Why people Lie: To Avoid Punishment

I wonder if you can remember the last occasion that someone lied to you. Or maybe it was you who lied to someone else.

Did you reflect on it and ask yourself why it might have happened? You may even have come up with one or more of the many reasons why people lie to each other.

Some people lie to keep themselves out of what they perceive as “trouble”. Others lie to impress. Either way, there are always consequences or effects of lying.

Most people don’t even consider the effect their lying has on others, or even themselves, they just do it to avoid trouble or punishment. This is particularly¬†prevalent¬†amongst teenagers.

Young adults will lie to their parents about what they are doing for the evening, how much of their homework they have done, or how the house got trashed while they were out of town.

Somtimes people lie to thier partner or spouse about what they got up to with their friends last light. What is happening here is that folks are using lies to stay out of trouble even when know they are in the wrong.

Things fall apart when people realise they are being lied to. Liars may think they are smart but eventually even the smartest liars get caught out. Girlfriends, boyfriends, husbands and wives all get to the truth in the end.

Next time you experience someone telling a lie, think about why they are doing it – is it simply to avoid punishment?

5 thoughts on “Why people Lie: To Avoid Punishment

  1. Hi There,
    I studied compulsive lying – or what I call “lying addiction” in great depth and found that lying addicts lie for a multitude of reasons – many of which I mention in the following article…
    http://ezinearticles.com/?Why-Lying-Addicts-Lie&id=7490866
    I also wrote an article explaining what Lying Addiction is and how it differs from both compulsive lying and pathological lying which I think you and your blog readers will find useful…
    http://ezinearticles.com/?Lying-Is-An-Addiction,-Not-A-Moral-Issue&id=7465210
    I have also created a Lying Addiction Recovery Kit…
    http://billicaine.com/index.php/recovery-kits/lying-addicts
    Best Wishes,
    Billi Caine
    http://billicaine.com

  2. I’m a psychoanalyst. In the clinic, people who self diagnose themselves as compulsive liars frequently report they lie to avoid punishment (as your post suggests). However in almost all cases what gets revealed in precisely the opposite; they lie to get punished. For what? Guilt, usually, as particular to their personal history. When you trace the details of their lies, usually you can see they left themselves vulnerable and likely to get caught (punished), albeit in a highly disguised way. Every lie contains an element of truth, for the story teller, of fantasy as such. The compulsion can become a symptom, a habitual way of enjoying, masochistically as it were.

  3. The main problem with lying is that they try to AVOID telling the truth. First and foremost, they lie just to cover up the WRONG they have done. Mostly, do they benefit from lying? Absolutely NOT! Many people are HABITUAL liars. Stop being a liar and start telling the truth. The first thing a liar will lose is the trust of other people. It takes a long time to regain that person’s trust. The second thing you will face is when people will try to AVOID you and label you as a LIAR!

  4. Very informative. My partner falls under the category I believe would be Compulsive. He continues to lie even when I can show him in black and white. He says he has not done things and experts have said these things can not happen on their. He always just says it was not him. He has tried to make me think I am imagining things with the paper in front of us. Do not think there is any help for him. Has destroyed our relationship.

  5. I made the mistake of befriending a neighbor lady. Shes odd and eccentric, but harmless, or so i thought. She usually comes by to tell me gossip about other people. I tell her that it doesn’t concern me, and that i don’t care what they are doing. Anyway, a sweet older couple hired her to watch their dog while they went to Europe for the holidays. From the very beginning, she didn’t want to do it. But told them she did. Wouldn’t not walk dog on leash, just let it run loose at night when the temps got down to freezing. Told another neighbor that she didn’t care about the dog. Last monday I found the dog dead between the fence and the road. When I told her, she wasn’t surprised, sad, or anything. And she couldn’t tell me where the dogs collar was. Two nights ago the couple comes home and go yo her house to get the dog. She never told them it was found dead !!!! Then she tried to give them another dogs collar . I showed the old man where I buried his baby. I cant believe the level of deceit from her. I’m so upset for them that i could just choke her until the truth comes out !!

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