We’ve all had our brushes with “little white lies,” from blaming a sibling for a mishap at home to fibbing about what he had for breakfast when we were younger.
But, the older you get the more tempted you may be to lie for your own benefit or omit key details to paint a different picture. Americans tell an average of eleven lies per week, which totals more than 570 lies per year on average.
What if you find it difficult to tell the truth? Or what if you don’t even understand the importance of telling the truth when it’s clearly in your “best interest” to lie?
Let’s take a look at a few reasons why you should tell the truth, even when it’s inconvenient for you.
1. Lying Can Make You Stressed, Anxious and Sick
Whenever we tell lies, it’s easy to think of them as harmless or even beneficial to us or the people we tell them to. But when you look at it from a medical perspective, that is the farthest thing from the truth.
People who tell lies frequently have a variety of complaints, including being more prone to feeling anxious. They also have frequent headaches, runny noses, diarrhea and even more extreme physical ailments like back pain. Lies aren’t as harmless as we think, and if you’re currently dealing with any of these issues but can’t seem to find the cause, the reason may be lying.
The good news is that if people change their ways and choose to tell the truth more often, they can actually reverse the effects that their untruthfulness has had on their health.
2. You Have Better Self-Esteem Because You’re Not Competing with Fake Accomplishments
We all know the pressure that comes from trying to meet the expectations of others. But when those expectations aren’t even real, and you’ve lied about your accomplishments it becomes exhausting.
The disparity between who you are and who people think you are will eventually grow into a chasm that you just can’t seem to jump over. Undoubtedly, your self-esteem will take a hit as well.
Being truthful about what you’ve done, the places you’ve been and who you are as a person only benefit you in the long run. You deserve to feel great about yourself and who you are!
3. You’ll Have a Better Reputation
Somehow, before we tell a lie we always fool ourselves into thinking that nobody will find out. Or that they’ll forget eventually, so there’s no reason to think that lying can damage your reputation.
However, the truth is that no matter how hard you try, the truth will always get out. And when it does, you can easily become a social pariah — or at the very least, have a bad reputation that precedes you.
Lies damage relationships, both professional and personal. And it can be difficult, or sometimes impossible to regain the trust of others after you have damaged it with a lie. In fact, just one lie can completely ruin your reputation. And if you run a business or work in a managerial position, lying can also be costly.
4. You’ll Be Able to Create Deeper Connections with Others
Believe it or not, lying also limits you when it comes to getting closer to others, even if you lie to improve their impression of you. Each time you lie, it’s as if you’re giving cancer to your friendship several times over and hoping it will just go away all on its own.
Most people consider lies as malicious and personal betrayals, even if it’s just lying by omission and when they eventually come centerstage they are met with many rotten tomatoes.
It causes others to question everything you’ve ever said to them and doubt every moment they’ve ever shared with you. How can you get to know someone if you’re not letting them know who you truly are?
Honesty allows others to trust that even if there is something going wrong, you will be open about it and allow the problem to be solved as quickly and as reasonably as possible.
5. Lying Holds You Back from Accomplishing Your Goals
Lying takes no prisoners as statistics show that on average, over 76% of parents, friends, siblings and spouses get lied to. But what does that have to do with accomplishing your personal goals?
It is fascinating to note that 1 in every 7 lies is discovered. Once this happens, there is an automatic air of distrust surrounding the liar and others become unwilling to negotiate with or even include them in related tasks.
Workplace lies can be extremely dangerous as your employer may consider you more of a liability than an asset as it radically changes how you are perceived by your employer and coworkers.
How so? Well, even if it is a “small lie”, it can be viewed as an indication of more serious, weighty lies to come and based on the severity of that infraction, the conclusion could be drawn that you are jeopardizing the entire workforce, weakening morale and injuring the company’s entire brand.
Be a Truth Teller
It takes twenty-one days to form a habit and by age four, 90% of children have learned the concept of lying. The bottom line is that lying is like the Velcro that sticks to all your other clothes in the washer, it ruins things and eventually really annoys you.
When someone lies, they put a veil over the facts on their actual lives and intentions and it affects the actions required to move forward, sometimes even eroding past progress. Liars blacklist themselves.
With all this in mind, it’s easy to understand why it is best to tell the truth, even in situations that may be inconvenient. After all, lies have bigger repercussions than we think!
The bright side of it all is that no matter how many lies you’ve told, you can always start fresh. It may be a hard habit to break, but it is worth the benefits.