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Thou Shalt Not Lie!

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 I have a bad case of writers’ block, so this is article is going to be a light hearted affair. This article dwells on the subject of Lies. I am sure that you would agree with me that a few lines on the pages of BellaNaija would not do justice to the subject of lies, but I will try.

Lies are a part of our lives, blatant ones, white ones, and stupid ones. People lie about everything, from their age, to where they work, their qualifications, relationship status, and where they live. Why people lie is anyone’s guess, but it is the kind of lies that is mind boggling, to me, at least.

Most guys always feel the need to impress women that they are interested in, so sometimes they allow lies to creep up into their conversations with them. The funny thing is once you get started on a falsehood, you can’t stop, as you need to lie in order to back up a previous lie, and soon they have built a relationship based on falsehoods. Well for me, the good guy that I am, lying was never really an option. Maybe it is because I learned from an early age not to tell fibs. As my mother would say, “Lies have very short legs.” Lies can only take you so far because sooner or later you will be found out and then woe unto you!

Blatant lies are the funniest and ironically the most believable! I had a neighbour in school who shared with me one of his tactics when he was toasting a girl. He would during the process of self disclosure tell her that his father was an old contractor friend of the late president Gen. Sani Abacha or some other person that served in that regime, and because of the change to civilian government, his father had been jailed and his assets seized. He would add that he really ought to be schooling abroad but there were now no funds to send him abroad. He would tell an elaborate tale of how his family had suffered persecution and how his mother had gone abroad etc. He would also hint of some assets, accounts and properties that the govt did not know about, adding that some close and influential family friends were doing everything to secure his father’s release. Then to buttress his “I’m supposed to be rich” status he would take them to the best places to eat on campus where he would address the waitresses by first name giving the appearance that he was a regular there. For some reason this tactic worked and the girls fell for him, some form of love/pity thing. When he was tired of the girl, he would suddenly be unavailable for a long period of time, and if she mistakenly caught him on campus he would make up a story of how he had to travel to theGambiato follow up on his father’s account there!

There is also exaggeration, which to me is a form of lying. You stretch the truth in order to accommodate certain qualities. I am sure you guys heard the story about the lady who returned home after an extended stay in theUS, and got a mid-level position in a local bank after exaggerating her role and position in theUSbank that she had worked for. She fooled her interviewers and her bosses for a while but in the end she was found out as she could not deliver on what she promised. Further investigation revealed that she had been nothing but a clerical officer in the saidUSbank. Yes, some of us stretch the truth in our applications and interviews but hers was one hell of a long jump! I also remember, as a teenager, I refused the advice of my older cousin who told me to tell a girl I was toasting that my dad drove an E-Class. I argued and said that my dad drove a Benz “regular” 230E and he said, “Yes now! Is that not an “E” Class?” I refused, picturing in my mind what would happen the day she laid eyes on the car!

And it is not just the men who lie or suggest that you lie. I laugh whenever I remember this: in my first year in school, my female cousin wanted to hook me up with her friend whom I liked. She went on to explain how she had toasted her for me by selling my unique points, which included the “fact” that I was born abroad, had cousins in theUSandUK, how I went on holiday regularly, etc. Jeez! I almost fainted! When I expressed shock and the foolishness of such lies, she told me to relax and that since I spoke with an accent, I would be able to pull it off!

Another extension of the lie is prevarication, i.e. when you avoid telling the truth. Now I would admit that I am guilty of this one. Sometimes when people ask certain questions about us that we wouldn’t really want to answer, we just prevaricate. There are many ways to do this: we could answer with a question (Naija style!), or give a vague response, give a long winded answer that doesn’t really answer the question asked. Sometimes prevarication includes not correcting a false impression or deliberately withholding information vital to the relationship or anything for that matter (this includes those of us who rent apartments and then go on to sub-let it to others!)

Funny enough lies are the easiest things to discover given that we are a nation of talkers – we always know someone who knows someone who will spill the truth about someone else! For me fear of discovery has kept those imaginative stories I mentioned earlier away from my lips because when yawa gas enh e fit nor get part 2!

For me I just feel that lies are a no-no. It smacks of immaturity, poor self esteem and confidence, and fraudulent intentions! Why would anyone lie to impress a guy, girl or prospective employer? Be yourself. If you are not happy with who you are improve yourself and match the lie you want to sell. Shikena!

