Liar, Liar – The Ripple Effect

A study conducted by psychologist Robert S. Feldman, PhD, at the University of Massachusetts published in the most recent Journal of Basic and Applied Social Psychology, found that 60% of people lied at least once during a 10-minute conversation and told an average of two to three lies.

Quoting from Health.com, Feldman studies “verbal deception” and explains that the biggest reason people are dishonest is that “lying is a very effective social tactic”.

“People don’t expect to be lied to; the expectation is that they’re hearing the truth from others, and so that allows people who are lying to often get away with it.”

When addressing lies, we are not looking at ‘white lies’, which are harmless and trivial. Some may even say it is a well-intentioned truth. 

The ripple effect that serious lies can have on an individual’s life can cause significant damage such as: loss of reputation, credibility, money, friends, family, job or life itself.

The liar’s lie can make someone else look like the liar. If the truth-teller does not have any evidence, boom, they’re the liar now.

You may have to ask yourself, why does somebody need evidence if they are telling the truth?

Unfortunately, some people are so good at lying, they can convince anybody that they are being honest. 

Psychology today looks at 6 reasons why people lie:

1. The lie matters to them.

2. Often, people tell lies because they are trying to control a situation and exert influence toward getting the decisions or reactions they want. The truth can be “inconvenient” because it might not conform their narrative.

3. They don’t want to disappoint you. They’re worried that the truth might lead you to reject or shame them.

4. Lies snowball. The more we try to cover each lie up, the bigger it gets. 

5. It’s not a lie to them.

6. They want it to be true.

Elton John sang about how “Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word” and unfortunately, it really does seem to be the case.

There is accountability and acknowledgement in apologising.

There is lack of accountability and acknowledgement in lying.

A few years ago during my Counselling training I was told that “guilt and shame are our strongest emotions”.

However, there are people out there who simply do not feel any guilt or shame.

Sociopaths & Psychopaths – hello.

Some people may sit and wait until one day the “truth comes out”.

I have watched too many Netflix documentaries at this point to realise that this might be an idealistic way of thinking.

All we need is for more people to speak up, I always say this: there is strength in numbers.

If someone is trying too hard to stay relevant, likeable or popular, it’s worth questioning their transparency.

Food for thought.

Ciao for now.

Published by Metacog

Psychology related topics.

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