Ryan Lochte's lie shows us that often, lying just makes things worse. If we mess up, it's better to just admit it and take the consequences like a grown-up. If we lie to avoid getting into trouble, we can make a lot more trouble for ourselves, in the long run. And if we don't get caught in our lie, that's even worse. We can start to think that we can get away with more bad behaviour, or that lying like this is acceptable.
The truth is, many opposite-sex friendships are sustained because of a simmering attraction between two people. If circumstances were different, they could easily be sexual partners. And they know it. This underlying current of attraction makes talking, texting and spending time together as "just friends" all the more exciting. It has an erotic edge to it.
Lying isn't bad when you want to save someone from pain or confusion because they are too little to understand that the world can be ugly and bad. They have time to watch the news when they are bigger, to learn about terrorist attacks and shootings, about cheating and even strip clubs. But I promise, it won't be from me.
My husband and I recently received a note home from the school teacher of our eight-year-old son, Casey. She wanted to inform us that Casey had been caught lying about a misdeed, and that this wasn't the first time. Our response? We whooped and high fived. Yes, that's right -- we gave each other a high five. Why?
So lying at work is not necessarily as cut-and-dried as people think. While there is a lot of "creativity" around the truth, the irony is that in today's wired society, the consequences of being caught in a lie have never been more severe. The "little white lie" on the résumé has derailed many high-profile careers as professionals and amateurs work to "out" such untruths.
Fiction writers write a series of lies that add up to Truth. Capital T. Nonfiction writers write a series of facts that add up to a point of view, if you are kind, and a lie, if you are tacky. I write novels, which means my lies are Truth. Bill O'Reilly's lies are lies. Your sanity depends on your ability to tell the difference.
If you're a parent, you know that your little darlings may not always be telling you the absolute truth. Yes, it's hard to believe, but kids lie. A lot. Just because you've been lied to by your child doesn't mean that it has to continue. It's you against them when it comes to the truth. You're their parent, so you should win.
Many liars are successful, but that's usually because we make it easy for them. If we want to be more empowered in our lives, we should stop allowing the liars of the world to take advantage of us. Here are four basic tools for seeing through the liars in your personal, professional and political life and making sure that it's a lot harder for these people to fool you in the future.