Lies Other People Tell Us (Intentional Lies)

by Doc Orman, M.D.

Intentional Lies

In my last blog post, I talked about unintentional lies that other people tell us and how this can lead to stress in our lives.  Today, I want to talk about intentional lies that other people tell us.

Intentional lies occupy the opposite end of the spectrum from unintentional lies.  Intentional lies are often meant to harm us, mislead us, or separate us from our money or other possessions.

Unlike unintentional lies, there is nothing innocent or forgivable about intentional lying.  The reason for this is that people who intentionally lie to us know exactly what they are doing.  They have made a cold, calculating decision to lie to us in order to achieve some goal or enhance their own personal agendas—at our and others’ expense.

Intentional Lies Commonly Lead To Stress

When people lie to us in order to steal from us or to otherwise take unfair advantage over us, this commonly results in stress for us.  The stress we experience is often two-fold:  1) the stress of whatever we lost as a result of the lies; and 2) the loss of trust and sense of betrayal that adds even more to the humiliation of being duped by a fellow human being.

And since intentional lies are intended to inflict certain hurts and harms upon us, unlike unintentional lies which are not designed to be malicious in nature, they are often much more painful and stressful.

Intentional Lies Can Sometimes Be Aimed At Benefitting Us

Not all intentional lying is malicious in nature.  Some people lie to us because they think they are trying to help us.  They want to convince us to take some action or to adopt some point of view because they believe, in their hearts, that we will be better off if we do.  So to help us, they will disregard the truth and tell us only what they want us to hear.

One good example of this type of intentional lying is how the media consistently lies to us to advance their internal agendas.  Another is how politicians frequently lie to us, for their own personal gain, for the benefit of their supporters, and sometimes just out of sheer concern for our safety or welfare.

The point here is not to critique, explain, or even forgive such lying behavior, but rather to emphasize how embedded we are in an ocean of lies, untruths, misrepresentations, and both intentional and unintentional deceptions.

We live our lives within this ocean of lies, and we cannot escape the inevitability of having to continue to do so.  The only question is—can you separate the lies from essential truths in everything that is being communicated to you?  Can you distinguish truthful statements from non-truthful statements that are swarming all around you every day?

To the degree you are able to do this, your stress in life will be reduced immensely.  Since much of our stress is produced by being out of sync with certain truths about life, any efforts you put forth to grasp some of these basic truths will pay dividends that you will be very grateful for.



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