Dealing with a Liar

Well, I think that we are all liars. I do not know anyone who does not vary what they experience and how they respond to be both sensitive and respectful. The truth after all is the way that I see it.

In his book ‘Sapiens’ Yuval Noah Harari explains how human language developed through the drive to gossip about other members of the tribe. Most gossip is conjecture, spurious and often straight lies.

Lying falls into different categories but they have one thing in common. All lying, like most communication is about us getting our needs met. This is the basis of survival and we have been doing it all of our lives. It begins when we are children. A child needs to be fed and so it tries to signal to the mother that it needs food. If the mother does not respond the child will develop louder and more effective ways of getting the attention of the mother so that it can be fed, or have its needs met.

In the same way if a child need sympathy after a fall they cry to get the attention that they need to make them well or to be attended too. At what point does the child learn that the more elaborate the show the greater and the quicker will come the attention. In effect the child is making out that things are worse than they are to get what they want. This could work later in pretending to be sick to get time off school to be able to stay at home. All these things are lies in that they are untrue.

Once we move from the simple act of crying for attention, and elaborating what we are doing and get into verbal language the world of lying opens up from simple exaggeration to the con man. Yet, still all these acts have the commonality of the person is using lying or exaggerating to get what they want.

If a lie is to present something in a way that is different to what it actually is then many things that we do and experience can be seen as lies. Every time we open FaceBook and watch what people are presenting as representing their lives are we seeing a truth or a lie. The need to be seen as successful, happy, fulfilled or rich may lead us to present our self and our situation in a way that simply is not true.

Once you get into the idea that lying is presenting something in a false way we might consider make up, botox, cosmetic surgery as different forms of lying. When a product is advertised as being the leading brand and that can do wonderful things is this the truth or a lie? There was a time when cigarettes were sold as a positive way of clearing the lungs and calming the nerves!!!

I guess that in an everyday sense this sharing of falsehoods can be seen in three ways. The first is what I do to get me needs met. The second would be that I do it to smooth society and not to offend people. For example you ask me if you look fat in this dress and I say ‘no’ when I really mean ‘yes’. The third and this is the bad side of the common lie is when I lie to meet my own needs when at the same time I will damage or hurt you.

When someone cons another person out of their hard earned cash, cons them into being or doing something that causes them harm, is continually unfaithful and lie that they are not, it becomes a hugely damaging thing.

So for me, I see lying as a normal part of human communication that people engage in to get their needs met. They may be needs of food and shelter, the needs to have greater esteem, power, influence or control, or the need to dominate and diminish others.

Only we can know if are really a truth speaker and that is a case of honest self reflection.

The last thing I would say is that there are those that are delusional and belief what they are saying is the truth when others around them know that it is not.

When we meet a liar we either have to use the law of allowing so that we don’t let them get to us or we need to move away from them. As I said on the podcast I see myself as six foot six, bronzed and muscular. You may not see me that way. Am I lying?

Take care be happy and observe those people around from the exaggerators to the bar faced liars and ask your self what is the need that they are attempting to get met by their lying?

Sean x