Why Do People Lie?

Why lie?
When so-called leaders lie, a questions that haunts me is – why do people lie? What is the need for successful and responsible people to lie? Is it their natural behavior?

‘Never lie,’ is the first advice all children are given yet they learn to lie. Researchers who have studied and recorded the behavior of many children, teenagers and adults say: ‘All people lie,’ as this trait seems to be ingrained in human beings as much as trust. They consider it to be a ‘developmental milestone just like walking and talking.’ Some even call it “creative” aspect of brain.

    People lie out of fear:

Fears may hibernate inside our unknown and dark alleys but they do surface at the crucial moment – fear of not reaching up to the high expectations of parents or employers, fear of losing the trust of our emotional anchors or people around us, fear of stumbling or losing the position we are holding and many such situatons that scare us away from truth.

Children learn to lie to save themselves from punitive action but the most innocent lies that are easily detected do encourage them to embellish the ways they can be told – a natural brain process. While we dismiss the little lies of children with a smile or  laughter and reitetrate the age-old advice – ‘never lie,’ we know lies cannot be eliminated from our lives.

    People lie out of love:

A spouse or a lover who cheats, who has been spending hours away in the company of friends or seeking his/her own pleasures doesn’t want to hurt by telling the truth. He could be working on his behavior, he could be testing the new waters or could be in a conundrum about a new relationship, which he is unsure of.

Another person may hide his crumbling career or health issues from a mother to keep her away from unnecessary angst. People hide the harsh facts of their own life from their children and put up a façade of happy relationship to give them a healthy environment to grow into happy children.Lies Quote

    People lie to manipulate others:

A friend who lies to hog your attention or a colleague who lies to win favors and lets you down could be manipulating your goodness. In such cases your own virtues propel lies as you may never suspect that your friend may back stab you to get a higher position. Even your boss may take advantage of your truthful nature to extract some facts out of you or by passing on extra work to you by lying that he admires your sincerity.

Family members lie to manipulate us against each other to score personal points, to show their kindness or win respect. Sometimes such lies become as dangerous as snatching a share of property or hurting self-esteem to the extent of alienating them from each other.

    People lie to avoid confrontation:

This is the most common lie of modern times. In an attempt to be polite or save his skin, a husband lies to his wife when she showers all sorts of questions on him. It is very easy to lie and evade answers, which may lead to unpleasantness. Whatever the questions…one big lie – ‘I was busy’ or ‘I forgot’ is sufficient in all cases.

One of my colleagues would keep his cool in the face of atrocious lies against him. When asked how could he digest them, I was aghast at his response: ‘I don’t want any confrontation!

“Lies…they are like a cancer in the soul. They eat away what is good and leave only destruction behind.” – Cassandra Clare

People also lie to shift blame, to take advantage of the situation, to win admiration, to avoid embarrassment and to wriggle out of a difficult situation.

   On a light-hearted note, here are some harmless lies: (detrimental though to trust)

‘You are looking gorgeous!’…to a woman who is wearing a weird outfit.

‘Who says you are overweight? You are absolutely ok.’…to a sensitive woman.

‘I am late due to heavy traffic.’…oft told lie!

‘I am about to reach in 10 minutes.’… when you haven’t even started!

‘I have a meeting.’…not revealing with whom!

‘I am not hungry.’…coming home after a day’s work.

‘I would love to accompany you but I am busy’…to tick you off!

I love how Oliver Goldsmith,  an Irish novelist, playwright and poet, shrugged off lies…“Ask me no questions, and I’ll tell you no fibs.”

Thank you for reading this. Please share your valuable reflections, as they are much appreciated.

If you have liked this post, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.

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Why Do People Bully?

A bully is “a person who hurts, persecutes, or intimidates weaker people.” I am sure you can relate to this definition of a bully as we have met such persons either at home, school or work place.

Bullies target those who are coy, sensitive or are not psychologically strong to face unsavory remarks. Bullying seems to belong to antiquity and must have originated with human existence as it is embedded in the behavior of some people.

People bully:

chart-icn
Image from Google
  • To intimidate
  • To gain control
  • To satisfy their ego
  • To prove their power
  • To settle scores
  • Due to low self-esteem
  • Out of frustration
  • Out of emotional deprivation
  • Just for fun

Bullying begins at home and many children pick it up from their parents who might be arguing, threatening or pushing the partner to the wall to prove his/her point. So bullying is a learnt behavior.

