By Harry Petsanis and Donna McCance
When you lie, you make a statement that is untrue to deceive others from knowing the truth. You give misleading and false information.
Everyone lies, just like everyone has emotions. We lie to ourselves, and we lie to others. We exaggerate, expand, leave out details, inflate, and tell “little white lies.”
We say we don’t want others to lie to us, while at the same time, we lie to them. People get angry when other people don’t turn their lies into truths. They expect others to validate their untruths, which they think somehow will make them true.
We are so insecure, we demand the truth, while despising it and vilifying those who tell it to us. not understanding the long-term catastrophic damage we do to ourselves and others in the process.
It’s unrealistic to suggest to others that they should stop feeling something that’s ingrained in them as part of their nature. For example, everyone experiences emotions. It’s how we react to our emotions that develops emotional intelligence. The same holds true for lying. Because you may contemplate lying, doesn’t mean you follow through on it.
Lying is a self-protective behavior and it’s also a learned behavior. For example, children learn to lie when they know they will be punished for taking a cookie. People will lie even when their “hand is caught in the cookie jar.”
As we grow in years, we learn through more experiences that the more we lie about our behavior, the more we can get away with doing what we want without suffering the consequences. The problem is many times, people know we are lying, and no matter how much we lie to ourselves about that, the truth is out there. People then learn not to trust us, which has a damaging effect on relationships.
Sometimes we lie to someone, and when they catch us and say, “I don’t trust you,” when the reason why we lie is because they don’t accept the truth. There are times when we lie to someone because we don’t trust that they are emotionally capable of accepting the truth.
The question is, why not just do what you want and NOT LIE about it? The answer is because some people find that lying makes it easier for them to do what they want without having to suffer the blow back from someone else who doesn’t approve of them being truthful. There are also repercussions they want to avoid.
Disobedience is a reaction to control. When you are told to do something, and you don’t do it, you are labeled as being disobedient, or oppositional. With all the control, expectations, and subsequent consequences for not doing what others want you to do, people just find it easier to do what they want and then lie about it.
Some people have learned that it is best to be quiet about doing what they want to do. People confuse the meaning of dishonesty and doing things quietly. They label people as being dishonest when they do something on their own without informing them or requesting their permission and then punish them by calling them liars for doing what they wanted.
It’s easy to tell someone to “just tell the truth.” However, the reality is we live in a society where there are consequences that come from what we say and do. It’s not that people are afraid to tell the truth as much as they don't want to deal with the repercussions because no matter what they say, they are punished because it’s not what people want to hear.
The only recourse people feel they have left is to lie and tell the person what they want to hear, which is not the truth.
If you truly want to live a life of authenticity, you need to focus on self-improvement which comes from self-awareness.
The first and greatest step you can take when you feel triggered to lie is to pause. The second step is to THINK. Thinking before you react is critical. Many people have become habitual liars because they lie so much, they don’t even think about it anymore.
Catch yourself and ask yourself these things: Why am I triggered right now to lie and what are the consequences? What am I compromising?
When you pause and think in the moment, you can prepare yourself by then looking at what the repercussions are in the long term, because eventually your lies will catch up with you and you will have to deal with the blow back from that. It’s best to just be honest up front.
You don’t have to bear the brunt of another person acting out when they hear the truth from you. You can suggest they work on developing their emotional maturity, while you walk away with your authenticity and integrity in check.
Be true to who you are and align everything in your life with that.
We are going to leave you with this final important question to consider. The next time someone is honest with you, saying something to you that you don’t particularly want to hear, will your behavior condition them to lie to you?
About the Authors
Harry Petsanis is a philosopher of human nature, mindset specialist, and lifelong fitness and wellness advisor. He is a writer and author, with three published books: “The Truth is A Lie,” “The Logical Path to Life,” and "Knowing Me from A to Z, A Child's Mindset," which he co-authored with Donna McCance, M.Ed.. Harry has a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. He has an intense passion for psychology and the human condition.
Donna McCance, M.Ed. is a business administrator, writer, author, licensed teacher and principal/vice principal with over 20 years experience teaching in elementary education and educational leadership. She has a Masters in Education, Masters in Human Services Management, Bachelors in Business Administration and Associates in Business Administration.
Click here to order Harry Petsanis’s books
The Truth is A Lie" and "The Logical Path To Life"
Go to amazon.com/dp/B09PMHXVFN
to order Harry Petsanis's and Donna McCance's newly published book
"Knowing Me From A to Z, A Child's Mindset"
To learn about Harry Petsanis, go to his website