If the truth shall set you free, then the lies can imprison you in guilt, burden and regret. They come as small as the occasional white lies friends tell each other to as big as the whopper of a lie governments tell their citizens. No matter the size, lies are intended to purposely deceive one into believing something, hide the truth, or both. When we find out we’ve been lied to, we feel victimized. When its been discovered that we’ve lied, we feel like crawling under a rock. However, if you are on a pathway to improvement, you must give quality thought to the lies in your life.

Let’s cover the following 5 categories of lies: Living a Lie, “Sensational-lie-zing”, The Lies You Believe, The Lies You Tell, and Lying for a Good Cause,

Living a Lie
There is a woman who has successfully convinced every non-family member in her life that she is from another culture. She speaks the language, wears the clothes and when speaking English, mimics the accent to a tee. She didn’t stop there though. Even though her family knows the truth of who she is and where she came from, she continues this charade in front of them as well. She has lived this lie for so long, that she convinced herself that it is true.

This woman takes living a lie to the extreme. However, there are those of us that may have created a new past for ourselves. We’ve made up memories and created experiences we’ve never had. We may have even replaced real memories with more pleasant memories to cover up a painful or resent-filled experience.

When we live a lie, we are not living authentically. Instead of being the person we are, dealing with the choices we’ve made and become better because of the experiences we’ve had, we push it deep down inside ourselves. We don’t deal with it. Instead we pretend until what we’ve made up feel real enough to treat it as such. What’s interesting is that by dealing with the painful past, we can become more interesting than the lie we’ve been living. By discovering our authentic self, we can feel freer, have more fun, and care less about the judgment of others. This doesn’t mean that you don’t grow and change. It means that change occurs from the inside out so that you are always expressing the real you to the world.

Folks that sensationalize everything never heard the phrase, “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”. Every interaction with them feels like they are selling you something, and the cost of what they are selling is your belief in what they are saying. They have a flair for the dramatic, and in fact personify the word itself. Their stories are a series of half-truths, exaggerations, and borrowed stories.

So what happens when someone disassembles one of their stories to call it out as a fraud? How do these folks deal with being discovered to not have been telling the whole truth, or sometimes even a part of the truth? Often, they are willing to risk being found out for the reward of being the most interesting person in the room. They want to seem larger than life because they feel small inside. Their greatness comes from captivating a crowd’s attention and imagination, and not through a belief in their own greatness.

It’s difficult to find the real you interesting if you are always hiding it. Rather than sensationalizing everything, bring it down a notch and let an interesting story stand on its own. Let the real you experience life. Be the giant you really are inside rather than the giant you pretend to be. There is nothing like accepting yourself for who you really are.

The Lies You Believe
There are times when people may want to be deceived. The excitement of the moment overshadows reason, common sense and intuition. When you want to believe something so much, it can be easy to suspend your disbelief. Picture the man or woman who says they are engaged to be married. However, the person they are engaged to is married, living with their spouse and kids, and is still relating on an intimate. What happens when the engaged person realizes the truth of the situation? Usually, it’s more heartache than they’ve ever imagined. Plus, they have the feeling that they allowed themselves to be deceived.

You don’t have to believe a fairy tale to have find excitement and happiness in life. The height of the feelings you experience in the fairy tale are equal only to the fall when the dream ends and reality sets back in again. There is a difference between optimism and fooling yourself. The difference between the two is remaining present, grounded, and centered.

The Lies You Tell
There was a story about an executive that blatantly lied during a meeting full of people. She made it seem as if a non-executive didn’t do her job, while all along it was the executive who was the source of the problem all along. The non-executive was not allowed to reveal the truth about the executive out of fear of making her look bad in public and the repercussions that would have in the future. However, it was clear that the executive was counting on that response. She never apologized and more than likely never lost sleep over what happened.

Here’s the problem. That non-executive learned not to trust the executive. Therefore, she’s going to document every conversation she and the executive has. So, the next time they are in a public forum and the lies begin, the non-executive will be prepared with emails, documents, schedules and testimonials to counteract the lies that are sure to come.

The first lesson here is when you tell lies, people catch on, predict your next move, and are prepared to out you in public. The second lesson is that it can take one event to lose someone’s trust and a very long time (if ever) to gain it back. The third lesson is that the more you lie, the easier it becomes to lie, and thus the more you lie. Lying becomes a self-sustaining cycle that can be hard to break. Don’t start it. Take responsibility for your actions. It’s easier and simpler than any one of the negative consequences one can experience from lying.

Lying For a Good Cause
Sometimes we may think it’s better to lie than to tell the truth in order to spare someone’s feelings. Whether the question deals with weight, looks, productivity, quality of work, or personality, we’ll provide false compliments, grudgingly agree, or dodge the question completely. The issue is that our body language rarely lies. Therefore, our mouths are saying one thing while our body language contradicts us. Over 60% of our communication is body language while less than 10% is verbal (the words we speak). The rest of our communication is in tone (the way we speak).

When someone realizes that we aren’t being truthful because our words and body language aren’t in sync, they can become hurt. If they are asking for the truth, they can be especially hurt by the deception.

Instead, talk to them about the things you can sincerely compliment them on. Then, carefully provide constructive feedback on the areas where they may need a little assistance. In this way, you aren’t criticizing them or focusing on the negative. You are complimenting what you can honestly compliment, and then building on that to mention areas where they can do even better.

Providing potentially hurtful feedback is never easy. However, lying to the person that asks for it may ultimately cause more hurt and damage than providing truthful feedback with a more positive spin.

Author's Bio: 

James LeGrand is the Author of "Evolve!", an Amazon.com best seller in Religion and Spirituality. He is also the publisher of http://www.SpiritualIndividual.com, a free weekly newsletter that presents solutions to life’s issues through the lens of self-help, wisdom, philosophy and spirituality. In addition, James LeGrand is a Life Strategist, an Expert Author with SelfGrowth.com & EzineArticles.com, a former Radio Personality, a Fortune 500 Vice President, and a Sifu in Shaolin Kungfu, which has been known for centuries as a pathway to spiritual enlightenment.