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Degrees of Lies

Do you believe there are degrees of lies? I do. Now I know what you might be thinking, a lie is a lie. No matter how you slice it, it’s an untruth. Yes, but what is the intent? What is the degree? We all lie. It’s the truth! We all lie. I feel like there’s a lie-ometer in everyone. Some reach high levels, some only move a millimeter, but we do it. I do it when I’m checking out at the grocery store and the girl asks politely how my day has been. It could be going awful, but I politely smile and say, ‘good’. Who wants to hear how bad my day has been? She’s just passing time and doing what she was taught in training. She doesn’t care. No big deal, no harm. And then there’s the lie of when someone comes to you with something they made and wants you to try it. Your stomach gut punches you as you grin and say, ‘it’s good. I like it.’ Again, we’re being polite with our white lie. The intent is to save someone’s feelings.

Then you get into the sticky, murky lies. The ones that buy you time. The ones that won’t cause harm, they just get you out of jail for a brief second until you rectify whatever it is you’re lying about. Like, ‘do you have that report finished?’ You almost do, and to say you don’t would create much more grief than if you say yes and run to your car for ‘gum’ and whip out the last few pages. That saves everyone. Yes, it’s a lie, but it’s correctable. No one is harmed and time is saved.

Then there’s the lie by omission. Now this is a very gray lie to me. Sometimes it’s a hard case to prove. To the liar, it’s not a lie. To the person being told, or not told in this case, it’s a lie through and through. Hmm…but would it hold up in court? This is where intent comes in. Yes, we’re omitting it to save time and feelings, but it would hurt if it were told. And that’s where the sting comes in. Brought to light it would most certainly hurt. If someone saw their ex-girlfriend/boyfriend for lunch and didn’t tell their significant other, or went to lunch with someone of the opposite sex whom they liked, and withheld that fact, is it a lie? See, now I’d have to say it wasn’t. It’s just sneaky. Sneaks are as dangerous as liars, so it compares in degrees.

Lastly is the bold faced liar. This is the one you can never trust, yet know for exactly who they are. This is the creep who has lunch with the ex and looks you in the eye and says they didn’t. NEVER trust this person. Are they redeemable? Who knows. Who knows if they are capable of telling the truth? Once you lie to someone’s face and realize how easy it is and how infrequent they get caught it can become an addiction. Like gambling, I suppose. Life becomes much easier to just lie. But keep this little gem in the back of your lying mind….lies are always brought to light. Always. And lies are very difficult to keep track of. The truth is much easier in the long run. Much easier. It can be as addictive. But be careful, the truth hurts. Oy!!

Enough about lies. It was a discussion I had this weekend with a friend who found out her boyfriend had lunch with an ex and did not disclose it. She was calling him a liar and I had to say it wasn’t a lie, just not full disclosure. Hmm…. what say you?

 

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