Do We Prefer Lies?

Why We Live in a Land of Make Believe

Timothy Eldred

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Timothy Eldred | Square Peg Round Hole

I am a great liar. I’ve actually perfected the art for over 51 years. In fact, I lie to myself so much sometimes I don’t know if I’m telling the truth because I buy my own bullshit.

In case you’re not aware, you are lied to dozens of times a day. These falsehoods range from little white lies to deceits big enough to destroy lives.

While you might like to think you’re an honest person, statistically, you are a liar. According to research, the average person lies once to twice per day.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you ever give people compliments that aren’t completely genuine?
  • Have you told someone you were doing well when you actually weren’t?
  • Do you ever tell people you are busy to avoid having to interact with them?

If you said no to any of those questions, you’re a liar. Welcome to the club!

So why do we lie? Psychologically, that’s a long answer meant for a book — not a blog. But I’m going to propose the core reason that will probably make you uncomfortable.

We prefer lies.

Authenticity is messy so we settle for artificial because it’s easier to bury our heads in the sand and live in the Land of Make Believe that it is to hear or tell the truth.

I grew up lying to myself. I wasn’t always happy with the person I was pretending to be, so I made up lies about my life to compensate for my perceived inadequacies.

Maybe you did, too.

That might seem harmless. But it’s not. Because illusions turn into delusions. Before long, we’re living in a fantasy world of our own making bereft of any sense of reality.

Many, if not most people, pretend to prevent feeling the pain of being left out, overlooked, discounted. In the end, the lies we tell ourselves only make matters worse.

Lies break down trust and build walls. Can you recall a time you told a lie as a cover? How did you recover? More than likely, you told another lie. First to yourself. And then to others.

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Timothy Eldred

Writer, speaker, bourbon drinker, and friendly disrupter of the status quo helping people live with authenticity. timothyeldred.com. I also write on Substack.