You Got Caught Lying. Now What?

You Got Caught Lying. Now What?

Kimile Pendleton gives advice on what to do when you get caught in your lies.

The best way to handle this awkward moment.

When someone catches you telling what he knows is an untruth, it can be embarrassing as well as uncomfortable for both the liar and the lie's recipient. There is always that awkward moment where truth passes silently betwixt the two parties. It is in that moment that you (as the liar) should find the most appropriate way to deal with your misstep. So what do you do when your fib has been blatantly exposed for the world to see?

Try some of this friendly advice:
"Do" #1 : Fess' Up- Admit right away that you have lied. Even if the truth is plainly visible in "black and white," the person to whom you have fibbed will appreciate the acknowledgment. In fact, most people will be more offended because they feel that their intelligence has been insulted, if you continue on in your charade.

"Do" #2 : Explain Yourself- After you've been found out, the next best thing to do is offer a little explanation. Perhaps the lie you've told is just a little white one. Or maybe it's a huge whopper of a story. Either way, a brief justification can do a world of good. For example, if you're planning a surprise party for your buddy and he/she catches you flubbing on your story and gets irritated, it would behoove you to admit the real reason for the misdeed(s). This is a rather benevolent example. But the point is that people sometimes will feel better if they understand the nature of your dishonesty.

"Do" #3 : Apologize- An apology can go a long way when it comes to mending fences with someone whom you have betrayed. The acknowledgment of a fib is certainly necessary. But expressing sincere regret for the attempt to fool someone is even better. Lying is one of those things that people find harmless justifications for. Whether or not the end justifies the means is a moot point when someone realizes that they've been duped.

"Don't" #1 : Continue to Lie- The worst thing you can do when your dishonesty has been discovered, is to continue lying. Children are taught at a young age that one lie will always beget another. No matter how "risk-free" the fib seems, at some point it will need to be covered up with another lie in order to be validated. Attempting to remember all the layers of untruth can be extremely nerve-wracking, not to mention unnecessary.

"Don't" #2 : Become Defensive- Never become defensive when someone confronts you about the falsehood(s) you've presented. Sometimes people embarrassed at being caught in a lie, will search for someone or something else onto which to place the blame. Sometimes this happens during romantic arguments. Sometimes it occurs in the workplace. Wherever it happens, know that "playing the victim" only serves to make you look worse. In essence, you will appear to be a "weasel" who avoids responsibility for his/her own actions.

"Don't" #3 : Forget Why You've Lied- The most important thing NOT to do is to forget why you've lied in the first place. Certainly, you've met someone who can only relay personal anecdotes that are embellished in some way. While some may not understand why people choose to add false details to their stories, it is clear that the person who does so is looking to boost his/her self-esteem. That being said, the motive for one's lie may not always be apparent. Think about why you chose to tell an untruth. Was it to save face? Protect someone's feelings? If so, there are many different alternatives to lying. Getting to the root of the need to fib will help you to address any personal issues that you may be unaware of. Remember that "little white lies" can seem harmless. But engaging in a consistent pattern of telling them is probably an indicator that a deeper problem exists.

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