A Very Short Post About Lying

People are never as honest as when they lie. Ultimately, people might fail when they try to honestly portray their character. They might be unaware of some aspects of their own personality. But when they lie, they reveal much more important things about themselves.
See how they portray themselves in their lies, and that is more important to know their character than its naked reality. People, in their lies, construct not who they are but who they want to be, themselves as they want it to be perceived. They reveal their values, their fantasies, their unfulfilled desires. Listen to people when their honest and you will have data, listen to them when they lie and you peek through their aspirations, goals, and regrets.
Do they lie about how rich they are? Then it is wealth that they seek. Do they lie about the books they’ve read and pretend to know what they really don’t? It’s knowledge and intellect they seek. Do they lie about their sex life? Or their adventures? Or people who love them, or hate them?
Listen to people lie. That’s all.
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About Kaveh Mousavi

Kaveh Mousavi is the pseudonym of an atheist ex-Muslim living in Iran, subject to one of the world’s remaining theocracies. He is a student of English Literature, an aspiring novelist, and part-time English teacher. He is passionate about politics, video games, heavy metal music, and cinema. He was born at the tenth anniversary of the Islamic Revolution of Iran. He has ditched the Islamic part, but has kept some of the revolutionary spirit.

  • Menyambal

    Interesting snd insightful.

  • Christoph Burschka

    who they want to be, themselves as they want it to be perceived

    Two different things, though, particularly with regard to the “knowledge and intellect” thing. In my experience, people who lie about knowing something are remarkably unwilling to actually learn something. ;)

    • rapiddominance

      Sounds about right.

  • Callinectes

    All of my lies have hinged on the carefully cultivated fiction that I am significantly more incompetent and absent-minded than I really am (it boosts believability, if not status). What does that say about me?

    • atheist

      I’d say it means you wish people would stop criticizing you so much. Your fiction sounds like a defensive technique. No judgement, that’s just how it sounds.

  • Psychopomp Gecko

    Reminds me of something I’ve said for some time. If you have to tell someone you have a big penis, then you don’t.

    It’s worth reminding people that the opposite doesn’t work. Usually, remind them after they’ve shouted out “I have the smallest in the world!”

  • mistertwo

    “See how they portray themselves in their lies, and that is more important to know their character than its naked reality. People, in their lies, construct not who they are but who they want to be, themselves as they want it to be perceived.”

    As a closet atheist, I allow people to believe I am a Christian, but it isn’t because that how I wish to be seen. The first part of your statement, that it reveals something about my character, is certainly true. It reveals fearfulness.

    That Christian person isn’t how I wish to be perceived, but it is how I feel I must be perceived in order to preserve certain things in my life that I’m not willing to give up, so depending upon how the word “want” is interpreted I suppose you could say that I want that (even though I do not wish it).

    Interesting post. It’s helpful to me to consider this, to consider the value (or valueless-ness) of my motivation.


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