54 Comments

  1. zeenie

    November 4, 2011 at 9:26 am

    preach it please …

  2. obi

    November 4, 2011 at 9:33 am

    true, honesty still remains d best policy

  3. joygeh

    November 4, 2011 at 9:48 am

    Lies ehn! unfortunately most of us are gulity of it true and true, but the most outstanding are the ones told in a loud way.

    so i work in a bank and my office is at marina, and this customer’s phone rings and he picks very loudl;y telling the other person that he was near law school in VI. Very loudly i tell ya, everyone in the bank stopped in shock for just a couple of seconds before bursting out in lafta….

    i ve learnt to tell the truth no mata how hard it may be,but sometimes lies just sip out! some call it been creative with words, i just say i try…..

  4. uzor

    November 4, 2011 at 9:55 am

    you nailed it…. if you can’t accept me for wat i am, den go hug transformer

  5. zeey

    November 4, 2011 at 9:58 am

    Well said, match the lie u wanna potray!!!

  6. Memoi

    November 4, 2011 at 10:04 am

    NOT A SINGLE COMMENT!!!!
    As na long write up now, una nor fit comment, but if it was a post of pictures on some designer’s collection or what pple wore to a red carpet event…..the comments would have been endless…wiv pple struggling with “first comments”

    No wonder there’s a school of thought that says….””WHAT EVER YOU DONT WANT A BLACKMAN TO KNOW….especially Nigerians….. PUT IT IN WRITING””

    Beautiful write-up……..Its been very well said.

    • Rook

      November 4, 2011 at 12:21 pm

      Memoi how them go comment. When most of them are liars living false lives in the first place and TJ wan stylishly spoil their wkend with this frank piece.

    • somebody

      November 4, 2011 at 2:54 pm

      You must feel funny now seeing all the comments before you. Haven’t you heard that BN moderates the comments and so they’re not shown immediately after you post them? Smh

  7. mo

    November 4, 2011 at 10:24 am

    I just dont understand why people lie. I believe in saying the truth, no matter how bad it is, nobody is gonna kill you for it, they can only rant and get hurt or upset. The problem with lying is you never stop, you have to lie another lie to cover up the lie, so whats the point?

    • mo

      November 4, 2011 at 10:27 am

      oops! I meant * tell another lie*

  8. pink

    November 4, 2011 at 10:25 am

    Memoi u dey vex o! Nice 1. I really luv being myself. This definitely helps. Thanks

  9. Chynadollng

    November 4, 2011 at 10:54 am

    So “on point”…#thumbsup
    i am guilty of prevaricating and sometimes exaggerating #coveringmyface
    i promise to change.

  10. MsLuffa

    November 4, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Lies are the most hurtful things. What really gets me is when people tell lies that insult your intelligence as in! Everyone knows one person that things their the bizniz, they feel they know everything and they are better at everything and when you tell them something they can not rival they tell you the daftest lie in a bid to outshine you. One babe was telling her friend that her dad just bought her the iphone4s and she was waiting for it to be delivered in the post on Satruday, her bold face liar of a fried perked up and said, she was for the delivery of her ipad 3 and iphone 5g to land on Sunday… as in what’s the point of that ?
    if anything, lying makes the liar look incredibly foolish – i struggle to respect people who i know are perpetual liars!

    • Ada

      November 5, 2011 at 5:15 am

      I’m guessing this ur story applies to babes in Naija and their constant feeling among status. Biko us abroad dont have time for lies about electronics. WTH?!

  11. du

    November 4, 2011 at 11:18 am

    WEll written.people have to lie abov things.to boost there moral, to show status,while we have dat love to lie.lies part of them.way of life

  12. du

    November 4, 2011 at 11:21 am

    Meant about.they love lie about everythg.lies is way of life to them

  13. Ann

    November 4, 2011 at 11:21 am

    One thing about lies telling is that no matter how long you try to cover it up, you’ll get caught sooner or later; and oh boy how embarrassing will that be. Those you lied to will no longer trust you or have an iota of confidence in what you say. So what’s the point? why spoil your relationships even before they started. If someone cannot accept you for who you are, they are not worth your time.
    I believe that no matter your status in life, you are too blessed, and valuable to pretend to be what you’re not in order to impress people.

  14. mia

    November 4, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    hehe…I love this: ‘Be yourself. If you are not happy with who you are improve yourself and match the lie you want to sell. Shikena’
    Lies won’t take us anywhere but hell….Most times when someone says i’m lying about a certain issue I always ask them why I’ll want to go to hell cos of them and there’s absolutely no reeason for me to lie. Its a habit i’m trying to cultivate..to be honest ALWAYS even in my CVs and achievements…..

  15. senoritta

    November 4, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    The amusing bit of me is that some folks are so used to telling lies that even when there is absolutely no need to lie, they would still lie when it does not make sense (not like there should be any reason to lie though).

