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A Lie, Is a Lie, Is a Lie, Is a Lie

Updated on August 30, 2013

What is a lie

Bold face, big fat, little white, tall tale, fable, fib, whopper, those are just a few of the tags that are applied to the lie. Webster says, pertaining to the word lie: to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive, to create a false or misleading impression, an assertion of something known or believed by the speaker to be untrue with intent to deceive, something that misleads or deceive. You know what I didn't see in that meaning, I didn't see any color, size, or shape. So, a lie, is a lie, is a lie. Let's examine this.

Why some lie

People lie for various reasons. For instance, some lie to get out of a compromising situation, some to make themselves look good, to make others feel good, to hurt, and humiliate others, still others lie just because it's in their nature, they lie for no good reason, just for the sake of lying. Of course, there are other various and sundry reasons, too numerous to go into at this time. For now we'll deal with just a few.

Sir Walter Scott wrote, "oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive." That applies in a lot of cases when people lie. Ever tried to get out of a lie, when caught in one? Didn't you find yourself getting in deeper and deeper, especially when you are caught in a compromising situation? Have you ever tried to replicate the same lie when trying to make yourself look good, (it turns into the fish story)? Now here's a tricky one, trying to make a person feel good with maybe ulterior motives, and they knew you were lying? Then there's the age old one about trying to hurt or humiliate someone, what about when the tables were turned on you? What about the person who lies just because he can, no real good reason. Have you ever met someone like that, you can't believe a word they say. I've known people like that, they can tell you the sun is shinning, on a 100 degree day in August in California, and because they lie so much, you just have to go out and see for yourself. You see, lying for some is a way of life, for whatever reason, they feel to tell the truth is unnecessary in most cases, and because they are so skilled at it, it becomes hard to know when they are lying.

How to tell when someone is lying

Although research is not my strong suit, at times I must. Most of the results from my research is from the Internet, from articles on the site,, and I found many of these techniques are used by the police, managers, employers, etc., in circumstances when distinguishing the truth from a lie is important. Let's face it sometimes it just doesn't matter to some, more about that later.

Here are a few signs to look for: Eyes........It's been said a person who is lying avoids eye contact, but these days skilled liars have just about mastered that one. It's said at the moment of the lie, some will look, only briefly, to the right or the floor, while others will make, and hold, eye contact more than usual, in an attempt to defeat this theory. However, there is something called, "visual accessing cues." First, let me state, all of these things should be taken with a grain of salt. None of these rules, etc, are set in stone. But I digress. Visual accessing cues, is a very convoluted method of determining when a person is telling the truth or lying. I found it very interesting, but it was too long to include here, I suggest you research it for yourself.

Body language : Stiff hands, and arms, touching the face, mouth, and throat. Scratching of the nose, and behind the ear. Rapid eye movement, constant swallowing. Wide-eyed innocent look. Then again when someone is faking emotions, it's done with the mouth only, not the whole face.

Verbal: Speaking more than necessary, giving more details than needed, garbled and soft spoken words. Rise in voice, change in pitch and pace.

Do you really want to know

Some people would rather be lied to, than to be told the truth. Like the old song by Brook Benton, entitled "Lie to me." In the song, Mr. Benton, says something to effect, "lie to me, make me believe every word you say." For instance, someone might ask how does this look on me, especially if they think it looks good, they want you to say so too, if you tell them the truth, that it doesn't, they're offended. Another situation, a woman might suspect her mate is cheating on her, but she's so afraid to lose him, that no matter what she is told, she'd rather not have the truth verified, either by him or anyone else, in which case she'd rather hear the lie. So, before you embark upon any of those, supposed, findings, ask yourself, "do I really want to know?"

Me and the lie

I've gone through several phases in my life in this regard. When I was a little girl, I often lied to get out of tough situations, or to make myself look good in front of my friends. As I got older, surprisingly, I learned the truth was much better, because it was a lot easier to keep up with a story. I became so brutally honest, I became known as tactless. I'd tell a person they were fat, if they asked or not. I'd say things looked bad when it really did. I've never been one to hurt peoples feelings, so when I learned that my brand of truth was sometimes painful, I had to learn a new way. Along the way I've learned to be truthful, using tact and diplomacy.

There are situations in which I've learned to be diplomatic, I'll explain. You know, we were not all born beautiful, some of us had a rocky start in the looks department, that being said there are some babies that you just can't really tell it the way it is. My solution is to say, when I'm presented with one of those unfortunate little ones is to just say, "oh he/she is so sweet,"(all babies are sweet, right), and comment on a body part that is exceptional, like maybe, the hair, or fingers etc. I specifically look for something I can use. Now, everybody feels good, I didn't have to lie, and the parent still feels good about their little one.

