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False apologies, simulated interest: we all lie and thus avoid conflicts. But it’s not as easy as it sounds. Lying has defensively disadvantages.
Very good, everything perfect! It is the most common lie that people usually tell, according to a survey conducted by the Science Museum in London. The list also appears: I had no coverage, I was in a traffic jam or you have lost weight.
In a representative survey of the Splendid Research Institute for Market Research it is estimated that almost 60% of Germans lie daily. Lying is not a German phenomenon, but global. Research shows that during a ten-minute conversation, people do not usually tell the truth at least once. You can not know for sure if these figures are true, because researchers must start from the idea that respondents tell the truth.
I behave with you like you with me
“I lie for my mother to be happy,” writes someone on Facebook, after Deutsche Welle asked his users why they do not tell the truth, 49% of German respondents do it to encourage or make someone happy. Marc-André Reinhard, social psychologist at the University of Kassel, explains that “human interaction works only when the self-esteem of the other is not hurt”. Therefore, a society without lies is impossible, believes the expert. “We are very sensitive when it comes to negative information about our own person and that may harm our own image.” And since the truth often hurts, we prefer small lies.
That’s why we praise a friend’s new hairstyle instead of telling her it’s horrible. In return, she may not tell us: “You have gained weight.” The rule works like this: you respect my self-esteem and I respect yours.
Less lies: less headaches and depressions
So, is it okay to lie? It is not so easy. Lying a lot sick. The same lies that we tell others to cheer them up, can harm us psychically and physically. It can be very tiring to try to pretend something. A study by the American Psychological Association showed that the less we take, the healthier we will be.
The researchers encouraged a group of people to avoid counting the so-called “white lies”, such as false apologies and exaggerations, and the researchers checked the volunteers’ health and well-being.
After ten weeks, they counted that they were more relaxed, less melancholy or depressed. Physical symptoms, such as headaches, were reduced or disappeared completely. Even interpersonal relationships improved and went deeper.
Lies for love
“I’m afraid they do not want me, that’s why I’m lying,” writes another Facebook user. Every exaggeration, every exception, every false smile not only serves to protect the self-esteem of the other person, but above all our own. After all, we all want to feel loved.
Although we all usually tell lies, we hope that others will be honest with us. Too many lies cause, therefore, distancing and sow distrust among people.
We need the lies so as not to come into conflict with each of our colleagues at work. On the other hand, lies harm our health and our interpersonal relationships. What should we do then?
Always expressing what comes to mind, is not the best alternative to tell lies. One of the researchers of the study proposes that less is more: less exaggerations and less pretexts, simply an “I’m sorry” is enough.