I hate liars.
Yes! Liars! They truly grate me like fingernails down a blackboard!
I’ve been thinking about this statement over the last couple of weeks. Do I really hate liars? Or just some?
The fact is the majority of us have told a lie or two in our lifetimes. We humans classify different types of lies into white lies, small lies, big lies, massive lies and tremendous lies. Some of you might like to add a profanity in front of “tremendous lies” for emphasis, if that is your thing. That means we have all be a liar worthy of hatred.
Technically speaking, if I hate all liars, then by rights there shouldn’t be a single person on Earth I like. And I know that’s not true.
So, what is truly meant by me saying “I hate liars”?
Earlier in the year, I discovered someone had lied to me. This event happened many years ago, but this truth affected me.
Now, it isn’t the first time a friend has lied to me about things. They have left out information when giving me an explanation. They have stayed quiet about something when they should have spoken up. They have told me the wrong starting time deliberately for an activity they didn’t want me at. So, considering all actualities, this was no different really. This person gave me reassurance after asking them a direct question regarding an insecurity. Hence, they lied to my face, even though I had reason for my insecurity.
The number one reason why people lie is self-preservation, such as protecting the ego, preventing or alleviating guilt, avoiding persecution or detection. None of that is admirable. All of it is destructive to both self and others. I’m sure there are well-to-do reasons out there for lying (such as getting a person out of a dangerous situation), however, as I have always told my kids, I would rather be told the truth and be hurt than have myself spared bad news for fear of my reaction. And so, my opinion of lying is there is no excuse for it. Reasons and excuses are quite different things, and for the purpose of this particular blog, I want to stress that my writings today are that of “do I hate liars?”.
The circumstances at the time of this particular lie were that of myself not exactly being innocent. I can’t actually be angry at this person for lying to me because I was well aware of other behind-the-scene happenings they were doing. And they knew I knew because they told me what was going on. Even though I knew it was wrong, I stayed quiet – which is lying and enabling another.
Do I want to hate this person?
Am I entitled to hate this person?
Should I hate this person?
And going by this standard, should I also hate myself because I, too, am a liar.
Going too far with that? Don’t hate myself, I hear you say? Why? After all, I hate liars, don’t I?
Then there is the person whom I discovered all this from. They lied also. Should I hate them, too, for telling me? Before, I had such a different impression of the person in question. Did I want to let that go?
Hhhmmm, it’s interesting, isn’t it, this whole “I hate liars” declaration? Do I actually hate any of these people or myself?
No. Not really. Just deeply hurt and disappointed. Took a while for the shock to settle.
So, why say it then? Why say “I hate liars” when it isn’t true?
In reality, it isn’t the person I hate. It’s the lie they told. Because the lie isn’t an object, the pain is directed at the only thing which has dimensions – the person.
Depending on the type of lie, depends on the length of time it’ll take to get over the hurt it caused. Unfortunately, all lies leave scars (good reasons or not).
And now, here’s the new lie…….I haven’t told this person who gave me false reassurance that I know they lied to me.
I heard you gasp. You’re thinking how could I not? Why do I want to remain friends with this person? What is so special about this person that this should remain undiscovered for them?
Because I can see their hurt behind the lie – the reason for their behaviour when taking into consideration everything of the surrounding circumstance. When you can see a friend hurting who is in denial about it, you feel compassion. You try to encourage them to see it so they can get help. Well, I do anyway. Not that it’s worked thus far. But there is always hope the message will get through.
They are a decent person, no different to anyone else. They told a lie. Not a little lie, a massive one! And I enabled all their other ones by staying quiet. If I’d been approached about it, I would have covered for them by denying any knowledge. But we would all consider covering for someone we care about, which, I hate to say, is also lying.
Looking back at my statement “I hate liars” I have to admit that I don’t really hate liars. Liars are people, including myself. And I don’t hate people or me. But I do hate the lies they can conjure up. I forgive them and myself.
So, after much deliberation (above), I’ve decided to revise my declaration and change it to……
I hate lies, not liars!