True Facts About Lies We Are All Liars Although we might not want to admit it, every single one of us is a liar, having started lying by the time we were three years old.Estimates of how often we lie range from as little as once a day to as much as two to three lies every 10 minutes. Despite our expertise in telling lies, we are not so good at separating fact from fiction. Even if we know which body language clues to watch for, we can typically only detect about 54% of lies.
Why We Lie We might not like the idea of being untruthful, but we justify lying for the following reasons: To shift blame and avoid punishment To save face To avoid conflict To get our own way To get out of doing something To be nice or avoid hurting someones feelings To make ourselves look better -- for fear of rejection or in order to gain something Because its easier than telling the truth Because we can get away with it Types of LiesLying is so embedded in our social behavior that we have developed many different kinds of lies, including: Barefaced (or bold-faced) lies -- obvious lies Big lies -- major lies Bluffing -- pretending that you are going to do something or are capable of doing so Bulls*** -- misleading nonsense Contextual lies -- giving false impressions by only telling part of the truth Exaggeration -- stretching the truth Minimization -- the opposite of exaggeration Fabrication -- representing something that is made up as the truth Fib - an insignificant or minor lie Half-truths -- lies that contains some element of truth Lying by omission -- deception by leaving out important facts
Perjury -- lying under oath Polite lies -- lie told to meet standards of politeness, such as "I really enjoyed the party," or declining an invitation due to "scheduling difficulties." White lies - small lies, sometimes considered harmless or tactful Mens Lies vs Womens LiesAlthough some studies suggest that men lie more than women, others find that men and women lie about the same amount, but for different reasons. Mens lies are often intended to make themselves look better to other people. Womens lies frequently strive to make others feel better or to avoid hurt feelings. Men commonly exaggerate their height and earnings. Women commonly minimize their weight and age. Men tend to feel less guilty about lying than women.
Pros and Cons of Lying Pros: People who exaggerate their achievements may actually end up fulfilling higher goals for themselves. People who lie to themselves may be happier than those who dont. Frequent liars may be perceived as friendlier than those who are more prone to bluntly telling the truth. Cons: Liars may feel guilty and fear getting caught. People who frequently tell significant lies may wind up being viewed as untrustworthy.Honesty is one of the characteristics we most value in others. We dont like being lied to and see it as a betrayal. Telling major lies may be bad for your health -- it speeds up your heart rate, raises your body temperature, and makes you tense.
Worst Month For LyingAccording to a poll, we are more prone to lie telling in January compared to other months of the year. These lies may be about: How celebrations were spent Broken New Years resolutions Christmas gifts Alcohol intake Money spending Being too sick to go to work on cold winter mornings Excuses to avoid socializing in the cold weather
Famous Lies and LiarsThere are little white lies, then there are giant whoppers. Here are some of the biggest lies of all time: Bill Clinton -- "I did not have sexual relations with that woman." Richard Nixon -- "Im not a crook." George H W Bush -- "Read my lips: no new taxes." Bernie Madoff -- admitted that his Ponzi scheme was "all just one big lie" after conning investors out of approximately $50 billion Charles Ponzi -- the original Ponzi schemer who raised millions by scamming investors Janet Cooke -- won the Pulitzer prize for her report on an 8-year-old-heroin addict who didnt exist James Frey -- Oprah Winfrey was not pleased when this authors memoir, A Million Little Pieces, was revealed to contain fictional events MilliVanilli -- had to return their Grammy after a lip-synched performance and the discovery that they hadnt actually sung on their records The Trojan Horse -- large wooden horse presented as a "peace offering" but actually containing hidden Greek warriors Elmyr de Hory -- forger of master artists, including Picasso Victor Lustig -- con man who "sold" the Eiffel Tower for a suitcase of money Benedict Arnold -- traitor of the American Revolutionary War Anna Anderson -- claimed she was Princess Anastasia of the Russian royal Romanov family and that she had escaped execution in 1918 Frank Abagnale -- fraudulent check casher who posed as a pediatrician, attorney, college professor, and even as an airline pilot Kenneth Lay - Enron chairman who convinced investors that the company earned billions more per year than it actually did Rosie Ruiz -- first woman to win the Boston marathon but who actually only ran the last half mile and had previously taken the subway during the New York marathon
Common LiesMany lies are repeated countless times daily all around the world. How many of these popular lies have you told? "Im fine, thanks." "I havent had too much to drink." "Nothings wrong -- Im fine." "No, your butt doesnt look big in that." "I had no signal on my phone." "Nice to see you." "Youre looking great." "Ive got a headache." "Its not you -- its me." "My battery died." "The check is in the mail."
"Ill call you." "This is delicious." "Were just good friends." "Shes in a meeting." "I never got the message." "It was on sale." "I can quit anytime I want.""Im not ready for a relationship." "I lost it." "Im too sick to come in." "Sorry, Im busy that night." Movie Watching Lies
According to a British poll, four out of five people lie about what movies theyve seen, in order to impress. Apparently, the top movies people dont want to admit they havent watched are: The Godfather Casablanca Taxi Driver 2001: A Space Odyssey Reservoir Dogs This Is Spinal Tap Apocalypse Now Goodfellas Blade Runner The Great Escape