Who lies the most, women or men?
So who lies the most, women or men?
Depending on who you are, or maybe what has been done to you, you probably have your own answer to that question.
Would it surprise you to know that both sexes lie equally as much?
In fact, it isn’t the quantity that differs much but rather the types of lies that each employs.
Men and women on average lie quite often, but typically lie about different things.
So, it turns out, not telling the truth is really a human problem.
And it’s a real problem.
When we’re lied to, we become outraged, we feel betrayed, we cry foul (or scream about “fake news”).
Yet, the majority of us can’t get through a 10-minute conversation without telling at least two lies. Ouch.
The truth hurts. But not telling the truth hurts way, way more.
Not just because it creates distrust, enacts betrayal, promotes disconnection. It actually affects our health. Really.
One notable study done by Anita E. Kelly, Professor of Psychology at Notre Dame, found that people who spoke “honestly, truthfully, and sincerely – not only about the big things, but also about the small things” experienced “significantly fewer health complaints than the Control group”.
The Sincerity group actually reported, on average, having seven fewer symptoms (headaches, sore throats, nausea) in a week.
Should you then, therefore, tell everybody exactly what you think about everything all of the time? No. Not if you want to have any friends left.
Should you make it a practice to overshare? Mmmm, probably not. “Floodlighting” generally makes everything really, pretty awkward.
What is helpful, though, is refraining from embellishment. It isn’t necessary that we appear to be the most interesting person in the room all the time.
Also helpful is not just telling someone what we think they want to hear so as to indulge them and get caught in the snare of people-pleasing.
To live wholehearted lives, we must resist the fabricating, the posturing, and the posing.
To love fully, we must be willing to drop masks, really engage with another on honest terms, and speak the truth – to the extent of what we know and possess of it.
To walk confidently, we must choose the way of integrity – not an easy way, no doubt, but the one with the greatest payoff.
And let’s be honest (timely request, right?), you can feel it inside when you know you’re not really living to that standard of truth in your own life. You can sense it when you speak it.
And if you’ll reckon with it and wrestle a bit, you can live in a new way. An undivided way.
There is freedom there.