We all lie, don’t we? Well, most of us. But, why don’t we always just say nothing but truth? Admittedly, most of do so lie only occasionally. But we still all do.
Unfortunately, early in our life we learn that dishonesty can have incredible short-term benefits. It will get us out of trouble. It will get us what we want. It will make it easier to please the people around us. And all of us develop the habit, and, according to research we learn to lie as early as 3 years old. Yet most of us also consider ourselves honest. Discussed in a Forbes Magazine book review article, the book The Honest Truth about Dishonesty, by Dan Ariely offers evidence that we’re able to believe we’re honest even though we lie or cheat by doing so only in little ways. According to research “Variance In the Prevalence Of Lying”, there are 2 types of liars, normal liars and “prolific” liars.
In the study researchers created a statistical model for distinguishing prolific liars from the everyday or ‘normal’ liar. The good news is most people are ‘normal’ liars and the majority of lies are told by the same, small group of people known as ‘prolific’ liars. How do you spot prolific liars? The study showed they are typically younger males with higher occupational status, believe that lying is acceptable in certain circumstances, lie routinely to their partner and children, less likely to lie because of concern for others and more likely to lie for their own self-interest, and tell five and a half lies for every one white lie told by an average person.
However, normal liars tend to tell little white lies and justify them and feel less selfish, if it not only benefits the liars but benefits others as well, such as in a group or team situation, according to one Elsevier study published in the Journal Of Economic Psychology. They are less afraid to lie because there is less of a chance of them being caught and suffering the entire blame because everyone on their team is implicated.
Here is one more rather interesting thing for the majority of people about normal lying and one this writer admittedly has experienced. Lying about an event increased their certainty that the event in question did not happen when asked about it later because 10 to 16 percent of the participants appeared to have had their memories altered by their lies. Interestingly, they reported believing their lies were actually true. Very clearly imagining events can trick the brain into labeling them as memories rather than lies. Isn’t that something!
According to a study published by University of Massachusetts, most people cannot go 10 minutes in a conversation without lying. Yet, at the same time, most people would prefer not to be deceived themselves. So, how can anyone justify telling white lies, but, at the same time, expect to not be deceived? It’s not logical is it? Given how much we lie, should we really hold that honesty is the best policy? We’re therefore able to tell ourselves we’re mostly honest, that is, we’re only dishonest in ways that we think don’t matter.
Apparently this strategy works, because most of us don’t suffer serious cognitive disorders over our lack of integrity. Thus, it seems we can have the best of both worlds without too much trouble. We can lie or cheat in little ways that place us at an advantage, but still get to view ourselves as fundamentally honest. But, does that really work? How about if you knew white lies were doing more harm than good, and there was a way around them without hurting others?
Let’s say you decided to tell a white lie so as not to hurt someone’s feelings, but you weren’t certain whether you would actually hurt their feelings, and/or telling your little lie might do more harm than good. According to an Elsevier “Paternalistic Lies” study, researchers found that in cases where you can’t be certain about how a lie may affect others, it is probably safer to tell the truth then tell paternalistic lies. The truth is, lies really doesn’t work over the long run. Here’s what a very smart man named Abe Lincoln had to say about lying:
No man has a good enough memory to make a successful liar.
Are there good reasons to be honest even when we don’t think we need to be? You bet there are!. Here are a number of good reasons to be honest and have integrity:
How Honesty and Integrity Effect You and Those Around You
Some of you may have heard of Billy Joel, the popular singing pop-rock star of the 70s and 80’s. Yes, that’s right! The “Piano Man”. He released a song during the mid 70s called “Honesty”, which pretty much says it all about the lack of honesty in our modern-day society. Here are the lyrics:
Honesty is such a lonely word
Everyone is so untrue
Honesty is hardly ever heard
And, mostly what I need from you
Listen to “Honesty” on YouTube.
