Social Question

DWW25921's avatar

Is a lie really easier than the truth?

Asked by DWW25921 (6453points) September 15th, 2013

Why does it seem that lying is socially acceptable? Is it usually confined to self preservation or do you think there are more casual motives? I mean, I’ve lied to protect people from situations or news I didn’t think they could handle… Is that “better” than lying to someone to cheat them? On the other hand, is it really wise to be honest all the time about everything?

Here’s the article that inspired this question…

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24077633

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26 Answers

marinelife's avatar

No, it is not easier. You have to keep your stories straight. You have to remember your lies.

filmfann's avatar

Q: Is a lie really easier than the truth?

A: Not at all.

See? A lie is easier.

DWW25921's avatar

Yes, it can get complicated…

Pachy's avatar

To save face, protect feelings, escape responsibility or for whatever reason one employs it, lying may be or at least seem easier at the start but usually turns messy along the way. Truth can be messy at the start, may even be in the end; but in my experience, more often it winds up a whole lot cleaner, and it feels sooo much better than lying.

dxs's avatar

The snowball effect will get to you. Having taken both roads, being truthful seemed like the best option to me.

DWW25921's avatar

@Pachyderm_In_The_Room That’s a good way of putting it.

Pachy's avatar

@Thank you, @DWW25921. I hate admitting that experience taught me that.

jca's avatar

I can think of some times when a lie may be easier than the truth.

ETpro's avatar

Lies are never easier than the truth, because you have to make them up and the truth you can just recite from memory. For a lie to be believable, you not only have to fabricate a story, it needs to be a believable one. “It was a dark and stormy night. Suddenly, a shot rang out.” If it were not already so trite, that would be believable. “It was a dark and stormy night. Suddenly, the sun was straight overhead.” Not believable, but at least it’s not hackneyed.

For most of us, the effort of fabricating a lie and making it believable shows in subtle changes to our facial expression, in our eyes, and in our respiration and perspiration rate. Lie detectors rely on noticing these changes. But a psychopath can lie without any of these physiological effects because they simply don’t give a shit what anyone thinks about their story. So to them, lying is every bit as easy as telling the gospel truth, and probably a lot more fun.

whitenoise's avatar

No it’s not. I recently read a reference to research that indicated that peolple took longer to create a text message in which they were lying.

DWW25921's avatar

@ETpro That explains how I passed that poly after… the incident… Anyway, good wisdom there. Thanks!

Coloma's avatar

Short of calling in sick to work on rare occasions when you need a mental health or extra day of rest, or for the same reasons calling your child in sick for a day of school, no. I despise liars, and while a little white lie may not be as bad as a big, life altering lie, a lie is a lie is a lie and I prefer honesty.

Coloma's avatar

I should add, ideally. we should be able to just be honest and tell our employers and schools that we need a day off, but this is one area where a little white lie is necessary most of the time. Telling your employer you want to sleep in and stay in your jammies all day isn’t going to go over well.lol

El_Cadejo's avatar

I don’t know. I mean at first I’m inclined to say it’s always better to tell the truth, but if I am to be truthful with myself I know that is not always the route I take. There have, for example, been instances where I have lied to protect someone else. Yes, I could have, and wanted to, tell the truth but the repercussions of such would have been rather damning for the party I was lying for. I felt it better to lie for the person and talk to them myself rather than getting them in actual trouble. Though I must say I absolutely loathe being put in these sort of situations.

@Coloma I agree completely. We all need a “bum day” every now and then.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Lies can be easier for the short term. Truths are usually easier for the long term.

El_Cadejo's avatar

While being completely honest, I should add though I prefer not to lie, for moral reasons, I have never really found it all that hard to keep a lie going. I think that is in part one of the reasons I prefer not to lie.

drhat77's avatar

Whenever we get angry at being told the truth we encourage others to lie to us.
If, through their nonverbals, a person has repeatedly told me that the truth is unwelcome, I have zero compunction in lying to them. You don’t want the truth, have it your way. I am not going to make my life more difficult shoving something down the throat of someone who isn’t interested, thank you.
On the flip side, whenever someone tells me a truth I don’t particularly like, I try REALLY hard to bite down on my tongue and say thank you as warmly and/or appologetically as possible. I want to encourage others to tell me the truth. The irony, of course, is that song and dance I do is a lie. I hate the truth probably as much as the next guy. Constructive criticism irks me: how dare you insinuate I’m less than perfect! But unless I wish to surrond myself with yes-men, I must lie.

ragingloli's avatar

Lying is a skill like any other, and if you want to maintain a level of excellence, you have to practice constantly.

drhat77's avatar

In fact the quest @ETpro asked about perception segways nicely into this. Our perception of the world varies from gross oversimplification to outright lie. Clearly our own brains find it easier to lie to us with almost every calculation we make about the world around us.

DWW25921's avatar

@Coloma Jammies are nice. I haven’t got any. I have some long undies for cold days though. I very rarely call off work. When I do you can bet I really am sick!

@uberbatman I’ve actually gotten in trouble with my wife recently for being honest about something. You think the rules are different in a relationship, for the sake of keeping the peace?

@drhat77 “Whenever we get angry at being told the truth we encourage others to lie to us.” That’s my new favorite line for the day! That’s very true!

@ragingloli Indeed. :)

El_Cadejo's avatar

@DWW25921 depends on the topic at hand. IE lying about your affair to keep the peace is not ok :P

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Which is the greater skill @ragingloli… being able to lie with excellence, or being able to uncover excellent lies?

Coloma's avatar

Habitual liars are almost always suffering from a personality/character disorder.
I steer very clear of compulsive liars. Trouble is, that often, by the time you identify them, the damage is done.

dxs's avatar

Every sentence I say is a lie.

ragingloli's avatar

not a paradox

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