Lie To Me

Mar 29, 2009 by

Lie To Me

There is a new show on TV called “Lie To Me” starring Tim Roth. The show is about a group of professional lie detectors. People who can tell when other people lie using facial expressions and body language.

I love this show. It is fun and light-hearted. It is also pure crap. People think they want the truth and want to know when they are being deceived, but I don’t think that is the case … or at least not a majority of the time. Remember Jack Nickolson in “A Few Good Men” when he says “You can’t handle the truth“? That personifies what I’m talking about.

The other day I met someone (a writer) while I was in LA. We started talking about people and what they want to hear. She said adults might not want to hear the truth but kids do. I’m not so sure. The truth is pretty hard sometimes, and even kids don’t want to hear it.

Have you ever had someone lie to you? Did you know it was happening? Did you care … honestly? Was the lie a pretty lie that made you feel good? If it was, I posit that you don’t really want the truth. You actually want the lie.

An article in the Economist magazine brought this point home. It talks about media bias and how we all say we want an honest media, but if we look closely (the look closely piece is important, and what this blog is all about) at what readers actually want (and there is plenty of evidence) we really want to have our beliefs confirmed. Now that’s a tough pill to swallow. We actually want a biased media … and our behavior proves it.

Personally, there are many times when it is apparent that the people I’m with NEED a lie. That they actually can’t operate around a truthful statement. The truth is too much and they quickly bring up defenses, stop listening, lose focus, go into denial, etc.

So is it wrong to indulge their needs? Is it wrong to help accomplish something by making them think something different … something untrue? If we need the lie, why are most of us so disturbed when we are lied to? That seems out of wack.

So here is the question:

* “Do you tell lies on a daily basis? Lies that others need. Lies that others want.”

* “Can you tell if someone is lying to you? Do you care as long as it makes you feel good”

* “Are you better off with the truth or the lie?”

I’m trying to take a moment and really listen to what’s going on around me, with me, today … not react (that’s where swallowing the lies come in), and tell myself the opposite of what I’m hearing. If the opposite is harder to believe … maybe I want everyone else to “Lie to Me” … then again, if I can take the path less traveled … believe the harder piece … maybe I can see my bias … then again … maybe I’m lying 🙂

See you on the wire

– Steven Cardinale

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