prefabricate in some way, I'm going to get screwed. Such as the times you go into a car dealersship, and convince the salesperson that you are "not" trading in your old vehicle, when you know full and well, that if you part with that information from the get-go, you have given him/her ammunition to finagle the financing to a way that benefits them, rather than you. Or when you go to make a major purchase from a store, or from someone, and you KNOW you just GOT TO HAVE IT! It's the perfect color, or the perfect size, just know that you must have it NOW. Yet you tell them that you have "other options" you're looking into, and will get back with them. Haha! It's pretty funny when you think about it, but really, you must play the game, or end up getting the short straw at times, yanno?
We all have to look out for number one, if we don't, who will? Many of us learn from the mistake of not lying and realize that being a yes-man all the time, is not a good thing either.
I say, if you're not going to hurt someone's credibility publically and your intentions are not melicious, then a lie here and there to protect your interest is not a big deal.
If your talking about family, fiends, and people close to you, people that look up to you and find you to be someone they can count on, no, your honestly is why they've put you in the regard they do.

beckera said...

"I’m not perfect, I never tried to be. I’ve made mistakes. I’ve taken the easy way out. I’ve lied to my friends. I’ve hidden the truth so many times from so many people. I’ve hurt people, and I’ve even done it on purpose. I’ve left people behind. I’ve spread rumors. I’ve said things that I didn’t mean. I’m no better than anyone, anywhere. I’m human. I have faults, and I’m not afraid to admit that. I want to change, but I won’t. Because that’s what we as humans do. That’s what we’ve always done. We list our faults like a grocery list, and we move on, expecting everything to somehow change itself. It never will. I will never change. I will never be perfect. I will always make mistakes."... a little quote from the post I just put up on my blog that is along the same lines-- but my lies were more of the lying to myself variety-- and now, I've realized that I want to be true to myself :) So, yeah--I've lied, I'll most likely continue to do it, but will still get indescribably mad when someone else lies to me--Human nature is funny that way, no?

Shelly B. said...

I've gotta go with Fishy on this one. Same for me, generally speaking. Also you Mo when you write "Personally, I try to maintain a somewhat truthful air as I go about my life, but my tendency is to lean towards the half-truths. I'm not a very "good liar", and I try not to express outright falsehoods, but I will, often times, succumb to the motto that "what they don't know won't hurt them."

I've also caught myself embellishing stories. It's not my intention to lie or to do it for ego's sake. It's to make the story more interesting. I have a fairly boring life. I like the lack of drama but it doesn't make for very interesting stories, lol.

Basically, for me, it comes down to self-respect. I lie, indeed I do, but outright deceit or falsehoods aren't for me. It messes with my personal Juju, lol!

Mo said...

you all make great points!

As I said, I don't *really* think of 'omitting bits of the truth' as "lying", per say...but, I suppose it IS, when you get right down to it....and, you all are right; I have a low tolerance for liars, but as Becky says, that's kind of human nature, I as I say, not as I do.

Interesting points. Thanks to you all for voicing your opinions on this...hope you're having a great week, my friends! (and that's no lie!!)