Fear and Greed – Two main reasons why people Lie

As children and even as adults we are told that lying is bad. Sayings such as ‘Honesty is the Best Policy’ and ‘The Truth shall Set You Free’ are stumbled across frequently, yet people still lie. Why?

We all lie. In fact, we even lie about lying! A study mentioned in 60% of People Can’t Go 10 Minutes Without Lying showed that even liars themselves were shocked to see that they had lied at least three times during a brief interview. They are often small lies to make us feel better about ourselves however sometimes there is a deeper meaning behind this.

Fear of Losing Something

Sometimes we know that telling the truth will cause us to lose something we value and it can automatically make us turn into liars. Children who know that their favourite toy or TV time will be taken away after admitting to breaking the vase would rather choose to lie, as much as men would rather lie about having an affair than admit it for fear of losing their wife and children. In some situations we even shift blame to another person rather than face the consequences.

The long-term effects of this scenario are that people lose their abilities to be responsible and deal with the bigger challenges in life. In addition it keeps them from forming close relationships with the people whom they pass the blame to and they risk losing their credibility and reputation.

Fear of Conflict

We also lie in order to avoid uncomfortable situations, especially if it makes the other person feel guilty or embarrassed. How many times have you lied about your wife’s new hairstyle? How many times have you lied to your husband about money matters? It may sound okay to lie in order to protect the other person’s feelings, but remember that when in a relationship – romantic or otherwise – there are times when “unpleasant” truths must be told. Conflicts may ensue afterwards, but these types of confrontation are those that lead on to self improvement.

For Personal Gain

Aside from losing something, we also tell lies in order to get something. Lies with regard to personal gain is apparent everywhere. At home this could involve teenagers lying about home work just so they can go hang out with their friends or at work where applicants lie about their resume in order to get the job. Some may think that this is justifiable. After all, there was something good that came out of it, however what will happen to that good result when the other person finds out? You would be lucky if you just get grounded or get fired, and not lose the other person’s trust completely.

The problem with lying is that it can quickly become a habit, and when it does, it causes the liar to lose their inner peace. Even the most hardcore of liars reflect upon the lies that they’ve told, but it is even harder for those who are not used to such wrongdoings. In most situations the lies catch up with you, so it’s important to understand and address the reasons behind the lies.