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Why We Tell Lies

Why We Tell Lies

| Sande Caplin |

Life in the Boomer Lane is absolutely sure that National Geographic was not influenced in any way whatsoever by national events when they showcased their cover article in this month’s edition.  “Why We Lie,” according to NatGeo, explores the “science behind our complicated relationship with the truth.”

Lying, it turns out, is like eating whatever it is you eat that you know is really bad for you but no one is watching. Or you had a really bad day.  Or you had a really good day. Or you are really bored. Or you were walking along the supermarket aisles and it sort of leaped out at you. In other words, it was there, and, at that same moment, the scale wasn’t.

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Ah, some of you astute readers may be asking, “But what about will power?  What about ethics? Are we no better than whatever base instincts we may have?  We can choose not to consume the entire bag of Halloween candy that our children worked so hard to accumulate.  We can choose not to fabricate, embellish, or disregard the truth.” To those readers who are saying  this, LBL answers, “Go away.  You are a boring person and you will never be invited out to lunch with me.”

NatGeo details the scientific principles that lead to their conclusion that everyone breathing is also lying. Like all scientific principles, these are boring, and we shall move on. Here are the top reasons why we lie:

Personal transgression (Cover up a mistake or misdeed): The most famous examples of this in the history of the world are “The Devil made me do it,” “I never had sex with that woman” and “I never had any communication with the Russians.”

Avoidance (escape or evade people)  LBL is especially fond of this one, as in, “Oh! I didn’t notice you standing right in front of me in the checkout line!”  or  “Oh! I didn’t notice you sitting next to me at the civic association meeting!”

Economic advantage (Gain financial benefits) “9 out of 10 doctors advise smoking Camels, in order to clear out one’s lungs,” “The Chinese have decided totally on their own to create a network of golf clubs throughout the country for factory workers,” “The Philippine government has decided totally on its own to create a network of golf clubs throughout the country for those citizens still alive.”

Personal Benefits (Bring benefits beyond money) “I’ll respect you in the morning,”  “I had no communication with the Russians,” “The Chinese have decided totally on their own to outfit all workers in Ivanka clothing.”

Self-impression (Shape a positive image of ourselves) Examples are unlimited: “I’m very smart,” “I won the popular vote because 3 million people voted illegally,” “My hands are really, really big,” “I’m a world-class negotiator,” “I will repeal and replace Obamacare with something that is amazing and remarkable and everyone will love it,” “My son-in-law will bring peace to the Middle East,” “I love and respect my wife.”

Pathological (Ignore or disregard reality) While this accounts for only 2% of the reasons for lying, it currently accounts for 87% of the current administration’s bleating. (A note to readers: Please do not write to NatGeo about this. LBL simply made this statistic up.  She, herself, suffers from a form of pathological lying, when absolutely necessary to make a point.)

Humor (Make people laugh)  While only accounting for 5% of reasons why people lie, LBL has included this, since she believes it to be a perfectly valid reason for uttering mistruth of any kind.  She, personally, prefers to term it “satire” and has spent countless hours being amused by her own blog posts as she writes them.


about Renee Fisher……

Renee’s entire life has been formed by her naturally curly hair and her having topograpanosia, a real disorder of the frontal lobe that results in a complete inability to orient herself in space, as well as an inability to remember people’s names. Because of this disorder, she gets lost a lot.  If you see her wandering around anywhere, don’t call anyone.  Just get her ice cream.  That will calm her down.  For the hair, there’s not much you can do.

She is, indeed, a former hula hoop champion, as well as the co-author of two books for women over 50.  They are Invisible No More: The Secret Lives of Women Over 50 and Saving the Best for Last: Creating Our Lives After 50. She is also a Featured Blogger on Huffington Post and Life in the Boomer Lane.

photo from Deposit Photos

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