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Atoke’s Monday Morning Banter: Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

Atoke

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If you are regular on this column, by now you are aware that I’m currently battling with an addiction. No, not coffee. No, not The Sims either. It is the addiction to a game called Candy Crush! Well, seeing as I have deadlines coming at me from every corner, I turned to my self appointed shrink and friend, Amina, for help. I said to her “I can’t believe that I’m checking to see if my lives have been refilled instead of working on my poems for the portfolio. What kind of abnormality is this? This is how I almost failed Company law because I kept checking to make sure my Sims were well fed and in good health.

Her recommendation was that I should delete the app. A cold shiver ran through me. “Just do it. Just close your mind and delete it once and for all.” It felt like she used ‘touch and go’ on me; I hit the ‘delete’ button and told her I’d deleted the offending app.

“Are you sure?”

“Yes, I’m sure. Why would I lie… over a game?”

And so it began. The analysis of lies, liars and the problem of having to relate with people who lie so much they don’t even know that they’re lying.

Back in primary school, there were some people who told fibs that were easy to debunk. For instance, a visit to the person’s house will reveal that the claim of “We have five air conditioners in our living room” was a lie. They were lies told by children to other children, for different reasons: attention seeking, a very imaginative mind or just for the entertainment value. So it becomes a little baffling when as adults, we hear tall tales being told of things that are clearly untrue.

Living in Moremi Hall in Unilag was a joy ride. There was always something exciting happening in the quadrangle. One evening, there was a loud ruckus with a group of girls gathered around one girl. The ‘victim’ was being attacked by the clique of friends for having slept with their friend’s boyfriend. Anyway, after all the noise and tearing of bras, they found out their friend and spun the tale. Why? Apparently all her friends had one thing or the other going for them and nothing was happening in her life. Of course everyone called her names, wondered why she was a pathological liar and how long she would have perpetrated the lie for had she not been caught.

Sometimes when you have a friend who lies, and you know that the friend lies-  it is a big problem. You can’t separate the lie from the truth. You are unsure whether the friend even knows that he/she is lying? Sometimes, the lies are even so stupid you begin to wonder if there is any need for the lie. There are even some lies that have been told over and over again that when you sit with all the people who have heard different versions of the lie, you begin to take notes.

But she said they went to the Caribbean in February“.

No oh, it was in June that she said they went. Remember that’s why she said she couldn’t be at Arin’s wedding?

Was it the Caribbean she told you guys? It was Seychelles she told me oh. That she was allergic to the sand in St. Kitts the last time so she just told him they should do Africa jeje“.
I mean, come on! I made up this ‘allergic to sand’ bit but you get my point!

Do you have a friend who lies persistently and fluidly? How do you deal with it? Do you call the person out on is/her lie? Or do you just allow the person keep lying while you snort (I’ve not found the English word for Yinmu) and think ‘go on with yo bad self. I know you aint gat no Porsche Panamera lying in yo backyard‘. Do you stage an intervention? What if the person doesn’t know he/she has a problem? Do you then become the bad person?

And because I don’t want this to turn into a judgement zone, if you are one who suffers from the condition of lying; you know, a little fib here, an inaccurate detail there… please share what the motivation is. Is it spurred by a need to be heard?

Let’s start the year on a truly positive note. Trust is so important in relationships and lies find a way of putting cracks in them. It’s the first day of being back at work for a lot of people and I imagine that must be a dreary feeling. Don’t worry, the weekend’s almost here. Have a fantastic week ahead and remember to smile.

Peace, love & cupcakes.
Toodles!

Photo Credit: gistville.com

You probably wanna read a fancy bio? But first things first! Atoke published a book titled, +234 - An Awkward Guide to Being Nigerian. It's available on Amazon. ;)  Also available at Roving Heights bookstore. Okay, let's go on to the bio: With a Masters degree in Creative Writing from Swansea University, Atoke hopes to be known as more than just a retired foodie and a FitFam adherent. She can be reached for speechwriting, copywriting, letter writing, script writing, ghost writing  and book reviews by email – [email protected]. She tweets with the handle @atoke_ | Check out her Instagram page @atoke_ and visit her website atoke.com for more information.

