How many times do you lie in an average day? We normally don’t think about it, but it is human nature to lie. Ever lied on a resume? In a job interview? Have you ever made up a story to impress someone? Or perhaps lied to your girlfriend when she asked you if she was fat? Well, on average, you would have lied at least three times in the first minute you meet a total stranger. And to answer the very first question, around 200 times.
As simple as lying seems, it actually takes a lot of effort. When you are telling a truth, it simply involves recalling a past memory. However, when you lie, you have to come up with what you are trying to hide, and then create a false version that is believable enough, and then actively try to sell that lie – and you continue to do this to prevent getting caught.
If you have created a lie about how much you love your in-laws, you will need to actively recall that lie and the details therein every time your girlfriend or wife asks you about them. It’s a lot of constant pressure, and every time you bring the lie back up, you will almost most probably build up on it as well.
Just like many things around us, lying causes stress (and that’s how a lie detector works). And stress negatively affects our brains, both mentally and emotionally. Your short-term memory is affected, and in some studies, your likelihood of Alzheimer’s increases with an increase in stress.
But aside from that, our system is also flooded with stress hormones such as norepinephrine and cortisol, which leads to high blood pressure and increased heart rate, as well as stroke risks, impotency, and a suppressed immune system.
Perhaps lying may be easy, and to some people stress-less, but when you are committing around 200 lies (no matter how small) per day, the stress really adds up.
CHALLENGE: Go one day without lying.