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Oops, I just told a lie. It was a little white lie but still, I lied. Why did I lie? What an interesting thought: Why? After thinking about this most complex question I came up with a variety of reasons why people find justification in lying. Be mindful that most of my thoughts stem from books or articles I have read about the not so honest people living in society.

I know someone who has made bad choices about life that directly affected people close to her and she told lies as a means to escape the reality of those bad choices. When I asked her why she chose to lie about something that impacted someone else in such a profound way, the response was, Doesn t it make everything easier that my dad never finds out, I am sorry about what I did and I don t want to hurt anyone else.

I am steadfast on my assumption that all lies trace back to the assumption that it will benefit the person who told the lie. Envision a scenario involving the compilation of your resume. Most people are tempted to lie about experience on their resumes to gain the benefits of a better job that they are not necessarily capable of performing.

From Lies! Lies!!, Lies!!! : The psychology of deceit by Professor Charles Ford,

Reporter Janet Cooke lied on her resume when she applied to the Washington Post and on a resume she submitted to the Pulitzer Prize committee. This was discovered only after she had won a 1981 Pulitzer for her story about an 8-year-old heroin addict. That led to unmasking an even bigger lie: She had faked the winning story.

We lie for all sorts of reasons. We lie to glorify the perception of who we are to other people. We lie sometimes simply because it so easy to say what someone else wants to hear, after we all are human and deep down seek the approval of our peers and superiors so why not help our cause in any way that we can? According to the Internet article Why people Lie by Mark Kendall These lies can start in private, among friends, then slip out of the liar’s control, says Leonard Saxe, a psychologist who studies lying. “They tell a lie about their past perhaps in private — the equivalent of locker-room boasting — and they never expect it to be made public.” Retired Chief Master Sgt. Spencer Dukes was a celebrated figure at March Air Force Base and a speaker on the plight of prisoners of war. In 1996, however, it was revealed that Dukes had made up his story about being in the infamous Bataan Death March during World War II. In a recent interview, Dukes, 79, of Riverside, said he started telling the bogus story around 1981. “It just snowballed with a few people and it kept going and going,” Dukes said.

Some people lie because they have accustomed themselves to that and even they can t tell lie from reality sometimes. I feel that some people really do lie to feel power.

They feed off the exhilaration of altering someone s perception of something by misguiding them, which is in essence what a lie is. This is sometimes a power game for some people whom I feel become unable to differentiate lie from reality.

According to the Internet article Why people Lie by Mark Kendall Then again, some lies are devised purely for the joy of pulling something over on someone. Ekman calls this “duping delight.” He likens it to a teen-ager who tells his dad he saw a different movie than the one he actually saw, not for fear of getting in trouble, but just for fun. “They’re simply getting the kick out of lying, the risk of lying and being able to control the other person,” Ekman says. At the other end of the spectrum, a person may lie because psychologically he cannot acknowledge the truth — even to himself. For example, a killer won’t confess because he just can’t believe he could have done it.

Delving into the question of: Why people lie? is difficult to generalize because I feel the reasons that tempt us to lie are unique and personal. I do however feel that the basis for all lies is to benefit us individually because once again, no one intentionally lies to hurt him or herself, only to benefit.


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