Why Do People Lie?

It seems like every time I turn on what used to be the news I'm faced with some new nonsensical allegation against a person or institution that is obviously unfounded or just old misinformation being regurgitated even though it has already been debunked. Trumplestiltskin is definitely the epitome of this behavior. He spouts lies as easily as a baby cries when it is hungry. But others having been using this technique for a long time, and this is one thing that certainly does seem to trickle-down; using lies, fears, innuendo and misinformation to discredit others.

But what has happened to us? As a society why has lying become acceptable behavior? What is the point of telling a lie? Isn't it to get something you don't deserve? Whether it be praise or persuasion, the liar is really a thief, taking what he or she hasn't earned and likely could not attain if being totally honest.

And once a lie is out there, it festers and takes on a life of its own. The liar, unless exposed, continues to walk and talk, spewing their vocal vomit, and collects support by playing down to people's fears. And playing up to their prejudices. They don't care about the truth. They just want to feed into the frenzy.

How is that acceptable? To me this is about respect. When you truly respect yourself and others you tell the truth. We should insist on this from our elected officials as well as those who are campaigning for office, and obviously also from our friends and family. Why should a politician be able to tell lies with no consequences? And please, don't say you are just doing it so the person you are lying to "doesn't get hurt", you don't need to "protect" them with a lie. That is just theft by deception.

What we see on the macro level we then see mirrored on the micro. Seems that what goes around really does come around when it comes to lying. And when the lie feeds into your already preconceived notions, even if they are based on fallacies, well then everyone seems ready to jump on the bandwagon of bullshittery.

So for example, if someone made an accusation and that accusation was absolutely a lie but the person just keeps repeating it over and over, then there are some people who are going to start believing that lie. And so the liar becomes the thief. They steal respect. They steal kindness. They steal good intentions. And they steal relationships. It is very sad to see.

But people want to be a part of the "in" crowd more than they want the truth it seems. They crave so desperately to be relevant they will jump on any bandwagon. And those few who point out that the Emperor is naked are left wondering why anyone would prefer an imaginary golden cloak that leaves everything exposed. Because while the liar may appear to enjoy some fleeting popularity, the reality is that soon enough the liar will need even more attention and will therefore tell an even bigger lie to once again steal the spotlight and your attention.

The liar is just a fraud, he or she doesn't understand the hard work that goes into earning respect. They just take the easy, and lazy, way to steal what they cannot earn. They hide behind a fake mask and pretend to believe the nonsense they spout. Whether it be by inclusion or exclusion, design or deception, accepting the lie is almost worse to me than the pathetically pathological people who think they are "winning" by being despicable.

Because at the end of the day lying is the lowest form of communication. It is the abdication of all self-respect and certainly the shining star of the chronically pathetic. So really, the answer to the question, why do people lie?, really doesn't matter. The question we all need to ask is, when did we stop respecting ourselves enough to insist on the truth?