REFLECTIONS

Lies that are unforgivable

Isn’t it stupid to put all your truths in jeopardy over small lies?

In Summary

• While some lies arise from life and death situations, one should beware of their impact on credibility

Liar
Liar
Image: STAR ILLUSTRATED

I find small lies and the people who tell them difficult to understand. Big lies I understand, I can forgive. Big lies have a clear purpose, as they’re often told in matters life or death. Small lies, on the other hand, are stupid.

Actually, a more befitting word is cretinous. Yes, small lies are cretinous sounds about right.  

A big lie is the wife telling you she’s working late and yet she’s with some other guy in a hotel room. This is a life or death situation, lying is of vital importance. Same applies when it’s the husband in a compromising position with some other woman — you lie big. The big lies politicians tell are also understandable.

A politician who can’t lie is an unemployed politician, and, therefore, a hungry and homeless politician — yet another life or death situation. I can even understand a girlfriend telling her boyfriend she can’t go out as she’s visiting her sick granny all night, only for the boyfriend to go to the club and find his girl there with someone else, not granny. Maybe the girl needs many men to live. Life or death…

Telling someone you’ve finished a job they paid you for but the truth is you haven’t is a small lie. It’s stupid. Telling someone you told me something but you didn’t is a small lie. Also stupid. If you’re unable to meet a deadline on a project, don’t spin cockamamie stories about your computer crashing or some such nonsense. It’s stupid. Just say you can’t meet the deadline (of course, omitting the words ‘for reasons you don’t care to explain’, even if that’s the case), but you’ll deliver on such and such a date instead. The same applies to arriving late for work. Not caring to explain why you’re late is no excuse to tell small stupid lies of road accidents and consequent traffic jams.

Small lies have no purpose. They can easily be disproved, leaving one to wonder what the point of the lie was.

Tell a lie once and all your truths become questionable. – Anonymous.

Think about that for a second. Isn’t it stupid to put all your truths in jeopardy over small lies?

The Internet says people tell small lies for a number of reasons. The number one reason is they (liars) actually think the issue they’re lying about matters; that it is terribly important they have to tell a fib when in fact, it doesn’t matter, it isn’t important, and they don’t have to lie. Not even showing up for work late or missing a deadline is important enough for one to lie about it, for as Bertrand Russell said, ‘One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important.’

The other reasons for lying small include trying to control a situation. Not wanting to disappoint. Genuinely believing the lie. And wanting the lie to be true so badly, this desire supersedes the impulse to tell the truth.

Even after these reasons why, I still don’t understand small lies and the people who tell them.

Anyone who doesn’t take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either – Albert Einstein