51 Comments

  1. caro

    January 6, 2014 at 10:14 am

    mehn… atoke exaggerating is also the junior brother of lying> I have a friend that does it alot and it irritates the living hell outta me. She can say “anytime I come to this restaurant I always have XXXX mw she has only been der once…” over exaggerating plus her ITK stunts is almost driving me mad… there are worse examples that she has done but make i run before she catch me…

  2. Yetunde

    January 6, 2014 at 10:27 am

    I can’t stand liars, and i never give people 2nd chance once i’ve caught them out, there’s absolutely no need to lie about what you have and what you don’t. BN pls correct the typo in this sentence” Do you have a friend who lies persistently and fluidly? How does you deal with it?” Thanks, have a fab week x

  3. whocares

    January 6, 2014 at 10:45 am

    LMAO. ooh the drama one of my friends caused me in college. There was this story going on about her that she gave a guy head, there was even a video of it (I didn’t see it). She was in a relationship with a guy then as well, and her current boyfriend kept insisting it was her, but she kept denying it. As a loyal friend I stood by her, and argued till I was blue in the face that it wasn’t her.. fast forward 4 years later after college, I went to have dinner with some random guy who used to be in my class and who she had a crush on, and he told me it was true, and it was with him… SHO! loool. I don’t even mind when people lie, I don’t call them out on it because I am not interested in the resulting drama. I simply note it and that tells me the type of person they are. It depends on the lie though, we all lie (im sorry I don’t have a phone, so I cannot give you my number .. whilst holding my phone is my favourite), but a pathological liar cant be in my close circle of friends. They make excellent acquaintances however.. the tales they tell is good stuff for cocktails.

  4. Thatgidigirl

    January 6, 2014 at 11:01 am

    My ex can lie to save the universe! I had to nick name him “the wind” cos the lie just hits you before you know where its coming from! It was so bad i’d take everything he tells me with a pinch of salt. It was extremely embarrassing cos i had to go along with the lie when were in public even though i wasn’t given any prior warning. There was a day he lied that i used to be a model to some guys at a conference we attended, then walked over to me and said “babes i told them u were model before”. I’m like shuuoooo dude! i’m 5’4 and size 12!!! how is that even possible? is it model for indomie or maggi cubes??? When the guys brought it up, i denied flat out and went ballistic when we got to the car.

    • Me

      January 6, 2014 at 11:31 am

      LMAO @ model for Indomie and Maggi

    • Que

      January 6, 2014 at 3:18 pm

      thank God I’m still on holiday n reading this at home…HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA……. ‘@ ‘the wind’ n him coming to give you d heads up biut modelling…#dead!.. o dearrrr! Howww!!!

    • it's not alright

      January 6, 2014 at 4:41 pm

      hahahahahahhahahahhahaha, u hav killed me this morning….that is funny

    • Ashanti

      January 7, 2014 at 12:03 am

      Jesu have mercy ooooo….damn girl…my dad is taking a nap, he’ll kill me oooo

  5. thetoolsman

    January 6, 2014 at 11:32 am

    lol. Lying never gets old. Truth is, we all have that one friend who just can’t seem to stop lying and in most cases, it seems we all come to accept them this way and sometimes even indirectly encourage them.

  6. holla!

    January 6, 2014 at 11:44 am

    I have a friend from way back in school who can lie for the universe, even before we became close pple used to make fun of her cos of dis, so a session or two while in school she wld not be in school and would only show up at the end of the academic semester to come and write exams when asked why she was doing that, she den said that she was running a course outside the countr in ghana to be precise,which we later found out it was all lies, and so many other instances of lies which I can’t recount now, so so many years after school we lost touch so one day she contacted me again and invited me out for an event, so during the course of d event some. Insurance. people came to market there products to pple,so they came to us and instead of her to just say she wasn’t intersted. In that she went on to say she has insurance with another company, am sure she wasn’t expecting the next question that came so the insurance guy was like what kind of insurance do you have inorder to save face she just blurted out life insurance and vehicle insurance, and she dosent even have a car,and she still went ahead to tell another lie that day to me,shelikes giving pple this imaginary belief that she’s doing well meanwhile she didn’t have a job ,and acording to her she said she was doing bizness, since that day I just gave her serious space,I can’t deal with that kind of negative energy in my life

