The lies people tell to hurt people are the worst lies.
Here’s what to do about them.
I’ve watched people have their lives wrecked by lies. I’ve heard too many of them. I’ve heard them in the boardrooms of big multi-national corporations. I’ve heard them on the local cable channel. I’ve heard them sitting round the family dinner table.
People justify lies in all sorts of ways:
There’s lying to a person who has a different set of values. That’s almost a get out-of- jail free card. If you cast a person as morally wrong, a lie about them is irrelevant to you.
There’s the righteous lie. You know you’re lying but you feel the person being lied to earned the lie in some way.
Then there’s competitive lying, my work is better than his work, so I’m going to lie about him so a customer buys my product instead of his. I’m doing the customer a favor by lying to him!
Sit in the back row of family court and you’ll hear an entire sub-set of lies — lawyer lies, ex-spouse lies, all couched in perfectly sharp and reasoned language, but serving a single purpose — to hurt. Put your hand up, swear to tell the truth, and lie your head off.
The lie sets you free, not the truth. The truth roots you to the ground. The truth makes you stand up and be seen. The truth can be hard. The truth can be embarrassing. The truth about the truth is the truth takes practice. But we’re a lazy bunch.
So many of us seem born to lie. Lying is a liquid thing, slips off the tongue with no more thought than the sidewalk beneath your feet. The lie is easy. The lie gets you off the hook.
But the very worst lie is the deliberate lie, the lie told to hurt someone. We’ve seen a rising tide of this kind of lie in our world. They flood us through the agile channels of our newly-minted digital domain. They are targeted like a bullet from a rapid fire gun. They take eternal root in the webs that smother us, and grow into fire from a mere ember. They destory. Their purpose is to destroy.
Once the lie gains traction it can run like wildfire through a person’s life. It can get you fired. It can make you broke. It can turn family against you. It can leave you tossing night after night.