Why do people lie?

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Why do people lie?

Lying is quite common in day to day life.It is an act that takes place for different reasons and these reasons are usually related to benefit oneself or hurting someone. In both the cases the lie remains an unacceptable deed. No society, culture or religion allows it for all times, for it may lead to short term benefit but in longer span always brings about several repercussions. Despite this, almost every one lies to his/her loved ones, friends, collegues, family members and any one on daily basis. So what is it that actually forces a man to lie on such regular basis?

A survey was conducted where it was asked by a number of people that why and when they lie? Following are three reasons which a large number of people shared as a reason to lie:

   1. I lie when I feel I will get hurt by telling the truth.
   2. I lie when I feel my desired task/objective will not be achieved by telling the truth.
   3. I lie when i want to boast myself in front of my friends or family.

The above two core reasons that motivate individuals to lie illustrate human nature where one adopts this mode to save itself from something which might hurt him physically or his interests for a short or long span of time. But usually the first reason mentioned above is practiced when it is about short time issues. This kind of lie is also called as “defensive lies”. They do not directly aim at hurting some one and are merely told to rescue oneself in any regard. Though you will find many people using this mode of lies but it is usually those people who are unsecure or dependant upon any one would often use this practice. For example a child will lie to his parents, a student will lie to his teachers, an employee would lie to his boss, and a shopkeeper will lie to the customer.

As far as the second point is concerned it can aim at hurting some one with prior planning. Though one can argue that the first case may also result in advantageous gains but the slight difference between these two is that the second one is a “preplanned lie”.

Whatever the reasons and kinds of lie, it is never accepted as a just norm in any polity. It is human nature and psychology that has always enabled and forced him/her to use the forbidden tools for its advantage. It will be interesting to quote here that there are few religions that do allow lying in certain cases and circumstances but all of them also affirm that they must only be used to benefit mankind. Islam is one of those religions.


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