Recently, I read an article in a magazine directed toward mental health providers which indicated that a lie should not be considered a lie based on the facts, but we should consider the feelings of the person who is lying as the basis of understanding. In other words, the author is saying the lie is justified as long as we have empathy and compassion for the person telling the lie.
I say, HOGWASH.
A lie is a lie and is motivated by the wants and goals of the person telling the lie. People lie to hide the truth. We all lie at one time or another and even "white lies" are considered non-consequential. But shouldn't some lies be exposed for what they are: avoidance of the truth?
Have you ever had someone share with you a concept as "fact" and when you challenged their facts they flippantly said, "Well, I was in the ballpark wasn't I?" That kind of overgeneralization creates challenges for the person who is trying to understand the point of the matter. When the facts are not factual they are deceiving which is another way of avoiding the truth.
Overgeneralization makes everything unclear, undefined, and has unmeasurable elements that limit and even prevent successful outcomes for communication. Exagerations do the same thing. When someone uses bigger than life examples it's difficult to believe what they are saying. Even if you want to believe them, the numbers just don't add up. You'll see this with braggadocios people who will claim they have done something they haven't, have money they don't, or have lived a life they have never experienced. Why do people have to lie about their successes? Mostly because they see themselves as failures and unworthy of your respect. So they exaggerate their worth hoping to influence others.
Lies reveal a person's character. If you are a habitual liar you are deceiving others as well as yourself. The reasons behind the lies must be exposed if you are to change the need to lie. Poor choices (eg. affairs) that must be concealed start the downward spiral. The choice to lie through deception is not fixed by the telling of the facts when the truth comes out, but is further harmful to the innocent person who has been lied to. Before you cheat, leave the relationship. Tell the truth that you are unhappy, that you want to date other people, and be kind instead of crewel to the one you are deceiving.
The way to stop lies is to stop deceiving yourself. Get real. Get honest. Get some help. Be a person of character and then you'll hit it out of the ballpark.