“Hey… Yeah, you! Guess what! I’ve got a secret. I’m an alien from the planet Novikia 8 and I’m actually just an advanced member of the scouting party which is plotting the takeover of your planet… Wait, you actually believe me? COME BACK! Man, no wonder there are so many conspiracy theorists…”
So believe it or not, the above is a fine example of what we in the English speaking community like to call a “lie“. What is a lie? Well, a lie is a complete fabrication (or a slight bending [to some people]) of the truth… it’s not real, it doesn’t exist; just empty words and empty promises. Sometimes lies are not as easy to figure out as the above example is, though. Obviously we know that that person is lying because there is no planet called Novikia 8… wait, what?
But I mean, why do we lie? I feel like there are so many varied possibilities and circumstances that it would be impossible to examine them all. Perhaps I can generalize. For instance, we tell small fibs so as to not hurt our friend’s feelings… If your girlfriend asks you: “Does this dress make me look fat?” and you respond with the truth of “Yes!” chances are, you’re sleeping on the couch tonight. You can’t just come forward with the truth in these types of instances, or else you will hurt someone’s feelings even more than if they found out you lied. But of course, I suppose there are those instances where someone is wearing something and you need to be blatant and forthcoming with them, or else they may get more hurt than in the previous situation. You see what I mean? Lies are complicated little devils.
And don’t get me wrong, I’m not attempting to be hypocritical here; I have most certainly told my fair share of lies to the world. When I was younger, I was so adept at lying through my teeth (as I’m sure many of you were) that it was almost an art form. bpNichol, eat your heart out! But why did we stop? Well, maybe we just got caught one-too-many times and our credibility went out the window; maybe we got bored; grounded too many times, etc etc etc. I’m sure we all have our own personal reasons. For me, it was after I came out to my parents; lying until you are 20 is such a frigging hard task! I just got tired and lazy… which for those of you who know me, is no shock. So I’ve made an extremely conscious effort to tell 100% of the truth, 100% of the time; excepting certain circumstances in situations like the dress-example where I can spare some feelings.
But what about others? What about those 15, 17, 20-some-odd year old individuals who still feel it necessary to lie? Why do they still lie? Is it because they have yet to encounter an experience where lying becomes too painful? Or maybe they were just never caught-out and punished for their lies as children/teens? And yes, I do realize that I am asking more questions than answering, but this is some complicated stuff! I mean, it shouldn’t be, right (sorry, another question)? It should just be as simple as: everyone tells the truth. Man… I really hope that politicians are reading my blog right now!
Part of my reason for writing this little entry is because I dislike liars. Or I should rephrase that: I dislike people who lie to me. What’s the difference you may ask? Well, the skinny of it is: I trust my friends wholeheartedly and I would like to believe that investing this type of confidence in them will, in turn, allow them to invest the same amount of confidence in me. That’s how relationships and bonds grow, correct? But when a friend lies to me (even just once) and I find out about it, chances are that I do not wish to be their friend anymore. I understand that people make mistakes but (depending on how big this lie is, of course; RE: dress example!!) I feel like lying directly to someone is one of the worst things that you can do and it really shatters any bond that you may have constructed with that person.
It’s really quite simple and a philosophy that I live my life by (I like my philosophies!):
I will trust and believe you implicitly until the day that you lie to me… then I will never believe you again.
Of course, that does not mean I won’t be angry or upset with the truth that you will tell me. But I’m more likely to recover quickly and there is a much higher chance of me remaining your friend. In fact, rarely have I ever lost a friend via them telling me the truth… it’s the lies that sting much worse.
And ok, let’s be serious here… I’m not foolish enough to believe example one, nor am I foolish enough to believe everything that is told to me. I love my friends and I know them well enough to call them out on their bullshizzzz. But I think we all know the fine line (or we should!) between joking/serious lies and little/big lies. It’s when we cross those lines into territories that we should not enter, that we risk the chance of either, A) losing a friend or, B) having someone sing to us the harsh tune of “Liar, liar, pants on fire”. I’m still confused as to why one would then proceed to hang said pants upon a telephone wire…