Liar liar

Pants On Fire


What is it about lying? I dread to think how many times a day I do it. From the innocuous, ˜Yes, I love eating porridge every morning. Its good for you and tastes yummy, to the more fiendish, ˜Id love to catch up for coffee but child X is at home with Swine Flu.

Lying is easier

Its not that I wake up every morning with the intention of lying; its just that sometimes its easier. I dont want to have to explain the benefits of eating porridge to my kids; I just want them to eat it. And sometimes I really dont want to have coffee with a friend. Its nothing personal. Even if youre Hugh Jackman, there are days Id rather stay at home in my trackies and snuffle about, unwashed hair and all.

We all do it

So what is a lie? In a nutshell, its anything thats not accurate. So why do we do it? Why do we feel compelled to lie? Notice Im using the collective ˜we here because I know you lie. Youre lying if you say you dont!

According to the latest lie survey (!) people tell two to three lies every ten minutes, and even conservative estimates indicate that we lie at least once a day. According to University of Massachusetts psychologist, Robert Feldman, ˜It’s socially useful to tell lies. He says, ˜We use lies to grease the wheels of social discourse.

Favourite female lies

Good Heavens! After reading that, I didnt feel so bad about myself. Im still ashamed, though not too ashamed not to do it. Apparently women regularly lie about their age (Im 32) and shopping habits (Ive never spent more than $99 on a pair of shoes, including boots).

Calling a lie a …um …lie

I asked a few friends about this and do you know what one of them called it? Deception! She came right out and said I was deceiving people when I lied…um, hello! But I quickly caught her out.

˜Nice hair colour, I told her.

˜All natural, she replied, and then shrugged. ˜Sorry, force of habit.

Favourite male lies

I know its different for men. Even with my limited research I get that they dont generally lie about their hair colour or invent reasons why they dont want to meet up for coffee.

˜Why would you do that? one asked. ˜Either youre free or youre not. Theres no need to make excuses. Were all adults.

Hmm. Surprisingly sensible when you put it that way. But men still lie. I know. I married a man and I have two sons. You cant pull the wool over my beady, all-seeing brown eyes!

Heres the rub.  Apparently, men lie to make themselves feel better, while women lie to make others feel better, because they dont want to hurt peoples feelings.

Women: ˜Its not you, its me. No, really, its me.

Men: ˜Actually its you. Im perfect. No, really, I am.

The truth is out there – somewhere

Truth: I dont want to go to Gingerbread making nights but Ill be damned if Im going to tell my best friend that when she asks me. Isnt it much better to let her down gently?  Yes, November 26 is still weeks away but Im pretty sure Im scheduled for root canal that afternoon … Can you smell the burning knickers?

Lisa Heidke

Lisa’s new book, What Kate Did Next is out in December


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