10 Totally Surprising Truths About Lying

by Grace Eire
Grace plays in a band and is the mother to a black cat named Fitzhugh.

We all lie. Even if we are incredibly honest people, there are little white lies we don’t even notice ourselves saying each and every day.

For example, how many times has someone asked you how you are doing, and you respond with “Good!” when you’re not good at all?

People lie for a lot of different reasons, at varying levels of effectiveness.

If you have kids or grandkids, you’ve probably seen a lot of lying going on, as little tykes aren’t yet aware of the consequences of lying. Maybe you even remember a specific moment when a young child started to grasp how bad lying can be — the look on his or her face turning from happy, to confused, to downright upset, while the little one grapples with getting caught in a fib.

Lying is a complicated procedure, when you talk about it on a psychological level. These 10 facts about lying and how we perceive it gave me such a better understanding of why we lie, how we lie, and how to tell if someone is lying.

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Thumbnail source: Wikimedia Commons / Ed Westcott

1. People Lie More In Writing

1. People Lie More In Writing

According to U.S. News, people lie way more in writing than face-to-face. We lie most on e-mails, then in chats or text messages, and the least in person. In writing, you don’t have to worry about mannerisms, and it’s just less personal and guilt-inducing.

2. We Don't Think Bearded People Lie As Much


A recent study showed that we are more trusting of bearded men rather than clean-shaven men, with them apparently coming across with higher charisma and reliability. We are less likely to think that a bearded person is stretching the truth.

3. Lying Doesn't Come Naturally

3. Lying Doesn't Come Naturally

In a study conducted in 2008, researchers found that 100% of participants, when asked to conceal their true emotions, showed signs of their real feelings. This shows that lying doesn’t come naturally, not even in a large pool of different types of people.

4. Lying Is Bad For Your Health


As reported by USA Today, lying has shown signs of being detrimental to health. This is due in part to the fact that lying adds stress to your life, which can take a huge toll on your physical well-being.

5. January Is The Biggest Month For Lies

calendar card

Americans tell an average of seven lies per day in January, compared to the usual average of a measly four. I bet you can guess what those extra three lies are usually about, too: post-holiday diets, vacation details, and how the holidays really went.

6. Liars Use Fewer, Smaller Words


Due to the psychological toll that lying takes on a person, liars are bound to use fewer, more tentative words when speaking. There is only so much brainpower to go around, and a ton of it goes directly to concocting and performing the lie rather than to an impressive vocabulary.

7. It's Harder To Lie To An Attractive Person

attractive james dean

At least according to a study conducted in 1985. Researchers found that it was easier to spot lies when the person was telling them to an attractive person of the opposite sex. I suppose that there is something to be said about feeling vulnerable when faced with an attractive stranger.

8. Lying And Cheating Can Actually Lead To Creativity

8. Lying And Cheating Can Actually Lead To Creativity

A study published in 2014 suggests that cheating and creativity both share the need to break rules and move outside of your comfort zone. Therefore, cheating or lying can inspire someone, temporarily, to be a bit more creative. This doesn’t mean that creative people are more likely to cheat or lie, just that anyone who cheats may get a little burst of creativity.

9. People Are Terrible At Detecting Lies

lie detector

The average Joe can only detect lies about 50% of the time. It’s hard to tell because a lot of the behavior we’ve been trained to associate with lying simply isn’t true, such as a liar not being able to look you in the eye.

10. Men And Women Lie For Different Reasons

man and woman

Men and women lie an equal amount, but for different reasons. Men tend to lie to make themselves look better, while women tend to lie to make the other person feel better and more comfortable in the conversation.

Did you know the truth about lying? Please SHARE with your family and friends on Facebook!