Everybody Lies

As House says…

Everybody Lies.

This has been a very hard lesson to learn, as I don’t lie, really. I tweeted the words “Everybody Lies” one day when I was feeling quite discouraged with people, and I got a wonderful reply. This person said, “That’s not accurate.” Perhaps “Everybody Has Lied” is more accurate, but that once someone grows up and takes responsibility, one realizes there is a better way than to lie, especially in intimate relationships, either platonic or romantic. For, as I’ve said so many times before, lying & deception is the ultimate betrayal.

These untruths, uttered out of fear or laziness, destroy relationships. And for the purposes of this post, lying includes deception, keeping information away from your partner or Significant Other when you know it’s something that should be assessed.

Ultimate. Betrayal.

It just makes everything worse. Whatever the action or thought, however bad it might be, it’s made infinitely worse by lying or deception. Your adding deception on top of whatever pain the thought or action might cause.

I learned this entire lesson again this summer. I don’t do deception. I don’t lie. As you can see in my blog, I am very open and very honest. Recently, I allowed myself to be a part of a deception, although it wasn’t my deception, I was complicit in it. And that’s bad enough.

No more.

If you find yourself lying to those you love, deceiving them, grow up. You don’t have to stop playing video games or reading comic books. You can still play in the rain. You can still act spontaneously and enjoy life in a childlike wonder, but stop the deception. It hurts you and everyone around you. Take responsibility for your actions. And stop lying.

Respect yourself and respect your relationships enough to tell the truth. Things are infinitely less complicated when the truth can be shared.

However, reality teaches us again and again that most people do lie, and do so often. So regard others with a healthy dose of skepticism around their integrity until they prove themselves trustworthy by their actions, not just their words.

~ by omgrey on September 21, 2011.

18 Responses to “Everybody Lies”

  1. Of course everybody lies – it may not be a direct lie. As an adult the lies I experience most and the ones I’m most likely to commit are the lies of omission rather than the ‘I didn’t do it’ type of childhood. We often omit to tell the details in the hope that we won’t be held responsible. I don’t do it very often but I’ll hold my hand up in response to your post and say it does still happen occasionally. Thanks for calling me to task 🙂

    • Thank you for your honesty on this matter. It seems that everybody does lie, and that greatly saddens me as a woman who takes people at their word. When, if ever, is lying (or deception or omission) okay? I guess in interpersonal relationships, it’s not ever okay in my mind. Thoughts?

      • I would never say that lying is ok – I just acknowledge that, with the best will and intention, it happens. I would never lie to my wife – except to perhaps to deny spending too much on something for her when she says I shouldn’t have! 🙂

      • Now there is a nice white lie. 😀 Glad to hear you wouldn’t lie to your wife. I wouldn’t lie to my husband either. And I think that is a great start.

      • I would lie to the police to protect someone I love. I say “fine” when I’m asked how I am, even if I feel terrible. Sometimes I don’t want to have the conversation. I would not make a confession to someone, if its only purpose was to lighten my heart and weigh theirs down.Its hard to put a blanket statement about Lying, as there are circumstances where it is the only right thing to do. Deliberate betrayal? To get what I want at someoneelse’s expense? Certainly not.But without lies, there would be no stories, either…

      • It is one of those ethical dilemmas where there is no black & white answer. But in romantic relationships, I believe in complete honesty. You’re partners in life, and lies/deception will only create a rift between you.

  2. It’s the rock on which all good relationships are built. But, in the workplace people are often pushed into being less than honest with either customers or their management structure by the pressure to achieve. Such is the etiquette of modern business 😦 People are often actively encouraged to ‘expand’ on the truth in order to get a good annual performance review which, for some people means the difference between getting a bonus or not, or remaining in employment at the end of the year. Can you see why lies in work happen?!

    • Absolutely! The work dynamic is different than interpersonal relationships, no doubt. And then the line of truth/lies become fuzzier. Look at sales people. Look at people who market themselves or others. Certainly they trumpet the positives and play down the negatives, but when does it become a flat out lie? Much fuzzier under professional circumstances, but we still must strive to be honest, I think. But in personal relationships, there is a very clear line as far as I’m concerned, especially with romantic relationships. The truth. The whole truth. And nothing but the truth.

  3. I agree – it is very important to be honest in personal relationships. I hope your post gets a few more comments as it deals with an interesting and important subject. I wouldn’t dare lie to my wife as she is one of those African ladies who knows how to throw an assagai. A humourous semi-truth this time 😉

  4. There is a downside to being a person who habitually doesn’t lie. Oddly enough, the downside is that people won’t trust you. These days so many people lie so easily and frequently that the general expectation is to be lied to. The new social “norm” is that when you meet someone, they will lie to you to a certain degree. Usually, they will lie badly so you know that they’re lying. But people won’t call each other on these lies. The lies are taken at face value because it is obvious that they are lies.

    Then along comes someone who doesn’t lie. Everything they say rings true, so others can’t tell when they are lying. And this unnerves people. They won’t trust the truth telling person, because they assume that the person is a very good liar and is actively trying to deceive them. And so an honest person gets a reputation for being untrustworthy.

    I think it is a sad commentary that honesty is no longer expected in society.


    • Your assessment is something I regard with genuine horror. I don’t lie, and perhaps, if you’re correct, that is why people seem afraid of me.

      • As a rule, I don’t lie either. It took me a long while to figure out why it was that people didn’t trust me, but would trust others that lied casually, obviously, and frequently. It finally dawned on me that the people who lied and were trusted were trusted because they spoke a common language. They had a bond of community that surpassed the dishonesty of their words.

        But even knowing that, I cannot bring myself to even attempt the same kind of casual untruth they practice. Writing fiction seem much more honest to me.


      • Yes. I don’t speak that language. It certainly explains a lot about the way I so don’t fit into this world.

  5. Thank you for an interesting post that has sparked a good discussion. I also make it a mission to be honest and open with people and I find it difficult to deal with people who aren’t honest and open back.

    During my childhood my parents stayed together for years after their marriage had collapsed. As I look back I see the unacknowledged undercurrent of unhappiness and bitterness that ran throughout our family life. Obviousy this attitude of burying feelings that didn’t fit the public picture was also something that pervaded all areas of our lives. I can’t fully explain how destructive this has been. I still struggle with the fallout in my adult life 15 years on. It leaves me with a lingering compulsion to question my emotional judgements and as an adult I am now having to learn to trust myself. It is not easy and I stumble frequently. Being honest is the only thing that keeps things straight enough in my head.

    Hearteningly, I often find that being honest and direct elicits the same from others.

    • I also find that being honest and open elicits the same from others, at least for awhile. But it often become more than they can handle in the long run, at least in my experience.

      Your story is one of so many I’ve heard similarly, which just reinforces the whole “stay together for the kids” excuse. I know had my parents stayed together “for the kids” it would’ve been much, much, much worse. As fucked up as I am, it would’ve been 100x worse. Children learn about relationships from their parents. Even unspoken hostility or apathy can be felt, and that’s what the kids learn.

      Your introspection is very impressive, something I wish more people did. You’re looking at what you learned and rationally questioning it and your choices. That’s how you learn. That’s how you grow. That’s how you heal.

      Good for you.

  6. I feel like I needed to hear this tonight. Thanks for this!

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