“I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.” Friedrich Nietzche

Why do people lie? What is the motivation for a lie? Do lies break trust? Is it ever appropriate to tell a lie? Does lying cause harm? Have you ever been lied to? What made you madder, the lie or the thing lied about? Are lies forgivable? Is there truth within lies? Can you ever get past a lie? Is lying a form of communication?

The practice of communicating lies is called lying. A lie is an assertion that is false and typically used with the purpose of deceiving someone. Even the word ‘lie’ itself generates feelings of betrayal because when someone lies, they are essentially putting their own self-interest first. The unwillingness to be truthful is an indication that they may not value you or the relationSHIP. Lying is a detriment to relationSHIPS of all kinds. While some truths can also put relationSHIPS at risk, lies tend to be even more damaging. Lying instantly alters the course of ANY relationSHIPS because once you first uncover a lie any and everything else said becomes questionable.

Years ago, I was working part-time at the Post Office during the holidays to earn some extra money. While working there, I met this fine guy.  Every night, he’d come to my department and we’d talk. Eventually, he asked me out, I accepted and after a few months of dating, we became exclusive.  We did everything together. I thought I was in love. We settled into a comfortable dating routine where every Friday, he’d pick me up and we’d go to the movies and out to eat. After 6 months, our steady routine became interrupted. My instinct told me that he was cheating and I was determined to find out. So the next time he picked me up, we grabbed some food and went back to his house to eat, watch a movie, and just reconnect.  When we were full and relaxed, I held his hand and asked, “Are you cheating on me? ” 

Before I could get the question out, he immediately responded “NO. I paused and calmly explained the reason for my question. I wanted-NO needed- to know if he was seeing someone else. I reiterated my need to KNOW the truth and emphasized that cheating is one thing but lying is another. I, then, posed the question again, he hesitated but eventually told the truth. He had been seeing a woman that he met at the store. After hours of conversation, I asked to be taken home and tearfully, he did.  Although he wanted to work it out, I couldn’t get passed the lie and we broke up about a month later. It was lying, not cheating that was the death of our relationSHIP.

Lying shows a lack of respect for the other party, it makes one feel unloved, unwanted and devalued. Lying takes away our freedoms. Whereas telling someone the truth, even if you know it will hurt them, shows that you are willing to take responsibility for your actions. Being told the truth, no matter what it may be, is the highest form of respect. Despite, lying being hurtful, it’s a real form of communication. Yet, it is our response to that type of communication that determines the type of relationSHIP we choose to have. Because for some, LYING is just another form of communication!!!

SHIP TALK: Have you ever been lied to? How did you respond? Have you lied? How did they respond?

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