Reasons to Lie

If you want to be able to catch someone lying, it is beneficial to understand why it is that people lie. Sad but true everyone lies, but the reason and degree of lying can be very different. Nevertheless, no matter what the lie is, lies generally fall into one of five categories.


Many people tell lies to make themselves look better. The person lying is not setting out to harm anyone else. They simply want to elevate themselves and boost their own egos. People with low self-esteem often practice this type of lie. They might not even regard what they are doing as lying, they may just consider it exaggerating or stretching the truth.


This is often what is called a white lie. Yes, it is a lie but it is told to avoid hurting someone else. Alternatively, it may be told in an effort to actually try to boost someone else’s self esteem or ego.


These lies are told simply to benefit the one doing the telling. This could be the cheater talking to their spouse about where they were and what they were doing. On the other hand, it could be the thief or con man who is taking someone else’s property.


These lies are told to directly and deliberately to harm someone else. People who tell these lies often do not consider what they are saying to be actual lies but rather they think of them as merely rumors or gossip.

Avoiding Punishment

These lies are told by the person who knows that they have committed some kind of a transgression and are now afraid that they will have to face the consequences. They are told in an effort to protect the teller from any form of retribution or punishment.

It is important for anyone who is trying to detect lies to have a grasp of how and when people lie. Moreover, it is very important to try to understand how the suspect views what they saying. It is far harder to detect a lie when the person who is doing the lying does not really consider what they are saying to be an outright lie.

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