It is a known fact. All children lie. They lie to keep away from perceived punishment; usually where none exists. They lie to make themselves feel important or to convince others that they are invincible. They lie to improve their home situation. Sometimes they lie while alone inventing scenarios in which they are the undisputed hero. Parents understand this and all but the most egregious are ignored. It is simply considered embellishment.
At the age of four I was a master of the genre. We lived for a short time in San Diego in an apartment next door to a school ground. A good liar needs an audience, otherwise there is no point. My audience was a young playground director who taught me to hang by my knees on the steel bars which my mother referred to as “acting bars”. One’s first lie needs to be big and bold and mine, while imaginative, was totally unbelieveable. According to history I had four big brothers, none of whom were available because my tiny young mother kept them locked up and only fed them bread and water. My imagination never reached that level again, but it grew exponentially throughout my childhood.
It was an easy and available means to self identy to cushion the impact of our annual hegira. No one knew me. No one knew my parents who could be called to verify my wild tales. Actually, no one even liked me. I was the stranger who came uninvited to a well established clique of children. I was still creating history by the age of ten, living in Connecticut attending a country school with three grades in my classroom.
Surrounding oneself with a cushion of improvidation is a way to protect oneself from fear of rejection.
To my embarrassment and shame, This habit continued throughout my childhood, even including the use of substitute names. It was relaxing to introduce myself as someone else in order to protect Kayti Sweetland. Fortunately by the time I reached high school I understood that no one actually wanted to harm me. Unfortunately, it was the the time of the best name I ever thought up’ I thought!
Children DO learn that lying is not really a path to friendship or fame. Somehow the knowledge creeps in that they also have a real life and it ain’t bad. They also learn that the sun does not rise or set according to their wishes. They begin to get a sense of their peers. They begin to understand where they come from and where are their goals. It makes them aware also that there is a future for themselves and they may as well begin plotting it.
I am averse to people who strongly identify with the small word “I”. Unfortunately, that method has worked for some people however unpleasant it may be. President George H.W. Bush once told the story that throughout his life his mother cautioned him against talking about himself. We are after all, the constant object of our affections.
Any sdvice you might draw from this is; Get over it. Nobody really cares, and at the last hour, you will be the only audience left.
It is a kn own fact. All children lie. They lie to keep away from perceived punishmen