  7. chy

    January 6, 2014 at 11:50 am

    I have a friend from way back in school who can lie for the universe, even before we became close pple used to make fun of her cos of dis, so a session or two while in school she wld not be in school and would only show up at the end of the academic semester to come and write exams when asked why she was doing that, she den said that she was running a course outside the countr in ghana to be precise,which we later found out it was all lies, and so many other instances of lies which I can’t recount now, so so many years after school we lost touch so one day she contacted me again and invited me out for an event, so during the course of d event some. Insurance. people came to market there products to pple,so they came to us and instead of her to just say she wasn’t intersted. In that she went on to say she has insurance with another company, am sure she wasn’t expecting the next question that came so the insurance guy was like what kind of insurance do you have inorder to save face she just blurted out life insurance and vehicle insurance, and she dosent even have a car,and she still went ahead to tell another lie that day to me,shelikes giving pple this imaginary belief that she’s doing well meanwhile she didn’t have a job ,and acording to her she said she was doing bizness, since that day I just gave her serious space,I can’t deal with that kind of negative energy in my life

    • fatty

      January 6, 2014 at 2:36 pm

      Is it a coincidence that someone called holla has this exact post? Hmmm

  8. Grown Woman

    January 6, 2014 at 11:53 am

    My momma always says” If you have to lie, you better have a good memory”

    • AREA CODE

      January 6, 2014 at 1:39 pm

      your momma is a wise woman.

  9. tee

    January 6, 2014 at 11:59 am

    Atoke i can soo relate to this post. I had a friend in uni who was a pathological liar. It was so bad that we her close friends knew and never believed anything she said. If anyone said “its gbemi (not her real name) who said so”, we would just yimu. Its crazy cos for a long time i used to believe her, until her sisters and cousins always debunked her stories. and she kept on telling those lies. We her friends would talk about her lies and just shake our head but no one told her. But I got so uncomfortable with her lies one day and decided to call her out on them. I told her that whenever she feels like telling a lie, she should just shut up, its not by force to have gist all the time. The babe didnt talk to me for a long time after that, i guess the embarrassment of me calling her out on her lies or the fact that she didn’t feel there was anything wrong in what she did, and perhaps she saw me as the bad person for calling her out. I didnt care sha. Fast forward 10 years after we left school and i met her again and she still gave me a gist which i later found out was a grievous lie, I just shook my head and told myself that she can never change. I wonder how she lives with her husband though, its either he loves her with all the lies she tells or he hasnt noticed shes a pathological liar. its unfortunate though cos shes a very intelligent woman. I think for some people it has become a psychological problem, lying gives them a sense of importance or self worth.

  10. Errr

    January 6, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    I do not lie! Ever! But I have perfected the art of selective truth telling. Its much easier and safer 😉

    • Chic

      January 6, 2014 at 2:02 pm

      Lol! I had a professor who called it “being economical with the truth” and this man even encouraged us to bend the rules in regards to this ooo in an English university at that imagine! I miss uni:(

    • Happy me

      January 6, 2014 at 2:10 pm

      “very selective truth”t does just it for me.

  11. Anon

    January 6, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    In other news, why should you want to delete candy crush? I’m am addict as well and missy, no need to keep checking if your lives have been refilled. Fast forward the time on your phone! That’s what addicts do. Just passed the dreadful 149 btw. x

    • uby

      January 7, 2014 at 8:38 pm

      OMG! This is so me…. I always fast forward my time as well. I am in level 192 and I am proud..

