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Why do People Lie?

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  • This topic has 30 replies, 11 voices, and was last updated 1 day ago by anita.
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  • #122599
    anita
    Participant

    Why do people lie (to lie= to make false statements being aware made statements are not true)?

    I will list 10 reasons that come to my mind and am inviting you, dear reader, to share your thoughts, feelings and experience with any one of the following as well as add more reasons you can think of.

    1. Money: people lie to financially benefit themselves, to get their hands on Other People’s Money.

    2. Power-over: people lie to have power over other people, for various benefits. This happens within families, in the work place and in other contexts.

    3. Fitting in, being liked: people lie so to not be disapproved of for thinking and feeling differently from others.

    4. Avoiding negative consequences: people lie so to avoid such themselves or to protect others from such.

    5. Impressing: people lie so that the one hearing/ reading their lies will think highly of them.

    6. Getting attention/ responses: people lie so to be interesting enough or attractive enough to bring about attention.

    7. Sex: people lie so to use another person’s body for their sexual pleasure.

    8. Habit: people lie because they have been lying for a long time and forgot how or why the habit started.

    9. Anger and distrust: people lie because they believe that people don’t deserve the truth.

    10. Entertainment/ embellishment: people lie because the words they use “sound good”- they use sparkly combination of words that have a nice-feel to them. Whether their expressions are true or not is of no concern to them- if it sounds good; if it feels good, it is verbalized.
    * to embellish= to make something more attractive by the addition of decorative details or features/ to make a statement or story more interesting or entertaining by adding extra details, especially ones that are not true.

    anita

    • This topic was modified 4 years, 11 months ago by anita.
    #122628
    Adam P
    Participant

    In one quick phrase: For survival reasons.
    Humans have been conditioned to choose survival over truth. That is why you never read about our ancestors searching for truth because they were more concerned about fitting in with groups and hungering/gathering to survive the elements.
    Thank you and take care.
    -AP85

    #122631
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Adam P/ future responders:

    I will respond to your post/s when I stop getting them (and this might be the only one, of course). I want to process a group of responses at a later time.

    anita

    #122640
    Harry
    Participant

    Hi Anita, what a coincidence! You started a thread! I like the reasons that why people lie. In my view, people lie because they don’t want to be themselves. In addition, they are not comfortable in their own shoes (ie mental health, physical health, financially, etc). That’s probably where it stems from, in addition to lying under the necessity of survival conditions. The truth is people can’t stop lying because the human mind is programmed to want something more and more, so people lie more.

    Let me know your thoughts
    Harry

    #122681
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Reader:

    More reasons to why people lie:

    11. Being kind (?)- telling a person he or she looks nice when you don’t think so, or that the person is intelligent, when you don’t believe it is true… or that the person did the right thing, etc.so that the person will feel good/ will not be hurt.

    12. Professional Pride- for those who plan on making a living lying, or already are, there is a certain pride in being “good at it” and successful in fooling people. Since lying in itself is so very easy, it leaves people so inclined, with lots of time and energy to invest in doing a better and better job at it. It really is a science, for those advanced liars (unfortunately, for their victims)- the science of lying.

    —-

    Thank you, Adam P. What you mean, I understand, is Competition for Limited Resources from prehistory to present, has been a reason people lie as well as for the purpose of being included and remaining included in the herd, for protective reasons. I agree that when it comes to the number 1 priority for any living thing- to survive, truth as well as any other value is secondary.

    Thank you, Harry. What you mean, I understand, is that people lie because they are not comfortable being themselves; they want to be someone else, someone better, someone more. I agree, very much so. When people disapprove of themselves, they want to present to the world someone who they do approve of.

    Summary, so far: there are many reasons and motivations for lying for different people. One person can lie at different times for different reasons and motivations.

    anita

    #122688
    Peter
    Participant

    We lie because of fear and insecurity.

