Can you tell when someone is lying to you? If it’s someone you are close with, such as your mother, your significant other, or your child, you may know exactly when they are lying by the habitual behaviors they exhibit when doing so. But how can you tell if a stranger is lying to you?
Lying is probably one of the most common wrong acts that we carry out. Lying is an unavoidable part of human nature. Most people would say that lying is always wrong, except when there's a good reason for it - which means that it's not always wrong! There are four types of lies, the White Lie, the Beneficial Lie, the Deceptive Lie and the Malicious Lie.
The White Lie is part of our social fabric and stops us from emotionally hurting or insulting each other with the cold, hard, painful truth. Everyone lies a little as a way of getting through life without violence and aggression, and so as to not hurt people. If you see someone wearing a new outfit that doesn’t suit them, you’ll tell them they look great, so as not to hurt them, right? Because we believe that it’s better to be nice rather than be rude so it’s okay to lie. White Lie tellers (Lie about things that aren't important)
The Beneficial Lie is used by a person who intends to help others. For example, a farmer hiding Jews from Nazis who is asked if he’s keeping any Jews in his house is seen as acting heroically when he lies. The rescue worker who pulls a child from the remains of a burning car and lies to the child that his mother and father are fine- is saving the child from more trauma. Doctors who lie to a patient on their deathbed to lift their spirits or prescribe fake medication to patients are also technically lying.
It’s the Deceptive Lie that is the dangerous one because the liar intends to harm or disadvantage the victim for their own benefit. There are two main ways of deceitful lying – concealment and falsification.
In concealment, the liar doesn’t actually tell a lie, but withholds information. For example, Beth might tell her friend Lea that she saw Lea’s ex-boyfriend at a party last night. But she doesn’t reveal that she went home with him.
In falsifying, false information is presented as if it was true, intentionally. So Beth might tell Lea she didn’t enjoy the party and ended up going home early, alone.
Malicious Lies, or rumor-mongering, are often used as weapons in a competitive situation. Malicious liars set out to destroy the character and reputations of their victims, usually with devastating and lasting results. A company might, for example, spread false information that its main competitor is in financial difficulties. Similarly, it is not uncommon for political parties to start rumors of inappropriate sexual behavior by an opponent. Or imagine if one of two men vying for the attention of the same woman told the woman that the other man had a sexually transmitted disease.
Other types of lies may be known as follows:
- Relationship Liars (Lies to significant other about things)
- Big Liars (Tells silly lies all the time and make them up as they go)
- Habitual Liars (Lie when the truth fits best and lie even when caught in lies they continue lying)
- Work Liars (Job requires them to lie to people)
- Polite Liars (Lie to you about how you look or if they like something you've bought for them)
But whatever it may be, lying is still a sin and must be regulated as possible. It may have been put into different combination of words but a Lie is Lie however you look at it. Lying reflects who you are that in a very worst case scenario, no one would trust in you. Lying may help you escape in a moment but it may follow you the rest of your life.