  12. DIVAlicious

    January 6, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    My ex was so good at telling fibs it was unbelievable, “I didn’t see your text earlier..it was hidden by my fone”… for real? That was his usual excuse when I send him a message and don’t get a reply…”I don’t necessarily like eating out at all these ‘expensive’ restaurants …sometimes their food aint all its cut out to be” That’s for every time he parks by the road side to buy food from a local canteen…even if I didn’t ask him for an explanation, he always felt the need to explain. “I’m going to get a new car pretty soon”… excuse for every time he feels the need to explain why he’s low on funds… (by the way…till this moment, years after the break up…he still drives the old jalopy)… Lol… people who lie compulsively are so into it..they hardly realize it, and when you even try to let them know.. you’re more likely to be seen as an enemy..(or a liar who’s making things up to tarnish their image)… what I’d do would most likely be to walk away and leave you in your fool’s paradise. 🙂

  13. Chic

    January 6, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    Everyone who knows me knows that I will call you out the moment I find out that you lied to me so they don’t even bother trying it with me at all. I have called people out so many times they stopped trying it with me. Only new acquaintances and strangers can try lying to me. And it’s a good thing that I have a very good memory a photographic one at that so if you lie I will catch you and call you out that is the quickest way to loose my respect. That being said I had a friend who I sadly don’t communicate with no more who is a pathological liar babe can lie for Europe and Africa combined even on the most obvious things. Her lies are part of the reasons we no longer talk.

  14. Damie Damie

    January 6, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    Hi BN. I’ve been trying to send you a piece of prose via e-mail but i didnt get a response.
    Just wanted to know if it would be good enough to be published on your website.
    I know you read comments so please get back to me.
    Thanks a million 🙂

  15. Happy me

    January 6, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    Two lies in my life I can never get over.
    1st: My primary school mates comes to class and says “thieves came to our house yesterday and stole 7 out of our 9 swimming pools”

    2nd: A secondary friend visited another friend during the break, when school resumes she goes like “I went to abc house and they have the same type of washing machine like we do, just that ours is strictly for undies”

    Some lies sha.

    • Blessmyheart

      January 6, 2014 at 4:41 pm

      Are you kidding? I thought stuff like these are made up by comedians. It would be ironic if these lies were not actually told to you

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      January 6, 2014 at 5:11 pm

      “Stole 7 out of our 9 swimming pools”???? AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAA!!! I no blame you as you no fit forget, that kain lie fit scar person for life.

  16. AREA CODE

    January 6, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    liar liar ass on fire. instead of lying just keep quiet it is more honorable and if you have to answer a difficult questions be diplomatic with your response,i usually don’t lie and most times am diplomatic with my answers. for instance if you fail an exam tell people you did ok(if pass mark is 50 and you got 46, atleast you didn’t say you passed. it ok cause some people got between 20-39)they won’t be asking you your exact score, also if you are the one calling your boyfriend everytime and he doesn’t call you cause he can’t afford it and you no wan open im yansh,if they ask tell them we talk every day no one needs to know who is calling who.it is peoples right to ask it is your right to withhold the information and save yourself from lying.

    I don’t really have friends that lie(some use to before) cause I remind them what they said then, what we were talking about at that moment and when precisely we had the conversation.

  17. Simsi

    January 6, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    There’s a frnd of mine that lies and I just don’t understand why he does it. Those lies r just nt necessary. Lying about where you did ur Industrial Training(IT). For God’s sake you’re still goin to defend it in front of everyone. Lied about doing it in chevron. Later found out he did it in a private hospital.
    Pple sha.

  18. Que

    January 6, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    The one with my friend is Exaggeration about people or situations! Its crazy that now after knowing her for bout 7yrs, when she tells me certain types of stories particularly involving people whom she considers to be of importance (socially or economically), in my head I will drop d ante about 70% and then I will be closer to the real picture… If I came in today n mention I was in a meeting with Idris Elba for some biz, d way she will sharply remember they are ‘family friends’ or they met on holiday 5yrs ago, never fails to AMAZE me.. I’m like babe, I was ur friend dat year and I never heard?!!!… its crazy n she doesn’t miss…. I actually have fun with it now on some days if I am with d kind of names dat intrigue her, I purposely let it slip who n who they r n she doesn’t miss…. she MUST come up with a connection….its a running inner joke! In her case, anything that links her to some people gives her credibility. So when she’s talking about them she comes across as ‘someone in the know’ and you dare not argue with her… even though d gist is totally irrelevant n pointless, except to prove to you that she knows people and knows whats up. I came to notice its also same wit some of her sibblings, they thrive on social acceptance n will paint any picture necessary to stay in d game. The truth is that they are also well to do, so why so socially insecure bout people that don’t care which way your life goes?…I don’t know

