Why Do We Lie? The Reasons Why We Play With The Truth

Last updated by Katie M.

Come on, let's not kid ourselves (for once), we all embellish the truth at certain points! Admit it, we'd be lying if we denied it! Whether you're one of those people who make up stories without even realizing it or whether you occasionally let slip a little white lie, we’re all guilty of fabrication. But, have you ever asked yourself what is it that makes you turn to dishonesty and why you feel better afterward for doing it? Let’s check out the reasons together!

Contents: 

Lying is an innately human act

Lying, pretending, cheating, etc. are all human behaviors that we all live with, although this doesn’t mean that we constantly manipulate each other. On the contrary, life in society sometimes involves hard and brutal truths, which often lead to us manipulating the truth.

In fact, lying is so human that it is part of a child's development. As early as 3 or 4 years old, a child starts to tell a few porkies. They often make up stories and at around the age of 7, they begin to understand that they shouldn’t do so. In other words, children assimilate the “unspoken”. They also understand that one can disguise the truth or hide things from adults, like bad grades at school, for example.

>>> Find out if denial is healthy or not.

Why do we feel the need to be dishonest? — Because it can be useful!

Altruistic needs

Lying is often seen as a negative action, yet it is used every day in society. Indeed, pious lies or altruistic lies help us in everyday life. It is a question of protecting one's interlocutor, or even saving people from pain and humiliation. It is sometimes what leads us to hide what we really think in order to preserve other people’s feelings: ‘Yes, those pants fit you well’, ‘I love your new haircut’, etc. Likewise, it's the same mechanism that leads some people to feign joy in front of a gift they don't like, to force themselves to laugh at a joke that's not very funny or to simulate an orgasm, etc.

If a few little lies of this type don’t seem very serious, they can actually end up damaging your friendships or love affairs. So be careful not to go too far with your fabrications because although they seem harmless, they could be detrimental.

>>> Learn more about mythomania

We need to further ourselves along

Unlike altruistic lying, selfish lying, as its name suggests, serves a personal purpose. It is about protecting oneself (hiding a mistake one has made, for example), or getting something from someone else. The selfish lie is not necessarily serious. It can simply take the form of a padded bra or a sudden migraine to avoid a dinner party, etc. However, in certain contexts, it can have serious consequences. Sometimes it is even criminally reprehensible, if you lie on a contract, on a résumé etc. Without going that far, it can have effects on your health when you hide the truth from your doctor, out of shame or humiliation.

In both cases, if you have difficulty preventing yourself from lying or if you feel that lying is becoming too important in your life, don't hesitate to talk about it with a loved one or a psychologist. It doesn't have to be very serious… Most of the time it's all down to a lack of self-confidence!

Does being dishonest suggest something deeper? — It could reveal a mythomania disorder

Not being 100% honest is deeply human and normal in small doses. However, some people can't help but be untruthful over and over again, and this can sometimes point to a psychiatric disorder called mythomania. A Mythomaniac is an individual who constantly makes up stories. Unconsciously, they are people who seek to escape reality, but who do not seek to deceive. This rare pathology is often associated with other personality disorders (schizophrenia, paranoia, etc.).

How do I stop lying?

Occasional liars, or the vast majority of us, should be able to get away with it relatively easily. The idea is to be able to hold back when you are about to tell a lie. Of course, this requires a certain amount of willpower, at least initially. It can be done through small reflexes to implement. For example: if you speak faster than your shadow and tell lies before you even have time to think about them, force yourself to be "slower" in your exchanges, to think about what you are going to say before saying it.

On the contrary, are you the type of person who plans everything out before speaking, just to concoct a credible lie? Opting for the real thing, trying to be natural and unthinking, is also good! And then, to help you, because telling the truth is far from always easy, you can give yourself mini rewards. Those who have made lying a way of life will of course find it much harder to get over it. Especially since it may take a few confessions to wipe the slate clean.

Editor's opinion — The indispensable lie?

Whether it is a question of life in society or life as a couple, lying is necessary. It is a reflex, an instinctive act, but it is also a way to communicate better. Instead of saying everything that goes through our heads, without censorship and without worrying about what others think, we have consideration for those around us, and we lie, although perhaps this is in spite of more authentic relationships.

🤗 Understand yourself, accept yourself, be happy... Let’s do it here and now!

#BornToBeMe

More articles that might interest you:

Article presented by Katie M.

Discover the world through my eyes.

Read our latest articles here:

Quality Of Life At Work, An Important Issue!

One of the things that attract me the most when I apply to a company is the quality of life they offer. And be careful, when I say the quality of life, it’s not just about having a table football table in the break room, with a bowl of fresh fruit. It’s a set of aspects that will enable me to feel good at work. What are they? How do you define it, and why is it such an important issue? Quality of life is a vector for performance and well-being, and it can make all the difference. Let’s explain.

