Freedom from Alaska!

Why Do People Lie? Fear, Lack of Love & Greed, Why Do We Lie?

There are probably as many alleged “reasons” as there are people. But in the simplest of terms, they all fall into one or more of three groups: fear, greed and hate.

1. Fear (of being rejected, and fear of losing something [greed]):

“One other point to make, in identifying who may be an individual who lies, is a simple characterization of the perpetrator. Kashy and DePaulo, in a 1996 study, attempted to diagram the “liar”. It was found that those who tended to lie more were individuals who were more concerned with self-presentation and were more sociable. …

2. Fear of conflict:

“Behavioral scientist Wendy Gamble, associate professor at the University of Arizona’s School of Family and Consumer Sciences, has studied lying among school children, finding that children show a surprisingly sophisticated understanding of lying as a communication and relationship tool. “Children are very savvy in using deceit to preserve and maintain relationships. They learn that this behavior helps avoid conflict.” …

4. Fear (of being unpopular):

What makes charismatic liars so effective is that they believe their own lies.
“They are not acting,” says Ford. “People with a strong sense of personal identity have difficulty being good actors. Good actors can pretend. They can change their identity.”
The truly charismatic liars are more believable because they actually feel they are telling the truth.

As well, we are more inclined to believe what physically attractive, famous and powerful people tell us, whether it’s true or not, he explains. Ford places this behaviour in the “transference” category. “When we think people have a certain authority over us or that they are better than us, they remind us of our parents so we accept anything they say without question,” he says.

And lying, as an acceptable, even admirable, social skill, is gaining popularity, explains Ford.
Politicians who walk away unscathed from their lies and continue to be adored by their public reinforce the message it’s okay to lie under certain circumstances. Who can forget the words of the world’s most charming prevaricator, former U.S. president Bill Clinton: “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.”

Ford is convinced there are a number of forces conspiring to turn us into liars. He blames the media, particularly television, for spreading the word that lying is not only useful but fun….

5. Fear (Self-protection, Fear of Truth):

“Each of us in our way selectively chooses what we wish to say,” says psychologist Charles Ford, author of Lies! Lies!! Lies!!!, “or we choose not to provide the whole truth.”

Lying to protect yourself is the most common sort of lie, psychologists agree. Another common lie is self-deception. You convince yourself that red traffic light was still yellow to protect yourself from feeling like a lawbreaker. …

6. “Social lies, or white lies, are so common most people wouldn’t even call them lies. The intent is not to deceive, but to respect the other person’s sensitivity.”

This is a lie we tell ourselves for any one or all of various reasons.

One reason is that often we are afraid to tell the truth because we fear losing something. We don’t know how to be both absolutely truthful and how to demonstrate love at the same time. We fear that if we tell the absolute truth we shall hurt or end the social relationship. This lying is not out of love or sensitivity, but out of selfishness. We do this with family, close friends, employers and coworkers, or in any relationship where we feel we have something to lose by telling the truth.

Another reason is that we don’t really care but we still wish to avoid an unpleasant or dangerous situation. … We claim sensitivity, but the fact is that we are too insensitive and contemptible of others to be able to tell the truth.

In some cases, we may know from previous experience that the person really doesn’t want the truth. They are practicing self-deception and do not want to be disturbed in their fantasy. For us to lie to them makes us an enabler of their self-deception in the same way that we can enable alcoholics or drug abusers. The fact that others choose to lie to themselves does not require that we participate in their lying. We make a choice to participate or not, depending upon our own fears or insensitivity. We choose to participate in their lying because we fear losing something or because we don’t really care enough to hold up the truth. Again it comes down to fear or insensitivity. Insensitivity is a lack of love, or in other words, hate.

“Open rebuke is better than secret love.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.”
(Pro. 27:5-6).

Read Entire Article, 35 points in all


From: Helium, Why People Lie

it boils down to fear, and often results in that very thing they feared, NOT gaining acceptance, friends, and ending up lonely.

Read Entire Article


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  1. Karin

    My best friend during high school would often lie about the smallest of things. It got to be annoying. I remember thinking back then that she was usually trying to make things sound better to impress me. But eventually she told me something that a boyfriend had said about me that didn’t ring true, so I asked him if he had said it. He claimed that he had not, but she would never say that she made it up. So I never really knew 100% who was telling the truth…
    Again, I think that she thought that she could make me happy by telling me something that she thought that I would like hearing, but to me, this was carrying things way too far.

    Eventually, before we left home for our different colleges, I confronted her with her habitual lying, but she would not own up to it. I wondered if she actually believed herself as she spoke these untruths.

    We’re much older now and although I’m not exposed to her very often, I think she is much better. Although I can recall something that she said a couple of years ago when I was at her home that was an obvious untruth and I guess my voice sounded shocked & louder?, and her husband was suddenly there confronting her (in a loving way) telling her that she was exaggerating her facts and that what she was saying was not true.

    I was glad to see how he evidently handles this thing of hers. Her little lies are small I suppose in comparison to the warm hearted person she has always been.
    They’ve been happily married for more than 30 years.
    It was funny though, she had a slight frown on her face that said to me that she didn’t appreciate him barging in & ruining her “unbelievable” story!

    She did “thank me” years ago however for confronting her back when we were younger about her lying. She said that it helped her, but I wondered if I actually helped her or if she just decided that she wanted me to think that I helped her. I’ll never really know…

    • Karin,

      It’s good that her husband is trying to help her. Your last paragraph is interesting.

      I got in a lot of trouble trying to help a habitual liar be a real Christian. That was very interesting. I learned a lot. She said she was a Christian….

      She never has apologized to me, but she’s been really nice.

      I don’t understand people like that. God has been faithful to bust me when I’ve lied. I never wanted to feel that guilt again.

      If you’re a Christian, check out Revelation 21:7-8. If people don’t overcome lying, this is their future.

      And this is really interesting. When people got right with each other, including admitting they lied, God showed up big time in this awesome revival. This young lady talks about how great she felt after coming clean to 30+ people:

      Just stopping lying apparently will not set the person free. They need to get right with those they hurt. Th when they can soar.

      I know a pastor who has publicly hurt many people, and many people know. But he acts like nothing is wrong, and the ministry he started many decades ago is all but destroyed. I don’t know what it will take for him to fear God more than people, and do the right thing. He’s already lost face, anyway with many. Why not just tell the truth and come clean?

      But then there are the enablers who protect him as long as they get a chance to be a leader in a church — which makes it easier for him to just keep acting like everything is okay. He must be miserable inside, because he knows he’s in big trouble. Many have told him.

      Ted Haggard (former pastor) said he felt so much better after he got busted for his homosexual adventures, because he had felt so guilty.

      Thanks for sharing,


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