Honesty promotes openness, empowers us and enables us to develop consistency and promotes authenticity in how we present the facts. Honesty sharpens our perception
and allows us to observe everything around us with clarity. Honesty is going to take you places in life that you never could have dreamed and it’s the easiest thing you can practice in order to be happy, successful, fulfilled, and more importantly, healthy and be in a great state of well being.
Honesty is part of the foundation of your core values and principles. Honesty cuts through deception and knifes its way through deceit and lies, and lets others know who you really are. Honesty leads to a fulfilling free life.
Simplicity and calmness in life cannot be achieved without honesty. Honesty can live without simplicity, but simplicity cannot live without honesty. Consider the fact that every time we are not truthful, we create an alternate reality for ourselves. And subsequently, we are forced to live a life in both worlds, the true one and the one we’ve created.
This conflict apparently between the “real self” and the “alternate self”, starts at a very young age. According to research, like this NIH study, children at around the age of 7 to 11, focus their decision to fib based on the feelings of others, conflicted by the value of being truthful. Quoting NIH,
Future studies on children……how they think about the longer-term consequences of lie-telling and truth-telling, and the extent to which children of different ages strive to manage conflicts that are caused by the expectation to be both honest and polite.
On the other hand, when we choose honesty in all aspects of life including our marriage, our business, and our relationships, we live the same life wherever we are. Honesty leads to simplicity and peace, but dishonesty leads to duplicity and confusion, the exact opposite. This quote by Henry David Thoreau is right on the money
I do believe in simplicity. It is astonishing as well as sad, how many trivial affairs even the wisest thinks he must attend to in a day; how singular an affair he thinks he must omit. When the mathematician would solve a difficult problem, he first frees the equation of all incumbrances, and reduces it to its simplest terms. So simplify the problem of life, distinguish the necessary and the real. Probe the earth to see where your main roots run
Here is another quote from Thoreau,
Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.
What does honesty have to do with health and wellness? If you’re striving to be the best you can be, honesty has to be at the foundation. Studies have shown, not being honest can cause undue stress which effects proper bodily functions, effecting your health and well being in numerous negative ways. Did you know it takes longer to tell a lie than to tell the truth? Although it takes longer to lie, according to research by NIH, the precise reasons aren’t clear. The research came up with 3 explanations: depressing truthful information requires more response time. Second, there are costs involved in telling the truth, but there’s also costs involved in telling a lie, so, the indecision requires more time.
And lastly, lying often requires more choice in generating a response than telling the truth. There is typically only one truth but there are many possible lie options. Making a choice about which lie to use is a difficult job and contributes to the longer time needed to tell a lie. Another NIH study, confirmed telling lies takes a lot of mental effort. The brain is more active during lie telling than it is while telling the truth, suggest that liars must maintain internal consistency, or not contradicting oneself, and external consistency, or not contradicting what others know to be true, and therefore lying requires more cognitive effort than telling the truth.
As you can see, it takes a lot of negative physical and mental energy to maintain a lie, causing stress and weakening the body’s immune system. What really complicates lying is a lie which starts out as one simple lie to others, actually turns out to be 2 lies: The lie you said and the lie to yourself to justify it! Honesty, however, has been linked to fewer colds less fatigue, less depression, and less anxiety, and infrequent serious illness and health issues. Dishonesty needs to be maintained.
Pretending to be something you are not requires constant attention to detail, or covering up, directly affecting your health in many ways per this University Of California Berkeley study, even for the most experienced. Honest people are better able to relax because they are just being themselves and naturally, feel better about themselves and less overwhelmed. Honesty and seeking the truth is always the way to go. Honesty engenders confidence, faith, empowers our willpower and represents us in the best way for others to see and witness our example.
Honesty improves your vitality and bolsters your courage, and frees you to be your best self. In an honesty research project, called A Science Of Honesty Study, conducted by two University of Notre Dame professors, results showed that telling the truth is good for your health:
Telling the truth when tempted to lie can significantly improve a person’s mental and physical health.
