“But it wasn’t a lie, it was just untrue…”

Posted on: 24/03/2010

By Frankie Koehler

If I were to tell you something unreal, would you call me a liar? What if the aim of the fib was to make you like me better? What if it were just a mere adjustment to the truth to make me look “cooler”? Would you still call me a liar? Yes? Well what if it were you lying to impress me, would you be counted as a liar? No? Well we’re doing the same thing so what makes it any different?

It’s not different is it? It’s the same either way but you are just viewing it from different perspectives. I just wanted to point out to you that even if you think that your “bend in the truth” is harmless, it destroys the trust others have in you. Once a liar, always a liar, that’s what people always say and that is what they think. Once someone has lied to you once you can never trust them fully again. Trust is never completely restored.

So is that extra ounce of popularity really worth it? Is being that little bit “cooler” really worth the risk of breaking the trust with someone if you get found out? No? So why do it? Why do we all do it? Why do we make up qualities in ourselves which we do not have in order to make that person like us more?

If they are a decent human being surely they will like you for the real you, right? If it were the case, they wouldn’t care that the two of you don’t share the exact same tastes and beliefs. Surely it’s the differences which make the two of you get on so well. The differences are things which you can discuss and they are what makes learning about each other more fun; because you can’t tell me that getting to know someone who is the same as you is fun…

So great things can come from having differences, but sometimes you just want as few conflicting views with a person as possible to gain their acceptance. Sometimes when two personalities clash and have opposite views and lifestyles, they don’t get on and then they don’t bother trying. And if the person you clash with is that person you’ve been dying to know, then you may bend the truth so you can keep on talking to them.

We don’t think that telling someone that we hate Glee when we love it; or that we got drunk at the weekend when we didn’t will make a difference to how people perceive us, but it does. And hoping your lies won’t get found out is pointless too, because lies have a way of coming back to haunt you as we all find out at some point…

A friend of mine Lucy*, (*her name isn’t Lucy, but it wouldn’t be fair to name her,) once told a fib to look cool in front of this girl we met. Me and Lucy were never the rebellious types, so when this “cool” girl befriended us, a lot of effort was put into trying to be “cooler”.

The girl smoked, but neither Lucy nor I did. But when the girl had asked us, Lucy said that she was a “social smoker.” So when we met up with this girl again, she took out a packet of cigarettes and offered Lucy one. Lucy, unsure of what else to do, accepted the cigarette; but just twiddled it in her fingers. The girl had finished her cigarette and asked Lucy if she were going to smoke the one she was holding. Not sure what else to do, Lucy lied again saying she “didn’t feel like a whole one” as she’d had one earlier. So the girl shrugged, took it back, lit it up and started smoking it herself, but offered Lucy a toke. In a fluster Lucy accepted, and choked on the smoke as she inhaled.

The point of this story is to show you how quickly these harmless lies can escalate into a huge web of deceit. Lucy knew that if her lie got found out, that the girl would probably start to ignore her, so she carried on the lie and even did something that she personally thought was disgusting to keep the lie going. And she’s not the only one to do so. All of us tell a white lie to boost our likability factor at some point; but sooner or later the lie gets found out.

So the next time you are about to tell a fib about what you do at the weekend, or what music you like; think for a minute about what the person you are lying to will think when they find out you weren’t telling the truth. Will they see it as a slight bend in the truth like you do, or will they just see it as a big fat lie? And do you really want to be known as a liar?


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