    #122724
    Nan
    Participant

    Oh my! I have lied using 8 reasons of your list of 12. Peter says it right- all mostly due to fear and insecurity and self-protection!

    #122728
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Peter:

    You hit the nail on the head regarding Nan’s lying! Fear and insecurity: fear is the emotion, insecurity is the perception of danger, real or imagined. Thank you, Peter, for commenting here.

    Dear Nan:

    Insecurity, I wrote above, is “the perception of danger, real or imagined. I still believe that your perception of danger IF you leave, is imagined. But then, the fear is just as intense, whether the danger is real or imagined, as long as we perceive it.

    And thank you Nan for commenting and for being here!!!

    anita

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 11 months ago by anita.
    #122976
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Reader:

    More about reason # 12, above (professional lying, I call it):

    Most often, the goal of Professional Lying is financial profit. It is often done online. The liar who makes up an empathy-invoking life situation and asks for money on a single post will have some success if that one post is copied and sent to a large enough number of people, often to their personal emails. Someone (a very small percentage of people receiving the email) will fall for it.

    Without massive posting (marketing), the professional liar has to approach the targets (potential victims) more slowly, carefully. The liar will continue telling his/ her alleged empathy-invoking life situation part by part, post by post. Empathetic people will reply, getting emotionally involved with the liar over time through ongoing correspondence. The liar does not ask for money, the targets are not alarmed.

    The liar expresses appreciation to the target, for their expressed empathy, for their advice, for their time, letting the target know that (the target) is very helpful, means a lot. The target feels helpful, useful, appreciated, making a difference, doing good, being good.

    When the target is hooked, the professional liar strikes. At that time, the target is too involved in the made up story, in the delusion that (the target) is helpful, useful, highly appreciated, doing good in the world. Not wanting to lose these feelings, the target complies and sends the liar the money requested. The liar continues the communication, the target sends more money. The more money sent, the less the target wants to feel he has been victimized. And so, he will send more.

    The first strategy, the sending of one post to many thousands of people, will provide some results, one or a few people will send the money (or the details to use so that the liar gets the money). This will happen one time as the victim does not have a relationship with the liar. The second strategy, the ongoing communication online with a few targets will provide one or a couple of targets sending money repeatedly.

    Be aware… and wary.

    anita

    #122981
    XenopusTex
    Participant

    Does this dress make me look fat?

    Answer choices:

    1) No.
    2) Yes.
    3) Anything short of a “Big Top” tent would make you fat.

    One of these will lead to you not getting slapped. Two of them will lead to you getting slapped. Guess which one gets picked… Even if the person asking the question might be on par with a Sumo wrestler.

    Anita, ah yes… the Nigerian check scheme and other such schemes. “I really like you, but I need ~$10,000.00 to come to see you. Wouldn’t you like to see me? Please send the money to my <insert fake family member here>.” Then comes the series of excuses as to why more money is necessary.

    #122987
    anita
    Participant

    Dear XenopusTex:

    On my long walk this afternoon on an inch or two of snow, I thought to myself: I wish XenopusTex would answer my Lying thread, and … lo and behold, you did!

    As to your multiple choice question, if you are referring to a significantly overweight woman, then the answer to her question would be A. NO, and it will not be a lie, because it will not be the dress making her obesity evident, it is the obesity itself.

    anita

    #122999
    XenopusTex
    Participant

    Anita: I am sitting here, after today warmed up about 30 degrees or so. Saturday, the high was ~-10F. You know you’ve lived in North Dakota for a while when you think… -15F and no wind, that’s not bad. Good hunting weather this week, too bad I won’t have time :/ My shotguns hunger, but no time. Of course, last time, the old line… you missed… with a shotgun… would apply.

    People lie for many reasons as you said. People are hypocritical about lying by themselves and others.

