Why we lie according to psychology

Why we lie according to Psychology 2023

The ability to alter the narrative of situations is a characteristic of the human being that is used for various specific purposes. Beyond the fact that lying is considered something negative, according to the social perspective, the truth is that there are some reasons why people put it into practice.

If you feel any interest in the subject and want to discover the origin of the ability to lie, we recommend that you continue reading. In this article, we will provide you with information about why we lie according to psychology, how and when we started to do it and what are the most common lies that are usually told.

Why we lie according to psychology

How and when we started to lie

The use of lies is not exclusive to adults but rather begins during childhood. In general, boys and girls understand the events that happen around them by interacting with the environment.

Faced with situations that cause some difficulty, lies are often used to achieve an objective that is difficult to achieve if the truth were alluded to. As a result of this, when in doubt about when we started to lie, reference can be made to the moment in which, during childhood, we began to connect with our closest environment. To avoid this situation as much as possible, we recommend you read this article on teaching a child not to lie.

After a while, this quality can be transferred to the school environment, since there it is understood that altering the facts can represent a benefit. If this type of thinking is sustained, the lying behavior can become established in adulthood. However, this statement is generalized and does not take into account the particularities of every person. For this account, it is favorable to locate in a timely manner what is the intent of lying in a human being.

Reasons why people lie

Why do people lie? Beyond the fact that the lie can be denoted in each person in different ways, the truth is that it responds to specific objectives depending on the situation in which it occurs. As a result of this, we will now explain what are the main reasons for lying:

  • Sense of belonging: the idea of ​​changing the speech or actions that can be oriented to be part of a particular place or group. In some cases, people are looking for a site that gives them an identity. For this reason, lying is a resource that is usually used in these cases.
  • Seeking a benefit: people who lie to get a benefit for their lives. Sometimes, humans consider it necessary to appeal to a lie instead of responding with the truth.
  • Mistrust towards people: those who feel a lack of security and uncertainty regarding the rest, lie to protect themselves from possible damage and dangers in the social environment. In this article, you will see how to manage uncertainty.
  • Fear of rejection: people who fear being rejected, both due to physical qualities and personality, may use lies. so, we lie to feel uncontroversial by society.
  • Family mandates: the members of the family environment are a person’s primary reference while growing up. If people lie on a regular basis in the closest environment, there is a good possibility that the person will adopt the lie as a shape of behavior.
  • Low Self-Esteem – Lack of self-esteem and insecurities can lead someone to lie to prevent others from perceiving who they really are. Find out how to overcome insecurity in this article.
  • Avoidance of Punishment: When someone carries out an action for which they know they should be punished, they may allude to a lie to avoid said consequence.
  • Mental disorders: in particular cases, the use of lies may equal to the presence of a mental disorder. However, the diagnosis must be specified by a mental health professional who evaluates the clinical conditions of each person.
Why we lie according to psychology

Examples of the most common lies

To better understand why we lie, it is necessary to mention in which specific situations this resource is used the most. Next, we will provide some examples of the most common lies of people:

  • Fail an exam: a student has failed an exam at school. In order to avoid the punishment provided by her parents, she could tell them that she got a high grade.
  • Being unfaithful: a man has been unfaithful to his wife since he has a lover, however, he decides not to share this information with his partner so that she does not suffer love disappointment.
  • Lying about one’s own abilities: when a person says they know how to do something, such as how to swim or fight, but they don’t really know how to do it. In this case, people lie to look good in front of others.


In Conclusion, According to psychology, there are various reasons why people lie. Some of the most common reasons include avoiding consequences, protecting oneself or others, preserving one’s image or reputation, manipulating or gaining an advantage over others, and escaping reality. However, lying can have negative consequences such as damaging relationships, decreasing self-esteem and trust, and causing psychological distress. In conclusion, lying is a complex behavior that is influenced by a variety of personal, situational, and cultural factors, and it is important for individuals to understand their own motivations for lying and to be mindful of the effects it can have on others and themselves.

This article is only for informational purposes, we do not have the ability to make a diagnosis or recommend treatment. We suggest you go to a psychologist to treat your specific case.

If you want to read more articles similar to Why we lie according to Psychology, we recommend that you enter our Personality category.

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