Forms of Lies and Responses

Lies can take on many forms. Here are two forms I’ve identified: eventful and hurtful.

Eventful lies are when someone lies about things or events that do not directly affect you. For instance, your friend tells you she is happy when she is not. Or she tells you she is on a diet and losing lots of weight, when you can clearly see with your own eyes that the opposite is happening. With eventful lies, you are not the target of the lie. It may make you feel upset, mad or uncomfortable because you feel as if you are being played for dumb. However, if you think about it, these lies truly have nothing to do with you—it’s all about the liar.

Why do people tell eventful lies? Plain and simply because they are unable to cope with the truth. They don’t even consider how you feel when they lie—it’s all about their inability to cope. The reality is that their life is painful; instead of dealing with it, they try to bury it—and the more they try to bury it, the more and more they lie. It’s a vicious cycle which only robs the liar of self-esteem and confidence. It’s sadly a self-defeating coping mechanism, and worse, it pervades our society today. So many people are suffering the self-inflicted ills of eventful lies. It’s sad.

Hurtful lies, however, are when someone sets out to tell you something that (a) involves you; or (b) with the knowledge that saying such a lie can and/or will hurt you. In this instance, your friend tells you she stayed home last night sick when you know from another friend she actually went out to a party. Hurtful lies are the lies that are not easily forgotten. These are the lies that are destructive to any form of relationship.

Several readers have written to me over the past month asking me questions like “How do you deal with lies?” “Do you confront liars?” “Do you tell a friend who is living in denial the truth when she can’t see it?”

When people lie to me, I always ask myself: What is their motivation?

Are they unable to cope with the world? Or are they trying to be hurtful? When people lie and I see that it’s because they are unable to cope with their world, I can often let the lie slide. I don’t get jarred or upset, because I realize the liar and his/her lies have nothing to do with me. These lies are all about the person who is lying. How can you be mad at someone who can’t even be honest with themselves? An eventful liar may be a good, kind heart who just isn’t able to cope with life.

When I was younger, I tried fruitlessly to help eventful liars, but in the end, I only isolated myself. It’s best to leave people in denial (after offering a hint or a suggestion and getting rejected), because they aren’t going to change simply because you say the truth. They usually know the truth, but are running as hard as they can away from it. Do know that they will only change when they are good and ready. If you don’t like it, I suggest you distance yourself to a comfortable location. There is little you are going to be able to do. Denial is an ugly, powerful monster.

Should you confront the hurtful liar? Well, the choice is certainly yours, but it is going to be an uphill battle, and it is a battle you’ve already lost. If someone tells you a hurtful lie, you already know, without having to go any further, that they are going to put their own interests ahead of yours—every time—and so the value of the relationship has disintegrated. You now know you are not valued anymore. Essentially, if you ask me, the relationship has disintegrated beyond repair, for good. So what is the point of confrontation?

The only time I will ever confront anyone is if I have established a very close relationship with them, and I know that I have some potential to get through to them. When I am in a close relationship like this, I know that honesty is valued, and in these situations, I will work hard to have the truth prevail. If I can’t get through, I will worry about the future of our relationship.

How do I approach them? I approach them with love, kindness and concern. I am never brutal, cruel or mean. I tell them that I am concerned and worried. I question them and express my fears. I try to lead them to the truth. I tell them that I love them more than anything, and that I am willing to lay all my feelings on the table, even if it means risking losing the relationship, because I care so much about them that I can’t handle seeing this situation deteriorate any further.

You must have the type of relationship that was built on honesty in order to endure this. If you don’t, it could very well be the end of your relationship, though you may find the risk worthy for the good of a friend. You just have to be willing to lose your friend with honorable intentions. It’s all about being honorable. You can do this in any relationship so long as you are certain your intentions are true and are out of pure love for your friend.

In an ideal world, all friendships would be based on honesty. We wouldn’t face eventful or hurtful lies, but the sad fact is we do, every day. We thankfully see a million times more eventful lies than we do hurtful lies, which makes it a little easier, because we know it is nothing personal.

As my mom always says, “If you have to hide something, ever, something is wrong—very wrong. Let that be your guide.”

I hope this helps you take a new perspective on the lies you face. Why are you/they hiding that? What was the motivation of that lie? Is it really about them, or is it all about you?

Seeing through the Salesmen

While in my week long quest to find the best oven-range, I have met my fair share of salesmen. The ones who get through to me, of course, are the ones who are honest.

So, how do you know which are honest and which are not?

Well, it’s really kind of simple. You ask them one question.

What is the best range you have?

If they answer you back, “All of them are good. We only carry the best ranges.” Run for the hills! Clearly in every grouping, there is a range of bad to good to better to best. In this situation, the salesman offers nothing worthy of trust. He’ll talk you into anything he can get you to buy — or worse, he is just hoping to get lucky and sell any model — which is NOT good for you. If the guys wants commission, he better earn it. Look for the next guy.

An honest salesman will point you to one or two models and he will clearly explain why he believes those models are superior. While this doesn’t indicate an honest salesman, with good investigation, you can sniff him out even further.

