When I came back home today and checked what’s trending on Twitter, I found this:
When I checked out the picture, I found this:
No offence to anyone, but ironically that lie is so true! I really thought people were much better looking as babies, I don’t know about this fella here. Then as I scrolled down, I found these:
And then I wondered, why do people fib?
Truth be told, I’m a little Pinocchio in myself too. I lie, more often than I realize.
So, it was a few moments of self-introspection, which soon gulped my two hours. Here are my pearls of self-introspection:
Why do we lie?
Reason #1 To avoid sharing Awkward truths.
I do not get this, so let me just rephrase it: People lie because they cannot go an extra mile to tell the truth in the most harmless manner. Telling truth requires tact. I have learnt that from my fiancé! (not the tact, but the fact)
But if we think about it, lying also needs the same amount of energy. In fact, even more than fibbing does. You don’t have to remember truth! But lies…you have to recall every fucking detail!
Reason #2 To feel better.
Sometimes people lie to themselves, like the most popular one, “I’m fine”. Now, why do we tell ourselves that?
To actually feel fine. Believe it or not, this is self-deception for the good. Studies say that it makes you feel fine for a moment and helps you think rationally. Sail better through tough waters. If you have watched 3 Idiots, you know what I mean – Aal iz well !
(If not, go watch it, it was a wonderful movie.)
Reason #3 To become interesting and get popular.
Now no denying please. Advocates of truth and victims of isolation will take your beating heart out with a kitchen knife if you do so. We don’t need any scientific studies to tell us that lying makes us seem friendlier, more normal, more amicable in a group.
Liars have a bigger social circle. So, can I say that it is socially useful to tell lies? Well, most definitely!
Reason #4 To appear better.
People lie in interviews. My boss says, “Call them! Resumés lie.” He’s correct.
But why do they lie? I read it once in a psychology book that such small embellishments have positive effects later on. They actually improve the person, as in, the exaggerators push extra hard to live up to what they said during the interview.
Science might agree, but I don’t. I have never reached office on time after saying this:
Reason #5 To maintain relationships.
Or “Darling you can never look fat.”
I see the reason people lie is because some people cannot take the truth. That is, in my opinion, an absolutely valid reason to lie. But if you fib, because:
– You feel that you’re doing your relationship a favour by lying? Well, take a break.
– People say white lies are harmless? Take a double break! You’re only imagining yourself to be good without being actually helpful to the other person.
when is it appropriate to white-lie?
Now most will argue that white lies are minor and okay. Even Gandhi said that a lie said for a greater good is not a lie. But a lie is a lie at the end of the day. So, to understand why someone lies, we must consider what lying is doing for this person.
What qualifies as a lie? Anything that is not accurate. Agreed?
We live in a society where on one hand it is preached that honest is a great policy and, on the other, that a lie for a greater good is not counted as a lie. It is a funny paradox! And funnier is the fact, that our society is still running on this paradoxical fuel. Without lies, it will for sure, grind to a halt.
You know that most kids learn the art of fibbing by the time they turn 3 !!!
At times, it is okay to lie. Times when it is not okay:
– When kids are around: Because you are their safety net. Watching you lie will convince them that you are willing to deceive and will damage their sense of security.
– When trying to save a relationship: Because the person asking for your opinion is mature to handle your words. Lie will be out in open sooner or later. Truth should better come from a reliable source like you. If this person comes asking you the reason for lying, what will you say? “I lied, because I didn’t want to hurt your sentiments“?? Do you think that after having their trust shattered, they’d believe it to be true?
My brother never lies to me about how I look in a particular dress. In fact, most times he would crack a joke to let me know that I look not-so-good.
Anyway, the point is that I always seek his opinion on my clothes regardless of the fact that he has absolutely no dressing sense. He is honest and unabashedly, tells me when ‘something’ is off track. So, you see that’s the thing about honesty and trust.
If I lie, I ruin my trust and credibility, and I don’t, I land in trouble.
To lie, or not to lie – Dealing with the paradox
1. Understand that you do not need to volunteer every negative thought that you have.
Keep truth to yourself. Tell only if asked.
Take a pause, and put yourself in the other person’s shoes and ask yourself, “Am I ready for the truth no matter how inarticulate or awkward it was phrased?” Then speak up. Share what is useful in the most articulate manner.
2. Hint it. And laugh out loud in self-sarcasm.
This is what my aunts do. They tell the truth flat, straight, blatant, and then burst out in laughter. What it does? It makes the person aware of his situation, with less awkwardness.
Being considered to own one of the most unabashed and spontaneous tongues in my friends, I have often found myself biting that very tongue after (m)any of my misadventures. So, I’m trying to learn this art of telling truth.
3. Seek for a word in isolation.
Why you should be telling the truth should stem from the fact that you have a genuine concern for them. There are times when none of the above two will work. Reserve your public comment with a sly remark and that the rest you will tell in isolation.
In public, let compassion trump honesty. In isolation, let tactful honesty trump everything.
If your nephew concocts fabulous stories around his school, or work or other aspects of life, then it could be that perhaps he wishes his to be more challenging. It is a fair possibility that he feels constrained by rules and deprived of stimulation.
Research says that under enough pressure, almost anyone will lie. At times, it has a lot to do with self-esteem. If you have such people around, and you know they are concocting fiction, then, do not disbelieve them or leave them. Just use tactic #2 and tell them ways to make their life actually exciting.
Finally, admit it: There’s a little Pinocchio in you too, and keep tweeting, #LittleWhiteLiesITold !