Making a false statement intentionally.
We lie for all sorts of reasons, not just to deceive. We lie because we want to be liked, to seem smart; to impress others (even if we don’t know we’re doing it), to avoid confrontation or simply to get along with other people. We lie for attention, to soften the blow of bad news, or to exaggerate something we’ve done. According to scientists, we are more likely to lie in the afternoon, because we’re a little more tired, our willpower is sapped and our defences are down. A pattern of lying starts very early: for example, the baby who cries even when nothing is wrong – except a lack of attention.
A university study found that the most convincing liars were the same people who emerged as the leaders of a group during a "staged" crisis, or in the case of children, in play groups. This implies that the same psychological skills that give leaders great self-control and authority in times of crisis also make them skilful liars.
Here are some other interesting facts about lying:
Threats to our self-esteem are the most common reasons for lying.
Men are more likely to lie to make themselves look better, whereas women will lie to make someone else feel better about themselves.
Contrary to popular belief, there are no standard ‘tells’ for detecting a liar – every liar is different.
Many of you will have heard the adage “It takes more energy to tell a lie than to tell the truth”. It’s true. Just think of all the imagination it takes to create the initial fiction, then all the energy it takes to remember the mistruths, then to corroborate them and back them up with more lies. Whereas telling the truth is simply an act of memory and recall.
If you’re true to yourself, you know you lie, but it’s what you do with those lies that counts. It’s not always bad to drop the occasional furphy, it’s when you lie for no reason at all that you should worry. This is considered ‘pathological’ and you’re not doing anyone any favours – especially yourself – when your lies outnumber your truths.
Look at lovers. The sooner they confess to each other, the sooner they lie (Rainer Maria Rilke).
If discovered most unverifiable statements will be assumed to be false.