ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Lying is a Necessary Social Skill

Updated on April 24, 2011

Lying, in my humble opinion, gets a bad rap.

I mean, we were all told as kids growing up how important it is to tell the truth. Lying, or fibbing, was frowned upon. And if caught in a lie, we were punished.

But "truth" be told, adults have to lie on a regular basis in order to effectively navigate the world, especially the social world.

And it never ceases to amaze me how people, all of whom lie on a regular basis, are quick to point the finger at so-called "liars" and berate them for their prevarications and half-truths.

Lying, in and of itself, is considered, by most people, to be a mortal sin. Liars are not supposed to be trusted; they are two-faced, they are fake, and in some cases, dangerous.

But my feeling is, WE ARE ALL LIARS! Each and every one of us! We lie on a daily basis. How can so many people profess hatred towards liars or the act of lying when, in fact, we are all pinocchios to a degree.

And no area of life is as saturated with dishonesty and lack of truth than is the social realm!

Social situations, ah yes, the stage that Shakespeare talked about; you know, the stage where every person has their entrances and exits; and the stage where every person plays many roles.

Making small talk when you don't feel like it; inquiring about someone's family or job or dog when you don't care; or intentionally changing your behavior in a situation to accomplish some end: to make a good impression, to win someone over, or to increase your likeability.

These, my friends, are deceptions, aka, lies. The fact that these so-called "social lies" are accepted, and, more importantly, expected, does not change the fact that they are lies.

Social lies get dressed up and renamed as being "social etiquette" or "courtesy" or "being nice"; but no matter what you call them, they are lies.

Now, don't get me wrong. I think social lies are necessary. We have to change our behaviors in different situations; we have to "play" the social game in order to navigate and excel in our social world.

If we didn't filter our thoughts, adjust our behaviors, or conform to certain social etiquette in various situations, the world would be chaos.

But my gripe is that most people are hypocritical when it comes to lying. On one hand, they denounce liars and lying, but on the other hand, seem to forget that they themselves lie on a regular basis.

There are lies of omission, when you keep your true feelings and thoughts to yourself.

There are open, bald-faced lies, when you blatantly say something that isn't true.

There are the lies of deception, where you act in a way that you don't really feel, or when you "pretend" to be something or someone you are not.

We are all guilty.

I do realize, however, that there are different types and degrees of lying.

Lying to save someone's life is not the same as lying about why you couldn't attend that party last night. Lying about liking a friends new haircut is not the same as lying about how you don't know who stole the money when, in fact, you have the bills in your pocket.

I get it.

All I'm saying, or venting, or expounding upon, is that lying is not inherently bad, and that lying gets a bad rap, and most importantly of all, that lying is a necessary and vital social skill!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Mr Face Saver 

      5 years ago

      I like twisting words and taking phrases out of context to convince myself I'm right.

    • AnthonyJ33 profile imageAUTHOR

      AnthonyJ33 

      5 years ago from Southern California

      Thank you for responding. I struggle with this topic on a daily basis. I understand what you are saying. But I can't help but think that we as humans have to engage in daily deception in social settings to survive. And deception is a form of lying. I'm not saying I'm right; it's just how it looks to me. But then again, maybe lying in and of itself is not always bad.

    • AnthonyJ33 profile imageAUTHOR

      AnthonyJ33 

      7 years ago from Southern California

      Mr. Happy said:I speak differently to my nephews than I speak to my friends and so on. It doesn't mean I am putting on an act, it's just courteous to act according to the situations surrounding you: respect elders, bump little kids out of the way (jk), etc.

      "to act" IS putting on an act. You just contradicted yourself there Mr. Happy.

      I think it's fair to say that we all lie; nothing unfair about that. Little lies, white lies, take your pick!

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 

      7 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      I think your definition of a lie is very vague and perhaps because I chose to post one of my nicknames (that of Mr. Happy), I am lying too ...

      I think a lie is when someone takes the truth and presents it as something else. If I chose to abstain from a conversation, I don't think I am lying.

      I speak differently to my nephews than I speak to my friends and so on. It doesn't mean I am putting on an act, it's just courteous to act according to the situations surrounding you: respect elders, bump little kids out of the way (jk), etc.

      I am by no means a liar. If I am posed a question that I do not want to answer (be it personal or what not), I chose to say that I will not answer that question.

      I really think it is quite unfair to call everyone a liar.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)