10 Why We Lie and Make Excuses

We all know people who seem to lie and make excuses no matter what the case.

The person who embellishes the story.

The person who drastically changes the truth, or the person who blames their mistakes on others.

While there are many situations in which people lie and make excuses, there are also many reasons behind them.

Some may be obvious, and some might surprise you.

Some may even make you understand people a little better and not only think that it is bad people that lie.

1. We lie and make excuses to avoid punishment

This reason is obvious and one that we might be guilty of ourselves at some point in our lives.

Who is excited about admitting something that they know we will be punished for?

Whether during childhood or after making a major mistake as an adult, many turn to a lie or excuses to avoid punishment and trouble.

2. Wish fulfillment

They embellish a story or make something up that they wish were true.

This is actually about a feeling of low self-esteem, and feeling as if the truth of their life is not good enough.

3. Manipulate the choices and behaviors of others

We see a lot of this when a company wants its employees to follow a certain mandate that is not popular or during election time when a politician wants a group to vote a certain way.

They will tell people whatever they need to secure their vote, even if they have no intention of doing what they say.

4. Protect others that we care about

Many people will lie to a family member, close friend, or partner to protect others’ perceptions of them.

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If the person fears that the truth would change how they feel about the person, they are often willing to lie to prevent that from happening.

One issue they do not consider is that the repercussions will be even greater if they inevitably find the truth out.

5. Increase their own self-esteem

People may lie in two ways if they are not feeling good about themselves and their self-esteem has taken a hit.

They may lie to build themselves up to appear better.

Or they might tell a lie about someone else to make them look worse, thinking this makes them look better.

6. We lie and make excuses to avoid embarrassment

You see this a lot in social anxiety.

People imagine what others are thinking about them.

While this may be completely off base, this is what they are imagining.

The individual might lie and embellish a story, as they feel what they would say is not good enough.

7. Avoid hurting people’s feelings

These are the lies that we tell to spare others’ feelings.

These are the lies we convince ourselves to do more good than harm, as the truth would hurt the person’s feelings.

This is the type of lie that seems a majority of people agree is acceptable over other versions of lies.

8. Fear of conflict

It is not that a person is a bad person, it is that they have been conditioned over time to develop this way of dealing with things to avoid conflict.

They do not want to lie to the person, they just do not want to fight with them more.

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Learning safe and open communication can help to stop this type of lying.

9. Fear of rejection

They go on a date, meet a new group of friends, start a new job, and they fib about details about their life.

This ties back to the idea that who they are is not good enough.

They must add to their life story to be accepted and liked.

10. Fear of loss

People fear they will lose their job.

They fear they will lose a friendship.

They fear losing a relationship if they come clean and tell the person the truth immediately.

The sad thing is that if the person told any of these people the truth the first time, they might be upset, but they will likely forgive and move past it.

It is when they find out later that they were lied to that the real loss takes place.

I think that concept carries through all these types of lies and is important to keep in mind when they decide between the truth and a lie.

Dr. Nicole Martinez is your Everyday Powerhouse of Mental Health Expertise. Dr. Nicole Martinez is a licensed therapist, researcher, and author. Her research has appeared in major media outlets life The Huff Post. She brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to Everyday Power, empowering your journey towards emotional well-being. Expertise you can trust: Doctorate and Master's from Illinois School of Professional Psychology with pre-doctoral and post-doctoral fellowships. Extensive clinical experience with adolescents and adults: Individual, family, and group therapy across various issues, including trauma, depression, anxiety, and more. Integrative and personalized approach: Blending Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with holistic methods for optimal mental and physical health. Champion of collaboration: Building strong partnerships with clients to design treatment plans and priorities together. Recognized researcher and presenter: Award-winning research on infants exposed to tobacco in utero, presented at professional conferences. Dr. Martinez is your Everyday Power guide to thriving beyond challenges and embracing holistic well-being. Let her expertise, empathy, and collaborative spirit empower your journey. Find any of her 8 books at amazon.com under Nikki Martinez or Nicole Martinez in "books."
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