The 15 types of lies (and their characteristics)

You cannot live with the truth in a world of liars.

Lying is part of human nature. Everyone, whether by deliberately lying or by telling half-truths, lies. In fact, a British study indicated that, over a lifetime, men tell an average of 109,000 lies and women 65,000 lies.

There are many lies. What is more, this derives from the fact that every day we face between 10 and 200 lies uttered by the people with whom we interact and that we ourselves tell between 1 and 3 lies daily.

The reasons why a person lies are different in each case and, although they say that a liar is caught earlier than a lame person, the psychology behind the lie is very complex and it is often difficult to identify one lie. Each lie is unique.

Even so, it is true that lies can be classified into different groups depending on their purpose, objective and triggers. In today's article, then, we will dive into the world of lies to discover what types exist. Let's go there.


    How are lies classified?

    A lie is an expression or manifestation contrary to the truth, what is known, what is believed or what is really thought, communicated in order to deceive someone, appear to be something that is not, persuade another person or avoid a situation from which we want to escape. It is a partially or totally false statement that hides reality and that hopes to be taken as true by listeners.

    As we have seen, it is part of human nature and we absolutely all lie practically every day. At the end of the day, it does not have to be with bad intentions, but it can be a protection strategy. In this sense, are all lies the same? Of course not. And now we will see the main types of lies.

    1. Lies by mistake

    Lies by mistake are those in which we lie without wanting to do it. They are not deliberate or premeditated lies. The person is really convinced that what he says is true, but it is not. They are very common lies, because throughout the day we can say many things that, even though they are false, we believe to be true and we express them as such.

    2. White lies

    White lies are those in which we lie to avoid hurting someone, so they are usually considered forgivable. We lie deliberately but with a benevolent intention towards another person, so they are lies that can have a justification.

    For example, if someone who is overweight is going to the gym and asks us if the results are being noticed, we can express a white lie so that, even though we do not notice that they have lost weight, they feel good about themselves and do not lose motivation . White lies are intended not to hurt the feelings of others, so they are closely associated with emotional intelligence and empathy.

    3. Lies by omission

    The lies by omission are those in which we are not expressing false information, but rather lying lies in hiding relevant information. We are omitting part of the truth, so, at least partially, we are lying. We are not making up a story, but we are not communicating to the listener all the reality that we know. It is a deliberate lie closely associated with persuasion.

    4. Restructuring lies

    Restructuring lies are those in which we neither make up false information nor hide part of the truth by omission, but we do change the context. We restructure the context so that, by telling something that is objectively true, the perception of the person who hears the story goes where it interests us.

    These lies are very common on social media, as people post things about other people that, without the proper context, can appear to be what they are not. Taking something out of context is, after all, lying, because we are not giving the listener all the necessary portion of reality.

    5. Denial lies

    Denial lies are those that consist of not recognize a truth. Denial of something that we know to be reality is obviously a form of lying. And this applies both externally (denying someone a truth) and internally (lying to ourselves). In the same way, we could also talk about affirmation lies, that is, confirming a lie. The opposite case.

    6. Lies of exaggeration

    Exaggeration lies are those that They rely on the resource of hyperbole, that is, in magnifying some situation. We do not present reality as it happened, but we exaggerate specific events in order to make a story more interesting and curious or to make the participants in it (usually the person who lies) seem more successful, capable and great. One of the most common lies, because many times we make them unintentionally when having a situation idealized.

    7. Minimization lies

    The opposite case to the previous one. Minimization lies are those in which we reduce the importance of something. We do not exaggerate it, we minimize it. This can be both to surround ourselves with humility (or false humility) and to belittle a situation that, either because the participants are not people to our liking or because it collides with our interests, we want it to be minimized.

    In the same way, minimization lies can also be associated with reducing the importance of a previous lie, that is, what is traditionally known as "taking iron out of the matter." It is another of the most common forms of lying.

    8. Deliberate lies

    Deliberate or instrumental lies are those in which we intentionally lie. They may have a benevolent character (we have seen the pious ones), but the truth is that they generally seek self-interest, since we intentionally lie to achieve something. Lying in a job interview is surely the clearest example. Be that as it may, all those lies that are uttered conscientiously and with a clear objective are deliberate lies.

    9. White lies

    White lies, closely associated with pious ones, are those that we perform after approximately 7 years of age, when feelings of empathy develop. Younger children are not capable of lying in a "white" way, which is understood in the world of Psychology as those lies with good intentions.

    10. Blue lies

    Blue lies are those that are halfway between "good" and "evil", although both concepts would have to be defined, something very complicated from an ethical and moral perspective. Be that as it may, by blue lie we understand those deceptions that we express to achieve the benefit but not of a person, but of a group. They are lies that favor your community. When a soccer player deceives the referee saying that he has been fouled in the opponent's area, he is expressing a blue lie. It damages a group (the rival team) but benefits yours.

    11. Black lies

    Black lies are those that are clearly at the pole of "evil", since they are hoaxes we orchestrate to make a profit knowing it will cause harm to another person. Selfishness is one of the traits most associated with these lies that, deliberately, only seek the good for oneself, regardless of the effects that this lie may have on other people.

    12. Lies for plagiarism

    Plagiarism lies are those in which we copy someone else's work to make it look like our own. It not only involves the lies itself, but the theft itself, so it can have legal consequences. In addition, there is an act of bad faith in these lies, deliberately using someone else's work not only to make a profit, but to make it appear that we are the author of that work. Hence, they are, surely, one of the most reprehensible forms of lying that exist.

    13. Compulsive lies

    Compulsive lies are those hoaxes repeated over and over by so-called compulsive liars. In this sense, they are lies behind them, more than an act of bad faith or of treachery, some low self-esteem problem or other psychological disorders, so they tend to be people who need help. In this sense, the fact of compulsively lying even when it is easier to tell the truth or with deceptions that are obvious falsehoods requires a therapeutic approach.

    14. Self-deception

    Self-deception is lying to yourself. They are lies that we tell ourselves unconsciously because we do not want to accept reality, we are afraid of the consequences of something we do (such as smoking) or we need to stay within our comfort zone. Sometimes it is easier to lie to ourselves than to face the truth.

    15. Broken promises

    Broken promises are those deceptions in which the lie lies in not fulfilling a previously agreed commitment. Not keeping our word after committing ourselves to it is just another form of lying, with the aggravating factor that we had generated hope in another person that, finally, we broke.

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