    Apart frm d familiarising one, I rmbr listening to horror stories bout a certain person who was in her life (in a professional capacity)…. fastforward a few yrs I meet same person, separately, by chance n after a few interactions I’m still trying to justify the picture she put in my head….I dont get this type….I went back to point out the gap to her n she insisted I didnt know d person, so I quietly told her well, this is d person I have come to know n it doesn’t mean you told all lies, but maybe you can know different sides of them if you let yourself. The familiarisation one I kinda get, not this…

    I’m mostly dismissive or redirect the conversation once I percieve her trying to derail me with some of these irrelevant points. I do d maths myself n decide what to believe, cos its not always all lies/exaggeration but it can be totally tiring n boring to listen to. As for why we’re still friends, she is caring and supportive and can care bout little details like remembering n reaching out on important days, help with job hunt et al…. so I take d good n d insecure I guess but balancing it on some days can be very tricky.

  19. Bobosteke & Lara Bian

    January 6, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    Funny how everyone here is a lie vigilante.

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      January 6, 2014 at 5:27 pm

      As in. Plus these stories are a welcome reminder to me to count my blessings. I’ve friends who’re as imperfect as they come but they’ve been consistent truth tellers….

  20. Africhic

    January 6, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    My colleague lies all the time. I seem to be the only one that has noticed.

  21. neon

    January 6, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    i lie all the time… i wasnt very loved as a child so for me lying was a way to ‘feel among’ and to be honest i have done it far too long to even stop… some lies dont even make sense,

  22. Sere

    January 6, 2014 at 7:30 pm

    Ok, so everyone knows people who tell lies but suddenly have amnesia concerning the lies they’ve told. Let me break the circle.
    … So after a long break way back when i was in uni, I ran into a friend/toaster and he’s like ‘i called you, why didn’t you pick my calls’ ‘erm… i lost my, my sim, so i didn’t have your number’ i said, staring at my same old motorola T191 in my hand. ‘You lost your sim?, not your phone sha’ he said ‘no just my sim’ i replied. ‘Eh ehn, ok’. That was all he said, but the look on his face… I still cringe when i remember that silly lie.
    Ok, i’m typically not a liar, neither do i give false gist or tell grandiose tales. But come on, we all tell lies, however small, however silly.

  23. One girl

    January 6, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    A senior in my secondary school then- was gisting a couple of her friends about how her boyfriend was crawling on the mud wearing a white shirt and white jean trousers begging for her forgiveness over something silly (can’t remember now)… I would have somewhat believed this tale if she hadn’t told us earlier that her dad had a car with a swimming pool on top of it …lmao! YIMU international … Kai!

  24. damsel

    January 6, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    Okay u guys listen up. Sere pls don’t cringe, mine is worse! I told my then boss, during Nysc that i’d been flown from Owerri to PH. I was just forming “miss always travelling by air”. L̳̿Ö̤̣̇☺ː̗̀(=)))ː̖́☺Ö̤̣̇L̳̿. I can still rmbr d shock i felt when those words parted from my lips. (Seriously, to lie no easy 4 amateurs like me ) More shocking was his silence. *runs off and covers face*

  25. chinco

    January 6, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    I usually enjoy the monday morning banter but this one’s a real snooze

    • tee

      January 7, 2014 at 8:26 pm

      Thats a lie… snooze ko sleep ni… liar!

  26. alice

    January 6, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    i have this friend dat can lie ehh infact it gives me shivers one of her famous lie in 2010 “erm alice ure eating agege bread me im allegic o i have to import my bread from dubai” and am like seriously another lie was “she worked in gtb as pa to MD for 6years and she is only 23 b4 den she worked in an oil and gas company for 2yrs dat she has been sent to UK AND SA for training dat shes a professional PA and she has driving two cars dat d 1st one somersaulted on 3rd main land bridge 6times and she didn’t die “babe isnt even a graduate ohhh …its so annoying buh i just flow along make she dey ffool her self .

