The Art of Lying

We all like to partake in a little fib from time to time. Whether it’s done for practical reasons or just for fun, it is a natural and common practice within our society. Much like procrastinating, lying is something I am VERY familiar with. Not like in a bad pathological way that affects my life negatively, but more like in an “I just have an overwhelming need to edit really little insignificant details about myself that literally have no effect on how people see me” way. And, I must preface this by saying this is a habit I have grown out of (kinda hehe). 

Last summer my mother and I had a very enlightening conversation on this little habit of mine. I learned that as a child, I almost exclusively lied. Couldn’t give you a good answer why; I just needed to lie. Not about anything cool, just really stupid things. I would stand in front of someone, drop something, look them dead in the eye, and say “I didn’t drop that.”

This got so alarming that at one point my mother started to convince herself that she was just going to have a daughter who was a little liar. I distinctly remember her saying, “I mean of course I still loved you, but it was a serious problem.” 

When you really think about it, it’s not that bad, right? A little lie here and there can really lie-ven up your life. Speaking as someone with a very boring life, sometimes I would tell the occasional fib just to give my life a little spice. For example, when I was 12, I told everyone that I went on a family vacation to the Bahamas over the summer when in reality, we went to Brighton Beach for 20 minutes before we all got sick of the sand and went home. That’s just not as fun of a story. 

In college, however, I can say that this does not occur often. I am far too anxious about getting caught to lie. However, the fact that I can still ignore the guilt that comes with lying has proven to be useful during my time at Vassar. I have learned that instead of making up untruths myself, I let them come to me. When a professor assumes that I have put minimal effort into an assignment because I am stressed and have a lot on my plate, I simply choose to let them believe it. It is definitely not because I take an hour-long break every 15 minutes.

I guess the lesson is, lying is not that bad when it doesn’t affect anyone else. But if you were born with a thirst to lie like me, you may as well use it to your advantage.

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