The Reason of Deception

Cory - Granite City, Illinois
Entered on October 7, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: integrity

Everyone deserves to know the truth. It is a simple statement, but difficult to live by. Everyone has lied at some point in their lives, and for various reasons, or so it seems. All of these different reasons point back to one reason in some way or another. I believe people lie to “protect” themselves from others.

Take a child for example. Although children tend to be unskilled in lying, this fact makes it is easier to tell a child’s motive. A child eats a piece of that wonderful chocolate cake his mother made for the party the next day. His mother has already told him not to eat it. When mother catches him with black smudges across his face, she asks him if he ate some of the cake. The child already does not want to get in trouble, so he simply tells mom, “no”, or perhaps the child plays in the mud in clean clothes. Mom asks the child if he played in the mud, and the child lies, even though he is covered in mud. Clearly in these examples, the child does not wish to be in trouble, so he attempts to protect himself with a lie, and in this case, the child would be in more trouble.

Then there is the classic white lie. It is an attempt to save oneself from becoming the antagonist because of another person’s question. This type of lie is used to create humor in many sitcoms. In example, the girlfriend asks the boyfriend if she looks okay. The boyfriend, knowing that she will become angered at him if he tells her she doesn’t look good, tells her she does look good. When in reality, she looks terrible. In this case, the boyfriend protects himself from his girlfriend’s wrath.

I used to be a compulsive liar. I used to think that lying to my parents could get me out of trouble. Most of the time, this worked, until I started smoking in my freshman year of high school. It was rather easy to get away with it, considering they were smoking, but my mom knew that I was doing something. Eventually I was caught many times, despite the many lies. I only tried to keep myself out of trouble, which hardly even made a difference.

We all have lied at some point in time. Anyone who says they have not is a liar. Lies do more harm than good, but despite this fact, humans tend to be selfish, and lie. Lying is a defense mechanism to protect oneself from harm. They are used to get out of trouble, but most of all, lies hurt those who are close to us. Just remember that when you are tempted to lie.