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Seven reasons why people lie

Updated on June 16, 2012

Lying is a human nature and we do so because it is the easiest way to avoid problems. From our childhood we begin lying and do that till we die. As children we all have lied to our parents and teachers to escape from the punishment. As we grow up our reasons for lying change and it is more towards protecting our personal interests and self-respect. It is no surprise that men lie more than women which inspired the topic of Barbara and Allan Pease’s “why men lie and women cry” book. Let us look at some more facts related to lying (collected from various sources) before we explore the reasons behind it.

· Men speak 6 lies a day and women 3.

· Most of the lies are spoken in the morning.

· 97% of people claim that they do not lie.

· When people communicate over phone they tend to lie more.

· 60% of people lie once during a 10 minute conversation with a stranger.

There are several reasons why people lie and the most common reason is fear. The fundamental reason behind lying is that it always works. We lie to our parents, friends, spouse, and boss and even to strangers and fulfill our motives easily. It has been accepted in the society so much so that now it would not be wrong to say that it is now a useful skill. The seven main reasons why people lie in no particular order are:

1. People lie to avoid the responsibilities – it is impossible for many people to say “NO” for a work and lying is the best way to avoid it. Mostly in your work place you must have faced such situations.

2. People lie to please others – You lie to your friend that the gift he gave was amazing even though you know that his gift is useless to you. After all he is your friend how you can upset him.

3. Influencing through lying – Nowadays this is the most common lie that we face. You may have noticed that when you are shopping the salesperson compliments you on your choice so that you are convinced to buy that product. If you were the salesperson you would have done the same, isn’t it?

4. People lie to avoid humiliation and punishment – while children lie to avoid punishment, adults sometimes lie to avoid humiliation they would have to face if their friends knew the truth.

5. People lie for being socially acceptable - We all have done this in our college days. We lie about our past, ethnicity to project ourselves as “cool”.

6. People lie to get benefits – It was found in a study that people lie to their insurance provider to make sure that their premium amount is low. You may lie about your qualification to get your dream job. There can be endless examples.

7. People lie simply because they are not able to tell the truth – Sometimes it is not possible for us to tell the truth and we lie.

While most of the lies we speak are White lies which are harmless and spoken without an intention to hurt anybody.


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    • Prankita profile image

      Ankita 5 years ago from United Kingdom


    • Sherrye Barrow profile image

      Sherrye Barrow 5 years ago from Duncan, AZ

      Recently I was angry about a bunch of lies I had been told. I now have a better perspective about why they may have told the lies...I thank you for posting this informative hub.

    • Sherry Hewins profile image

      Sherry Hewins 5 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Interesting, I sometimes think some people tell unnecessary lies just to keep in practice.