“He told me he was in nursing school and then that he got a job at a hospital as a nurse, but it was all a lie,” said a woman, very calmly, and matter-of-factly, as if retelling what she ate for dinner last night. But underneath the seemingly dispassionate sharing of a story she has told to many as a therapeutic act, was a woman admitting to how she had fallen for a pathological liar.
She is a friendly barrister at my local Starbucks. She has made me hundreds of tall skim mochas over the years. She was outside the store, walking her dog in civilian clothes (she lives two doors over), and telling me of how her one-time boyfriend of two years lied about everything.
She had been living with him while he claimed he was going to nursing school and later becoming a nurse. He stole her jewelry and her heart. She eventually became suspicious and her mother hired a private detective to uncover the truth. Even when confronted with the truth, he attempted to deny it.
We tend to believe our own lies but over time we unknowingly fall for them. We so badly want to believe the pictures that we paint. The truth is, we lie daily, if not to others, then ourselves.
It actually sounds appealing to tell lies, for there is no limit to the lies you can tell except that you don’t want to get caught or tripped up in your own lies. It gets hard, to keep track of and even the least suspicious people begin to question things eventually.
It seems too easy to tell lies. On the other hand, it is the hardest thing to do – if you have a conscience.
Though this woman’s story sounds quite extreme, it highlights the fact that many people lie to others for any number of advantages, rewards, or conveniences. But how often do we live a lie to ourselves?
Do I tell myself something, perhaps to comfort myself, that I know is not true? Do I tell myself things, unintentionally, that have little truth to them?
Is a dream a lie? If someone says they want to be a best-selling author and knows the odds are tough, is that a lie they tell themselves? Or is it a lie for someone else to support that dream and not combat it with a dose of reality?
Is optimism a lie, because it negates reality? Is pessimism a lie, because it undersells one’s potential? The lie can take a thousand forms and outlive the truth. But when we lie to ourselves it is the worst lie possible.
Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2013
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