    • Damilola

      November 4, 2011 at 12:47 pm

      That’s when it takes a step-lower and is called pathological lying!!!

  16. azed

    November 4, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    Well i had to lie my way through hostel in secondary school and i can proudly tell you back then honesty was a slave sentence..

  17. curiousitycat

    November 4, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    truly…u’ve got writers block. i will not unleash because u warned us from the get go…curiousity got the better of me!

  18. cathy

    November 4, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    lies ehn? well i do it some times but never to impress. abi who i want impress sef? all those oloshis?

  19. ugowoundo

    November 4, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    make una leave that tin…..”LIES CAN GET YOU FAR”,but if u are not smart enough to cover up tracks by no means start in the first place…I can testify because we all know we live in a world of lies……go figure!!

  20. iya oloja

    November 4, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    Prevaricate. I have learn’t a new word today…thx

    • jennietobbie

      November 7, 2011 at 10:56 pm

      me too 😀

  21. Southernbelle

    November 4, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    lies are bad with no justification whatsoever but i guess we are guilty every once in a while…hehehe. Nice write up…

  22. y8?

    November 4, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    Just needed to ask? What would you call Diplomacy(as used by the west), Branding(of Nigeria by Mrs Dora), fuel subsidy fund put to some better vague use, campaign of better life for Nigerians by our political class during electioneering e.t.c White lies I guess?

  23. left

    November 4, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    “I always say the truth is best even when we find it unpleasant. Any rat in a sewer can lie. It’s how rats are. It’s what makes them rats. But a human doesn’t run and hide in dark places, because he’s something more. Lying is the most personal act of cowardice there is.”

  24. left

    November 4, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    good write -up

  25. izzy pizzy

    November 4, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    I come from a small family and just hate it when people ask that annoying question”HOW MANY ARE U IN YOUR FAMILY? ” I guess thats the only major lie i tell. Just had lunch with some dude this afternoon and still lied again that we are six in number, whereas we are just 2.
    I really wish i had more siblings……..ts lonely and boring.

    • Ada

      November 5, 2011 at 5:24 am

      Buhahah! Which kain yeye lie be this? Ok u need help! #dead

    • Rook

      November 9, 2011 at 12:56 pm

      Wetin make only child come talk? I say it proudly…am an only child.

    • Woman

      May 12, 2012 at 5:28 pm

      Thank you o rook i am an only child and i say it loud and proud even though people dont believe me because i am so independent and hard working and dont depend on my only parent my mother.

  26. Uchechi

    November 4, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    @ y8, Diplomacy isn’t a lie to me as this involves negotiating on an agenda between parties/representatives and arriving at an acceptable consensus. The motive to re-brand Nigeria by the former minister was to improve her image abroad as “good people, good nation”. I dont view both as lies anyway!

  27. ItireO!

    November 4, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    One thing that baffles me is guys lying about their age just to date a girl. It’s happened to me at least three times that I can remember and it’s so annoying. Guys lie way too much jare. I don’t think some of them can help it ( e.g, my ex), they feel an irresistable need to lie about everything.

  28. Miss Margaret

    November 4, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    So how do you “constructively/positively” call out a liar? This story resonated with me personally because I once had an experience with a liar about a school project. After I called her out on the lie she got mad! Like seriously, she knew she lied but getting angry over being exposed???? Pls I don’t want to offend anyone…

  29. y8?

    November 4, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    @ uchechi when a guy lies to a lady isn’t he negotiating with her to get her to be his girl, its all the same when u don’t say the truth to achieve an aim its all lie, Diplomacy is a polite way of manuevering the other party through lies. The west lie to us that they discover river niger. Did they?To rebrand abroad while d 1st point of call to ur country is piece of crap(Lagos airport) to me sound like a lie. Charity they say begin from home. UK and US don’t need to rebrand anything since they know their homefront is cool 4 all to see. She was lying thru her teeth.

  30. Pepe

    November 4, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    Lies eh!! Sometimes me self dey weak for my lies until I decided to stop d act.

  31. Uchechi

    November 4, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    @y8, if that’s the angle you want to interpret it from that’s fine, but I certainly do not agree with you.

  32. Lin Lan

    November 4, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    Well said…I mean we cnt hide it, majority of us fall under at least one of the categories listed.

