November 26, 2020

The Lying Guy

Eric Rigney has a blog, which I promise will be worth a stop every so often.

I know this fellow who lies. Not a lot, not in big ways, but in the same ways I was frequently guilty of lying as a young man. Exaggeration. Bragging a falsehood. Crossing the line from wishful thinking to saying something is really true. It’s a game you play with yourself, knowing that the person you are lying to won’t be able to sort it out, or won’t care enough about what you said to try.

This fellow will occasionally talk about an opportunity he’s been given. He really doesn’t have to say a thing. Everyone likes him and he doesn’t need the buildup. He talks, then brags and out comes the story. Not true, sounds good, and probably never going to be checked out.

Well, this time I shared his “good news” with several other people, who congratulated him on his opportunity. He was suddenly in a panic. How many people had I told? Exactly what did I say? He was worried.

I felt bad, but not too bad. He needs to learn that these lies make him look foolish, and he is a smart person who doesn’t need to create false impressions. There are a string of these exaggerations in his recent past, and I’m struggling with whether I should go and gently confront him with the facts of where these lies are taking him. Everytime it’s apparent he was lying, my estimation of him falls. I become less interested in believing anything he has to say.

Lies promise to let us live in our own fantasies for a few moments, and no one will be hurt. The truth is that lies always hurt, and tale by tale, they take away from us that integrity that ought to be more precious to us the longer we live.


  1. Tell him. I wish some one older and wiser had taken me aside earlier in life and lectured me about it. One of the worst things I have had to do as an adult is see those dark cancers in my own life and remove them myself.

  2. Consider who you are talking to and how you will present it. I’ve done this before, and ended up with a hysterical young woman crying and accusing me of being “mean”. She was very upset that I had implied that she was a liar. I never even used that word.

    She admittedly couldn’t reconcile what she had said with reality. I guess that explains how she couldn’t reconcile telling lies with being a liar.

    I still think that people who do this deserve a chance to reconsider their ways and try to change. You’ll be doing him a favor.