WHY DO WE LIE?

So a bit of backstory...
  1. •
    I've always been interested in human behavior and the human brain. (Settle in!)
  2. •
    But, this past year I spent (probably too much time) researching types of liars, how to work with someone who lies, why do people lie about petty things, when to confront someone about their lying, etc.
    Seriously....I could go on!
  3. •
    This past year (hypothetically, of course) I had the unfortunate experience working with a coworker who, among other unprofessional and borderline crazy(is unstable a more pc word?) behaviors, lied about little things.
  4. •
    That was the most troublesome part of the experience- the lying. She knew I knew she was lying and still kept up the charade. It was about small things like pretending to have not gotten an email that she, in a different conversation, referred to OR
    Claiming she was given a science lab (that I created) by an assistant when she clearly took it out of the printer.
  5. •
    Anyway, although this seems petty to read, dealing with and having to work with someone like this was exhausting. Fortunately, my administration saw through it, or at least valued me as an employee enough to let us do our own planning for the remainder of the year. I no longer have to work directly with this person ever again.
  6. •
    But, I put a decent amount of time trying to "diagnose her" (using the internet of course) because if I could maybe understand these behavior patterns and the reason for them then maybe I could have some compassion and possibly research how to deal with it.
    Ridiculous right?
  7. •
    Then, after we were into the 4th quarter of the school year, a student did the same thing. This time it was stealing. I saw that he (Kid A) had stolen something from the desk of a student(Kid B) who had to move from his home and school and county suddenly without even being able to say goodbye(😔another story).
    I grabbed a library book out of Kid B's desk to return it and thought to myself, "I need to clean this out tomorrow and maybe see about somehow getting him this nice pencil pouch and brand new colored pencils. He was so excited about them."
  8. •
    The next day, when I cleaned out his desk after school, I noticed the pencil case was missing. I did a desk scan and noticed the pencil case was in Kid A's desk. So, the next day I ask the whole class to "keep an eye out for Kid B's pencil case because I want to send him some of his things."
    I did this casually. This is not my first rodeo and I'm not one to shame a kid, especially in front of others.
  9. •
    Nothing. Later that day, I had an opening and said to Kid A, so only he could hear, "Oh hey, that looks like the pencil case that Kid B had. Great, where did you find it?"
    Totally giving him an opening to either be the hero or admit he took it.
  10. •
    Kid A, "No this is mine from home." Me, "Kid A, it's okay. I'm just glad we found it!" Kid A, "No it's mine from home I swear." Me, "Okay."
    I drop it and later see the pencil pouch EMPTY in his desk.
  11. •
    I'm thinking, "Where the hell did those colored pencils go?" Clearly it's not about the damn colored pencils anymore. I thought maybe he hid them in the bathroom but I wasn't going in there. Maybe, (hypothetically) well Kid A was at PE I had another teacher watch as I accidentally bumped his bookbag over and had to pick it up.
    No colored pencils! (Two bottles of cheap cologne though BTW)
  12. •
    I drop it. The next day I notice some brand new colored pencils in our "class community colored pencil" bin.
  13. •
    So KID A went to a lot of trouble instead of just coming clean. These kids know I value honesty more than anything else and he's seen kids do way worse, be honest about it, and basically just have a discussion with me as a result.
  14. •
    Why lie? In both cases?
  15. •
    Then, last week my friend told me about a great article in her latest National Geographic. I finally get to read it today!
  16. •
    Some key quotes and ideas that jumped out at me:
    Again, these are not my ideas but taken from the article, Why We Lie by Yudhijit Bhattacharjee, in the June 2017 issue of National Geographic.
  17. •
    "Our capacity for dishonesty is as fundamental to us as our need to trust others, which ironically makes us terrible at detecting lies."
  18. •
    "Researchers speculate that lying as a behavior arose not long after the emergence of language. The ability to manipulate others without using physical force likely conferred an advantage in the competition for resources and mates, akin to the evolution of deceptive strategies in the animal kingdom, such as camouflage."
  19. •
    "Like learning to walk and talk, lying is something of a developmental milestone. While parents often find their children's lies troubling— for they signal the beginning of a loss of innocence— Kang Lee, a psychologist at the University of Toronto, sees the emergence of the behavior in toddlers as a reassuring sign that their cognitive growth is
    on track."
  20. •
    Summary of a pie chart of why people lie: 36% *To Protect Yourself, 44% *To Promote Yourself, 11% *To Impact Others, 7% Unclear [Pathological (2%) Unknown (5%)]
    *These categories were broken down more
  21. •
    "There appears to be no agreement among psychiatrists about the relationship between mental health and lying, even though people with certain psychiatric disorders seem to exhibit specific lying behaviors. Sociopathic individuals—those diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder—tend to tell manipulative lies, while narcissists may tell
    falsehoods to boost their image."
  22. •
    "...The researcher found that the liars had at least 20% more neural fibers by volume in their prefrontal cortices, suggesting that habitual liars have greater connectivity within their brains. It's possible this predisposes them to lying because they can think up lies more readily than others, or it might be the result of repeated lying."
  23. •
    "When we are fed falsehoods by people who have wealth, power, and status, they appear to be even easier to swallow, as evidenced by the media's credulous reporting of Lochte's robbery claim, which unraveled shortly thereafter."
  24. •
    "Technology has opened up a new frontier for deceit, adding a 21st-century twist to the age-old conflict between or lying and trusting selves."
  25. •
    **************************************
  26. •
    Okay, it's me again! I know I'm a nerd but I just love learning about the brain.
  27. •
    The article goes so much deeper & is incredibly interesting. It did help shed some light on some things I've experienced.
  28. •
    Of course now I have even more questions:
  29. •
    Where does one "draw the line" when lying? What most influences where one draws that line for themselves? How does the whole social media (filters, editing, basically painting a picture of what one wants others to see) impact today's adolescents? Is there a difference between lying and exaggerating? Have I been right to not fully trust people?
  30. •
    I was also thinking of when I lied today🤔
    I lied and told the dental hygienist I floss 1.5 times a day when I probably only floss once a day, I lied when the cashier asked me if I found everything I needed (I didn't but they didn't sell one of the things I needed), I lied to my friend about when my appointment ended by 30 minutes.
  31. •
    If you stuck through this far, thanks for reading and I hope you learned something. Perhaps this list even piqued your interest!