Think you're not a liar? Think again.
No one wants to think of themselves as a liar.
Most functional, normal adults don’t tell lies on purpose. We’re all good people, right? And good people don’t lie. Ergo, we don’t lie.
OK, maybe more than sometimes. Here are nine lies I can think of that people tell all the time:
1. Father Christmas
A giant red man can defy the laws of physics by travelling all over the world at the speed of light – visiting every single child – including you. He can also get into your house regardless of whether or not you have a chimney, and while he may come from the other hemisphere, he has still bought you the EXACT SAME TOY you saw in K-Mart. Wow! AND he uses the same wrapping paper that Mum keeps in the spare room. AMAZING! That’s the magic of Christmas, right there.
And we continue to tell this lie to our children until they either see us wrapping presents, figure it out on their own, or get made fun of by their friends for being the only person at school that still believes. Ditto the Tooth Fairy.
2. I only use the internet for the news
How’s that nose, Pinocchio?
Firstly, I reckon most people use social media much more than they admit. It’s not cool to admit to being addicted, that’s why it’s so embarrassing to be caught snooping. That’s also why people Facebook like a stealth ninja, purposely leaving no footprint so they can continue to look cool and aloof.
And what about the rest of the internet then, eh? Only look at the news, eh? And by “news” you really mean cat memes, Hollywood gossip, forums or all manner of dodgy or embarrassing websites.
It’s OK. I won’t tell that you pretend to be reading about current events when you’re really spending all day watching a man be slapped by an eel.
3. Those bullies will regret it when you are a successful adult and they are all losers with no jobs
This was said to me when I was young and it is total bollocks.
It’s a common lie though, one that Hollywood tells all the time – you will become a millionaire, and one day when you cruise into the petrol station in your fancy-pants car, who will be on hand to pump your gas? The bully, of course.
Sometimes it’s true, but more often it’s not. One bully from my school is now a very successful lawyer, and others are doing perfectly well for themselves by conventional measures.
Bastards. Don’t they know they are supposed to be spending their days writhing around in regret for all of the mean things they ever said to me?
4. <On Facebook> Look at my lovely holiday snaps of me relaxing on the beach!
The real truth: I’m actually posting on Facebook because I am kinda bored, and I got a pedicure especially done for this pic of my feet against the white sand. I also had to make sure the photo didn’t show the left side of my calf, where the mosquitoes had a feeding frenzy last night that I made worse by scratching the area with my hairbrush.
5. They’ll regret breaking up with you. You’ll see
They probably won’t, or else they wouldn’t have broken up with you in the first place. And if they do regret it, they’ll probably never admit it anyway. You can never underestimate some else’s ability to spin their own narrative, and there is no point in even trying.
In fact, if they bump into you one night dancing to I Will Survive with your friends, they’re likely to just feel relief that you look like you’re not making a voodoo doll in their image and pushing pins into it.
Sorry dudes. I know this is a nice one to think. Please don’t hate me.
6. Sorry, I’m busy that day. I’d love to come otherwise
Sometimes that’s true. We all have plans.
But sometimes it just really means “I really cannot be arsed doing that”. Which can put the liar in a bit of a pickle when pressed about what they are busy actually doing that day. Too many lies like that and you need to start recording them in your Smart Phone just to stay ahead of the lies. You don’t want to be like the girl I know who told me she was hanging out with her brother then told someone else she was going to work, not knowing that me and the other person would end up swapping notes. If you are going to lie a lot about this sort of thing, I recommend hiring a personal assistant to keep suspicion at bay. People will wonder why you have a personal assistant, but I’m sure you can think of some sort of lie to cover that as well.
Anyway, why is “I’d rather sit at home in my PJs” so hard to say?
Let’s start the revolution here and be honest about our true intentions. #PJS4EVA
7. I’m an above-average driver
Did you know something like 80% of people think this? All I can say about that is I wouldn’t like to be in the car with the other 20% …
And considering I think myself as being a decidedly average driver, does that make it more likely that I am indeed above average due to my self-awareness prowess, or someone who should be travelling in a motorcade to avoid accidents?
And does contemplating these questions while driving make me better or worse?
Boggle goes the mind.
8. I worked really hard for my successes
Sure, sometimes it’s true. You might be a CEO of a Fortune 500 company because of the work ethic instilled in you while you were a 14 year old working in a coal mine as a part time job.
And the flip side: I failed because of what other people did to me. Again, this could be true. Plenty of people hit hard times as a direct result of the actions of other people. There are a lot of assholes out there who do asshole-type stuff.
But then, thinking either of these things could also be attribution theory – thinking the good things that happen to us are a consequence of our own personal attributes, while thinking that negative things are always outside of our control.
This is why, when patting your own back, you might conveniently forget your private school education, the friend of a friend’s father who gave you an internship, and the partner who gave up their career to raise the kids so you could work longer hours. And when reciting your litany of woes about how you got fired because Bob from accounts had it in for you, you might conveniently forget the time you got drunk one random Tuesday and thought photocopying your nethers was a good idea.
Plot twist. It’s never a good idea.
9. <On Facebook> Look at this fabulous dinner I just whipped up! Nom nom nom
The truth: it took me hours, the kitchen is a mess, and why does it taste like lemons? There wasn’t lemon in the recipe, I just don’t understand. It’s disgusting. I am going out to buy a Big Mac.
Of course there are well-known psychological benefits to some of these lies, in terms of social lubricant and what-not. But, again – I’ll write another blog entry on that another day. I’m too busy now – I’d write about it otherwise. But look at this fabulous dinner I just whipped up! Nom nom nom.
Or maybe I just want to put on my PJs and do something else right now as my attention span has run out and I’m sick of blogging.
There. That felt good.
Now, off for some more watching a man be slapped by an eel.
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