    This leads me to a serious question, and not meaning to get into political issues, but I wonder about something. When Bob the murderer say “I didn’t do it,” there is a group of people who believe him no matter what the evidence shows, and encourage others to do so. This same group of people automatically assumes that Russia hacked into part of the election candidate choosing process despite the people being targeted saying h*ll no it wasn’t them. If we should believe that Bob “didn’t do it” despite a dozen videos from cameras, the victim’s blood on the interior of Bob’s gun, and Bob’s confession… Why shouldn’t we believe Russia?

    People are gullible. People believe what folks will tell them. Psychopaths work it best because they are really great at telling people what they want to hear. Marketing folks are also very good at telling B.S. to the point where it’s even called “puffing.” Any coincidence that marketing folks and psychopaths are good at the same things? How many times do you see “World’s Best,” or “Nation’s Best,” or similar line of bull sh*t? Or people trying to sell you something that you don’t need, or worse, is dangerous.

    I.E. one gun store in the state tried to sell one of our female attorneys a heavy frame S&W .357Magnum revolver with a trigger pull that she couldn’t operate. All that would do is result in the weapon getting taken from you and you getting filled with .357Magnum sized holes. This woman had never shot anything heavier than a .22LR, but they kept telling her it was what she wanted. The guy was trying to make money off of selling her a hand-cannon that she had no means of practically using.

    #123020
    anita
    Participant

    Dear XenopusTex:

    Here in Washington State (close to the Canadian border) it is about freezing temperature. The ground is often frozen these days, but it is not as cold as in your neck of the woods. It is Migratory Bird hunting season here and the two birds offered on the Christmas get together I attended last Friday, a duck and a goose, were shot (with a shotgun), cooked, carved and served by the same proud man who hosted the party. (All dark meat, both birds, didn’t see that before).

    As to your second paragraph- When Bob claims I-didn’t-do-it in spite of physical evidence, those people believing Bob are emotionally invested in believing him, for their own individual reasons. Let’s say a person was accused of something he didn’t do and suffered for it. That person is carrying anger inside him for having been falsely accused. Then that person watches Bob in the news and identifies with Bob’s looks or mannerism or childhood story, next the person projects himself into Bob and the result: Bob-didn’t-do-it.

    Connecting this to Emotional Intelligence (your quest as well as mine), I learned the following equation:

    Wise Mind= Rational Mind + Emotional Mind.

    People who adhere to a position in spite of physical evidence and/ or with no evidence or logic behind their position, are using Emotional Mind alone. They are motivated to believe X, so they “fix” their thinking to fit X. Their thinking-fixing is often as distorted as can be, but it doesn’t matter when the emotional investment is so intense. For example, the person believing Bob, he is motivated to protest his own innocence projected into Bob, and will use ANY thinking, no matter how distorted.

    It is not gullibility alone that causes a particular person to believe the unbelievable; it is the person’s emotional motivation that is the cause. The person has a personal motivation to believe.

    Gullibility is a factor too, as people tend to believe what they repeatedly read or hear. If it is stated often enough, people will believe, most often. For a lie to stick, repeat it often enough, with emotion as glue, and it is likely to stick.

    Bob’s people and conspiracy-theory people state falsehoods not being aware that they are promoting untruths. Other people state falsehoods knowing these are untruths.

    I knew, XenopusTex, that you will encourage me to think further on the topic.

    anita

    #163070
    serenity
    Participant

    dear anita,

    the reasons you gave are very true and it helps to know what causes lieing  truth is there are so many diffrent reasons why people tend to lie. ive met people who say that most of their lives they lied because they were brought up with people constantly lieing. i just wanted to share my thoughts on that.

    love and happiness,

    serenity

    #163084
    anita
    Participant

    Dear serenity:

    Thank you for replying to this old thread of mine.

    I suppose when people “were brought up with people constantly lying” they may choose to lie themselves or they may choose to not lie.

    There are also all kinds of lying: knowingly lying to others and unknowingly lying to ourselves.

    anita

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