Sometimes a parent sets an example through his own rigid behavior and high expectations. He may alienate himself from other members of the family. Children who grow up in emotionally insensitive families fail to learn the virtue of empathy. They learn to take pleasure in the pains of others.

Sibling rivalry and favoritism within a family leaves an indelible mark on the psyche of children. They either lean towards bullies or develop a low self-esteem. A girl child who is constantly badgered for being a liability and told that she must learn good behavior, as she has to get married is bullied with such words! This kind of attitude encourages the male sibling to bully her further. She learns to accept this kind of verbal and emotional bullying at her own home.

When parents are indifferent to making fun, teasing and hurting amongst siblings and don’t take punitive measures to stop such behavior, a bully may feel encouraged, as the mute message that reaches him is that such a behavior is acceptable.

In some cases children who like to bully could have been neglected at home and they grow up with the notion that nobody cares for them.

Lack of positive role models in our lives, dominance of leaders who bully and coaches who encourage the players to be aggressive give a boost to such behavior in our society.

Bullying at school is accepted as normal aggressive behavior of some children. It may begin with a little fun or unpleasant remarks out of jealousy but it doesn’t stop in case of an introvert who doesn’t share his thoughts. It is often neglected till it acquires gigantic proportions and could have already proved psychologically detrimental for the victim.

First and foremost, bullying needs to be reported to a teacher or a parent. Students who choose to fight their own battles or ignore inappropriate behavior indirectly encourage a bully.

Second, it is essential to take some action against bullying to set an example for others and send a clear signal that such a behavior would not be accepted.

Third, please remember… Bullying never has to do with you. It’s the bully who’s insecure,”says Shay Mitchell.Bullying quote

It is extremely important to sensitize children about mutual respect and kindness at an impressionable age. Talks, discussions, projects and workshops, which focus on behavior could be organized at school to nurture compassion and empathy.

It is quite challenging to approach a bully and criticize his inappropriate remarks. He may not be responsible for them. A teacher who knows her students has to approach them gently, without hurting their sentiments and self-esteem. The focus has to be on correction and not criticism of behavior.

If we dig deeper, it can be discerned that bullies too need help. Such children are themselves the victim of some insensitive behavior at home or are upset with their own self. Their own demons are larger than life. They would never share the real reasons of such behavior. Some of them may not even be aware of the reasons and the consequences of bullying on their personality.

A bully is a hard nut to crack. The right approach would be to talk to him, show him positive approach towards life without actually hinting at his behavior. A teacher who knows a bully’s behavior or a psychologist in a group can do this. While group therapy can be helpful in some cases, such a student needs a close monitoring. Parents too have to step in if they are really concerned.

When bullying enters work places, it becomes uncontrollable as employees accept it calmly with the cliché… ‘Boss is always right.’ I have heard that phrase a thousand times and told to ‘accept’…even injustice! At this stage of life when we are capable of standing against bullying, we look the other way.

I have seen that people have their own reasons for accepting such behavior. Some don’t want to lose their job; some want promotion or favors while many are cowards who have been conditioned to become a ‘yes-man’ for the sake of peace. They become the cronies of those who sit in the comfort of their chairs to bully through their henchmen and smile at their successful strategies.

I have met many bullies but refused to surrender to their dirty games. I was always guided by the words of Lincoln – “I would rather be a little nobody, than to be a evil somebody.” 

How many bullies have you met? What was your approach?

Thank you for reading this. Please share your valuable reflections, as they are much appreciated.

If you have liked this post, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.

 

 

Why Are #YoungMinds So Vulnerable?

Mentoring Young Minds
Why is it so difficult to guide teenagers?

Why do they drift away and want to take their own decisions?
Why do they trust their peer group more than their best well- wishers?
How can they be easily influenced and manipulated by antagonists?

While parents and teachers dismiss all that as irresponsible and immature behavior, it is not very easy to understand a young mind. Psychologists have been trying to do that for many years.

Researchers believe that human brain development continues till the age of 25. The complex changes that the brain undergoes make them volatile and vulnerable. Youngsters crave individualism, freedom and self-regulation but are prone to risky behavior during this growth. Their patience and self-control is not fully developed. They can’t think of the consequences.

According to Dr. Frances Jensen, a Neuroscientist, “Teenagers make much more sense when you understand that the frontal lobes of the brain – the part responsible for judgment, impulse control, mood and emotions – is the last part to fully develop. So the brain just doesn’t know how to regulate itself yet. They’re like Ferraris with weak brakes.”

Ironically when they need their parents the most, they lose connection with them. We too are responsible for this disconnect.

