Monday, November 07, 2011

Lies By Ommision

Whenever I'm filling out any kind of document that makes reference to punishement for false information, I inevitably get an guilty feeling. It doesn't matter that I am filling out these forms in good faith, something makes my heart race a lot quicker as I sign that tax form or any another beauracratic piece of paper. The thought that maybe I didn't tell the whole truth creeps up and spintails into making me believe (irrationally) I'm a no-good, wily individual.

Blame it on my upbringing. I was always a horrible liar. Horrible. (I can't even pull a sweet practical joke on my husband, let alone, fool IRS.) Yet, I also tended to love having secrets, especially from my parents. So when I didn't want something to be known, I didn't exactly lie, I ommitted. In the case I did lie, I was always found, hence the lie by ommission has served me well in my childhood, it was a great technical loophole. In adulthood it hasn't panned out as well. I tend to not speak when I need to speak up, choosing to bottle up negative stuff. Where someone can easily muster up a white lie about being too busy, I agonize about the excuse I'm going to make. Worse off I ignore the situation. Making it ten times worse.

My sister mentioned how recently she read about a study suggesting kids' lying as a positive attribute.

... lying involves multiple brain processes. You have to mentally collect sources of information and manipulate the data to your advantage, which requires a great deal of thinking and reasoning.

Thus, Lee says, lying is linked to the development of brain regions that allow "executive functioning."
I think it can be a great tool. Honesty is not always the best policy and sometimes in the name of self-preservation one has to lie. That's why I would make a horrible business person, not enough mental arobics to manipulate other people.

The only time I can truly lie is that I convince myself the lie is the truth, less harder than one would think. My grandmother used to do it all the time and it would drive the whole family nuts. Maybe I should try it more often. There be less guilt and more job opportunities.

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