We all know people who seem to lie 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.
10 Reasons We Lie and Make Excuses
1. 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 that we are going to be punished for? Whether it was during childhood, or after making a major mistake as an adult, many turn to a lie or excuse to avoid punishment and trouble.
2. Wish fulfillment
They embellish a story, or make something up that they wish they 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 we see a company wanting its employees follow a certain mandate that us not popular, or during a current time like now, when a politician wants a group to vote a certain way. They will tell people whatever they need too in order 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 for a family member, close friend, or partner in order to protect others perception of them. 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
If they are not feelings good about themselves, and their level of self-esteem has taken a hit, they may lie in two ways. 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. 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 really say is not good enough.
7. Avoid hurting peoples feelings
These are the lies that we tell to spare others feelings. These are the lies that we convince ourselves do more good than harm, as the truth would hurt the persons feelings, and there is no reason to hurt the person for no reason. This is the type of lie that it seems a majority of people are in agreement is acceptable over other versions of lies.
8. Fear of conflict
It is not that the 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. 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. That they have to add to their life story in order 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 they will lose a relationship, if they come clean and tell the person the truth right away. 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 in mind when they decide between the truth and a lie.