I used to work at a major department store, in the women's department. When a customer would put on something that wasn't especially figure flattering, I would tactfully say, something to the effect that, maybe they would be more comfortable in something else that I would bring them, or if I could not find anything else I would say that it didn't fit their personally. To be honest that would be the truth, because not all clothes are for all people. We don't all look good in the same things. I was able to become one of the top salesperson's, because I gained a reputation, for my honest, and tactful handling of these situations. I'm not going to sit here and say I never lie, because that would be a lie, but I work really hard at being the most honest person I can be. These days I find it easier to be honest, because lying is just too hard, and I just don't want to work that hard anymore.

A lie, is a lie, is a lie, is a lie

So, when contemplating telling a lie, remember a lie has no shape, color, or size, meaning you're not telling a little white lie, a whopper, or a big fat lie. You're simply telling a lie. Be sure that you are willing to face the consequences of your actions, and tread lightly, because a lie, is a lie, is a lie, is a lie.


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    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 6 years ago from Southern California

      Funny Mighty Mom, I like the song too, but not the implications. He is one of my all time great performers.

      Karanda, you and I may know some of the same people, those who lie for the sake of lying. I agree about telling the truth, so I try to stay clear from situations that would require me to lie, but that doesn't work all the time.

      You are so welcome adrienne2, I too was intrigued by the part about the body language.

      Thank you all so much for stopping, and taking the time to read, and leave those beautiful comments.

    • adrienne2 profile image

      Adrienne F Manson 6 years ago from Atlanta

      Freta, you totally nailed it with this hub! A lie, is a lie. You are correct these days liars can look you square into your eyes, and know they are lying. Thanks for sharing with HP community especially the body language. Keep it writing Freta!

    • Karanda profile image

      Karen Wilton 6 years ago from Australia

      Oh bravo fastfreta and that's no lie. What a great look at the humble lie all the way to the big fat whopper. Sadly, I know way too many people who lie for the sake of lying. For me, I've always found it easier to tell the truth but that can create bigger problems than telling a little white lie in the first place. Nice work with this Hub, I really enjoyed the read.

    • Mighty Mom profile image

      Susan Reid 6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      I'm getting seduced by the song and so being tolk a lie doesn't sound so bad to me actually!

      Good hub. I like the body language tests! MM

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 6 years ago from Southern California

      You are just too sweet. Thank you again for stopping and taking the time to read and leave these very motivating comments. Please come back and visit soon, and I'll do the same.

    • jacqui2011 profile image

      jacqui2011 6 years ago from Norfolk, UK

      Another fantastic hub here fastfreta. Your talent for writing shines through. I like what you say about a lie having no colour, it is simply a lie. I agree with this. Body language plays such a big part in determining if you are being lied to. I can always tell if my kids are telling me an untruth! Thanks again for a wonderful article. Voted up and awesome.

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Susan you are so right. Thanks for stopping and reading, thanks too for the comment. See you soon.

    • susanlang profile image

      susanlang 8 years ago

      Hey freta my friend...I tell it like it is too. It is what it is! Anyway, I'ed rather know what someone really thinks then to have them sugar-coat their thoughts on my account. Because I find that later..after they walk away.. many will say what they really were thinking about you to someone else. At least if they say it to your face, you have a chance to respond. Anyway,

      human nature is what it is. This was a another fine hub, written with such style and good ideas, Fastfreta.

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Bladesofgrass I can truly appreciate someone who really reads my hubs,and I can tell the ones that do, and I see that you did. Thank you for that. See you real soon.

    • bladesofgrass profile image

      bladesofgrass 8 years ago from The Fields of Iowa

      I can think of nothing that upsets me more than someone lying...whenever it happens and they are caught in the lie, I still can't seem to grasp why they did it in the first place. Love the baby reference, I do the same thing...find something else to compliment them on. LOL :) Great Hubs by the way.

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks Betty for your thoughts on my hub. I'm glad that you enjoyed it. I've experienced that second statement that you made a few times. Thanks for sharing these thoughts. See you soon.

    • Betty Reid profile image

      Betty Reid 8 years ago from Texas

      Interesting thoughts, fastfreta. Lately I have been thinking about why people lie. One thing that fascinates me is when someone tells me a rather convincing lie, but I am already aware of the truth and know they are lying. Another thing is when someone lies to hide a problem they have, and I realize that their lie excuses me from having to worry about their problem, which I would be unable to fix anyway.

