Why Lie?

Why might you deliberately give someone the wrong impression? Why would you alter or exaggerate the facts? When might you present false pictures?

Whether you call them white lies, fibs, half-truths or exaggerations, lying is lying.

For example, you spill some water on your office’s copy machine and it makes a funny sound. Just as you turn around to find a towel, your boss walks in and tries to make a copy.

He says, “Hey! Why isn’t the copier working? And who spilled this water?”

You shrug and mumble, “Umm, don’t know.” As your face turns red you quickly leave.

You wonder, “Why did I just lie to my boss?”

“Lies are told because one is afraid of the consequences* should one tell the truth.” — L. Ron Hubbard (*consequences = effects, results)

You cannot face what will happen if you tell the truth, so you lie. You are afraid of consequences like these:

  • Your status may suffer
  • You may be punished
  • You will look stupid
  • Someone will get angry at you
  • You have to admit you are stupid or wrong

However bad these consequences may be, lying has far worse consequences!

Results of Lying

Lying causes anxiety, depression and physical illness. You constantly worry your lies will be revealed.

Keeping your stories straight requires a lot of work.

After you lie to someone, you may not like being around that person. Lies ruin friendships, work relationships and marriages.

If someone catches you lying, he or she won’t easily believe you again. Your status in that person’s eyes drops to zero.

You criticize yourself for being a liar instead of taking pride for being honest.

How to Tell the Truth Despite the Consequences

Instead of worrying about the consequences as your first priority, make it your second priority. Tell the truth as your first priority and then deal with the consequences.

1. Tell the truth.
2. Immediately face the consequences and get it over with.
3. Relax.

For example, you spill water on the copier. Your boss walks in and tries to make a copy.

Your boss says, “Hey! Why isn’t the copier working? And who spilled this water?”

Instead of worrying about getting in trouble, you make the truth your first priority.

“I did it.”

You then deal with the consequences.

“I’m soooo sorry! I’ll be responsible for it. I’m getting a towel and will be right back!”

You told the truth and will soon be through the ordeal. No lie to cover up. Your boss may yell, but will appreciate your honesty. Eventually.

Seven Benefits of Telling the Truth

1. Because you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember what you said to whom. You won’t accidentally contradict yourself.

2. You earn the reputation as an honest person. If you are a manager, your staff members tell each other, “Our team leader might be more honest about your work than you may want to hear, but it’s better to know the truth.”

3. People follow your example and are more truthful to you. “You never lie to me, so I’m going to give you the facts.”

4. Your stress level drops. You sleep better, eat better and look better.

5. You are proud of yourself. Lying causes self-criticism and depression. Honesty causes self-confidence and pride.

6. You are more persuasive. To be persuasive, you need to be believable. To be believable, you must be truthful.

7. Best of all, you are trustworthy. When people can trust you, you earn their support. You need peoples’ support to reach your goals.

“Trustworthiness is a highly esteemed commodity*. When one has it, one is considered valuable. When one has lost it, one may be considered worthless.” — L. Ron Hubbard from “The Way to Happiness” (commodity: something useful or valuable)