What alienates them?

    1. Lack of understanding by parents: While teenagers are trying to cope up with physical and emotional upheavals within them, all they need is love and assurance that they are good enough. Most of them change, adapt and respond in a positive manner but those who don’t get the right environment seek it elsewhere.
    2. Excessive control: All they need at this stage is patient hearing. The quest to explore and experiment is the highest at this phase of life. If the rules and regulations are too crippling, youngsters take pleasure in flouting them. Setting the boundaries may be essential but one has to be flexible at times and give some freedom otherwise they become rebellious.
    3. Criticism: Teenagers are very sensitive and self-conscious. Criticism affects them deeply and they might retract into their own shell, stop sharing their thoughts and desires and could develop a low self-esteem. Such minds never come out of their developmental trauma and might react violently.
    4.  High expectations: I have seen many high school students struggling to come up to the expectations of their parents and choosing the subjects due to parental or peer pressure. In an attempt to please their parents or accomplish the dreams of their fathers, they lose their own personality.
    5. Neglect: Children, who grow up in dysfunctional families or those who have not received basic emotional support at an impressionable age, carry a baggage of unspoken words, which drag them deeper into an abyss of darkness. They always carry grudges in their heart against the world and become insensitive and apathetic. All they need is help though they are unwilling to accept it.

How can we help?

  • Provide them with safe and loving environment at home
  • Early bonding through open discussions
  • Listen to them calmly and patiently
  • Avoid criticism of their ideas and friends
  • Encourage regular exercise and creative channelization of energy
  • Encourage adequate rest and sleep
  • Avoid coercing them for career goals
  • Avoid stressful talk
  • Talk about your expectations calmly and logically.

Role of teachers:Children are like clay

Teachers are the role models for students. A kind and an affectionate word for the most unruly student attracts his attention and he leans towards the teacher who has a sympathetic attitude towards him. I have seen the toughest ones melt into tears of remorse when I tried to delve deeper, to probe into the causes of their violent behavior.

Little disappointments seem gigantic to teenagers. Teachers can convert those moments of disenchantment into stepping-stones by talking them out of negativity. A good teacher can also become a counselor, as she/he understands students better than parents. Teenagers feel more comfortable in sharing their problems with their teachers.

Young minds can be molded into positive and responsible individuals but the onus lies on us.

Thank you for reading this. Please share your valuable reflections, as they are much appreciated.

If you have liked this post, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.

What Is The Best Apology?

Real apology
There are two kinds of apologies – one that is real, that makes you feel guilty to introspect and change your behavior. Second is the one that is done just to please, to avoid an argument, shift the responsibility or save a relationship.

When I was growing up, I was many times told to apologize to assuage the feelings of somebody though I had done no harm. Even when I refused to do a chore that I didn’t feel like doing or felt it was below my dignity to polish the shoes of a sibling, I was given a violent reward and told to apologize!

Obviously I refused, as I didn’t believe in such an apology. In my view, a sincere apology is the one that emanates from one’s heart and is well deserved too.

Do you believe in apology? Some people don’t, as it is below their dignity to apologize.

Why?

  • People who maintain emotional distance never apologize.
  • Their ego and pride is bigger than all relationships.
  • They don’t want to take the blame.
  • They don’t want to abdicate power and control over others.
  • They believe in self-righteousness, not humility.
  • Anger and bitterness may overpower their goodness.
  • Self-esteem, which they nurture, is all-important.

On the other hand are people who apologize profusely and live that moment only to forget it the next day.

  • They are most insensitive.
  • They live within moments.
  • They never make an effort to change.
  • For them, apology is just a face saver.
  • Fear of consequences propel them to apologize.
  • They could be living in the shadow of their own insecurities.

Which ones do you like?

Is apology meaningless? Sometimes, if it is not received well.

Recently my argumentative muse mentioned that apology and forgiveness go hand in hand. In order to forgive, an apologetic and receptive heart is required. If forgiveness is not received well, it becomes meaningless.

I reminded her that we forgive for our own solace. The person I forgive may remain as vindictive as ever, may remain indifferent and hostile but all those negative vibes return to the heart they stem from. They can never touch me because the moment I forgive, I detach myself from such people.

Forgiving ourselves

Sometimes we have to forgive ourselves for the hurts we may have caused to others. We may justify our actions by telling ourselves that ‘we didn’t hurt intentionally’ but we can never comprehend the perspective of others who think otherwise.

