Nobody is innocent when it comes to exaggerating things we’ve seen, heard, or participated in. Like, that smashing b-day party of yours in an abandoned castle that got everyone talking. Except that it was your uncle’s porch and the only guests were your twin cousins from Wyoming.
We’ve all been there, done that, but sometimes things go from exaggerated to plain made-up in an instant. And there’s a subreddit called r/thatHappened dedicated entirely, as its description says, to “true stories that are 100% true and actually happened.” You get the sarcasm.
As for evidence, the 1.3 million members of the community are sharing screenshots of people lying their hearts out with a straight face. Trust me, the result is totally hilarious.
Classmate Calls Out Dipsh**
All humans possess the ability to lie: it’s something we’re born with and we die with. One study published in the Journal of Basic and Applied Social Psychology found that 60 percent of people can’t go 10 minutes without telling a lie. At the same time, another study published by the American Psychological Association suggested that lying less was linked to better average health, both mental and physical.
So, why on earth do we lie, then? To find out, Bored Panda reached out to Traci Brown, a fraud-busting body language expert. It turns out, "we learn the benefits of lying when we’re little, like protecting ourselves from punishment or to get what we want. Situations have more gravity as we get older and lying can protect our relationships or even millions in fraud theft,” Traci explained.
Ya Cause Being Asleep In Your Car Means You’re In College!
Sometimes, we lie just to make other people around us feel good about themselves, so not all lies are inherently bad. But it turns out that “people who tend to lie frequently do for a couple of reasons: survival or they can't tell the difference between truth and a lie.”
Traci said that mental illness can also be the reason for an urge to lie. “It runs the scale from narcissism to psychopaths. And these folks make up about 15% of the population.”
Lying big always starts from simple steps, aka lying small. First, as kids, we learn to tell pro-social lies, like telling your grandma you like that new hand-knit sweater she gave you on Christmas when, in fact, you can’t even look at it.
According to this study from the journal Nature Neuroscience, “when people tell small lies, the brain becomes desensitized to the pang of guilt that dishonesty usually causes.”
The more little pro-lies we give, the less guilt we feel, and the more it snowballs into bigger lies that suddenly become way easier. In some cases, people get so used to falsifying or fabricating things that they start believing their lies. At some point, it turns into habit and it becomes incredibly hard to quit for good.