Is Lying The Norm?

Pinocchio lyingI saw a headline claiming that 1 in 4 people, lie about their finances when dating.  This comes as no surprise.  People don’t want to be alone. It’s very tempting to conceal things that are unfavorable.

I’ve done this myself and copped to it, back when I was writing about “landsharks” in the zodiac. I was a Venus-Neptune type landshark.  Living in health-conscious, Colorado, I smoked like a chimney. I quickly realized you had to be a non-smoker to date in that area so I became one (on screen).

Further, I deluded myself into thinking if I hit it off  with the man, or if he loved me, this would make the mirage, real.

Of course people lie about their age and these days we have the whole catfish thing, but this isn’t really about the lies we tell in our quest to be loved. It’s about lying in general.

About 18 months ago, I shared some highly personal & specific information with this older woman.  I thought she was a friend and she may have been one at one time. But something happened and the worm turned.

That means, there was a sea-change between us. It was pretty clear someone had her ear and whatever they were saying was not positive.  This happens to me so frequently, I’ve learned to just let go. I just don’t have time to run down people’s myths about me.  I’m am aware today, a person can either see my quality or they can’t.  With so much evidence of character, produced consistently, over time, if you can’t see me, I think your blindness is a handicap and not one that I can fix.

Back to this woman, I’ve not seen her in awhile. I think of her pretty often but when I felt her feelings change, I recognized the pattern and backed off.  But then I saw her in person so I approached her. I could tell she was a bit uneasy. I figured this was because she’d been talking about me in behind my back, but I didn’t care.  I really like this woman and I think people can wake from their slumber.

I greeted her and told her how much I missed seeing and talking to her. She fidgeted a little; there was some “fake-happy” involved but then she made this stunning remark!

In one short sentence she revealed that she and “the group” I guess you could call them, had concluded that I was a liar.  Not only that, but a liar who it is okay to mock!

First, I’d have to be a stone-cold psychopath to tell this kind of lie and maybe that’s what they think I am.

I’ll tell you what they don’t think. They don’t think I am an honest person, though I am.  I mean, my landshark days are done!

I wonder if lying has become so commonplace, that no one has the expectation that a person be honest.

People used to quote, Shakespeare, “The truth will out.” I grew up believing this but I no longer do. I think in most cases, the truth will never out.

If this is the case, and you are a person who can see clearly, you should probably be quite grateful.  Once a person is lost in the fog, it’s really hard to walk them out of it.

I also notice that once a person takes a position, they try to hold on to it, even when they’re deluged with evidence that should cause them to reconsider. That part of this is pathetic to me. It’s like being five years old and refusing to become six or seven, ever mind, twelve or thirteen.

What do you know about the lies people tell – yours or theirs?

16 thoughts on “Is Lying The Norm?”

  1. anonymoushermit

    I don’t believe some human beings want the truth or facts. They want someone to look down upon to feed their sensitive egos, otherwise, why would they automatically believe something without proof? It tells you something that someone would believe a rumor rather than the facts, it reveals an unconscious need in some people to inflate themselves!

    1. They want validation, to be seen, and loved.. plus not to be told they’re fat and shit like that.. many “can’t handle the truth”

  2. I wanted to add, there was a time when a person would be mortified to be caught in a lie. They cared that their word, and their family name, for that matter, was not sullied.

    It’s stunning, the degree this has changed in my lifetime.

  3. Yes, from what I see, lying is rampant. I understand little white lies to protect yourself or someone’s feelings. What annoys me, is compulsive, unnecessary lying. I was raised to be honest and to this day I refuse to BS because I’d feel crap about myself. I wish more people would feel this way. When someone lies to me, it insults my intelligence. I am very astute, and remember their prior conversations and therefore can piece together all the inconsistencies. I’m to gracious to highlight this to them, and I know it would not change their bad habit anyway. It’s got to the point that I don’t believe much of what people say, unless there is rock, solid evidence. I’m disappointed with humans lack of evolution, I love the creatures more ?????

  4. I don’t consciously lie, but they slip out. Later, I obsess over them endlessly, trying to suss out my motivations in telling them. Not all lies are created equal though. One type is harmless little detail of a lie that you don’t notice because it’s not important enough for you to break the flow of the conversation for, and correct mid way. Like, telling people my family had a full time domestic help while growing up, when in reality she used to do everything in our house, leave for the day and then come back home in the evening. Is it an important detail? Naah. But it may be if I were in a detail oriented mood some time and explained to someone in great detail how our domestic arrangement worked, and suddenly, contradict myself. Should I lose sleep over it? Maybe, maybe not. Let’s see.