I know forgiveness is not easy. I have painstakingly taught myself this art. I kept on reassuring myself for many years that I would never forgive certain people, as this thought gave me a grim satisfaction that I have vindicated myself.apology quote

I also know very well that basic human behavior has not changed for ages. What we have learnt is the art of wearing masks. We try not to offend, we choose our words carefully, we avoid the topic that may cause unpleasantness, and we become ambivalent whenever a direct question is asked but we never reveal what lies within our heart. We never share our most secret thoughts.

The best apology is to change your behavior:

Change may be hard but only through behavioral changes do we become a likeable person. Is it so hard to change one’s behavior?

  1. We could begin with kindness, the virtue, which is innate, which is like a candle that needs just a spark to get ignited. A kind word spoken with sincerity is always heard.
  2. We could stop making glum faces and smile more often to reassure the other person that our apology was honest.
  3. We could try to be emotionally present during our interactions and keep our digital devices away.
  4. A meaningful conversation melts away many fears and insecurities.
  5. We could respect each other with little gestures of sharing the chores we detest.
  6. It is better to forgive even those who refuse to acknowledge it. Their own moment of understanding the value of apology would hit them one day. Let their age yield them at the altar of forgiveness.

Thank you for reading this. Please share your valuable reflections, as they are much appreciated.

If you have liked this post, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.

Why Are Some Human Beings So Vindictive?

Are you vindictive?

You must have heard the infamous refrain ‘an eye for an eye’ or the age-old dictum ‘Tit for Tat’…Revenge has always seemed sweet to most of the people since times immemorial.

Psychologists and researchers believe that human behavior is determined by the genes and the kind of environment we live in. While the role of Nature and Nurture has always been accepted, even the best of upbringing and education couldn’t exterminate the innate vindictiveness of human beings.

It can be discerned in the innocent squabbling of toddlers; it gets sharpened when they grow up to face the competitive world of sports and schooling and slowly it becomes a part of their personality.

Probably the real reason is rooted in the evolution of human race, which had to struggle to survive against all odds and challenging circumstances. In modern times, when people are blessed with all kinds of materialistic and spiritual choices, revenge refuses to slacken its hold on human psyche.

Why? What could be the possible reasons?

Revenge is triggered not just by deceit, infidelity or injustice.

There are very insignificant reasons, which may not seem as trivial as you could presume.

Negative thoughts: Vengefulness could be a reaction to their own negative thoughts, which make people insecure and jealous. Family bickering and rivalries are the best example of such insecurities. When one member of a family becomes successful or is seen to be happy, others step in with their malicious thoughts of creating rifts to grind their own axe and exploit emotions.

Ruining relationships: Jealous people want all the attention, they want to prove they are the most loving and caring and if they find a challenger, they make a surreptitious attempt to alienate your siblings or other relatives by backbiting; by creating such situations which could prove you to be a villain.

It gives momentary pleasure: Revenge seeker has his own reasons, his frustrations and failures for which he holds others around him responsible. Seeing them suffer could give him pleasure. It might even boost his bruised ego. His helplessness in reacting directly could be camouflaged in the façade of goodness. Revenge hurts you also

It assuages anger: Anger, the most illogical and unbridled emotion gets mitigated by revenge. Hurting others and meting out the most unreasonable treatment through their jibes, punitive actions or passive aggression gratifies such avengers.

It proves one’s power: Vindictive people consider themselves to be more powerful. Sometimes they are influential due to the positions they hold. They could be your bosses or colleagues. A disappointed colleague who was eyeing the promotion you got or the boss who has been given a negative feedback may rob you of your peace of mind. Those who want to let you down would derive sadistic pleasure out of such situations.

Insecurities: “Living well is the best revenge,” said George Herbert but vindictive people don’t let you live well! Your living well exposes their own imperfections to them, making them insecure in their heart of hearts.

Have you heard of nemesis? It is the inescapable agent of someone’s or something’s downfall. An agent of natural justice… some people call it “Karma” and believe that whatever goes, comes around and you have to pay for your evil deeds.

Nemesis catches vindictive people sooner or later!

Vengefulness is a negative streak, which can only be addressed by our own inner voice. Like all negative emotions, it does hold some goodness. It acquaints us with our real self. it might lead us to introspection!

Negative emotions are very subtle and deceptive. They absorb more energy but they often walk away victorious, testing our patience and strength, ennobling us, belittling our ego, thereby transforming us into humble human beings.

You can read more about negative emotions and how they help us.

Thank you for reading this. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

If you have liked this post, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.