In a world full of “fake news” and “alternative facts,” it’s easy to question who’s trustworthy. When it seems that all people tend to do is lie, who is to say that the people closest to us aren’t doing the same thing? Where should one place their trust?
By the age of four, 90 percent of children have figured out the concept of lying, and as they go through life, they only lie more and more. By adulthood, most people lie at least a couple of times a day, and most of these lies are about mundane things like having seen a movie.
So why is it that we do this? In college, about 80 percent of the time when a student lies to a professor, it’s to get extra time for an assignment or to study for a test. Outside of lying to professors, a lot of these small, innocuous lies actually serve a good purpose: they help people get along.
When it comes to a difference in lying between men and women, men are more likely to lie about themselves to boost their ego or appearance to other people, while women do it to protect someone’s feelings. But on Valentine’s Day, this leads to an important question: what about lying in relationships?
As with everything else in life, relationships are not immune to dishonesty. In college relationships, roughly 85 percent of couples report that one or both partners had lied about past relationships or recent indiscretions, but in marriage, there is a decrease in deception. In married relationships, spouses lie to each other in only about 10 percent of their major conversations, a significant decline from dating relationships.
We save our biggest lies and betrayals for those who we are closest to, whether that is close friends, people we’re in a relationship with or even family. Nobody is safe from betrayals and lies, and when they come, it’s often at the least opportune time.
There are really two good ways in my eyes to deal with betrayals and lies; one can make sure that they can trust who they let in, or just accept the fact that it will happen and try to move on. The latter is both harder to do, and potentially more damaging.
For someone to accept that people are going to betray them and be fine with it can leave a person open to being walked all over and used by everyone they encounter. That isn’t the healthiest way to go.
It’s simple to say that one should just “be sure one can trust everyone one lets in,” but in practice it’s not that simple. Rather than just trusting blindly, or acting like the world is out to get oneself, one should sit at a balance until it’s known who can be reliably trusted and who can’t.
Take everything with a grain of salt. Betrayal and lies are inevitable, but falling a victim to them isn’t. In a world of “fake news” and “alternative facts,” it’s worth looking at everything with a slight lens of skepticism to avoid being misled.