Liar, liar, pants on fire.
This rhyme is often used by children to say when someone is caught in a lie. People opt to lie in some situations for different reasons:
- To avoid hurting another person with a sincere comment on their outfit, for instance.
- To get away with something wrong they have done or said.
- To not do something they don´t want to do.
- To hide feelings.
- To refuse offers and invitations.
- To carry/portrait an image that makes them look like they belong to a higher status group.
- To avoid conflicts.
There many other motives for choosing to lie over telling the truth.
But is it possible to live your whole life without lying?
A Facebook poll showed that most people believe that it is impossible to only tell the truth.
Ana Paula Santos commented that “lying is necessary so we can protect ourselves. We lie to people that try to approach us in an uncomfortable situation where we can be vulnerable, for example. We lie to people that we love when we know that the cruel truth will hurt them somehow. In our current society, being strictly sincere could jeopardize the good relationships you have. The question is: Is it worth being 100% sincere?”.
Other participants argued that some lies are socially necessary when it comes to living in peace with others. White lies were also mentioned as a good example of lies that could be considered acceptable. For instance,” that experience you say you have on your CV”; “you look beautiful!” or saying that you are fine despite being through hell.
The movie The Invention of Lying talks about the importance of lies that are socially accepted, highlighting that being honest all the time can sound rude.
On the other hand, many people agreed that it IS possible to live a life without telling a single lie. Ursula Liba explained that “living an entire life without lying doesn’t mean that you will hurt a lot of people for saying the truth. I believe that if you choose to not lie, you can use strategies such as omitting something; change subjects; run away from a situation that will lead to lies, or just be quiet, and not say anything”.
Ursula confesses that she might have lied before but she emphasizes that she tries to use those strategies as a lifestyle.
Researchers claim there is a lot we misunderstand about deception, telling the truth and trust—and that, if you manage to grasp it, lying the correct way may help establish connections, trust, and businesses. Maurice Schweitzer, a professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, whose research focuses on deception and trust, states that “we should be teaching our kids, students, and employees when and how to lie,” says the professor to time.com.
“Sometimes we even lie to ourselves”, commented Aline Campos on the social media poll.
Even though some lies are considered acceptable, resisting the temptation of lying can help you build lasting relationships of trust and lead a more peaceful life. Believe me.