10 Passive-Aggressive Examples To Help You Recognize This Behavior

We all have sarcastic and manipulative tendencies that emerge when we feel stressed or even under pressure. Although, we can't particularly be proud of this kind of behavior, we all exhibit it. These negative behaviors are usually noticeable very quickly, that is, except in passive-aggressive people who bury their emotions. These particular individuals act in the shadows but are still very harmful and toxic, especially if you are friends with or even dating one. Discover our 10 examples that will help you to spot passive-aggressive behavior, and reveal what you can do when you are confronted with it.

How To Break Up With Someone You Live With - 5 Tips To Go About It

Have you decided to end your relationship, yet you want to do it in the kindest way possible? If you are in this situation, you must go about it in the right way, regardless of what's gone on or who is to blame. Breakups can be brutal, and you don't want to inflict pain and suffering on your partner, right? But you can't exactly let yourself be unhappy for much longer either, and need to move out. Letting someone down gently is a tough balance to enact, and it involves asking yourself the right questions to make the separation as painless as possible. If you want to be able to walk away from your partner in the smoothest possible way, you're in the right place.

The Power Of Hugs, It's Time To Share The Love

Individualism is great, but deep down we all have needs and do enjoy connecting and exchanging with other people. Humans all need a little affection and comfort at some point in their lives, no matter how strong they claim to be. That's right, at certain points in our lives, we all need to feel reassured, cared for and love, and hugging does just that! The question is why is this seemingly simple gesture so important in lifting our spirits and making us feel better?

10 Morning Routine Ideas For Productivity, Plus They Take Less Than 5 Minutes

At 6:55 a.m., the dreaded alarm clock violently rings out. By 6:56 a.m., you're no doubt already stressed at the thought of having to get up, get ready and rushing around. Yet with a little motivation and 5 minutes to spare, you can transform this stressful morning ritual into a moment of relaxation. A productive day starts in the morning and motivates us to go out and be successful. Starting out right will set you up for a great rest of the day and will remodel your attitude into a winning one! Take a deep breath and put the normal stress to the back of your mind because we're about to enter a peaceful space.

Early Signs Of A Toxic Relationship, And Tips On How To Escape

It's often tough for those in abusive relationships to face the music and admit that things aren't healthy. Controlling behaviors span from constant criticism, which makes victims feel drained, to domestic abuse. If any of these situations ring true to you, then it’s probably about time you gave your relationship some thought and started thinking about leaving the relationship and moving on. We're here to discuss what qualifies a relationship as toxic and what we need to do to put an end to the abuse. After all, it's time you made your future brighter and started focusing on your wellbeing.

These Are The 10 Most Common Reasons People Divorce

Love is only said to last 3 years, which probably explains why only 50% of marriages get past the 9-year mark. Learning this made me instantly realize that I needed to start making more of an effort with my partner if I didn't want to part of this sad statistic. Relationships are tough, what with the daily grind, the invasive in-laws and the temptation to go looking for affection and attention elsewhere. Without further ado, discover the 10 most common reasons for divorce.

Why Do I Constantly Need To Be In Control?

Wanting things to go well is perfectly normal, but sometimes this need for perfection can represent a huge barrier in our lives. Do you have trouble not giving in to the temptation of micromanaging everything in your life? Does leaving things to chance make you nervous and put you on edge? Where does your need to control everything come from? Letting go and becoming more easygoing will change everything for you and help you start living your best life. Discover how to let loose and free yourself from this need.

So What If I Hate Working?

I always thought that I was surrounded by people who loved their jobs, that is until I started openly talking about how much I hate working. Let’s get one thing straight, I’ve never liked my job, but have only recently built up the courage to talk about it. That's right, I used to hide my despair under a huge smile in an effort to convince myself I was overreacting, plus I was also afraid of other people judging me. In fact, daring to share my thoughts got me asking if I was the problem; was I the black sheep? Or, were my reasons for this bold statement justified? It's time to see if are all secretly on the same wavelength.

Why Am I So Used To Falling Out Of Love At Record Speed?

My longest relationship only lasted 2 years, which might not seem like a long time, but it's a big achievement for me because I can never usually get past the 6-month mark without becoming bored stiff. Even though my past relationship have always been healthy, they've never satisfied me, which lead me to wonder am I cursed with eternal dissatisfaction? Relationships never seem to excite me for long enough and always eventually fizzle out, leaving me wanting to head for the hills. Despite my past failures, I still believe in love and want to get to the bottom of why I give up on romance so easily.

Wengood's favorite tunes 🎵

How to detect a narcissist


"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken." 

- Oscar Wilde


How to soothe an anxiety attack