“Tell me lies tell me sweet little lies, tell me lies”
– Fleetwood Mac
I’ve been listening to that song on repeat while writing this post about lying for inspiration. I cant say for sure that it’s worked but I will say that after 5 or so listens that the song is an anthem, an unsung hero of 80’s music and just so damn catchy.
But anyway, my love of The Mac aside lets talk about lies. As little kids we are told that lying is wrong. It’s what the baddies do. Good little kids never lie they always tell the truth… bullshit. Everyone lies, you lie, your gran lies, your dad lies, we all do it. It’s no big deal.
Now I do agree that it’s a good idea to tell kids not to because clearly they do it anyway so imagine how much they’d lie if they thought it was okay. No one wants to live in that world. If I thought it was okay to lie as a kid I don’t think a single thing I said would have been the truth.
“Mum I got told we don’t have school tomorrow!”
“Mum dad said I could have 100 pounds for being good!”
I lied enough as a kid knowing it was wrong but here is why I think kids lying is great. It’s a weapon and a shield. As the younger sibling I was picked on. I was little, scrawny and easily pinned down. My brother could terrorise me without consequence because we would both get shouted at for fighting. WE were fighting, so it was apparently my fault too. I maintain that I was defending myself, although I did once or twice throw heavy things at my brother… That was probably not a good idea, I could have caused some damage there. But nine times out of ten I was defending myself
But what I lacked in strength I made up for in savvy, and by savvy I mean lies…
“Mum he took the tv control off me and changed the channel!” (He didn’t it was his turn to watch a show not mine, but shouting got him sent to his room and he had been really mean to me that day and hit me in the arm for not giving him the control fast enough.)
“Mum he hit me!” (He didn’t but I thought he was about to… that got him sent to his room too.)
So you see lying was a good thing, without it I would have been the downtrodden I was protecting myself! To this day I use lying for the same purpose and I think we all do, in fact I think I protect others with it too.
“Sorry I’m late I got caught up with work” (Translation: I got caught up with work because I spent 3 hours on youtube and half an hour on twitter. I could have been finished in time but I was lazy)
By saying I was caught up at work I don’t look bad and I don’t offend my friend by making him/her think that youtube is more important to me than being on time. Which it isn’t it was a mistake spending all that time on there. I don’t necessarily regret it because now I know more about how dog training works and what Jennifer Lawrence gets up to on the set of “The Hunger Games” which are of course great talking points, but I could have been on time. But there’s no reason to say that, that’s how you loose friends.
Let’s face it none of us are perfect but not everyone needs to know every little imperfect thing about us. If lying protects ourselves and others from being seen in the worst possible light then I say go for it. Don’t out and out lie and say you’re better than you are or blame others for things but there’s no need to tell the truth all the time. I don’t need to tell my boss that I’m five minutes late because I drank a really big coffee and had to visit the bathroom unexpectedly, saying the train was delayed is much more palatable.
So people of the world go forth and be liars I say, because if I’m totally honest, more often than not I don’t want to hear the whole truth, that sounds awful.