What is it that is not real but is said as if it was? It usually is an act we do deliberately or because of the thought that it was the best option during the circumstance. I suppose each of you have had the experience to say something that is not the truth or be led to believe something that is not, ergo a lie.
So let me disambiguate what lies are. Lie is a type of deception in the form of an untruthful statement, especially with the intention to deceive others. To lie is to state something with disregard to the truth with the intention that people will accept the statement as truth.
Tonight I’m going to present you some of the many things how lies affect those who say it and to whom they tell it to. A lie:
Begets another lie
Defers the agony
Ends up hurting people
A lie begets another lie. Lies are so powerful it can actually procreate on its own. Interesting hey? Consider this situation, you told your friend you’re going to a costume party she’s throwing when you know for sure that you can’t because you need to work during the weekend. That would be lie #1. Couple of days later she calls to chat and asked you what character you’re going to be at the party. Because you’re not ready to break the news that you can’t make it, you tell her you’re thinking about going as Sponge Bob. That’s your lie #2. Come the night of the costume party, your friend texts you where you’re at coz the party have started. You don’t want to tell her you’re at work because she has always hated it when you said that so you told her you’ve got the flu. That would be lie #3. And honestly, there could be more lies that you have to say whenever that costume party comes up in the future.
A lie defers the agony. The so called white lies normally do this. Imagine a person at work who loves to wear polka dotted blouse on a plaid skirt or pants. She would often complement you for your lovely curls or chick shoes and ask you what you think of her new polka dotted blouse she just bought. You simply say it looks good. Most probably other people at work would answer the same way to be polite and it would make that polka dot lover feel very good about herself. This would build up her self esteem but there will be one day, one person would have the guts to tell her that polka dots doesn’t work well with plaid. She would remember all the other complements she heard and realize that it’s all been a lie and she would feel more embarrassed.
Lastly, a lie ends up hurting people. Just think about the last 2 scenarios that we talked about. Telling a friend you are coming to her party when you really can’t will hurt her when she eventually finds out. She’d feel betrayed and let down. If your office mate found out you’ve lied to her when you told her that the polka-plaid combo looks nice on her, she’d feel embarrassed and deceived.
Given all these unpleasant fruits of lying, let me share with you the most common reason why people chose to do it in the first place. Common reasons say:
What you don’t know won’t hurt you
I’m just trying to protect you, it’s for your own good
And the most popular:
I don’t want to hurt you
First, what you don’t know won’t hurt you. Indeed, how can it right? But I say that sentence is not quite finished yet. It should’ve been what you don’t know won’t hurt you now. But once you find out, it’s going to hurt even more coupled with the heavy feeling of distrust, deceit and betrayal.
Second, I’m just trying to protect you. Those white lies intend to protect someone from humiliation or shame but in the long run, when the truth comes out, it’s going to hurt even more coupled with the heavy feeling of distrust, deceit and betrayal.
Lastly, I don’t want to hurt you. Yeah right. Again I say that this sentence is not quite done. It should actually say, I don’t want to hurt you now. But once the truth is found out, it’s going to hurt even more coupled with the heavy feeling of distrust, deceit and betrayal.
My theory of lying then is simple. For whatever reason it is that you opt to say something that is untrue, it will never be for a good cause – if not now, then later. With that, I will leave you something to ponder on.
Always tell the truth. If you can’t always tell the truth, don’t lie.
I wrote this speech I titled “My Theory of Lying” for my second competent communication speech for the Toastmasters. The focus of the speech project is to create a strong opening and closing as well as to use appropriate transitions from one idea to the next.
photo credits: google