Is there anyone on the face of this planet who has never told a fib? Not a chance! The only humans who haven’t are those who are still getting the hang of speech. It’s a part of evolution – you learn to talk, therefore you learn to talk bull (pardon the French). It’s commonplace. It’s done. It’s natural. In fact, it’s so natural that ‘thou shalt not lie’ doesn’t even figure in the ten commandments. The Good Lord probably thought it beyond our capacity. “They’re only human, after all,” he must’ve thought. “They wouldn’t be able to resist spinning a yarn or two.”
And this penchant for tale-spinning follows into every aspect of our lives, including our romantic liaisons. But every action has an equal and opposite reaction, oui? And the whopping tall tales we tell will eventually come crashing down around us and our relationships, yes? Case in point: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Clinton, Anthony Weiner, and the mother of all crashes – Tiger Woods. Oh the tangled webs we weave when we try to deceive. Look at poor Ranbir Kapoor, whose tangled web was very publicly unravelled on a primetime talk show by his celebrity ex-girlfriend. Tsk tsk tsk.
Navigating out of a sticky situation, such as being caught cheating, would be wholly impossible without lying — but these are the really massive no-no’s, the kinds of deceit you probably really shouldn’t indulge in. Harmless little white lies are, some say, a necessary part of a relationship. The ethics of it can largely be determined by the intent. “Lying is a bit of a necessary evil when considering the other person’s feelings,” feels Apoorva Khanna. However, this is a murky grey area where one can cross the line quite easily. Sonia Ghosh clarifies, “If the lie is making the other person get the wrong impression of you, then I am against it.”
Fib files: common dating lies!
Th is situation is a breeding ground for fibs, which are mostly used to impress a date. “I might lie about likes and dislikes to get a foot in the door with a girl,” confesses Khanna. “I’ve spiced up stories and events to make myself come across cooler, smarter, or better. But over time this could become rather obvious and the ‘relationship’ will fade out,” he concedes.
With smart phones, 3G, social networks, and chat, couples have the ability to stay connected 24/7; a boon for some, a bane for others. “I’ve used several excuses to either avoid unpleasant conversations or just get some space,” says Sonia. “Like: the phone battery died on me, I accidentally saved the message to my draft s instead of pressing send, or I had poor signal reception!”
How many of us have been on one or the other end of the question ‘Do I look fat in this’ and its variants? “It’s ok to lie to a person about their appearance if they’re generally insecure about it,” says Gautam Shah. “However,” he continues, “it is equally important to be tactful and honest as the situation merits. If I don’t like what the girl is wearing, I’ll say so, but very tactfully.”
Lying about being at work while actually partying with friends is a problem that points to underlying relationship issues. Mehul Khanna elaborates, “Lying about hitting a bar instead of the strip club you actually went to for a bachelor party might be ok when the girlfriend is not comfortable with your entering that type of establishment. But you and your posse need to get the story straight. If you get caught, you’ll be in even more trouble!”
All of this begs a question – why is it that we lie so much? Relationship expert Dr Reena Sarin explains: “People often lie if they don’t feel safe about telling the truth. It doesn’t condone the behavior but does throw light on the fact that the person is so afraid of disapproval that s/he would rather tell a lie. And if that’s the case with you, chances are that your partner shares the same fear. Even little lies can destroy a relationship if told frequently enough, so what you really need to do is have a truthful discussion about it.”
If that discussion seems foreboding to you, you might want to follow Rule Number One of the Liar’s Manual – if you’re going to lie, DON’T get caught!
Fascinatingly, guys and gals lie the same amount in relationships and, well, in general! Th e diff erence is, guys lie to make themselves look better. Th e ladies lie to make the other person feel better.
That’s one for las chicas! Introverts tend to lie lesser than extroverts. Hmm. So Diana King’s lyrics “I don’t want no fly guy, I just want a shy guy” have added meaning now.
Volume 1 Issue 2