Everyone lies sometimes - most of the time it's because they want to feel good about themselves.
That's okay as long as it doesn't have the opposite effect in others.
There are all sort of liars and all sorts of reasons for lying.
Answer the following questions (truthfully), put together by psychologist Hélene Fermont and find out what kind of liar you are.
Your best friend has a disastrous new haircut. Do you:
- Tell them it looks great because you don’t want them to feel bad about themselves
- Tell them it looks great because you don’t want to fall out with them - you need them to do a favour for you next week
- Tell them it looks great and that you want to get your haircut like it and then make up some glamorous event you are going to
- Tell them the truth
On a recent night out with your mates you had one too many and snogged a stranger. When you get home your partner asks how the night went. Do you:
- Tell them it was really boring and nothing exciting happened - you don’t want to upset them
- Tell your partner one of the others cheated on their partner by snogging someone, but that you would never do that because you want your partner to think you are the greatest thing since sliced bread
- Not mention the snogging, say it was great and make up an adventurous thing you are going to do next time you go out
- Tell them you had one too many and somehow found yourself snogging a stranger
A workmate invites you over for Christmas drinks. You really don’t want to go. Do you:
- Pretend you’re not free but say you would really have loved to even though you can think of nothing worse because you don’t want to hurt their feelings
- Give an excuse that makes it clear you’re lying – because you want them to know how little you think of them
- Say you can’t make it and instantly make up an impressive excuse
- Thank them for the invite but explain that sort of party isn’t your cup of tea
White liars: everyone tells white lies occasionally, usually to avoid hurting someone’s feelings.
People often shy away from telling the truth in case it hurts and prefer to make people feel better.
Sociopathic liars: tend to have no conscience and lie to get their own way. It makes them feel good about themselves and they take great pleasure in duping and manipulating everyone around them.
Compulsive Liars: usually, lie out of habit. They will glamourize and exaggerate something to feel better and make others take notice of them. Compulsive liars find it difficult to separate between what actually is true and what isn't.
Looks like you’re an honest straight talker.
Lies come in all shapes and sizes - but it’s important to stay true to yourself. Remember consistent lying is the simplest way to lose people that truly matter to you.
Being truthful and honest is the best way to have healthy relationships. Don't be afraid to give an honest opinion. It’s always wrong to lie about things that matter on a deep level, not least because you will be found out eventually.
Hélene Fermont is a novelist and practicing psychologist. Her latest book His Guilty Secret is out now, available from Amazon, priced £9.99 in paperback and £3.99 as an e-book. For more information see helenefermont.com