Why People Lie. 5 Possible Reasons.

It happened again.  A blatant lie.  Either posted on your social media, texted, or said right to your face.  Wow.  Last week it might have been something different and it’s getting pretty old.

I don’t do very well anywhere where people constantly lie.  Period.  I never have.

It rubs me the wrong way and literally makes my skin crawl the second a lie is spoken to me.  I can’t explain what my body does, but it does some kind of interesting lie detecting thing.  Like the hairs on my arms actually stand up, I feel “prickly” and the blood seems to rush to my face and ears.

I can read facial expression that reveal hidden emotions, but even in text there are things that I scan and immediate;y have the same reaction in my body.  Something just doesn’t add up.  It makes no sense.

Lots of people lie to avoid being “punished” like they are still a child.  It was probably instinct early on and perhaps there was some merit to it when they were not an adult depending on what the punishment was for the behavior.  For the purpose of this article, I am not talking about the threat of physical harm…I am talking about people you know who you expect perhaps better from.  But it is still a real possibility that they were raised that way and you are unaware.

Unfortunately, in the times we live in now, there are so many ways people lie.  It might seem harmless, like the fake photos on social media, air brushed, and filtered, and stories of wealth that just isn’t really there.

Recently, someone I admire, posted for months this elaborate house project, and how wonderful things were, only to post after getting what appeared to be everything they wanted that their marriage was falling apart.

That was very brave.  I love authentic people and in today’s society, there is so much comparison and fear of failure that stepping up and being honest seems outside of the norm (it should actually be the norm, right?).

We see lies from people we admire, politicians, movie stars, singers, and most anyone you might follow on social media.  Sometimes, the lies are so deep, these people probably even start believing them themselves.

Let’s take a look at 5 Possible Reasons people in your circle lie:

  1. Manipulate people.  This seems to be the first reason people in management or work places do this, and in relationships.  It is usually a tactic of someone who is abusive.  Mentally they are not stable and they use gaslighting as a way to get you to think what they said never happened.  They try to humiliate you in front of others and pretend they never said anything like what you might have repeated publicly.  Usually these people get you ALONE and tell you all kinds of things, and deny them in public.  This type of power trip becomes addictive to them.  Beware.  They will not change.  Not ever.  They were possibly raised by someone who did this to them and continue the cycle.  They love to pretend they have the upper hand, but in reality, they are just unwell.
  2. Ego trips.  The house, the car, the club, the money, most of it is debt, but hey, they look good on social media.  The people who do this feel superior so they lie to make themselves look better than others.  Has it worked on you?  Unfollow anyone you think is blowing smoke up your…circle.  Start finding the people who are keeping it real and posting things like.  Look at this pile of laundry today, or I went out with one brown show and one black show in.  I love those people.  Obviously there are people who have nice things by the way…and most of them quietly go about their business instead of blasting it everywhere.  You can spot the difference between these people.
  3. Avoidance.  Some people do not want conflict or to be told that what they did was in the wrong.  So in order to get out of “trouble” they omit lots of things.  Perhaps they are lying to themselves saying that the affair they are having is to spare someone’s feelings from getting hurt when in reality, they just can’t face the consequences so they avoid the truth.  Telling it.  Living it.  Believing it themselves.
  4. Vindictive behavior.  They probably want something that is not otherwise readily obtainable in their normal lives and they feel harmed by someone in their circle.  They have perceived that someone has something, like a raise, or a new relationship, that should have been theirs.  So in order to get back at them, they lie about things that are just not true in order to hurt the other person’s reputation.  Consider the source and move on.  You don’t need that type of viper in your circle.
  5. Procrastination, laziness and indifference.  Avoiding their responsibilities and lying about it making it your problem comes down to laziness.  These people never did what they said they were going to do, and intentionally lied and said they did or they were getting to it.  But they weren’t getting to it, and never will.  They want you to get to it for them and cover it up.  If it didn’t really matter to them, they act indifferent when you bring it up and see nothing wrong with their lie.  You know better because they do this all the time.  You have to decide what types of things you want to allow and what boundaries you want with this person.  Give them 1 chance, okay.  Five more?  No.  It won’t change.

I get it if it’s some sort of awkward response socially and you say you have to do x, y, and then z because you think you are sparing the person’s feelings.  The thing is, real friends can spot that little white lie too.  I especially loved the time a former friend of mine told me she was taking me to this painting class.  I kept asking her about good dates, and she said she was booked and would get back to me.  Literally the next night, she posted a photo of her with a different friend at said painting class.

First of all, I can’t even paint a stick figure so if she had been honest about changing people, I would have been fine.  But it was about seeing her, spending time with her, and at that point I loved her like a sister.  Every time she wanted to see me though, things got more complicated in her story, and she started asking a certain other friend if they could tag along and eventually I realized it wasn’t about me.  It was her escape, and many elaborate lies to try to use me to have an affair.

To this day I wonder what would have happened if she had come forward and told me the truth about her marriage, what was going on, and how she honestly felt.  By the time our friendship ended, she had told me so many stories and lies that I don’t know what was even real in our friendship.

Being honest is always the easiest way to keep a friend even if it seems like it’s the hardest. 

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