Are we sincere? Who is it that doesn’t tell at least one lie a day? It happens. Sometimes we repeat the same lie so many times, that we end up believing it, settling within us an alternative reality that is cultivated simply with the lie, its habit of being present.
Many habitual liars admit that they are compulsive liars, that is, they can’t do without them. Lies, it hurts to say, have a very bad reputation, yet they are a defense tool that arises from an early age. Consider the first lie you told. Most likely you were children and you told it to avoid a very severe reprimand or punishment. The fact that one begins to lie as a child, for psychologists, is very important, as they so young have not yet developed an understanding of the effects and moral aspects of lying.
First, when we try to understand why we lie, we try to ask ourselves, it is basically a reliable test, if conducted with sincerity.
- How many lies do you tell on average?
- How many lies do you think they tell you every day?
- How many lies have you told in the last week?
- Why did you say them?
- How does it feel after telling them?
Lies have to do with the value we give to concepts such as truth and more than anything else credibility, consistency and transparency. Politicians are notoriously the most liars on the planet, telling lies from morning to night. Sometimes they come to believe it and I’m sorry to say it, but there is no difference between one and the other, because politics is the art of convincing, mediating, agreeing or challenging. One cannot do without the lie to move forward. And yet – if you have noticed – most politicians draw attention to their correctness, transparency, consistency. They do this because they know that they are social values and behavioral models normally considered virtuous.
The lies are intentional, to obtain an impression or a false belief in the interlocutor, making them believe what we are saying. For example, as a child, the mother may have asked us if we actually went to mass, and by answering affirmatively with a lie, they wanted her to believe the false.
Sometimes lies serve a purpose and are half-truths, things unspoken, hidden and unspoken for fear that they may harm us or loved ones. Sometimes the lies are unconditional, for example: a friend who asks us if we find her thinner might be offended if we don’t notice it, and we automatically answer yes. As innocent as it is, that too is a lie.
Men typically lie out of fear of consequences, out of convenience, and out of a desire to manipulate and distort beliefs and events in their favor. A lie can be a means to find a shortcut, receive benefits, and acquire many advantages. You lie about everything: your age, your curriculum, your school career, your health, your origins.
In human societies honesty, which helps build stronger and more sincere relationships, is seen very well, but not practiced.