If you think people only lie to get out of doing time for their crimes or when they feel backed into a corner, you're sadly mistaken. There are countless reasons why we all decide to fib. Understanding the "why" behind the lie will help you sniff out the truth. Here are 7 not-so-secret secret reasons why people lie:
1. To create excitement
Believe it or not, everyone lies just about every day...even you! It's not a conscious or generally harmful kind of lying though. A few embellishments are found in just about every conversation. You lie to keep your audience engaged and to create emotions they can sympathize with. It happens so often we don't even notice it.
2. To pacify or appease others
Making others happy is a good thing. Who wants to be around an antisocial curmudgeon like Ebenezer Scrooge all the time? But if Mr. Scrooge was anything, he was honest. You always knew how he felt, even if it made you feel bad. That's not the case with the rest of us. Many people lie to keep the peace in their life or just to make someone smile. This good intention has its place but sometimes people need to deal with the truth, even if it breaks their heart.
3. To get rewards
Any parent can tell you how their toddler has been known to "fake cry" to get attention when nothing is really wrong. While there isn't anything morally wrong when toddler fibs like this, that changes when we grow up. As we grow up, morality is sometimes pushed to the sidelines to get a prize we may not deserve. Some adults still sport a teenager-like instinct to get what they want by any means necessary instead of earning their position at the top.
4. To avoid punishment
I'm sure you can relate to this one. Lying is pretty much expected when we will be punished. Denying your guilt is the path we take until we are proven guilty. This does not get anyone anywhere. People know the truth, you know the truth and eventually, you will get caught in your lies.
5. To get attention
Some people lie to get attention. They feel ignored or rejected and need everyone's attention to recharge. In our world of social media, this type of lying comes all too easy.
6. To get sympathy
Lying makes crafting a sob story or traumatic tale easy. Having others fuss over you does make you feel important, but it is a manipulative form of attention. In extreme cases, this can turn in to Munchausen Syndrome; intentionally harming oneself or pretending to be hurt as a way to get sympathy and attention.
7. To test trust
Sometimes dishonest people will go out of their way to lie to you with a specific reason in mind. These people lie to see how loyal you are to them. They do it to see if you'll be there when they actually need you, or to see what side you are on. You might not ever find out the truth, but try to avoid this type of manipulative relationship at all costs.
Lies are not always life-destroying but they are everywhere. Be on the lookout and remember the why when spotting the lie.