You see, just because a guy makes one or two recommendations — you still can’t tell if he is being honest because he might just simply be steering you to the model he makes the most commission from. So, question the salesmen again. Ask him to compare two more different models: a higher priced one and a lower-priced model a couple of times. See if he always chooses the higher model. If so, beware.

While this isn’t foolproof, it doesn’t help you narrow down who you can trust. When you find a salesmen who often recommends a much less expensive model over a costly one — you know with pretty good certainty, he is honest — especially when the dollar variable is sizeable.

So, I have weeded out the poor salesman, found an honest salesman and yet I still can’t decide on what I want. So, with all of that — just why can’t I decide? Well, these darn men who design these models just don’t make the model I want!

My Nose Saves the Day

Late yesterday afternoon, I decided to make a dash for the grocery store in light of the weather forecast. They were predicting a potentially nasty ice storm and then rain for the rest of week. Knowing we couldn’t make it the week without groceries, I went.

When I came home, I was unpacking groceries and thinking about dinner. Since I was late and my husband was due home in short order, I decided to broil some ribs I had left over for dinner.

I turned on our rickety and cheap range which we acquired with the house in its lovely cream and black splendor. I put the ribs under the burner and then made a mental note to myself to NOT forget they are cooking!! I then walked back over to the groceries and continued unpacking.

Some ten minutes must have gone by and I had, in fact, forgot about the ribs broiling at a supposed 500 degrees.

Next thing I know, I am coming in from the outdoors after letting out my sweet dog – and the smell hit me. It was strong and very recognizable.

It was natural gas.

I quickly realized the stove must not be working and that gas must have been spewing out of the stove for a good ten to twelve minutes. My kitchen was full of gas. I got that pit-of-a-feeling, yet unlike my normal self, I remained calm and opened all the windows and doors letting in that lovely fresh 20 degree air– and then I took the dogs out and we stood on the patio a few minutes while the house aired out.

I started to doubt that something was wrong and that perhaps I had just over-reacted. About ten minutes later, my husband arrived home and ate cold ribs. Just before his first bite, I told him of my ordeal.

After dinner, he tested the oven himself — and sure enough after about three minutes, it started spewing gas again. The smell made us certain.

Our oven has a serious defect and considering the top range igniter just broke down less than six months ago (and we replaced it) — we are chucking this thing! It’s a piece of crap!!

I was hoping to buy a new range when I redid the kitchen because the new ones I am looking at won’t fit in this kitchen. Plus, now I have to investigate all my options and I don’t want to spend the time. I busy planning for our current remodel!!

Ugh. I needed this like a hole in the head. At least, I didn’t die from the gas or burn up in some explosion! Lordy. I should be thankful but instead I’m rather annoyed!!

A Super-liar

On Saturday night, 48 Hours on CBS profiled the story of a doctor’s wife, Miriam Illes. She was shot and killed, as if by a marksman. The killer stood some 70 feet from her kitchen window — in the dark, in a creek — fired once — and shot one bullet directly through her heart using a silencer so no one would be alerted.

The case was chilling, but what was even more chilling was watching the husband of Miriam Illes, Dr. Illes. He proclaims to this day he is innocent.

Throughout the entire interview on CBS, Dr. Illes never once gave away a HINT that he was lying. His stories were believable. He said the exact right things — EVERY TIME. His facial expressions didn’t contradict what he was saying. He didn’t project anger or frustration. He was calm and totally BELIEVABLE.

He didn’t give away ONE characteristic of a liar — yet as the investigation revealed itself — the circumstantial evidence became so overwhelming against him — you couldn’t help but believe he did it. He just had to be the killer. Dr. Illes, I suspect, is a super liar — a liar no one could ever catch by listening to him alone.

This guy was cold, calculating and beyond creepy especially in the end after he said and did everything “right”. When he was arrested, the police found a manuscript that he had written on his computer titled, “Heart Shot: Murder Of The Doctor’s Wife.” In his manuscript, he even used correct names for people. Yet as the murderer killed, his manuscript read that the murderer found it “erotic” and more exciting than sex!


Dr. Illes response? Why did he write this book knowing the situation? He replied:

“I thought it would generate more interest and more widespread knowledge of the actual facts of the case, which were not being disseminated by the police. That was my motive.”

I wonder how many of his surgery patients may have died at the mind and hands of this clever, highly-intelligent madman?

You can watch a video of Mr. Illes titled: Shot in the dark to see if you can tell if he is lying. Go ahead, check it out. Watch him speak. You can also read all the details of the crime investigation here.

This is one case I can honestly say I wouldn’t have been able to pinpoint with any accuracy that Mr. Illes was lying by purely watching him speak alone. He came across as trustworthy — yet with all the evidence found — even without any directly linking him to the crime — I just can’t believe him. Too many weird behaviors implicate him to the crime in a bizarre way.

They say this man was a genius, exceptionally smart — smarter than any one of the people investigating him as said by the District Attorney — but as a group collectively, he wasn’t smarter than all of them.



What do you do?

What do YOU do when you see a friend who is in a difficult situation– who doesn’t see the truth — but you clearly do? Do you tell him or her what you see and risk upsetting them and possibly ruin your friendship? Or, do you just turn your head and keep your nose out of his/her business?

I’d love your thoughts. If you could explain why you do what you do, I’d be honored. I will respond with what I do in the coming week.