  33. baff

    November 5, 2011 at 12:10 am

    Really nice. The write-up is full of truths. Personally i try to avoid lying at all costs but still trying hard to make my hubby dearest cultivate the same habit cos OMO MEHN he can so tell white lies it’s so annoying……LOL

  34. creamie

    November 5, 2011 at 1:07 am

    “lying is the most personal act of cowardice”….And seriously a lot of guys lie just cus they are not man enough to tell
    ladies truths.A guy recently kept on telling me I was d love of his life and yet kept using another babes picture on his BBM Dp.I just simply smile and say I love you too.Cus its funny when pple lie openly and still convince you otherwise.Altho sumtyms it rill baffles me d way lying is so easy 4sum pple.In the end we are all guilty of lying anyway.
    ..

  35. Ada

    November 5, 2011 at 5:23 am

    Aint it funny and amazing how everyone rushes in here preaching about the consequences of lying and how they ALWAYS tell the truth?? LMAO! Nigerians sha! Yall are all LYING!!
    We all are guilty of lies! Me included. Shit! I lie everyday when I can. It’s a sin, I know but I am working on it. I even lie to my parents when they keep bugging me about an issue they want me to consider or do and I absolutely don’t wanna do it, I LIE and tell them I took care of it. I LIE to my boss at work if I’m unaable to meet deadlines! I LIE to my man when the need arises, not everything should ur boyfriend know about u. If he was my husband, ehen…different case. So u guys should drop the holier-than-thou attitude and accept U ALL LIE! Period!

    • Bee!

      November 7, 2011 at 10:54 am

      I was thinking about that, as I was reading through the comments. Everyone coming on BN and acting like they don’t lie……smh!

  36. iyawibo

    November 5, 2011 at 9:13 am

    i am so sure Ada is the new “THE AMAKA”…Lolll

  37. Spacyzuma

    November 6, 2011 at 1:16 am

    I can understand not lying in you personal life and relationships. But professionally, try going for an interview and be completely honest with the interviewer(s). You just gotta tell some lies to pass! I’ve done several interviews this year, and the honesty thing got me nowhere.

  38. bukioni

    November 7, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    I’m not gonna lie (lol), I do lie but I always feel so guilty about it. I often have to fess up and tell the truth #the truth will set you free

  39. Cyber, Oko Alhaja

    November 9, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    I have two wives, there is no way I will not lie to either one of them at one point or the other.

  40. tee

    November 10, 2011 at 9:08 am

    @izzypizzy, do u think any guy who likes u would want to leave u cos u guys r only 2 in ur house?….dat lie is really uncalled for…
    @spacyzuma, and u think d lie wl take u places? honesty wl always b d best policy

  41. dede

    November 16, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    true lies just compounds any situation.

  42. dee

    November 16, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    so am i the only one who lies??? cos everyone here seems not to have said a lie before! anyway, for me I mostly lie about my relationship status.when i don’t like a guy i tell him am in a very committed relationship so there’s no room for him even though am very single.

  43. Tejflow

    December 20, 2011 at 11:58 am

    Branding, public relations, customer service, propaganda-ishness are all second names to lying. We all lie.. It is inevitable. Apart from the spiritual consequence, society and economy of today does not permit you to be very verbally sincere at all tiime. If u went to boarding school, then u have lied at one time to ur room prefect to avoid cutting grass. If u went to the university, then you have lied at one time to your lecturer why you could not submit your chapter 3 on time. if u went for NYSC, then u must have lied about ur age or health status to be exempted from endurance trek. If you have gone for interview and have cv’s to show for it, then ur work experience and educational dates and age have been refurnised and somehow change ur job as a receptionist to Client Analyst or Admin assistant as Personnel Support or d funniest, Marketer as Business Development Analyst. And if you are working and you have attended meetings or questioned by top management, then you must have lied and still be lying about when you walked into the office, the idea you stole from the HR guy and claim is yours, overblown the customer’s issue out of proportion or even lie that you are yet to go on break becos you are trying to work on a deadline.. And finally, if you are in a relationship, you have lied to that fiance/boyfriend/girlfriend/lover/spouse at one point or the other about our location or even on something as trivial as pretending to be a bit ill so as to get unrivaled attention and affection. Come on, we all lie.. We have all lied and we will still lie so the society does not sweep us under the carpet. Has anyone ever heard the phrase, “FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT”? we are all guilty of that.. We should all just strive not to tell lies that will land us in prison or implicate us.

  44. Mbombo

    February 7, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    Lying is a useful social skill. Can you imagine what the world would be like if we told the truth and were told the truth by others ALL the time? I believe in really important personal issues no huge lies should be told. Like lying to marry a man or woman. The big picture should be looked at. And as the saying rightly goes “lies have short legs”. Avoid lying, but it is a useful social skill period. Get real!

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