Pretty lies, petty lies
At five, he had two options- to accept his mistake and get punished or to blame the dog for breaking the vase and be free from its repercussions. The child chose the second one. Most of the kids would have done the same, but are they alone to be blamed for such choice?
As a child she loved evening walks with her grandfather. Both of them would relish sweets, and on their way back her grandpa would always remind her not to tell anyone at home. Harmless secret, isn’t it? But it gave her a lifelong impression that a little lie for some fun is totally acceptable.
As kids, during family gatherings they had always seen their mother gracefully taking credit of delicacies prepared by their house help. Afterall, who doesn’t enjoys praise and popularity. Concealing truth has easy, sweet rewards, is what they interpreted.
Amygdala is a tiny, almond sized pair in human brain which is linked with emotions. Amygdala instantly produces a negative reaction when a person lies. However, interesting part is that it gradually starts adapting to lies i.e. its reaction starts diminishing when lies become a regular part of person’s life. Thus, something which starts as small, harmless lies if left unchecked can easily give way to bigger lies, as the brain accepts lying as normal pattern and reduces its alert reactions.
Picking from their environment around, most kids start lying at very early age. Common reasons people lie include – saving their skin, to gain popularity and admiration, to feel authoritative, for supposed good of others. However, if rationally evaluated, apart from few exceptional situations, like- giving hope to a severely ill person, on whom even doctors have given up or lying to save someone or oneself from miscreants; most of the situations don’t require lying.
A person’s usage of lies very much depends on his past experiences. If a person has easily and well benefitted from lies in the past, his frequency of lying increases. Frequent lies sometimes turn people into compulsive liars. Compulsive liars start lying for petty matters and for no valid reason. Excessive lying almost diminishes the line between truth and lie for compulsive liars. They themselves start believing and living their own lies. This over time turns into a psychological issue where liars weave vivid stories around his lies. Compulsive and frequent lying greatly affects people close to the liar. It becomes difficult for them to trust the person and deduce when he is lying and when not. This adversely affects a person’s personal and professional life.
Though a person’s nervousness, changing versions of the same story, missing finer details, avoiding eye contact, pauses and sweating make lies detectable for people observing closely. But the signs vary from person to person. The more frequent a liar, the lesser evident are the signs.
Many opine that lying is much needed today. However, we must not forget that it’s us who shape the world we live in and if we have created one where lying is the need of time, where people aren’t strong enough to listen or speak truth; rather truth no matter how sweetly served contradicts with their life and lifestyle then there is definitely something wrong.
What we mustn’t overlook is that a web of lies can only result in a fake world, full of fake relations, fake expectations and short lived delusionary happiness.