Why Do We Lie?

Have you ever lied to someone to spare their feelings? Have you ever wondered why we do it, and why some people lie more than others?

Chronic Lying (How Lying Changes the Brain)

We all lie, whether we want to acknowledge it or not, but chronically lying can be very harmful. A study done by Nature Neuroscience states that the more we lie, the less activity the amygdala shows.

The amygdala is a part of the brain that’s responsible for our emotional responses, and if the activity of the amygdala lessens, that means, over time, we feel less guilty and therefore find it easier to lie.


Reasons for Lying / Types of lying

A study done on lying looked at people from different age groups, and it was found that teens lied the most. Why is that?

Teenagers may often lie to their parents to avoid the punishment they assume they’d get if they told the truth. There are many things teens lie about, most commonly about their whereabouts, why they need money, etc.

There are many ways teenagers lie. A sneaky way they lie is by strategically directing someone away from a topic they don’t want to talk about, in fear that they’ll be exposed. They fear that the topic may force them to reveal more than they’d like.

Another way teens attempt to lie is by leaving out important information when telling a statement. And of course, the most common lie is telling straight up false information.


Symptoms of Lying

There are many things people do when they lie that give them away. What gives them away the most is looking uncomfortable in the situation. 

The most common way to tell if someone is lying is if they avoid eye contact and fidget with something, such as their hair or clothes. And if a liar is caught, they tend to get defensive and upset.

Another sign of lying is if the person gives too much information. Sometimes people do this because they’re attempting to cover it up and make their lie seem convincing.

Other signs of lying include stuttering, a red face, rubbing the back of the neck, and clearing the throat.


Ways to Stop Lying

Even though it may seem like a little lie is harmless, lying could really break the trust you’ve built with the people you love and care about. So, before you lie again, ask yourself the questions of: 

“How would I feel if someone lied to me in this situation?”

“Are my actions affecting others?”

“Am I doing the right thing?”

“Am I being influenced to lie by someone else?”

A way to help prevent lying is to consider other people’s feelings first, before your own. This way, you can reflect on how your lies affect your life and theirs.

Another thing to keep in mind is that lying can stress you out, especially if you’re trying to keep up a lie that’s been going on for days or weeks.

Ask yourself why you’re lying in the first place. Is it worth it? The most important thing to remember is to be truthful, even when it’s difficult.