Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tangled Webs

Oh what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practise to deceive!
Sir Walter Scott, Marmion, Canto vi. Stanza 17.
Scottish author & novelist (1771 - 1832)  

Well, why not? It's nearly Halloween and I want to talk about metaphorically tangled webs. Deception and lies weave pretty nasty webs ... of confusion at best and ruin at worst. 

According to an article in Psychology Today, a 2010 study revealed the following: 

(1) The average number of lies told per day by an individual is 1.65. 

(2) Only about 400 of the sample 1000 participants reported telling a lie in the past 24 hours.

... and that's excluding the politicians, of course. (my words).

We're a bunch of liars and we know it. But why do we lie, cheat, scheme, and scam? In another article found in the online magazine Real Simple, one doctor of philosophy explains it this way:

"The tendency to tell tales is “a very natural human trait,” explains David L. Smith, Ph.D., associate professor of philosophy at the University of New England, in Biddeford, Maine. “It lets you manipulate the way you want to be seen by others.” 

Ah, manipulation. What else could it be? The one of six reasons people lie that struck me most was this one: Lying to Make Oneself Feel Better (click on Real Simple link above for more.)

Some want attention or are feeling lonely and will complain about aches and pains that do not exist. Others simply want to reassure themselves and might tell a self-serving lie (I graduated from ABC University. No, I've never been fired. The check's in the mail.) But, says Jenna McCarthy, the article's author "when people start to believe their self-deceptions, it can snowball, which is especially dangerous."

I'm dealing with a huge snowball right now (not of my making) and it isn't comfortable, pretty, or pleasant. I am the bug trapped in the spider web and I'm trying to get out. It will take time.

Oh time, time, time. If we had unlimited time, all would be possible. I'm just impatient. And that's no lie.


  1. Telling lies may be “a very natural human trait,” but if you'd grown up with MY mother, you'd find another trait to expand. "If you'll lie to me, you'll steal from me and there's no worse low life than a thief." So sayeth my mother... and I have to say, I've grown to pretty much agree with the possible exception of the polite, gracious lies, e.g., "Yes, that color looks good on you."

  2. I guess I wasn't exactly clear - I didn't tell the lie or practice the deception; another did and I'm dealing with the fallout. I agree with your mother.


Please comment! I'll write about what you'd like. Let me know.