OH NOOOO!!!! YOUR PANTS ARE ON FIRE!!! Okay, they’re not really. Only if you are a liar! A big, fat, liar! It was suggested by someone I know, that I write about lying. So let’s jump right in!
Lying: Mostly, it means that you are lying down on a horizontal surface. But what I was looking for was the verb. To deliberately say something untrue in a conscious effort to deceive somebody. To give a false impression. Falsehood, false appearance. It’s not news that we all lie. This is interesting though, typically men lie to make themselves better while women lie to make the other person feel better. We start lying around the age of 4 or 5. It begins by seeing if and how we can manipulate the situation. Example: “Do you need a diaper change?” The child may lie because they don’t want to disrupt what they are doing because of the process of a diaper change. “Did you hit Johnny?” The child may lie because they don’t want to get into trouble. As the child ages, they may start lying about imaginary things.” I have a rocket ship!” From then on, the lies become more consequential. “I didn’t do drugs, or I don’t think she likes you!” These lies are specifically to get out of trouble or to cause trouble or to get what we want.
As adults – men typically lie to make themselves look better, while women lie to make the other person feel better. There are many different levels of lies. But they are all lies, nonetheless. In fact, there are typically 7 types of lies, so let’s talk about them.
Error – Some people don’t know that they are not telling the truth. An example of this is if you hear something from someone and pass that information on believing it to be true
Withholding information or partial disclosure – Leaving out important information. When people use this kind of deception, it is usually done to alleviate some of the guilt. It’s a passive way of lying.
Denial – Completely not accepting what is happening. This type of lying can be done to yourself or to others.
Minimization – Lessoning the impact of a situation done to spare yourself or someone else.
Exaggeration – The intent of this is to make oneself look better, look smarter, or even to get someone in more trouble.
Restructuring – Altering the event or action to benefit the outcome.
Fabricating – Just completely making up something. Inventing a false story.
Broken promises – These just suck. “Yes, I promise I will play ball with you after work” or “For sure, let’s go out on a date!” When you have no intention of calling her back.
Now, what about the white lie? Have you ever lied about your age? You may not think this is a big deal. But if you do it all the time, who are you fooling? And does it change the truth? If you feel bad about your age and feel you must lie about it, do some work on your self-esteem. I have known 40 year olds that are amazing, they come across as just fantastic people because they are comfortable and secure with themselves. Media has really done us wrong here. Aging is something we all do. I’m 38. I was born in 1975. I have some amazing friends that are like 23, and some who are 65. I adapt. I challenge myself to not listen to the commercials depicting women not having any pores or lines on their perfectly glowing faces. Having flawless eyebrows and highlights and lowlights and botox. I want these lines – it shows that I have facial expressions, these gray hairs – I earned every single one of my “wise” highlights! Or what about telling someone that you make more money than you do? Is that someone you want to hang out with anyway? If you have told that lie, chances are, you told it so that you can impress that person. Maybe you should look at why you are trying to impress that person.
And now for the big one! I was asked to include this one. “What if your best friend is cheating on her boyfriend, and you sort of know him, do you tell him?” You know what? Cheating isn’t a characteristic that I want people to use to describe me. It’s one of those things that literally twists my stomach. I’m sitting here, literally shaking my head at the act of cheating. Here is my answer – agree or disagree – and please leave comments on how you feel about this, but if you find yourself in this situation, please talk to your best friend. If that person is cheating, he or she isn’t getting their needs met in their current relationship. If they feel the need to stray, perhaps they should end the current relationship – spend some time internalizing and figure out what they are lacking. Then move on. And truth be told, I was cheated on. I wish I knew right from the start. At least then, it would have been my decision to tolerate this behavior or not. I would ask my friend why they feel the need to cheat, what needs they aren’t having met, if they know the backlash of the infidelity – with both parities, if these needs have been addressed or brought to light and I would really encourage they tell the truth.
And now the gold! How to spot a big fat liar! Firstly, check their pants. Are they on fire? That’s key. Pants engulfed in flames are a sure fire way (no pun intended) to weed out a liar. Barring that, here are a few more tips.
- Look for micro expressions. Those little changes in a person’s facial expressions that aren’t there normally.
- Look for nose, mouth or neck touching. This is because a little shot of adrenalin causes these areas to tingle or itch.
- Notice eye movement. Looking down or a longer-than-normal blink. Note: Due to cultural differences or childhood conditioning, lack of eye contact is rarely accurate, but pay attention to the length of the blink.
- See if the person is nodding. If the person is agreeing with you but slightly nodding “no” – this can be a clear indicator of lying.
- Fidgeting. This is only accurate when the liar is uncomfortable while lying.
- If a person is telling the truth, they typically lean towards the person they are talking to, if they are lying, they are looking away, leaning away.
- If someone is lying, they body movements are more ridged than normal. They tend to not move their arms.
- A truthful person rarely feels it necessary to defend themselves, while the liar will embellish or even over-exaggerate so they can be trusted. Flying off the handle wildly when questioned
- A truthful person will be able to give more detail, without being prompted
- Repeating the question asked. Example; “Where were you!” “Where was I? I was at….”
So how do you handle it when you have that intuition that someone is lying?
- Use silence. Ask your question, pause. Even after the person has finished speaking. Give them a minute and just watch their reaction to your silence.
- Stare at the person in disbelief. If they are lying, they will get tense, perhaps purse their lips and furrow their brows and maybe even walk away. If that person isn’t lying, they will ask you what you are doing.
- Tell them how you feel.
If someone is lying to you, tell them how this is affecting the trust in your relationship. If they are later found not to have lied, tell them that you made a mistake ask what you can do to make it right. Trust is a fundamental aspect of any relationship. It is hard to earn back. Sometimes it can take years – and even then, be ripped out from under you. The consequences of lying are pretty monumental. Whether it was “where were you last night?” “Oh, I was at Jimmy’s” and really you were at Jenny’s, or “Yeah, I’m doing great! Things couldn’t be better!” when really, you’re just barely hanging on. You are either lying to yourself, or someone you love.
If you have to lie about it, you shouldn’t be doing it. – Darlene P – my momma.
What wise words. If we are lying and shouldn’t be “doing it”, we need to make a positive change in our lives so that we can live a life of honesty, integrity and so that people can count on us. This also models positive behavior to our friends and children.
Telling the truth tactfully is a skill that we need to work on. Once you master always being honest, you become a ninja at it and people look at you as honest. Honestly. J
Ignite the fire in your life – not your pants. I just made that up.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog!