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7 Genuine Reasons Why People Are Driven To Tell Lies

7 Genuine Reasons Why People Are Driven To Tell Lies

“There are three types of lies. Lies, damn lies and statistics.” – Unknown

I have an embarrassing memory of something I did when I was maybe 7+ years old.

I went to the supermarket after school had finished to get a Kit Kat.

You know, as in the Kit-Kat chocolate bar.

While I was there, I picked something else off the isle. A large pack of crisp or a big bottle of fizzy drink.

I can’t remember what I picked up other than a Kit-Kat.

The thing I picked up off the isle? I stole it.

I put it in my school bag. And as I was on my way out of the supermarket a 6 ft security guard stopped me.

“Open your bag” he said in a no BS tone of voice.

At first I tried lying my way out of it, but then realized there was no escape and it was time to admit I’m in the wrong.

And so I did. I opened my bag and fessed up.

After that I left feeling embarrassed with myself. As If I was stripped naked in public.


Nobody is a saint. And no one has “never” told a lie.

You might read this and think – “wow, what a terrible child you must have been.”

And I’d say you’re full of shit. 

You lie, I’ve lied, we’ve all lied so fuck all of that hypocrisy bullshit people are so used to spouting these days. Because before a person becomes a saint or a truth speaker, the opposite has to have been true beforehand.

With that being said, let’s get to the bread and butter of this post.


7 Genuine Reasons Why People Are Driven To Tell Lies


1. Because we’re afraid of what people will say

Remember what happened with Ingrid Nilsen? Ingrid Nilsen revealed back in 2015 that she is gay.

Knowing what kind of society we live in, can you blame her for keeping it a “secret” for so long?

It doesn’t matter what dark secrets we have that we’d rather not tell anybody.

Whether it’s being gay, being an X criminal offender, the fact you’ve been in jail, or a belief that most people disagree with.

People are driven to lie without hesitation when they’re afraid of what people will think or say. Especially when the people they’re lying to are friends or family.

After all, revealing your secrets could mean the difference between ruining a relationship, a friendship, a job/business opportunity, or something else that’s valuable.


2. When it’s too risky to tell the truth


  • If I tell my girlfriend I’ve been cheating on her, she’ll leave me for sure.
  • If I tell my employer I’ve been stealing from their company, I’ll never get a job ever again.
  • If I tell my my parents that I’m secretly gay, they’ll disown me.

It’s not exaggerated to say things like this are real in some people’s lives.

When what you say has a dangerous amount of risk attached to it, what do you do?

Even If you’re intentions are pure (and you’re not in the wrong), people are driven to lie when the risks are too high.


3. Lack of trust

If I don’t trust you, then why should you be deserving of my truth?

I guess that’s one way to look at it.

Some of us have been victims to horrific things like rape, molestation, knife crime, homelessness, and the list goes on.

And when you think of how small minded and ignorant people are in this world, it’s no wonder victims of these types of things find it hard to share their truths with anyone.

If you don’t trust another human being, you’ll lie to them or shadow the truth. It’s as simple as that.


4. To test your legitimacy

According to Statistic Brain:

  1. 60% of people lie at least once during a 10-minute conversation.
  2. 80% of women admit to occasionally telling harmless half-truths

I’m not saying this to justify the lies, but I will say the reason why some people lie is to test your legitimacy.

For dozens of reasons, some human beings can’t be trusted. But instead of blindly judging a book by its cover, some of us lie to test the legitimacy of another person.

And in some ways, doing this makes it easier to form a logical judgment.

I mean, what If you decided to test the legitimacy of the guy/girl you’re dating? And by doing so, you find out they have a history of something you don’t want to associate yourself with?

Then you’ll have saved yourself an unbelievable amount of time, stress and headache.

Time is priceless.


5. Consequences

“The actions one takes are answered by the consequences waiting at their conclusion.” – C2

Actions have consequences.

If I walk into a nightclub and pick a fight with a random guy, I’m asking for trouble. And that trouble, one way or another will have it’s consequences.

Lying and telling the truth is no different.

What If you’re an X offender applying for a job. Do you tell them you’re an X offender and hope they won’t judge you for it?

Or do you lie to them, or better yet, not tell them you’re an X offender because you’ll have a better chance of being employed?

What If you’re a kid in high school who knows how to hack, and you “hack” your way to good grades.

Do you tell them that you cheated, knowing what kind of consequences are at stake?

Those 2 examples might be extreme. And I’m not saying any of them are right or wrong.

That’s not for me to decide.

But the point is – actions have consequences, and it’s the motivation behind the lies people tell. Sometimes.


6. To protect others

What If telling the truth meant putting your life, or the life of a person you care about in danger?

Would you do it?

Unless you despised them, you’d be crazy to do that, right?

And that’s the 6th reason why people are driven to tell lies.

When it comes to those we love and care for, we’d do anything to make sure they’re safe.

Sometimes we’ll even risk our own lives to protect them.

Or we’ll do something less painful and more convenient – we’ll lie to protect them the same way a mother protects her new born baby.

Our reasoning isn’t always right.

What If the person we’re protecting (by telling lies) cheated on their wife or husband? Is it right to lie about that?

On the other hand – what If the person you want to protect has done nothing wrong, but telling the truth would put their life at risk?

The intense drive to protect others is a legitimate motivation to tell a lie.


7. When backed into a corner

“If you find yourself at a dead end and there’s no other options left, doing something the wrong way might do the most good.” – Junko Kaname

If there’s one thing that’s true about human beings – it’s when we’re backed into a corner, it either makes us or breaks us.

And another thing that’s true is – if you’re backed into a corner, and lying will save you, you’ll do it without hesitation.

Think about it.

If the cons outweighed the pros, and lying could turn everything around for you, would you lie?

I’m not claiming you will, or that everybody would in that situation, but the thought would cross your mind.

Especially if it meant the difference between survival or death.


Why people are driven to lie:

  1. Afraid of what people will say.
  2. Too risky to tell the truth.
  3. Lack of trust.
  4. To test your legitimacy.
  5. Consequences.
  6. To protect others.
  7. When backed into a corner.


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