  27. Ashanti

    January 7, 2014 at 12:20 am

    i am a pro!!!!! i can lie to start WW III lol…..but with reasons. Guys have stopped asking me for my number cus they’ll get something like this “080419….” or “070666….” before i can finish it they’ll say “thank you!!” if a friend confide in me and need me to lie for them….they know i got them, best part i have a very good memory so bring it on!!! but those r the minor things i can lie about……apart from those, u got me 😉

  28. frances

    January 7, 2014 at 12:47 am

    Eh! I remember “million million” in my class that year,kai! The guy can lie for state. Even d “million million” name was given to him cuz of one of his lies.
    He’ll sit u down and start telling u he imports shoes frm spain,he travelled out last year,he claimed ownership of a hotel and will even come to ask u for reccomendations for staff he wants to employ. For those of us that knew,we’ll just shake our heads and for those that didn’t know,wen we see him telling them tales,I just feel pity for them. Kai! That man can lie! He will even pretend to make calls and talk about pay me “my 2million or so”. That’s how he got his name.
    Grown man o,but pathological liar!
    Kai!

    http://imperfectlyperfect92.wordpress.com

  29. Bibiana

    January 7, 2014 at 6:32 am

    One very common lie is asking for a day off at work or calling sick. You dare not let anyone know you are going for a job interview, lol.

    Another common lie, where are you? The reply is always I’m almost there, when you might still be at home dressing.

  30. Chinma Eke

    January 7, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    I had this colleague during my youth corp who lies, for absolutely no reason she makes up stories. When she’s found out, its never easy on her. Yet she lies. We got to a state where we didn’t believe her anymore, until we had proof that what she is saying is the truth.

    We all lie, but like another youth corp colleague would say; some people can lie for the nation.

    chinmaeke.wordpress.com

  31. sassy

    January 7, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    I have a childhood friend who I have come to accept as a pathological liar. I have confronted her on several occasions but in her own words, “I can’t seem to help myself”. An outstanding lie of hers was when she asked me to be on her bridal train and said she was buying the dresses from the States only for her to ask me to send my detailed measurements. I reminded her that she needed only my dress size but she said she wanted to buy dresses with perfect fittings. I then knew she was at it again. In summary, when we got into town for the wedding, our first port of call was to the carpenter who sewed the dresses for major adjustments. Two of the ladies on the train left theirs on their chairs at the wedding reception. I took mine home to show my mum what my darling friend “bought” for me for twenty thousand naira.

    • Que

      January 8, 2014 at 10:08 am

      Hahahahahaaaa.a… @first port of call to carpenter…!

  32. DOO

    January 8, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    Atoke, I have a friend that is so good at telling lies that even he believes his lies are true.

  33. Zayt

    January 9, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    @bibiana, I’m very guilty of that! lol

  34. Habibi

    January 13, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    Thanks for the writeup. I definitely agree with what you are saying. I have been talking about this topic a good deal lately with my brother so hopefully this will get him to see my point of view. Fingers crossed!

  35. Habibi

    January 13, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    I respect your piece of function, appreciate it for all of the interesting content material.

  36. Audrey

    February 18, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    I was about to write an epistle about a former friend who is a pathological liar, then it hit me I’m not a saint either.of course I don’t lie impulsively but every once in a while I find myself trying to make a gist sweeter especially when I’ve forgotten the details. Ima pray for God to help me. 🙁

  37. be beibae

    October 9, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    in 100levl my gud frnd den sed he lived in area 11 in abj I was glad cuz I also live in garki abuja
    in 200 he sed Kubwa and no dey did not move
    in 400 levl he sed gwarimpa around second semester nai bros tell me anoda bosa lie I hav 7 million in my account. ..my reply:should I be crying…
    we are in 500levl now I dey wait for anoda lie..
    kai!!if u ar sincere nobody will judge u!! den my course mate can lie for Africa! I dnt say nothing I dey look as dem dey lie..but one day body no go fit take am again oo

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