When the truth is found to be lies

May 6, 2015

Lies“If only he didn’t lie so much,” she told me over coffee. “I never felt like I was on solid ground.”

Isn’t it funny how only truth provides traction? Untruths are shifting ground and it’s hard to get a foothold. What can you trust if so many things are lies?

Another friend was scammed not too long ago by an online dater, who bombarded his prey with emails and attention. He was gorgeous, or at least the photo he used was. At first it was flattering, but then suspicions arose and finally, the request for “help” with a plane ticket. Uh-huh. Being rather savvy, my friend didn’t fall for it.  Thankfully, because the trashy TV shows are filled with gullible people who do.

That kind of out-and-out liar is pretty easy to handle if you don’t get in too deep. Prematurely deep. This stuff happens.

But far more frequently we encounter one of the garden variety of liars.  I fell for one once.

TruthHe operated by evasion, never addressing issues directly. When he was going to do something he thought I might not like, he’d hide it from me and not really answer questions. He felt guilty, even if what he was going to do wouldn’t have been a big deal…if only he’d copped to it.  It’s the lie that is the big deal. Here’s an example:

I needed my car moved from one state to another and he offered to do it. I mapped out a fast and efficient route and handed over the keys. It was a lot of miles and of course, I was paying for gas. Since I couldn’t take off work, I also paid for hotel stays.  But here’s what he didn’t tell me:  he was planning to take a route of his own–longer, less efficient–so he could drop in on family in a few different places. He wasn’t expecting me to pay for hotel rooms those nights, but he wasn’t pitching in for gas on his circuitous route, either. I was expecting his return (with my car) on a certain day, but his plans were different. He just didn’t bother to share. Not until he called me from his visits to family.

Clearly, he hadn’t wanted to address it before he left–probably thinking it was easier to deal with the fallout later than have the front-end discussion.  I know a few people who operate like this.  But it’s such a bad strategy.

If he’d said “Do you mind if I….and I’ll buy a tank or two of fuel along the way…” do you think I would have minded? No. But his evasion made it into a bigger deal than it was.

Now, for this guy, lies and evasions were a way of life, whether out of guilt or just plain habit.  Our relationship was dotted with them. And then, one day, I connected the dots and that was that.

“Well,” a friend said about him, “you realize that he was mostly lying to himself.”

Yes. That’s true. But it really didn’t make much of a difference. A lie’s a lie.

Known a liar or two? Got something to share from that experience? Feel free to do so below.

34 comments on “When the truth is found to be lies
  1. Robin Rue (@massholemommy) says:

    People lie all the time. It;s human nature.

  2. Mina Joshi says:

    I too hate people who don’t tell you the whole truth. Friends and relations can often deceive by telling you half truths and then when the lies catch up with them they get caught. It’s better to be truthful and face the consequences. If I catch my children telling half truths or lies, I do deal with the appropriately as I want them to grow up as decent people.

  3. Once a habitual liar, always an habitual liar. I try to not to keep these people in my life. I haven’t run into many in my personal life but too many to count in business!

  4. Ellen Dolgen says:

    I find that people lie when they don’t want to be held accountable. As you expressed, the truth usually comes out and then it is more destructive on a relationship or work setting. People who lie just can’t seem to change those bad habits like Nancy says…once a habitual liar – always a habitual liar. No matter what the case is, it is always very disappointing when someone lies.

  5. Jeanine says:

    Lies. I hate it but it’s true most everyone does it. I try to avoid it at all costs, and I’m pretty good at picking up when others lie.

  6. Anita Irlen says:

    Beyond the little white lie that is told to spare someone pain, I really dislike liars. But almost more than them, I can’t stand it when someone ignores me in order to spare me being “disappointed.” People do that, then you find out. That too is disappointing, and I think also cowardly. I would rather be told the truth and a little hurt.


  7. Lies of omission are still lies. I’ve known some habitual liars who think it’s just spin. B.S.! Own it.

  8. Diane says:

    The saddest thing is that it doesn’t even have to be a habit. Once and the trust is gone.

  9. People have lied to me my entire life – to the point where I have a very difficult time making friends because I don’t trust what people tell me. Some of it is human nature, but so are selfishness and a few other not so nice things.

  10. My ex-husband was my one great liar. I took off work early one day because things just didn’t feel right and caught him in our bed with his co-worker. Good riddens!

  11. I had a boss, once. For about 4 years, from 1994 to 1998. He seemed like a decent guy at first. Always on our side (his employees).

    When he left in 1998, we had long lost whatever trust we had for him, so his chair hadn’t even gotten cold before we broke into his computer and rooted around in his stuff.

    His resume — which he’d used to get the job he left US for — was a stunning work of fiction worthy of an award. In it, he took credit for everything those of us who had been working under him did. It was ALL him. Single-handedly.

    In his emails, we found multiple (daily) instances where he’d told us one thing and everyone else something different. In talking with other people, we discovered that he’d been bad-mouthing us — his employees — to the rest of the company for four years, lying about our incompetence, our abilities, saying he was basically holding the department together by sheer force of his own magnificence. He told us that he’d been negotiating raises with the VP (his boss) for that whole time. Come to find out, he’d kow-towed to the VP every time and some of us didn’t get raises for the ENTIRE time, with the “budget doesn’t allow it” reason.

    We were denied training, blamed on management — it was all him. The title changes that took our meaningful job titles away and gave us nonsense ones that meant nothing — all him.

    I have never in my life felt so betrayed. We suspected he was being deceitful, but we had no idea of the depth. I got an 8% raise about 6 months after he left, because management found out how much we actually WERE doing now that our idiot boss was no longer lying.

  12. Hi Carol,

    I hate liars! I would agree that yes it is in human nature to lie, because that is how we THINK we can get out of things……but to be true to ourselves we must speak the truth as much as we possibly can 🙂

    Great post!

  13. Tammy says:

    It won’t surprise you to learn that not telling lies has often gotten me in trouble. BUT, it sure has made life easier. I do still lie…but it is almost always a lie of omission. Like a crumbled cookie doesn’t have calories….lies of omission don’t count. Or so she keeps telling herself. Truth is the past to a good nights sleep!

  14. Laurel Regan says:

    I feel as though when people lie to me, they think I’m stupid – stupid enough to fall for it. Not a pleasant feeling.

  15. I hate to tell the truth when I know it is really going to hurt someone but I have given up evading the truth to protect people so I do what I have to do.

  16. Haralee says:

    It is the not telling all the facts, the evasions, the omissions that really get me!

  17. M from The Stay-at-Home Life says:

    I agree. Lies do so much harm, I’d rather know the truth.

  18. I think it is important to have integrity and speak the truth. That was an awful thing that he did to you and I’m just glad that you got your car back at all. So glad that your friend didn’t fall for the “cute guy” on the other end of the email, too!

  19. I can’t stand lies.. I work with someone who lies and it bothers me a lot. He would say something like – “I am late because my alarm clock did not ring” or ” there was no power in my apt complex”.. and I’m like what?

  20. The worst part is when they play the victim when confronted!

  21. Sandy SK says:

    I sure do know a few liars. My estranged husband being one of the biggest liars I know. He will tell you what you want to hear. Those kind are even worse. They let you down in more ways than one.

  22. Janie Emaus says:

    I’m fortunate not to know too many liars. Just my grandkids when they are making up fantastic stories!

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