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      You're right Dolores, this online business is tricky and can be a little frightening. As my hub says a lie is a lie no matter what it's for or about. Thank you Dolores for reading my hub, after reading your hubs, I am honored that you find me interesting enough to read. Please stop over again.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 8 years ago from East Coast, United States

      freta - the trouble with liars is that you wind up doubting everything they say. I can't stand a liar and become quite upset when I catch someone in a lie. But what about online lying? It's a whole new world online where lies seem okay. We often weave lies into a tale to spark it a bit. Then there is creative nonfiction. But you are talking about personal lies, of course.

      Mark Twain once said 'if you want a reputation as a great wit, tell the truth.'

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Thank you aefrancisco for stopping and reading my hub, please stop by again.

    • aefrancisco profile image

      aefrancisco 8 years ago from somewhere down the road


      It reminds me of the sayin' "Honesty is the best policy".

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks RTalloni, now if we could just get the majority to see our point, we'd have something here. Thanks again for stopping, please stop by again.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 8 years ago from the short journey

      Lying has been on my mind lately too. Good points you have provided here. BkCreative's comment about culture shock is far too telling about our culture. Interesting article, interesting comments. Practicing honesty is a character building exercise. Thanks for sharing your insight.

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks Ladybird33 for your comment, and for stopping by. Please come again soon.

    • Ladybird33 profile image

      Ladybird33 8 years ago from Fabulous USA

      Ohhh so true and excellent hub, plus reminder.

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks deestew for your comment, please come back again.

    • deestew profile image

      deestew 8 years ago from Kentucky

      Wow, I have seen many of these signs in action. Very good hub!

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Thank you lady E for stopping by. LOL, no I never worked for the FBI, I did something that I don't like for this hub, research. I normally don't like research, but I did for this one. Thanks for the comments.

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 8 years ago from London, UK

      Enjoyed reading this Hub. Thanks for the tips on signs a person is lying - did you used to work for the FBI? :)

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Well hello there ladydijay, thanks for stopping by. Yes, I do, that's why I try hard not to tell them.

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Hey there ladydijay, thanks for stopping by. Yes, I do, so I try hard not to tell them.

    • profile image

      ladydijay 8 years ago

      A lie is a lie. I was one to give them colors,sizes etc. I have learned that a lie really is a lie. Don't you feel bad when you tell one????

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Well said alittlebitcrazy, thanks for stopping by.

    • alittlebitcrazy profile image

      alittlebitcrazy 8 years ago

      The worst liar is the one you know is lying. Great hub!

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks jiberish for stopping by.

      Thanks Mr. Happy, you're so right, I feel the same as you, boy, I wish I had put that in my hub. This particular hub has sparked a lot of dialogue, I hope someone enlarges on this in another hub soon.

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 8 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      "Weak" people lie - they need to lie as a "means" to a certain "end" which would not be attainable for them in their state of being without lying. I always find those who lie to be sad and sorry people. Lies deteriorate one's character with time like moths eat away at cloths, until nothing remains. I appreciate your post :)

    • jiberish profile image

      jiberish 8 years ago from florida

      When my son was very young, he used to say "i'm not lying, i'm turning the truth upside down". Never really understood it, but I could tell when he was lying because he would always smile.

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Okay if someone doesn't do a sequel to this hub I will. So many things left out. Thanks Jenna!

    • JennaJackson profile image

      JennaJackson 8 years ago

      Amen! Amen! Amen!

      Sometimes a lie is not what you say, but what you don't say. I agree with BK... watch out for those "sins of omission." (Too much Catholic upbringing I guess.)

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks ChRiiStiOn for stopping by.

    • ChRiiStiOn profile image

      ChRiiStiOn 8 years ago from Cape Cod Mass

      so true! thanks for enlightening me! (=

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Thank you both, (C. Stewart and create a page) for your comments. C. Stewart great answer, but I do try to soften my response.

      create a page, believe me, I had to stop myself, if you just read some of the comments, those are some of the things I could have said, and wished that I had.

    • create a page profile image

      create a page 8 years ago from Maryland, USA

      I didn't know someone could find so much to say on a hub on lying. You did very well.

    • C. Stewart profile image

      C. Stewart 8 years ago

      I always tell people, "If you don't want an honest answer, don't ask me." Great hub!

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Dear li7218, no, thank you a million. I am so carried away by all of the loving comments, such as yours. Thank you so much!

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Thank you both,(emohealer and BK Creative) I am so humbled to get these kinds of comments, from such good writers, I am not a writer, but when I get comments from people that write for a living or those that even write for fun, and do so, so eloquently, I feel somewhat validated. Thanks again!

