Lies and Liars
Kinds of Lies
- White Lie or Benign Lie Depending on the source, the definition of a white lie can change. However, the most common definition is that these are harmless lies about minor or insignificant issues. They are spoken to maintain polite social manners and courtesies and, also, to protect the harmony of friendships or any relationship.
- Pathological Lie Also known as mythomania and psuedologia fantastica, these are compulsive lies told for no apparent reason. This may be caused by mental disorders such as antisocial personality disorder or sociopathy, but sometimes there are no apparent medical reasons. In some cases, the lies are told in such a way as to make the narrator the hero or victim of their stories, so that they may gain admiration, sympathy, or acceptance from others.
- Red Lie This is motivated by spite or revenge and is told even at the expense of oneself. These are the kinds of lies that prove to have the most serious consequences, should they be believed. They frequently build up and result into personal and collective distress as well as permanently broken trust.
- Black Lie This is born out of selfishness. The goal is to get out of trouble or to gain something. These lies accompany pretentions and hypocrisies, intriguing to cause dishonor, or discredit someone’s good image.
- Malicious or Judicial Lie As the name implies, this is a lie told with malice. In other words, the speaker was consciously aware of the falsehood yet continued with the utterance. These statements are made with the intent to cause harm or damage. The level of falsity could be that the utterer knew that the statement was certainly a lie or the utterer simply did not bother to verify the statement. This type of lie is covered by defamation laws, e.g. slander and libel.
Normally, “lying” refers acts done orally or in writing. However, other forms of deception, such as disguises or forgeries, can be considered lies if the underlying intent is the same. A true statement can also be used to lie if the person making the statement intended to deceive. In this case, the intent is taken into consideration more than the statement itself.
Types of Lies
- Direct Denial The easiest type of lie to utter, but the most difficult to back. In a situation where someone is accused of an act, a direct denial happens when they simply contradict the act in question. No other statement is made, all that is done is a simple denial of a statement made by another.
- Fabrication This is a statement asserted as truth without the speaker knowing whether it is true or not. It can be a straight-up falsehood or a misinterpretation of the truth.
- Bold-faced Lie Also called a bare-faced or bald-faced lie, this is an obvious lie but is uttered as truth anyway.
- Lie of Omission As the name implies, this is a type of lie that happens when a person tells a truthful statement, but omits an important fact leaving the receiver of the statement with a misunderstanding. It can also happen if a person fails to correct a pre-existing misconception.
- Lie of Minimization This type of lie is uttered when a person admits to the truth of a statement, but attempts to decrease its gravity or importance. The subject attempts to stay close to the truth while being far enough from it so that the consequences may be diminished.
- Emergency Lie This is a strategic lie told when the truth cannot be told because it could cause harm. It may also be a temporary lie told to a group of people due to the presence of someone who has been deemed as a person who should not hear the truth.
- Perjury Essentially, this is lying under oath. This can happen either through inaccurate claims uttered in the court of law or any of the various sworn affidavits done in writing.
- Jocose Lies In simpler terms, these are jokes, e.g. teasing and sarcasm, and are understood by everyone hearing them to be such. Comedians also utter them in the form of tall tales – where the actor tells the story confidently asserting them as truths despite all evidence to the contrary.
- Promotional Lies or Lies of Exaggeration These are incredible statements made to entice consumers to patronize a product or uttered by a person to gain an advantage or a favor for themselves. These are commonly observed in applicant resumes or marketing materials such as advertisements.
- Contextual Lies These are falsehoods that happen when statements are told out of context or using a suggestive tone to imply the opposite of a truth.
Types of Liars
- Compulsive Liars These people tell lies for various reasons. You can, however, always find out when they are lying because their stories usually don’t add up and they are prone to displays of classic liar behaviors such as avoiding eye contact, sweating, and rambling.
- Panic Liars They tell lies to avoid the consequences of the truth such as causing embarrassment to loved ones or cause a blow to their ego.
- Occupational Liars These people lie for self-benefit. They are pragmatic liars who tell lies when lying is deemed more profitable than honesty.
- Tournament Liars They enjoy lying and the experience of not being revealed.
- Psychopathic Liars Regarded as the most tricky type of liars, they have no sense of morality. Hence, they do not regret their dishonesties nor do they manifest any form of guilt.
- Ethnological Liars These are individuals who are trained not to divulge information at all costs.
- Pathological Liars These are people who are mentally ill and cannot tell right from wrong.
- Black Liars These are pretenders and hypocrites who only speak of what they think of themselves, regardless of the truthfulness of those ideas.
- White Liars These are the types of liars who would mix falsehoods with truth. They lie this way so that they can have a claim to not having meant to deceive and that they were possibly confused. White liars may also utter white lies to protect someone from the truth.
- Careless Liars They lie all the time and absolutely do not care for morality nor ethics. They are aware of their dishonesty and they do not care to calculate their lies.
- Occasional Liars This applies to most people as humans are not perfect beings and are prone to deception every once in a while. What is important is that they do not make a habit of it and that they usually feel guilty and tend to be genuinely sorry for having uttered falsehoods.