The "bad lying" habit is so common today that we often don't recognize it for what it is. We all know of the common scams: the tall tale, the overheated sales pitch, and the bald facts. But did you know that even the most simple things can be deceptive? In this article, we'll cover some of the ways in which bad lying can affect you and your business.
We've all heard stories about people who bragged to a friend or relative about their prowess at getting people to do things for them - getting a deal done, securing a job, etc. While it's certainly true that great liars can get people to act in a certain way, the "bad" lying also has a dark side. If you are thinking "what does lie have to do with me," consider these examples. Remember that when you are telling a lie, it's not always about what you want to get away with; it's also often an attempt to justify a lack of honesty in your own eyes. Consider these examples and think:
- It's bad to lie to protect you. Imagine this: you find out that your best friend has been cheating on you. You try to talk your friend into confessing, but he continues to lie and conceal key information from you. Why is it bad to keep something from a friend, but it's good to keep information from the law? You decide to tell your friend the bad news, but what does he do?
- It's bad to lie in order to avoid bad news. If your boss finds out that you have been accounting records fraudulently, do you think he will hire you again? Will your parents hire a new nanny to take care of your children while you are on vacation? It may be good to hide bad news in order to avoid the bad that will come to you, but hiding the good - in this case - is not always a wise move.
- Bad lying is sometimes necessary. Have you ever lied to avoid telling the truth or just plain forget about something important? Maybe your best friend keeps a stash of cocaine under his bed, and you need to borrow his car for the weekend, but what if he tells you it's stolen?
- Bad lying can be a good way to get ahead. Have you ever seen a famous person lying about their height or weight? Or noticed a tall person passing by and saying that he's six feet tall? You've probably thought, "He's probably faking it!" But when someone catches you on your lies, they can ruin your reputation and raise questions that may never have occurred to you had you told the truth. Yes, lying can often be a necessary part of moving forward.
- Bad news travels fast. A few words of bad news - one about yourself, or about someone else, usually in a relationship, can spread like wildfire in an instant. You may find out that your boyfriend is really married and your daughter has been adopted or worse, that your son has died in a car crash and your daughter is the culprit. Lies are hard to protect your family and yourself from, so lying is often a necessary part of life.
The bottom line is that no matter how much you try to cover your tracks, bad news will still get out. Sometimes you have to take responsibility for your actions and say, "I made a mistake and now I'm sorry." But remember that bad lying, when it becomes part of your identity, can hurt you more than good. It can destroy your relationships, your career, your finances, and your reputation.