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Why Do Some People Lie All The Time?

Updated on November 9, 2012

“Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive!”


Liar-Liar, Pants On Fire

The truth is a beautiful thing. It stands proud and unconcerned, welcoming scrutiny. It is crystal clear and a life of truth promotes a healthy mind, body and spirit. We are by nature drawn to truth and respect it. As small children, we believe every word spoken is true. That is why children are so easily deceived. As we grow and gain experience, we are exposed to lies and that causes us to wonder if what is being said is really true, a “barefaced” lie or skewered in some manner.

This is a time when innocence must come to terms with a worldly outlook and we begin to understand there are many layers to life and to our loved ones. It is most difficult to reconcile lies and sincerity in the people we are around in our home, social life and work environment. When we look upon them in their many personas, it must be determined which is the real personality-the liar or the one whom we see most of the time.

Homes, families, companies, even governments have been destroyed by lies and liars. Of course the lie is always uncovered and the relationship is damaged. Betrayal is painful and it takes long hard work to rebuild trust. A person’s character is built on the words he or she speaks. Once duplicity is ousted, the liar must spend the remainder of his life repairing and regaining relationships. America has had presidents who lied on international television. Several never were able to regain status and acceptance. And many began to doubt the works and entire life accomplishments of these men. Everything they said or did from the moment the untruths were discovered became suspect. Some liars who are exposed try to dissemble and interpret the truth to match his or her version of it. Few people accept it though and most lose even more respect for the prevaricator who tries to minimize the lies.

Exactly what is a lie? All untruth is a lie, there is no big or small; white or black. It is all deceit and none of it is pretty. When a person lies, his words and actions no longer hold honor. It is heartbreaking to discover a loved one is a liar. Some are habitual liars and it becomes a way of life. I have known people who lie about the most mundane things and am always shocked and confused as to why. There is an old saying “I know he/she is lying because their mouth is moving.” How very sad to become a person who is perceived like that. Looking into the face of a loved one while knowing they are telling a lie causes great pain. Lack of trust in a person creates a chasm that is often without a bridge long enough to ever reconcile.

Why do people lie? Most people lie because they think it is easier than telling the truth and will keep them out of trouble. It is self serving and self centered. The habitual liar is a sociopath who cares more about himself than the impact on anyone else. This creates a whole other reason. Preservation of self is important for all of us. We care what others think of our character. The liar just tries to present us with a character of his own choosing. There is nothing authentic about him and he usually loses sight of himself and becomes a prisoner of his own creation. This causes me to remember the old saying by Sir Walter Scott, “Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive!” People will often lie to reinforce their position or even the first lie. Then one builds onto another until a foundation is built and cannot be removed without destroying the builder with it.

Some lies are of exaggeration, to impress or improve another’s perception of the speaker. A sports score may be embellished or a lie told to obtain favor through flattery. A man may lie to get a date or a woman to get gifts from an admirer.

By this time, everyone around the prefabricator is disillusioned and ready for relief. Years of pressure created by loving and living with this type of person causes love to shift into disdain and respect becomes weariness. When the house comes tumbling down, it is a lonely and terrifying release for all involved.

The Creator of truth, God, hates lies and cannot tolerate them. He classifies liars with the kind of people that we humans consider the dregs of society. His Word, the Holy Bible states that:

· Proverb 6:17- 16 There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue….

· Revelation 21: 8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

· 1 Timothy 1: 8-11- 8 We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. 9 We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11 that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.

· Exodus 20:16- “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

· Proverb 25:18- Telling lies about others
is as harmful as hitting them with an ax,
wounding them with a sword,
or shooting them with a sharp arrow.

Many more Scriptures caution and command us against lying. For the sake of oneself, loved ones and future spiritual existence with God, I implore you to live a truthful life full of integrity and character. You will be happier and so will everyone around you.

I know she is lying because her mouth is moving!

I remember hearing this long ago and know people who are this way. How very sad.


All photographs and text on this site are protected under United States and international copyright laws-© Brenda Barnes.


Submit a Comment
  • Hyphenbird profile imageAUTHOR

    Brenda Barnes 

    6 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

    Yes, we have anything and everything only through Christ. Thank you grace for coming by to read and comment on my Hub.

  • profile image


    6 years ago

    Tell the truth with grace! Jesus is full of grace and truth. Grace and Truth came through Jesus Christ!

  • Hyphenbird profile imageAUTHOR

    Brenda Barnes 

    8 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

    Hello Tina V, thank you for stopping by. You are so right. Children learn lying by seeing adults do it. Lying is a dangerous thing and it destroys lives.