    The other type of lie is the one that one deliberately tells with some end objective in mind, usually an ulterior motive that either you have accepted to yourself or are still in the process of. It still slips out almost unconsciously and without any deliberate plans. Like drawing a character sketch of your ex for a potential crush. You want to emphasize subtly that your relationship was not that great, unlike the potential chemistry you sense with your crush. So you lengthen the time you say you were friends before you started dating. These lies are usually accompanied with extra bits of true information or your opinions to fill in the blanks and create your desired picture of a person or a situation. Can you be caught for it? Usually not, because mind is a clever little bastard who concieves these out of half truths to meet your end goal.

    Then come the lies that you yourself believe to be true. You have thought of them so many times, lived them in an alternate reality in your head, have tested telling them to people in multiple ways, that they seem true to yourself. Like driving and owning a motorcycle in college. I did drive a bike, but not the kind I wished I did. Embellishing this ‘truth’ in your head increases your fragile self esteem and makes you feel less vulnerable. So you tell the same story over and over again till it becomes your truth in a parallel universe. Nobody can contest it. Nobody can deny you the satisfaction of it being your story, because you have lived it as much as any real life reality.

    What impact do these lies have on us and others? For one, I fear they make us seem flaky and the last thing we want to be is non-dependable. Especially if you contradict yourself too much, you give away the sense of spaces in your head not being quite sorted, which is a truth we all would like to hide. Also, these lies give rise to a spiralling cycle of anxiety. You think and rethink them, reliving the confusion on the recipient’s face in your head. It’s an obsession that can quickly go out of control. Most importantly, these lies do not let live authentically. Yes, maybe you will feel a bit smaller, less cool, more fragile. But you would be reduced to your essence without embellishments. And if someone can see and love you for that, you have met your life’s purpose.

  5. In my experience, people lie about you out of jealousy (conscience or not). I have been lied about about so-called friends a few times and it was shocking and hurtful because I wouldn’t think of doing that to anyone. Never wasted my time on them after that though. Takes too much energy.

    Character traits that used to be valued in people are almost laughed at (it seems) these days like commitment, honesty, loyalty.

  6. In my experience, it seems most honest people think other people are mostly honest. And liars tend to think others mostly lie. Generally speaking.

  7. I seem to have had a lot of friends who are liars. I can smell a lie too. For some reason its something that Im willing to accept in a friend lol. It doesnt really affect me in any significant way that I can tell, so what do I care? Its their karma and noones perfect.

    In my case, Im too lazy to lie. Plus, theres one thing I don’t understand- whats the payoff in lying? Maybe if I thought I had something to gain, I would do it? Sounds like a lot of work though.

  8. I think some people lie to make up “interesting” stories (lies) – thinking it makes them (the storyteller) interesting/smart/superior etc. They don’t want to be blah!
    Also I agree with Jill; jealousy can really get people’s imagination going & it’s like taking a revenge.

  9. I learned in my early 40’s that lying just isn’t worth it. It always came back to bite me in butt. I’m not talking about a situation where a person I am barely acquainted with asks me if I like their new hairstyle and I think it’s hideous. I’m not going to tell them it’s hideous. I’m going to say ‘it must be nice to have a refreshing change!’

    A ‘friend’ of 40 years offered to take me to my surgery and stay with my 18 year old son until I was out of surgery. They went to the family waiting room. She received a phone call from her retired husband that her grandson got in trouble at school. The mother was at work. She told my son she had a family emergency and left. She had my brother’s cell number and didn’t even call him to come be with my son. My 5 hour operation turned in to a 9 hour operation. What if something happened to me on the table? My son would have been alone in getting the news.

    When my son told me about it, I called her and stated the facts above. She said one thing, backtracked, said another, lie on top of lie. Not only, her retired husband could have gone to the school and picked up the grandson. When asked why she didn’t call my brother, she replied in this singsong voice “oh, I don’t know why you were so concerned, everything went fine and I knew you were going to be fine, so why bother your family.” Um, I was having a double spinal fusion that ended up with complications.

    My ob/gyn (now deceased) who delivered all my mother’s, my sister’s and my children once gave me the best piece of advice. If you have a limb with gangrene and there’s no chance of saving it, you cut it off.

    I sliced her out of my life with no hesitation. You do not F*** with my children. It ended up she just didn’t want to sit there all day and planned this whole scenario out with her husband. My brother had offered to be there first but she offered because she was retired and said ‘oh, let your brother go to work’.

    She was also my health care proxy. Not anymore.

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