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Why We Lie

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Why We Lie

By Cat Thompson, Experience Life

Can you identify someone in your life who uses language carelessly, who agrees to things readily but then never seems to be able to show up for his or her agreements? Do you know individuals who spend a lot of their time speaking about things they have no experience with — who have plenty of opinions but little real, applicable knowledge to back it up? Do you have friends who frequently gossip or who say disempowering things about themselves? These are some of the common ways that people deprive themselves of the potential power of speech.

Language is meant to power our dreams into physical reality. When we “spend” our language on half-baked ideas, or passionate views we may have heard about but have no direct experience with, when we use language destructively or we say things we don’t really mean, we lose personal power. Personal power comes from being in integrity and diminishes whenever our integrity is undermined. Unfortunately, very few of us are taught the skills of using language as an integrity-building force.

White Lies
To find the roots of our dishonesty with ourselves, we need only look as far as our cultural patterns around language and lies. Most of us consider ourselves good people. We recycle our cardboard, give to charity and generally try to do the right thing when we have the opportunity. Yet most nice people also lie quite frequently. Why is that? And how has that become acceptable behavior?

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Megan, selected from Experience Life

Experience Life magazine is an award-winning health and fitness publication that aims to empower people to live their best, most authentic lives, and challenges the conventions of hype, gimmicks and superficiality in favor of a discerning, whole-person perspective. Visit experiencelife.com to learn more and to sign up for the Experience Life newsletter, or to subscribe to the print or digital version.

405 comments

+ add your own
2:10PM PDT on May 14, 2012

ty

10:26PM PST on Mar 4, 2012

Avoid lying at all costs.
Think before you speak,you can choose your words wisely.
You don't have to be quick to answer.

3:30AM PST on Mar 3, 2012

interesting...

6:36AM PST on Feb 21, 2012

Pathological lying starts in childhood and becomes a habit. There's no cure. You can't believe anything that comes out of their mouths and they tend to be manipulative thieves (Republicans).
The interesting thing about pathological liars is that they believe their own lies. They live in some kind of dream world of their own making and refuse to face reality. I would call that "crazy", the kind of mindset of mass murderers.

6:16AM PST on Feb 21, 2012

You cannot currently send a star to patricia m because you have done so within the last week.

I believe that white lies are social lubricant that is necessary. I also have a problem with using them.

Never, never ask if you don't want to know the real answer. I'm too old not to say what I'm thinking. No inner voice left at 60, it all comes out.

6:03AM PST on Feb 21, 2012

It's easier to tell the truth because you can always remember truths. It's much harder to remember your lies.

4:57PM PST on Feb 20, 2012

I do not!

6:09AM PST on Feb 13, 2012

in the end, lying even done for good can hurt people

3:41AM PST on Feb 7, 2012

"... Yet most nice people also lie quite frequently. ..." ???

This is a contradiction. Lying people are NOT nice by definition. Only lying persons make me tell lies to them, too; the others deserve to be told the truth whenever. I hate liars. That's why I have few friends - but they are REAL FRIENDS.

11:49AM PST on Feb 3, 2012

Agreed Linda, men lie way more than women.

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