The truth about lying

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Sabrina Almeida

A recent CNN report said that US President Donald Trump has lied more than 3,000 times in the past 466 days. How do we know this? The Washington Post’s Fact-Checker blog has been keeping track of his untruthful statements. The article goes on to inform readers that Trump now averages nine lies or misleading statements in day as compared to 6.5 earlier.

It’s not shocking that Trump or other politicians (and heads of state) lie. In fact, we’ve come to expect it. However, most are not as blatant and uncaring about it as the current American president.

Closer home, with provincial elections around the corner, we are no doubt hearing a ‘few’ lies from candidates who tell us what we want to hear just to get our votes. After all, five years later, Wynne’s Liberals haven’t made good on their promise to lower insurance rates by 15%. Moreover, the auditor general report showed that the deficit is likely to be double what the premier recently claimed. Of course, the Ontario Liberals will have us believe their ‘alternate truth’.

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Do PC leader Doug Ford and NDP’s Andrea Horwath intend to follow through on all their election promises? Well your guess is as good as mine. It is just a question of how believable they are. Or, how gullible we are!!!

Politics aside, lying seems to be the preferred way of life among us plebeians too. Contrary to what we we’ve been taught the truth is becoming harder to keep up with than lies. The later seems to be more believable, convenient and rewarding too. In today’s unethical climate, lying will certainly propel you to where you want to go faster.

If you are fed up with people lying to you? Here is a reality check—look in the mirror. We are all guilty of doing it, albeit some more than others. My boys will often call me out when I claim that I never lie. Saying that I will be there in five minutes when I know I won’t… is lying. It is only the degree that varies and interestingly many of us do not consider telling ‘white’ lies to be dishonest. What’s worse is that in the end lying wins. The best way to get back at the liars is to play their game, isn’t it?

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People lie for several reasons, the most common being to get out of trouble. Having been kids (and now as parents), we are familiar with this approach to avoiding the negative consequences of questionable actions during our childhood. But a habit developed in our formative years gets perfected in our adulthood. As with anything else, success with deceit often encourages us to take it to the next level and then higher. Whether it is telling your child you forgot to bring him candy (rather than admitting you had no intention of doing so), feigning illness to get out of helping a friend or cheating on your taxes, we engage in deception and trickery every day.

Others like Trump do it to inflate their image. In fact, many men (probably some women too) are guilty of this. A friend’s justification was that the story becomes more interesting when the numbers and facts are exaggerated.

Then there are the habitual or compulsive liars. With them lying is truly an art and they never tell you the truth. They are so good at it that even they believe their lies. There is no reason for them to lie yet they do. While we might choose to look at them as mentally disturbed, the fact is that we are more troubled by their deceitfulness than they are.

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Yet others lie just to manipulate you or the situation. It took me a while to realize that a close friend was doing this just to get what she wanted. Despite knowing this, I was too much of a chicken to sacrifice our relationship on the altar of truth.

A 2011 survey showed common people admitted to lying around 3 times a day. The real number might be higher. What’s worse is that we do it to those who are closest to us. Telling fewer lies does not make us better than the habitual liars.  Any kind of lying is wrong. And the solution lies with each one of us. Try the truth, you might like it! -CINEWS

 

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