Death and taxes are not the only sureties in life. Another thing that can be counted on is, everybody lies. Now don’t go getting on your high horse saying that you are an honest person. Most people could be considered incredibly honest, I like to think I am an honest person, although that doesn’t take away from the simple fact that, as stated earlier, everybody lies.
That is not to say that we all go around telling massive whoppers on a regular basis. Yes, some people cannot help themselves – that person couldn’t lie straight in bed, is one of those saying you’ve probably heard mentioned once or twice in your life. I have known quite a few pathological liars in my 30 years on the planet and it surprises me that they would want to put that amount of effort in. Surely, having to keep track of all the stupid little stories and lies you tell has got to be completely exhausting.
The ability to lie is one of the fundamentals of childhood development and as important step. If you’ve ever seen the Jim Carrey movie Liar Liar, you know that for the sake of relationships and sanity, we need to be able to tell at least white lies on a rather regular basis. As far as evolution goes, we have no doubt been lying for as long as we’ve had language. Generally, lying falls into one of these categories: Self Promotion – positive image, humour, personal or economical advantage, Self Protection – avoidance of a situation or person/ people (sorry Mum, I can’t come to dinner… I’ve had to work late) or to cover up a personal transgressions or mistake. In a nutshell, we lie to either get ahead or avoid blame.
Lies are told to everyone by everyone. It can be as small as a child sneaking a lolly and being asked whether they ate it, when the chocolately mess is still evident on their lips or getting asked by your boss if you’ve finished the report you’ve been promising. Sooner or later, even the best con artist will get caught out.
What I think is more interesting that the lies that we tell others, are the lies that we tell ourselves. We spend so much time and energy convincing ourselves that things are a certain way. For what? So that we don’t hurt our own feelings? Life is messy and no matter how much of an ice-cold heart you have, sooner or later it is going to be hurt.
I will go to the gym tomorrow – umm, are you sure? The bed really is comfy and it looks like it might rain soon… you don’t want to get wet and have slippery sneakers on the treadmill.
I won’t eat that chocolate cake – but chocolate is from cocoa, and cocoa is a plant so it is healthy. And let’s not forget the endorphin release you will get. Go on, you deserve it.
I don’t care about that person – then why is your heart breaking that he is looking at another?
I think before we can even attempt to be honest with others, we have to learn to be more honest with ourselves. As a coping mechanism, and rather effective one, I am quite sure that no one on the planet will be able to master this. However, it is something that we should all try to do. In simplest terms, we need to cut out the bullshit factor.