Truth and dishonesty

We all tell lies, we probably have repented but you have told a lie before. Haven’t you? Okay, you might not like how it sounds so let’s say you refused to be truthful because you assumed the outcome was going to ruin your relationship. I asked my friends if they have ever lied if they had been lied to, and how it felt when they got to know the truth. Recounting the hurt, will they prefer to be lied to?

I asked 7 friends the above question. 6 of them said yes they have told a lie. All said they have been lied to. Interestingly, one out of the majority said she has never told a lie because every lie she had to tell was to save a life.

We all want to enjoy honest friendships and prefer honest teammates at our workplaces but are we ready to take in the hurtful truth? I agree it is okay to tell a lie if it’s going to save a life. Imagine an armed man pointing a gun at you and asking, “Are you “..…..?” Fill in your name. I doubt you would say yes. Why would you deny your own identity?


Why do people tell a lie?

Dan Ariely, says the Theory of dishonesty from a legal perspective is the idea of cost-benefit analysis,”  The author of the Honest Truth About Dishonesty and a leading behavioral economist explained that people think of what they can gain, what they stand to lose and conclude whether or not it is a worthwhile act of dishonesty.

I recall how I would tell a lie when I was a child because I did not want to be punished by my parents. We can all relate to this but again get away with it because we were just kids not knowing right from wrong. We got to know the right from our mistakes. Nothing has changed, by the way, people still tell a lie to avoid punishment.

In a recent happening in my city, a well-dressed gentleman walked into an office and stole a laptop. He was at the scene when the owner realized the laptop was stolen yet insisted he had not seen it. Thankfully CCTV footage showed him lying. He would have gotten away with it if not for the CCTV footage.


To test trust

A friend mentioned she said a lie to test the trust of her friend. She has always been the saving grace for her friends. Giving her last penny to save the day. This time around she decided to turn the tables. Being well informed her friend had some money, she requested a penny but to her shock, her friend lied with an excuse to purchase some medications. Meanwhile, they both went to the pharmacy to purchase the exact medications. She only did that to check how willing her friend was to give to her when she is in need. In this case, they both lied but one gets to feed her curiosity.


To be rewarded

Some Senior Managers fall into this category. They get the Junior staff to do all the jobs yet take credit for the work done. The reward is worth the lie. Only a few of them would acknowledge the input of their subordinates.


The hard truth but gained trust

Though my friends were truthful they had told a lie before and would never say never to lie again. There are instances where the truth has to be told through unpleasant and the repercussions could be dire. Such honesty has the potential of ruining relationships that have been built over the years. From discussions with my friends below topics were common and had varying responses.


Bad odor

This is one of the most volatile topics and takes a lot of guts for one to be honest with. It is always difficult to tell someone, you have a bad mouth or body odor. From my conversations, most people were skeptical but realized it will be appropriate for them to relay the truth than let someone else tell their friends.

Most people have been appreciative and trusted their friends more due to this truth. However, others who didn’t have the mental fortitude to tell this truth have endured the friend’s bad odor hoping their friends will realize the bad odor someday and work on it themselves.


Querying Subordinates

Others shared how they had to query their subordinates who they had a personal relationships with. It was a difficult decision to take, Christlove said. Her subordinate was a friend and years older than her but she had to be truthful with his attitude toward work. She decided to be blunt about it out of love because management has decided to take a decision on her subordinate’s attitude.

We all prefer not to be lied to yet we lie to each other. In some cases, we refuse to express our feelings to people who have hurt us and go hiding. “Ghosting” them for their actions.  We all forget that depriving them of the truth about their bad behavior would make them repeat their actions.

Knowing this, let us hold each other accountable and stay truthful. After all, there is a saying that truth is like a cork, it can never be suppressed under water forever, but it will surely pop up.


Photo: seamind224/Shutterstock


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