MANILA, Philippines – Why do we lie?
In this week's episode of #AskMargie, clinical psychologist Dr. Margie Holmes talks about something we're all guilty of every now and then - lying.
First, let’s define lying:
Put almost simplistically, lying is telling a false statement, an untruth.
But not all things are that simple, for example,
Joseph Cortes asks “What about those who do not speak up, who say nothing? is that lying?”
Maureen Jean Lara answers, I do not think they are the same. Lying for me only happens when you were asked a question, and you did not tell the truth. Not telling something isn’t lying coz there wasn’t a question asked in the first place
Kinds of Lies:
- Being “economical with the truth", the kind Joseph asked about above.
- “Altruistic” lie as defined by Lut Helin: lying can be used for good - but only for altruistic reasons, EXAMPLES: positive lying where one lies to save others from harm (e.g., lying to oppressors to save the oppressed (think Germans and Jews), lying to protect a loved one from being hurt (telling a grandmother that grandson died of pneumonia instead of AIDS), Maureen Jean Lara adds: “since lying is done in order to protect something greater, then i would say it is not bad.
- White” lie: Bernadette Tjarks: in the words of Paul Montinola, people lie because they want to make others feel better in some cases...
- Joiz Matignas: But when I lie for the sake of lying, it means i'm in my psycho mode.
Let’s talk about the pathological liar – who usually is a sociopath. A lot of sociopaths make good psychologists, as there is some sort of systematic desensitization. Light jealousy is flattering, then goes to more and more demands. How do you know if one is a sociopath? No guarantees, but you ask yourself – what happened? You are usually left so stunned you don’t know what hit you.
Desiree: If the person is already a pathological liar, then he needs treatment. Which is usually the last thing a person thinks he needs and is one reason he’s pathological.
Compulsive Liar: Compulsive liars often feels guilty of their propensity to lie, it’s just that they can’t help it.
Rebecca Joyce Cañares: I have a friend po who constantly lies, he believes in what he says,..Nalulungkot ako kasi I think he needs help, he lies about everything… And he doesn't even "know" it.
Dr. Holmes: Before we go, there are 2 things I’d like you to think about.
First, Altruistic lie - Who decides if it is or not? Not tell mom she's dying to “spare her.” But what if she'd like to to make her will, say her goodbyes, ask forgiveness from someone, mend fences, even fulfill some things on her bucket list?
Second, is there anyway we can prevent lying? That’s our topic for next week.
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