    Thanks for the insightful comments.

  • TINA V profile image

    TINA V 

    8 years ago

    You’ve cited beautiful verses from the Bible. If a person keeps on lying, he will eventually pass it on to the next generation. I hope the truth will always prevail. This is a very good idea to write in order to remind everybody about the importance of telling the truth versus lying.

  • Hyphenbird profile imageAUTHOR

    Brenda Barnes 

    8 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

    Sunnie, I am glad you found this enlightenening. I pray it will resonate with some liars also. Having lived with a person who made lying like taking in oxygen, I know the damage it causes.

  • profile image

    Sunnie Day 

    8 years ago

    Dear Hyphenbird,

    What a great hub! I have seen and felt the effects of lies and it is the most hurtful thing to endure. My children laugh at me because I am not good at telling if someone is lieing because my mind does not go there at first. I am learning and if only people who lived as liars would realize the harm it causes. I think it is better to be straigt forward like Dave said, at least you always know where you stand. Thanks again.


  • Hyphenbird profile imageAUTHOR

    Brenda Barnes 

    8 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

    Dave, I agree with you. Ommission is lying too. I admire your integrity.

  • Dave Mathews profile image

    Dave Mathews 

    8 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

    I have always been a very "Blunt" "Straight-forward" honest person. Sometimes what I have to say to another is painful but it is always the truth. I believe that to "Sugar-coat" the truth, is to lie, so I won't do this.

  • Hyphenbird profile imageAUTHOR

    Brenda Barnes 

    8 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

    Thak you dallaswriter. If the Lord hates lies more than I do, they must really be dangerous!

  • dallaswriter profile image


    8 years ago from North Carolina

    Something many people overlook but a real problem in all of our lives. I am glad you addressed it with such passion and obedience. :)

  • Hyphenbird profile imageAUTHOR

    Brenda Barnes 

    8 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

    GrafikaPro, isn't it amazing how one of those people will lie about anything, anytime, for any reason?! Then they lie about lying. It boggles my mind!

    I am so glad you found this Hub and it gave food for thought, understanding or comfort. Thanks for reading and the great comment.

  • Hyphenbird profile imageAUTHOR

    Brenda Barnes 

    8 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

    Bumpsysmum, I suppose some lies are born out of boredom to spice up a pitiful life. But usually in my experience it is for self promotion and/or perceived self protection. Spme people want to live beyond the standards the rest of us do and lie to cover many of their deceits and actions. After living with an habitual liar for years, I have a very low tolerance.

    Thanks for the read and great comment.

  • GrafikaPro profile image


    8 years ago from Poland

    This is a great Hub on a very real issue. I recently was involved with someone who was a habitual liar and his lies were pretty obvious so at first I could not understand why he was lying at all. You are so right that even lies about mundane things, especially in relationships, can be painful. Great topic.

  • Bumpsysmum profile image


    8 years ago from Cambridgeshire

    Interesting hub,Hyphenbird.

    To be a good liar you have to have a very good memory, I don't so lies are not an option also lies are not in my nature. I find it uncomfortable anyway, and who am I kidding - me for telling the lie or the one I'm telling lies to? Seems pointless to me, I often wonder if it's the product of boredom and I don't do bored either - too busy writing on Hubpages!! :-)

  • Hyphenbird profile imageAUTHOR

    Brenda Barnes 

    8 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

    Alastar, you are forever my fan and friend. Thank you so much. I am glad this has the impact I wanted. As I observe people, so many seem to think a "little white lie" is okay. Thanks for being one who has integrity.

  • Alastar Packer profile image

    Alastar Packer 

    8 years ago from North Carolina

    What a great insight into the human condition. When one has the truth behind them they have nothing to fear.With all the lies that go on in high places it makes one not even want to tell the innocent white ones anymore. Superior hub Hyphenbirb.

  • Hyphenbird profile imageAUTHOR

    Brenda Barnes 

    8 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

    Jackie, I know exactly what you mean. When one creates one's own rules and standards of behaviour, they become a danger to all who love them.

    Glad you liked this Hub.

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image

    Jackie Lynnley 

    8 years ago from The Beautiful South

    Hey that last line fits my sister! Great hub! But it isn't just the lies, it's denial of the truth which is just as bad or worse. People think they can just go by any set of rules they want and as long as they put the word love in there it makes it alright. Know what I mean. Dangerous stuff.



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