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 8 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Oooh, you inspire me fastfreta - I will give your suggestions some thought. Hmmmm good ideas.

      Thanks a million. I love your hubs and I love your photo - both make me feel good and put a smile on my face. And that's the truth!

    • emohealer profile image

      Sioux Ramos 8 years ago from South Carolina

      I have been looking for the time to read this hub. Even better than I anticipated. fastfreta, you tell it like it is and the tact you were writing about is apparent throughout this whole piece. There is always something good to say, so why lie in the first place. I too learned this through life experience like most experimenting with lies, never liked much where they took me. Then tried to lie "better", yeah right, that wasn't better. As the saying you so aptly used, "The truth shall set you free." So nice to be "free".

      Thumbs up!!!

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks BK, your response should have been a hub, it was just as interesting to me, as you say my hub was. Those two other terms, outright lying and lying by omission is another hub in themselves, take it away, please.

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 8 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Lying has become a sport in this country. When politicians have been caught in a lie that can ruin us all they simply dismiss it by saying they 'mispoke' - remember that term for outright lying?

      I worked overseas during a 4 year period and the people were just so honest about everything. If their child was an idiot - well so be it, no lying. If they made a mistake, they admitted it. Everything was out in the open, no secrets - it was culture shock at first, but after that it was so refreshing. It was hard to take a day off from work because I'd have to lie about being sick and I just couldn't do it.

      As I muse (such a good idea), I'm beginning to think that lying comes with being a consumer nation. I don't think we are told the truth about any of the junk on the market - and if we buy it and it harms us - well, we shouldn't have bought it - our fault, not the manufacturer for lying, favorite...lying by omission. Not telling us the product is toxic or flammable, etc.

      Great hub! You've done it again fastfreta!

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks Mireille G, for stopping by, my advice is just to keep setting a good example for your granddaughter. During my research I ran across something that I didn't put in the article. It said something to the effect that our reaction, to a situation that the "liar" finds themselves in, might make them feel that they have to lie. No excuse, we know, but they might not want to face our reaction. Something to think about.

    • Mireille G profile image

      Mireille G 8 years ago from Kansas

      This is so true, and it was a fun read. I am having some problems right now with my grandchild who does lie sometimes. Usually to get out of troubles, which of course only makes everything worse. I guess like all of us, she will have to learn that truth is always best.

      To doodlelyn, unfortunately I have told someone that she was fat. I did not really mean to but it did come out like that. Not a fun moment, you are right there are times when it is best may be not to lie but just keep our mouth shut.

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks Shalini, for your comment, and your thumbs up, looking forward to reading your hubs.

      Glad to meet you Mighty Mom, thanks for your thumbs up on my hub, and thanks for becoming my fan. Looking forward to reading your hubs also.

    • Mighty Mom profile image

      Susan Reid 8 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      You speak the truth in this hub, that's for sure! It's fascinating the body language of lying. And that some people can even fake out lie detector tests!

      I, too, have come to realize that telling the truth is much easier. But that is not to say speaking everything on one's mind. "Restraint of tongue and pen" is a good motto, too.

      I enjoyed your "musing" and look forward to reading more from you. Your newest fan, MM.

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India

      Great hub - I've always believed the truth sets one free - it's just so much easier - so why oh why do people lie? I do agree with your bit about diplomacy though - when the truth can hurt, it's so much nicer to be diplomatic - without lying!

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Well ralwus, what can I say, other than I've found very creative ways around those questions, for instance, "it depends on what you call fat," I would say. But you men have always had a problem with that one, LOL!

      Doodlelyn, thanks, but that was in my tactless and uncouth days, now I know better. Can't we get away with a lot with our children. Thank you so much for your comments and compliments!

      Thanks fortunerep for stopping by, love hearing from you.

    • fortunerep profile image

      fortunerep 8 years ago from North Carolina

      you go girl!!!


    • DoodleLyn profile image

      DoodleLyn 8 years ago from Upstate New York, USA

      Great hub, and I'm NOT lying. Somehow I can't picture you telling someone they're fat! lol. You're a very interesting lady, Freta! Funny you should mention about the baby, because you're right, I've seen my share of homely ones. But, of course, we can't tell the parents that. I remember when my daughter was younger and living home. She would try something on and ask if I liked it. I would say, No, but I don't have to wear it, you do. And if you like it, then that's all that matters.

    • profile image

      ralwus 8 years ago

      Honesty is not always what it is cracked up to be. It seems a lie has gotten me out of a heap of trubble with Wee One now and again. "How do I look? Do I look fat?" Well what do I say? 'You saw yourself in the mirror, now you tell me if you're fat or not.' I don't think so.


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