Why do we lie is a question of curiosity. The psychology of why do we lie is full of interesting answers. But how often do you lie? And how often do you think other people lie to you? It could be many times than you think. Why do we lie? There are several different reasons why we lie;

  • So we might lie for personal reasons
  • We might lie to avoid punishment
  • We might lie because we get a kick out of pulling the view over somebody else’s eyes.

So the white lies I always say are the oils keep life machine running smoothly. Everybody lies.

Imagine the situation where we told the truth all the time. I don’t think we’d last long. We certainly wouldn’t have a friend for more than 24 hours.

  • 61% of men and 60% of women in the UK think it is okay to lie to spare someone’s feelings.
  • 25% of men and 22 % of women think it is okay to lie to cover up their own mistakes.

People excuse to get the award and avoid harm. For example, to get a good job, you would lie on a CV.

You might like to gain more money. People also lie often because they want others to see them more favorably. To get a better date, people lie on dating apps.

  • 69% of people polled that to lie about age and appearances on a dating app is never acceptable.
  • 39% of men and 40% of women it is okay to lie to take time from work with over half of age 16 to 24 says it works.
  • One in five UK workers makes the excuse of being sick and take off. 29% of the only manager thinks people actually call in true sickness. 

Why do we believe in big lies?

According to George Lakoff at the University of California, we tend to interrupt evidence differently depending on our personal beliefs.

And anything that challenges will actually be ignored or even attacked which might go some way to explaining why society can be so polarized.

Lies we tell our partners

Research suggests when we are married, about one in 10 of our interaction is formal deception.

When we are at an early stage of getting to know a person or dating them, it can be as high as almost half of things that we tell another person could be deceptive in some kind of another way. The most common lie is white lies, the protective lies.

Imagine your partner is a budding Picasso.  They come home from the art class one night, and they show you the latest painting that they are very proud of. You take a look at it and go.

And they say what you think about my painting. We typically say yes I like that. We necessarily don’t speak the straight truth.

How often do we lie?

When we learn to make excuse as children. We sometimes called the theory of mind which is our understanding of the intentions and beliefs of others.

Hence, we also develop skills such as planning and self-control which help us to tell better porkies.

Robert Feldman at the University of Massachusetts found that we lie often and we don’t know that we are lying. 

We like to think of ourselves as very honest, truthful, trustworthy people.

So one of the reasons we might not be good at tracking how often we lied.

We might underestimate to protect ourselves. To protect our self-esteem make us feel better about ourselves.

When lie get out of control

You may think it is okay to make excuse in some situations. What’s wrong in telling someone that you look okay today? But are little acts of dishonesty as are harmless as they seem?

Is laying about small things the start of a slippery slope? There is a fine example around us in which people start from a small excuse but and they turned into bigger liars.

Bernie Madoff is one of example with Ponzi scheme.

He says that he started with a small lie. But then it turned it in a big snowfall ball.

So when someone lies they feel bad about it. Because we think lies are immoral. And so if we lie we will feel bad.

But the thing when we have emotion and then we encounter the same stimulus again the number of emotions decreases.

If we allow people to get away with small lies. It is possible that over time they will more likely to be more and more dishonest and actually commit bigger crimes. If we could stop the small act of dishonesty that would potentially let people make bigger liars. It is a truth and harsh reality. Never speak straight truth always, plan honesty, change your words and see how things work.


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