Even telling a small lie risks being unmasked as a liar, which would not only damage our reputation but also reduce the proclivity of others to trust us Furthermore, one lie often leads to the need to tell another, more significant lie, which risks even greater negative consequences if discovered.
Finally, we can’t necessarily predict the consequences of telling even a small lie, and if such consequences turn out to be more significantly adverse than we anticipated, our sense of responsibility and therefore guilt could cause us far more anxiety and stress than we imagine, leading to stressful and unhealthy conditions. Want to live a healthier longer life, then stop lying.
Honesty shows you care about others. Having an intimate relationship and close social ties with family, friends, and peers, is one of the most important things you can do for maintaining your health and well being. Honest people have confidence. Honest people have courage and trust themselves. Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is doing what you know you want or need to do, despite your fear. It takes an immense amount of courage to say what you feel.
It is often difficult and takes practice and patience, but the payoffs are enormous. Never underestimate the life-changing power of the ability to trust yourself. Honesty and integrity also pave the way for greater intimacy. Your friends love the “true you,” not the one you’ve artificially created. Higher quality friends attracts honesty. People who are trustworthy and honest attract trustworthy and honest individuals because honest people are trusted by others.
Honesty shows you care. Being honest with yourself and with others shows how much you really care. It also demonstrates self-respect and respect for others. A caring attitude makes people stop and think. Gentle honesty is also very attractive and appealing. Honesty creates a circle of love within a strong relationship. If you don’t have honesty in a relationship, you don’t have a relationship.. Honesty sets an example that invites others to imitate. When others respond with honesty, it can create more interpersonal closeness and authenticity. This often translates into love and can create an ongoing evolution of loving relationships.
Honesty shows maturity and self-acceptance. There can often be hurt and pain associated with honesty, and that is why it’s easy to justify lying sometimes to avoid hurting someone else’s feelings. This form of little-white lying is called “prosocial” lying, and it’s a form of compassion lying. Although the intention is good, does it do more harm than good? Most likely more harm. Quoting from the study,
That caring for other people can often mean lying to them just seems like another of life’s great ironies.
A mature person and a better approach, conveys honest expression in a style that minimizes painful impact and better in the long run. When others are hurt, the mature, self-accepting person remains in the relationship to work through any pain experienced by the other person. Such a relationship can invite and empower each party to work through some highly personal issues.
Honesty feels exhilarating because it is so freeing. Being authentic and saying what you actually feel and think feels great! By doing so, you break free of the limitations of fear, indecision, stress, emotional upheaval, and anxiety. Hiding true feelings or withholding information creates emotional garbage. Being honest from the beginning of any interaction prevents the build-up of emotional garbage and cleans out your emotional baggage.
Is your honesty really helpful or hurtful? Was your honesty delivered with a degree of kindness, as discussed in this Psychology Today article? Use honesty to encourage, not criticize. Honesty is a powerful tool and like most tools, it can be used for good or evil. It will be used to build others up or it can be used to tear others down.
While the tone of your words plays a huge role in determining the difference, your motivation plays an even bigger role. Use your words to genuinely build people up, not tear them down. The same truth spoken in a different manner with a different motivation, prevents conflict and can have completely different results.
Start today, first, by being as honest as you can with yourself and ask yourself the question, “How Can I Stop Lying?”. Embrace a Nothing But Truth principle and embrace the simple steps to stop right now! Be honest about your thoughts,
words, actions and wants. Then think about your interaction with society and your personal relationships. Are you letting others know your true self? If, what are you waiting for? It’s always good to quickly review just as a reminder, some other beneficial activities that affect your health and well being, as well:
Other Factors and Actions Benefiting Your Health and Well Being
According to research and findings on children for your health, having kids around are very beneficial to your health and well being. You can learn all about how children benefit your health and all the research by reading this article “Children For Health“. Here is just one study on parental well being.
“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” This quotation by George Bernard Shaw says it all! To learn more about laughing and having fun effects your health and well being in a very positive way, read this article “Fun Free Games“. Fun is so important, but the health aspects of playing such as relieving stress, anxiety, and depression, are just as important, like this article in Breast Cancer Wellness magazine discusses.
