Lies and Deception
“Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first
we practice to deceive!”
Sir Walter Scott
We have all told a white lie at some time, and at other times it may have been a blatant porky! Why do we do it? Is lying a reflex? Is lying a form of protection? What is it? Or is lying a deliberate deception?
Some people are what we would call ‘habitual liars’, such that the habit runs so deep that they themselves start to believe their own lies. Gosh! As psychologists delve deeper into the details of deception, they’re finding that lying is a surprisingly common and complex phenomenon.
We know that there are many casualties of the lie … and the first is truth. We can see this manifest in different ways, and here are some of the symptoms to look out for.
Loss of trust
Suspicion and doubt
Lack of openness
Big holes in the relationship – lack of honesty
Arguments and anger
Emotional pain and unhappiness
What makes us think that a little dishonesty is, OK? In aiming to deceive, we also know that every lie begets another lie. If we tell the truth and are honest with our self and others, then we do not need to remember a web of lies. When we are with truth our mind is at peace, because there are no complicated deceptions to remember.
When we tell a lie, all parts of our brain are working in overdrive. The frontal lobe is stimulated – it has the ability to suppress the truth because of its intellectual role. The limbic system is stressed due to anxiety created by the lie. The temporal lobe is involved because it’s responsible for retrieving memories and creating mental imagery. Conclusion: It’s far more peaceful when we tell the truth because our brain is quiet.
Bella DePaulo, Ph.D., a psychologist at the University of Virginia, has confirmed that lying is simply a condition of life. In her research she found that both men and women lie in approximately a fifth of their social exchanges lasting 10 or more minutes. And over the course of a week, we deceive about 30 percent of people we have one to one interactions with. Though some lies produce interpersonal friction, others may actually serve as a kind of harmless social lubricant. “They make it easier for people to get along,” says De Paulo
It is not just at a personal level, but at all levels of society that we appear not to tell the truth. We seem to work so hard at impression management, because we want to be ‘seen’ as good in the eyes of others. Sometimes that management leads to a distortion of our natural nature; which is expressed through our behaviour.
Personal – we are simply not honest with our self
Perhaps we are in self-denial, and we control those feelings of guilt, shame and fear. But what will be the result for us once realization hits? Maybe we have an ego issue and blow our own trumpet, or use the ego to bolster ourselves up because of feeling insecure. Actually, when we lie, we create a form of stress in the body, and there is definitely an impact on our biology… so our body knows what’s going on and responds accordingly.
Relationships – whilst in a partnership with others
Do we lie to protect the feelings of others. Maybe tell a white lie so as not to hurt the feelings of others? Maybe we are a peacemaker and want to avoid arguments. Or do we lie to manipulate or deceive?
Business – advertising and marketing
Do businesses tell the truth and always present the facts 100%? Is it all a matter of presentation and re-presentation? Or do they spin things to their advantage? Funny how after all those paid-for-protections, our warranty and guarantee run out just on time, or before the product breaks down. Is this a coincidence, or due to built-in obsolescence?
Politics – mis-information and dis-information
Why do we not only expect but accept the lies of politicians? Why do they distort the facts or purely mis-represent information? Some politicians seem to suffer from the illness of “selective hearing” when it suits them, and they are very good at “… being economical with the truth.” Not only this but in America they had the department of dis-information.
Media – false speak and propaganda
We can say that propaganda is a distortion of the facts … sometimes there may be just “a pinch of salt in a sack full of flour”, so there is only a speck of truth in what is said. It has been such a long time since we had impartial and fair reporting. When the media are instructed, and are “told” what they are to report on, and how … this is not news but a form of propaganda. When the public do not have an opportunity to consider the evidence and make their own judgement after having heard the facts, but instead we are corralled into only one viewpoint, this is clearly not unbiased reporting.
What happened to listening to both sides and having a democratic debate? What has happened to free speech and free thought? How much have we woken up to the fact that we are in fact not free, but living under the illusion of freedom? Go out and test your freedoms and you will see for yourself.
Keep looking for the Truth.
“This above all: to thine own self be true; and it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.”
William Shakespeare – Hamlet
It’s Time … to start being honest with ourselves, for that is where true honesty begins.
© ‘It’s Time…’ by Aruna Ladva, BK Publications London, UK