Psychologist explains: These are the reasons people most often lie

We all lie from time to time – sometimes it’s just a little white lie, sometimes it’s an outright scam. But what actually makes us tell the untruth?

When was the last time you fibbed? Because most of us lie every day — according to one US study up to twice a day, some people even up to six times. And it’s not always big lies that we spread. Sometimes we change even small details of the truth and make our life easier.

What exactly are the reasons people lie? The US professor of psychology Dr. Robert Feldman in his work. He does research on this topic at the University of Masschussetts Amherst. “Lying is a very effective social tactic,” the expert told health.com. So we’re fibbing for social reasons. If you take a closer look, these five motivations are the main reasons why fibs come out of our mouths.

5 situations in which people often lie

1. To make yourself popular

It’s human nature to want to be liked by others. This desire can lead us to tweak the truth a bit to present ourselves in a better light. This can be while dating or in a job interview. We may exaggerate how proficient we are at this or that tool, or how extensive our experience is in a particular area. Of course, if we go too far and claim to be able to do something that we’ve never done before, it can quickly fall on our feet.

2. To manipulate someone

Others don’t always do what we would like them to do. Sometimes that’s because they don’t want to, sometimes because they can’t. Whatever it is, it can lead us to lie to our counterpart in order to get them to do what we want. This behavior is not particularly classy, ​​but it is more common than we might think. Because it sometimes happens to us quite unconsciously that we bend the truth a little because we intuitively suspect that this slightly changed version promises more success with our counterpart.

3. To keep up a lie

The big problem with lies is that they usually come out eventually. The fear of it can lead us to add more and more untruths to our fabric of lies. After all, that’s better than getting busted, isn’t it? So we need a lie to cover up the first one, then another to cover up that one again. Our fabric of lies is growing like a snowball, and to straighten out even one of the fibs, we’d have to confess to them all. Because this is anything but easy, many prefer to keep lying.

4. To flatter someone

One of the most common lies is trying to flatter another person. It’s mostly about exaggeration. Someone might tell us how amazing we look today when we have a big stain on our top and our makeup is smeared. Or a colleague might point out how professional our presentation was, even though we know full well that we kept getting muddled and making mistakes. In such moments we are skeptical whether the compliments are meant honestly. Rightly so, because it may well be that our counterpart wants to achieve something specific with it – or simply does not want to hurt us with the unpleasant truth.

5. Accidentally

This may sound strange at first, but sometimes we lie completely unknowingly. Our memory is not always reliable. Even if we are sure that we remember something very precisely, this memory is shaped by our personal feelings and our view of the world – and is therefore anything but objective. So it’s easy to sell something as the absolute truth because we’re sure that’s exactly how it was – but inadvertently lie.

Sources used: health.com, psychologytoday.com, everydayhealth.com

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