why do some people lie all the time

Honesty is supposed to be one of the key components of integrity (you know, doing the right thing when no one is looking, that thing that's so critical to
that help your business thrive). Yet, according to Bella DePaulo, Ph. D. , a psychologist at the University of Virginia, is on the same par with brushing your teeth. to someone else at least once or twice a day, and over a week, they lie to 30 percent of the individuals they interact with. And as with any bad habit, if you're going to stop people from lying to you, you have to understand what's motivating the behavior. Doctor and author Alex Lickerman asserts that, in general,. What we strive to protect through fibbing can vary considerably, though. We lie to protect ourselves, such as when we don't want to feel shame or experience some type of abuse. We do it to protect material and non-material interests, such as money or attention. We try to protect our image, covering up the flaws we think others will think less of us for. Sometimes we don't want to lose resources, including our energy. And lastly, we lie to give those same protections to the people we care about. But it goes a little deeper than that. What are we really after, for example, in a bid for attention? Why is it so scary if others to have a lower opinion of us? What does all that protection get us? Ultimately, when a person lies to you, they're holding onto something extremely basic--survival. They're afraid that, if they don't lie, they risk rejection and isolation, not having enough. Even though they know there's a risk of consequences if found out, because don't suffer consequences when lying, they see fibbing as a relatively safe way to keep those deep fears from coming to fruition. All this matters because, if you see the person who's lying to you as being vindictive rather than insecure, you'll likely lose out on a chance to respond with compassion and miss the mark on how to get them to stop their dishonest behavior for good. Understanding the above, part of the reason lies get to us is because we're actually pretty lousy at detecting them.


A meta-analysis of some 253 studies of people distinguishing between truth and lies found that people are accurate of the time. We rebel when we catch someone in a lie because their behavior calls into question how accurate we've been in the past, making us feel foolish and incompetent. But if you know what to watch for, you're less likely to get duped. Former CIA officers Philip Houston, Michael Floyd and Susan Carnicero identify the following as Verbal/non-verbal disconnect (e. g. , nodding while saying no in a narrative response) Hiding the mouth or eyes (literally shielding themselves from the reaction that might come from the lie, covering up the falsehood) Hand-to-face activity (the autonomic nervous system tries to address the spike in anxiety from the lying, draining blood from the face, ears and extremities and producing feelings of cold or itchiness) Grooming or tidying behaviors (e. g. , straightening a tie or skirt, suddenly repositioning paperwork on the desk; these distractions can alleviate the anxiety of lying) So you've found a liar. now what do you do? Once you're sure that someone's been stingy with the truth, you have for how to handle it, as psychologist, emotional intelligence expert and author Dr. Travis Bradberry outlines: 1) Do nothing (sometimes the cons of calling the person out outweigh the pros). 2) Deflect with humor (acknowledges the lie but gives the liar a chance to admit the dishonesty without fearing you'll retaliate). 3) Play dumb (asking lots of questions to get details can force the liar into admitting the dishonesty without you calling them out). 4) Point out the lie (best done privately with directness). Within these options, given the self-protective purpose of lying, seize opportunities to be reassuring and encouraging in ways that get to the root of the behavior. Empathy goes a long way. For instance, if you know that someone is strapped for cash but they lie and say it's no problem covering your bill at lunch, you can say something like, "Gosh, I appreciate that, but no--I can't contribute to an empty wallet when I remember what broke feels like myself! " The more you can convince a liar that the threats they're consciously or subconsciously perceiving aren't an issue, the more they'll probably relax, trust you and put their two-faced ways behind them.


As any good poker player will tell you, it s possible to control your face, says Dr Seager. But you might start jiggling your leg without even realising, or one of your fingers might start twitching. Idiosyncrasies differ from person to person. If someone s deviating from normal behaviour there must be a reason perhaps they re lying, or they may just be uncomfortable. Although there are some very accurate lie detectors, humans are not particularly good at judging whether someone else is lying. Whether you believe you re good at spotting falsehoods or not, most people can tell when another s lying around 54 per cent of the time. While most of us tell white lies, we are more willing to tell more serious untruths such as misleading our boss than we were 20 years ago. We also lie to protect ourselves and others, and to inflate our ego. Some people lie because they get a kick out of pulling the wool over other people s eyes it gives them a feeling of power, says Dr Seager. But lying can go beyond everyday normality into the symptom of a pathological condition. Psychiatrist Dr Cosmo Hallstrom says that incessant lying can be the sign of a deep-seated personality disorder, such as psychopathy, sociopathy or borderline personality disorder. Some people live in a fantasy world and don t tell the truth people who for various disturbed functions in their psychological make up feel the need to live a false existence, says Dr Hallstrom. Psychopaths, for example, have no remorse or conscience. They focus on the short-term gain, they have no guilt and they live for the moment impulsively and without thinking of the consequences.


In one form of pathological lying, known as Munchausen syndrome, people try to persuade doctors that they have a serious medical condition. All doctors encounter such people they become the centre of attention for a while because they have a condition no one can understand, says Dr Hallstrom. They go into hospital and produce a HIV positive test, or mix some blood with their urine and persuade the doctors they have bleeding in the bladder and the lies get more and more fantastic. While some pathological liars lie incessantly to exaggerate their own importance, others may struggle to accept reality and the difficult truths of their lives. Either way, Dr Hallstrom says the underlying condition is usually deeply ingrained, and would take serious work from the individual to treat or overcome. A suitable therapist may help you but it s difficult to deal with because the first thing you start doing is lying to your therapist, he says. It s hard to know how many pathological liars are among your friends or colleagues, as most are extremely convincing liars. And as incessant lying is symptomatic of a clinical condition, pathological liars may not behave the same way as most people who lie on occasion such as showing relief when the conversation topic is moved away from their lie. We don t know how many people are pathological liars, as few will admit to the condition. But if there are some people who lie constantly and the average person lies ten times per week, logic suggests that there are highly moral individuals who hardly lie at all. Most mere mortals are tempted to dip into falsehood now and again to avoid a difficult situation or make a friend happy. But be warned: most people try to convince themselves into believing their own lies. So if you start losing track of those growing untruths, you may distort your entire perception of reality.

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