Nothing compares to the joy of coming home to a loyal companion. The unconditional love of a pet can do more than keep you company. Yes, pets can do much more by keeping you healthy. Pets may also decrease stress, improve heart health, and even help children with their emotional and social skills. Here is one study from the American Heart Association confirming pets lower blood pressure. To review the health benefits and the research, read this article “What Is Optimal Health About?”.
Lack of sleep can cause many health issues. That means not getting enough sleep or good quality sleep will damage many systems of the body and over time can contribute to risk of chronic disease and health problems, but the most immediate consequences of not sleeping that you’ll notice are those that affect your mind and thinking. For example, this study by the American Psychological Association addresses the power of restorative sleep. To learn all the particulars on sleep and how it affects your health and well being, including studies, read this article “So, What Is Sleep About?”.
Most of us intuitively sense being out in nature like taking a walk on a wooded trail, is good for us. We take a break from the rush of our 24-7
modern lives. We enjoy the beauty and peace in being in a natural setting. But, did you know, that the latest research is finding that visiting a forest, or being on the ocean, has real, quantifiable, health and well being benefits. Think of it as a “nature medical therapy prescription” that is not only free, but can be fun, and has no negative side effects. Learn more about nature and how it affects you health-wise positively and all the research, by reading this article “What Exercise Is About“.
Many types of scientific evidence shows that being sociable benefits your health. The most striking evidence comes from studies of mortality across industrialized nations. These studies consistently show that individuals with the lowest level of involvements, are more likely to die, than those with greater social engagement. Being socially-engaged really is healthy. This ScienceDaily study shows that poor social skills are harmful to health. Read more about it with supported documented research, in this article “What’s About Social Network?”.
Not only do experienced meditators look decades younger than their true age, but because they are in much better health, they also live much longer lives than the rest of us mere mortals, and the reasons why is there’re nothing short of incredible.
Let’s take a look at the most fascinating age-defying studies, like this NIH study, making new headlines, and why meditation is the very best way to improve health, along with a few other things we’ll recommend, “to freeze Father Time.” Learn about being mindful, re-centering yourself, and deep-breathing by reading, including research, this article “Benefits With Meditation“.
Eat the proper diet of fresh, certified organic, GMO-free, nutrient-dense, high in protein foods, rich in macro-nutrients and
micro-nutrients, consisting of lean grass-fed or free-range finished meats; wild-caught fish and seafood; low-fat grass-fed dairy products; cage-free eggs; organic vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds; organic fermented foods; organic herbs and spices; healthy antioxidant drinks; and organic whole grains and complex carbs. Learn all about these types foods, their amazing health benefits, and where to conveniently purchase them, by reading these reviews “Healthy Life Diet Plan” (A), “Buy Fresh Seafood Online”, (A) and “Healthy Nutrition Foods-The Ones You Never Thought Of” (A).
Supplement your diet with the fresh, all-natural, certified organic, GMO-free, whole-food Adaptogen, Peruvian Maca. We realize you are not sure how Peruvian Maca can benefit you? Then you’re in luck because you found the right place that will reveal to you all the many, wide-ranging, health and wellness benefits of Peruvian Maca.
Whether you are an athlete, adult, child, man or woman, Peruvian Maca can be of assistance to you. For in depth information on Peruvian Maca’s wide-ranging incredible health benefits, and where to buy the best Maca in the Western World, read these reviews, “Where Can I Buy Maca?” and “What Is In Maca Root?”.
Do you agree with our observations, that we all should always say nothing but the truth? Should you have questions, please leave them in the comments section so we can address them.
We’ll close with a fairly famous quote from Author Robert Brault:
Looking back you realize that a very special person passed briefly through your life- and it was you. It is not too late to find that person again.
(1) Counselor Video
(A) Links to reviews on these incredibly healthy nutrient-dense foods, for more information and to purchase them.
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