Tuesday, June 24, 2008

On lying

Recently I've been thinking a lot about lying and why people seem so inclined to do it. Now, of course, I've lied, everybody has, but I just seem to be surrounded lately by instances where people want to lie and or hide the truth from people close to them. In some cases I've understood the motive, and in other cases, not so much. Plus, I have been lied to so incredibly much in my life that I have learned to greatly despise the practice and have a very low tolerance for being knowingly lied to by the people I voluntarily associate with.

So this morning I decided to do a Google search on why people lie. I found an article that I thought was interesting and somewhat helpful called "Why We Lie" from LiveScience.com. Apparently one of the main reasons that people lie is because of self-esteem issues. That sounds pretty reasonable to me. I did find this statement in the article particularly interesting:
Men lie no more than women, but they tend to lie to make themselves look better, while women are more likely to lie to make the other person feel better.
And there was also this statement, which to some degree I already knew:
humans are wired to deceive both themselves and others, researchers say. People are so engaged in managing how others perceive them that they are often unable to separate truth from fiction in their own minds
Very interesting. But then again, as a social scientist, I've always been very interested in what people do and why they do it. I've always been a people watcher, that is what drew me to the social sciences in the first place. I'm not really good at interacting with people, but I love to watch and study them.

So anyway, my minimal amount of research has led me to the conclusion that I will probably never obtain the truth that I so desperately wish to know. The person in question is probably incapable of being honest enough with himself to give me an honest answer to my questions if I ever got the chance to ask them. I guess I am just left to form my own conclusion and go on with my life, but I hate having unanswered questions floating around in my mind. Anyone who truly knows me knows the truth in that statement.


Dr. Richard Scott Nokes said...

I don't believe a word of this post.

Jan said...

But at least you know that, as a woman, I'm just lying to make you feel better. :)